About Us

What is MN Lakes & Rivers Advocates?

MLR - Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates is the only advocacy group solely focused on protecting Minnesota's lake and river heritage for current and future generations by forging powerful links between lakes, lake advocates and policy makers.

MLR core tenets

As a group we believe that:

  • Minnesota's current property tax system is unfair as there is little connection between property tax and the ability to pay that tax;
  • Creates destructive disincentives towards preservation of shoreline, forest restoration, and habitat protection. We must rewrite the code to provide incentives for owners who want to preserve and protect these vital resources;
  • Minnesota can and must Stop the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species;

Why does the MN Lakes & Rivers Advocates exist?

MLR - Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates has roots that stretch way back to 1993 when a seasonal cabin owner on Lake Vermilion became alarmed at rapidly rising property tax bills. 

That year, Executive Director Jeff Forester was doing research for a book about the history of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and discovered that Minnesota's ad valorum tax - a tax based on value at the "highest and best use" treated land only as a commodity, without recognizing it as the basis of our ecological health. As such the tax code drives the consumption of land rather than its protection, conservation and stewardship. When a local assessor told him, "We used to mine iron ore, now we mine lakeshore," he decided to get involved with MLR.

With the real estate collapse, more and more people moved to the lake full time.  By this time the tax rate on cabins and on homes was the same.  The MLR - Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates understood that the issues that impact all riparian owner, homestead or seasonal, are the same.  They changed the name to reflect this broader mission and constituency.  Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates became the new name (formerly MSRPO.)

Who runs the MLR?

MLR - Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates is a non-profit organization with a lean and mean staff consisting of an executive director, executive assistant and a professional advocate. With the help of several activist board members and volunteers, we lead the charge to represent our members' interests at the State Capitol.

An affiliated, but separately-organized, political action committee (PAC) pursues MLR's goals in the political arena.

All MLR - Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates staff and board members welcome your thoughts and ideas so that they can serve you better.

Annual Meeting

The Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates Annual Meeting is held annually at the Minneapolis Convention Center in February in conjunction with the Lake Home and Cabin Show.  All MLR members that attend the annual meeting will recieve free admission to the show.  In addition, Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates speakers will be featured on the Cabin Life Stage inside the show.  It is a wonderful and exciting event and we encourage attendance.

Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates Annual Meeting Feb. 9, 10:30 AM at the Minneapolis Convention Center









How to contact MLR staff or board members

Got something on your mind you want to say to our staff or board members? Willing and able to contribute not just your money, but some of your time to MLR? Or just want to say "Thanks" to a small group looking out for your interests?

We're all ears. Send us an e-mail. Give us a call. Drop us a letter. The more we hear from our members the better able we are to serve them.

Here's how to reach the MLR staff. A complete list of staff and board members is online.

Executive Director

Jeff Forester
PO Box 22262
St. Paul, MN 55122

Office: 952-854-1317
E-mail: jeff@mnlakesandrivers.org

Executive Administrator

Judy Corrigan
PO Box 22262
St. Paul, MN 55122

Office: 952-854-1317
E-mail: judy@mnlakesandrivers.org