SAUK RAPIDS -- A national organization made up of labor unions and environmental organizations has released a new report on the importance of upgrading America's infrastructure.

A group of representatives from the BlueGreen Alliance stopped in Sauk Rapids Thursday morning to address Minnesota's report summary. BlueGreen Alliance spokeswoman Tarryl Clark says they've identified the needs like roads and bridges, transit, drinking water and electricity. Now, they're calling on local, state and federal lawmakers to invest in Minnesota's future.

Minnesota Conservation Federation spokesman Gary Botzek joined Clark at the event. Botzek says conservation plays a big role in upgrading things like power plants, drinking water systems and habitat management.

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He says outdoors enthusiasts can't be overlooked when talking conservation and infrastructure because they are a strong economic engine for the state.

Botzek says the wildlife habitat is changing as the earth is becoming warmer.  He says clean energy is critical to slowing the climate change and preserving Minnesota's hunting and fishing. Botzek cites Minnesota's declining moose population and the statistics that show moose are migrating farther north into Canada as an example.

"BlueGreen Alliance" says investing in Minnesota's infrastructure will create jobs, make the state's systems more efficient, result in less pollution and lessen the impact on climate change.

The report is a call to action for local, state and federal lawmakers to work across jurisdictions to invest more into prevention of hazards and disasters rather than just maintain the systems at their current levels.

MnDOT photo