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U.S. senators recommend National Loon Center for $3.5 million in federal funding

Funding could be announced by July 28.

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The National Loon Center
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CROSSLAKE — The National Loon Center in Crosslake received the support of U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, each of whom made a request recently to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and related agencies, for $3.5 million in congressionally directed spending to help construct the world-class facility.

When completed, the facility will create dozens of jobs, stimulate the local and regional economy, and position Minnesota and the Midwest as a national leader in loon and freshwater conservation.

The NLC is already actively advancing nationally significant loon and freshwater research and education as it prepares for a scheduled opening in 2024. The subcommittee, chaired by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, of Wisconsin, where the NLC funds important loon research, will select projects for funding as early as July 28.

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“The support of Minnesota’s two U.S. senators is deeply appreciated and applauded,” NLC Executive Director Jon Mobeck said in a news release. “It shows their commitment to preserving loons, lakes and a way of life that is unique to the wild north, while supporting a significant visitor amenity that will provide quality jobs and equip future conservation leaders.”

The request to Minnesota's senators received broad bipartisan support from many current and former state and federal representatives as well as from key partners such as Audubon Minnesota and the National Eagle Center in Wabasha.

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In its leadership role, the NLC will connect and amplify loon and freshwater research and conservation efforts occurring across the nation. The high-tech facility will incorporate an exciting array of immersive and interactive educational exhibits to engage diverse audiences, while promoting and celebrating responsible recreation and enduring stewardship of our lakes.

Toward that end, the NLC launched its 31-foot StewardShip for free educational tours on Cross Lake every Thursday, Friday and Saturday through Sept. 24.

The NLC has completed the installation of a system of boardwalks and docks at the Cross Lake Recreation Area – one of the state’s most popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds. The Cross Lake site is an ideal place to encourage responsible recreation and celebrate loons and lakes.

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