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DNR retrofits plane to fight AIS

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has added amphibious floats to a second Cessna 185 airplane in its enforcement aviation section thanks to funding for aquatic invasive species prevention.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has added amphibious floats to a second Cessna 185 airplane in its enforcement aviation section thanks to funding for aquatic invasive species prevention.

"The amphibious floats allow the pilot to return to the airport to decontaminate the plane if they have been operating in infested waters, prior to going to the next lake," Capt. Tom Buker, DNR Enforcement chief pilot, said in a news release.

Stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species has been a DNR priority for several years and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, the release said.

Amphibious floats provide added safety in northern Minnesota, which has limited landing sites. They allow conservation officers to check anglers on distant waterways, and give DNR biologists access to remote locations.

The DNR's Enforcement aviation section is comprised of four law enforcement pilots and three non-sworn natural resources pilots. They fly an average of 2,600 hours per year, with almost 60 percent of these hours being game and fish related.

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The section has bases in Bemidji, Brainerd, Grand Rapids and New Ulm.

Related Topics: AVIATION
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