ST. PAUL (AP) -- What started Tuesday as a simple proposal to raise hunting and fishing license fees mushroomed into a significant outdoors-related bill that includes a wolf management plan, a lottery tax dedication to natural resources and a clarification on a new law allowing lighted fishing lures.
The Senate approved the package 56-7 -- significant because it is the first time in two years the Senate has passed a wolf bill similar to what the House had OK'd.
Last week, the Senate voted 33-32 to send a wolf plan back to the House-Senate conference committee that crafted it, but the House members refused to meet, saying they already had passed a bill.
The broader bill approved by the Senate Tuesday will force the House to take another vote on a similar proposal with a few changes and the other three provisions.
''If they want to do the wolf bill, let's let them come to the table with funding for game and fish and parks and trails as well,'' said Sen. Jane Krentz, DFL-May Township.
And if it goes to conference committee, different lawmakers would be in charge of negotiations, making the passage of a plan more likely.
Two provisions in the wolf plan had caused the bulk of the dispute for some senators: One would divide the state into two ''wolf management'' zones and the other would allow shooting wolves ''at any time'' in much of the state to protect livestock, pets and guard animals.
Both of those provisions stayed in the bill ultimately approved, but some language was tightened up to clarify that people could only shoot wolves on their own land to protect their property and could only hire a licensed trapper to trap within one mile of land they owned.
The House earlier approved a similar plan and is expected to support the small changes offered in the Senate package.
''We were willing to accept that as a compromise,'' said Rep. Tim Finseth, R-Angus, a co-chairman on the wolf bill conference committee. ''We had to bend a little bit to get the bill.''
Federal officials say Minnesota has enough gray wolves to remove the animal from its threatened status under the Endangered Species Act, but that probably won't happen until the state comes up with a plan on how to manage the animals. The Legislature failed to do that last year.
As it stands now, the plan would divide the state into two zones, with more protection going to wolves in the northeastern third of the state than in the rest of Minnesota.
Finseth said the House was likely to support the wolf provisions in the bill and a modest hunting and fishing license fee increase already approved separately by the House.
What is less clear is whether House leaders will support another part of the proposal that would dedicate about 6.5 percent of lottery proceeds to natural resources. That would bring in about $25 million annually to help ease budget shortfalls at the Department of Natural Resources.
Finseth said it was ''unfortunate'' the wolf plan was tied to a funding proposal because now it will become tangled in end-of-session budget negotiations.
House Speaker Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon, took that sentiment a step further, saying it posed ''a big problem. I'm really surprised that the Senate is linking issues together like that.''
He said the bill likely would have to go to a conference committee and be broken into separate parts.
The final piece of the bill passed by the Senate would tighten language in a new law that allows the use of tiny lighted lures for fishing. The attorney general's office said the wording in the law was ''ambiguous'' and that it might open the door for other types of lights to be dropped into the water to lure fish.
The new wording specifies that ''a person may affix to the end of a fishing line a lighted artificial bait with hooks attached.''
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