DNR to unveil new moose critical habitat license plate


Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will unveil new critical habitat license plate featuring unpublished artwork from legendary Minnesota wildlife artist Les Kouba.

Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner.
Lou Cornicelli, DNR wildlife research program.
Greg Meyer, Les Kouba Outdoors.

11 a.m., Monday, Aug. 11.

DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, Minnesota.

This is part of a new “Call of the Moose Minnesota” partnership between the DNR and Les Kouba Outdoors that uses moose imagery from wildlife artist Les Kouba to help raise money for research and other necessary efforts to better understand why this iconic species of the north is disappearing from Minnesota. Information and insights from DNR’s pioneering research may help identify management options that could stop or slow the moose population decline.

The critical habitat license plate program was created in 1995 to provide additional opportunity for Minnesotans to contribute to conservation. Motorists who purchase a critical habitat plate make a minimum annual contribution of $30 to the Reinvest in Minnesota program. Every dollar generated through the sale of the license plate is matched with private donations of cash or land. The plates have generated more than $25 million toward the purchase of 7,700 acres of critical habitat and have helped fund nongame research and surveys, habitat enhancement and educational programs. Money from the purchase of the moose critical habitat license plate will not be used for moose research.

Video b-roll, sound bite, and image of plate available Monday after at ftp://mediaroom.dnr.state.mn.us in folder named “news release resources,” then in folder named “08-11-14 moose plate.”

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Minnesota Ag News-Land Values

Click here to see this information: MN_2014_Land_Values

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FB water video

Farm Bureau launches animated video targeting EPA water proposal

Annie Snider, E&E reporter

Published: Tuesday, August 5, 2014


The American Farm Bureau Federation today unveiled an animated video criticizing a controversial U.S. EPA water proposal — the group’s latest tool in a major campaign it has waged against the proposed rule.

The video contends that the rule would have a harmful impact on farmers and ranchers and drives viewers to the bureau’s website on the rule and its legislative action center to file comments with EPA.

“An expanded CWA would give the federal government power over land use,” the video says over an image of a red tractor that is then stepped on by a foot in business shoes.

“Government regulation will become an even bigger challenge for farmers and ranchers than the weather,” it contends.

At issue is a proposed rule from EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers that would increase the number of streams and wetlands that currently receive automatic protection under the Clean Water Act. The proposal holds major implications for a number of sectors, ranging from homebuilding to the energy industry. Concerns about implications of the rule for agriculture, which is exempt from key portions of the Clean Water Act, have come to the fore, though.

The Farm Bureau has been one of the most vocal opponents of the rule and has built a major outreach campaign aimed at opposing it. A previous video produced by the Missouri Farm Bureau, which spoofed the hit song “Let It Go” with a farm family singing about ditch regulation from the seats of a canoe in a dry ditch, has gained traction among farmers and conservative television personalities.


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MN BHA Update

MN BHA Friends,


Minnesota BHA will have a table/booth at the Hunting Film Tour in Minneapolis (on Wednesday, Sept. 3rd, at the Parkway Theater). Any one willing/able to volunteer should contact MN BHA co-chair Erik Jensen at progressiveoutdoorsman@gmail.com


The second annual MN BHA Rendezvous is just around the corner (August 15-17, 2014), in Whitewater State Park. Contact chapter co-chair Erik Jensen if you can join us. The Saturday evening cookout will include elk brats/burgers and any other wild game members are able to contribute (see this link for additional details/contact information):



-Take a look at (and sign) BHA’s Sportsmen’s Pledge, then forward to your sportsmen and women friends, family and acquaintances: http://backcountryhunters.org/index.php/sportsman-s-pledge

-A MN BHA op-ed (“Selling public lands bad for hunters/anglers,” 7/25/14) in the Grand Rapids (Minn.) Herald-Review: http://www.grandrapidsmn.com/opinion/selling-public-lands-bad-for-hunters-anglers/article_69553cc2-1443-11e4-b733-001a4bcf887a.html

-An op-ed from BHA executive director, Land Tawney (“Clean water supply vital to well-being of Montana, nation”): http://missoulian.com/news/opinion/columnists/clean-water-supply-vital-to-well-being-of-montana-nation/article_c8946360-07a1-11e4-8e54-001a4bcf887a.html

-BHA’s Backcountry College (“Water in the Backcountry”): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nqlaJljy9Q

-First-Ever Elk Bugle in the U.S. Senate—Randy Newberg of The Sportsman Channel’s “Fresh Tracks” gives an elk bugling demonstration in the U.S. Senate Building. The demo was part of a celebration of 50 years of Land and Water Conservation Funding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__BqJ6A2DpM

-Hunter, congressman tout conservation fund/LWCF: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/environment/article_33321384-12c4-11e4-a66b-0019bb2963f4.html


Copper Bullet Demonstration for Deer Hunters: Sunday, August 17 (1-5 pm) at the Wealthwood Rod and Gun Club in Aitkin, Minnesota (for additional information call: Wealthwood RGC @ 218-678-2281 or Steve Windels @ 218-324-3400).


Updates on proposed sulfide mining in northern Minnesota:

-A Man, His Dogs, and Minnesota’s Future: http://www.startribune.com/local/yourvoices/268323732.html

-Comments on the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the NorthMet Mining Project and Land Exchange: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/public_lands/mining/Minnesota_mining/pdfs/NorthMet_SDEIS_NoOrg.pdf

-Minnesota needs solid research on mercury contamination and its sources:


-“Copper-nickel mining, always risky for humans and their environment, is least dangerous in arid settings. But northern Minnesota, the site of three major watersheds, is one of the richest sources of freshwater in the world.” –Barton Sutter[1]


-Minnesota deer hunting: ‘Conservation’ limits announced:


-A Look at Whitetail Sleep Habits: http://www.qdma.com/articles/dream-bucks-a-look-at-whitetail-sleep-habits?utm_source=Ntl+Newsletter+7%2F31%2F14&utm_campaign=Ntl+Newsletter+7%2F31%2F14&utm_medium=email

-DNR gives antlerless deer a break in hopes of reviving state’s herds: http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_26202175/minnesota-dnr-announces-conservative-deer-season

-A Look at Whitetail Sleep Habits: http://www.qdma.com/articles/dream-bucks-a-look-at-whitetail-sleep-habits?utm_source=Ntl+Newsletter+7%2F31%2F14&utm_campaign=Ntl+Newsletter+7%2F31%2F14&utm_medium=email


-Mother and daughter take a shot at Minnesota firearms-safety class: http://www.twincities.com/minnmoms/ci_26167840/family-outings-mother-and-daughter-take-firearms-safety

-Baudette hunting guide admits to years of bear and deer poaching: http://www.startribune.com/local/268118152.html

-Putting a price tag on our federal public lands: http://blog.trcp.org/2014/07/22/putting-a-price-tag-on-our-federal-public-lands/

-Defend Hunting and other Outdoor Pursuits in National Forests:



-Become a BHA Lifetime Member, and get a new pistol/rifle (scroll down for details/options): http://www.backcountryhunters.org/index.php/join-us

-Check out the MN BHA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/MinnesotaBackcountryHunters/

-Also see our Rendezvous Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/499494363506426/


Have a good week,



David A. Lien

Co-Chair, Minnesota

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

The Sportsman’s Voice for Our Wild Public Lands, Waters and Wildlife



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ND drive for conservation funding

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

North Dakotans Come Together in Support of Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakotans committed to protecting clean water and preserving the state’s long and proud history of hunting, fishing, birding and other outdoor recreation today delivered more than 41,000 petition signatures to the North Dakota Secretary of State to place the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment on the ballot in November. The campaign collected far beyond the required minimum of 26,904 signatures.

“We have a unique opportunity to invest a small portion of the funds the oil industry is already paying to our state, without raising taxes, to protect the things that make North Dakota, North Dakota,” said Steve Adair, director of Ducks Unlimited – Great Plains Region and the chair of the committee sponsoring the measure. “This overwhelming response is a testimony that North Dakotans are passionate about protecting our cherished and valuable natural areas.”

Several volunteers who helped gather signatures to place the measure on the ballot showed up to deliver the petitions and explain why they joined the effort.

“As a business owner, I support the Clean Water Wildlife and Parks Amendment because local businesses thrive when our state is able to attract visitors and offer a great quality of life to those of us fortunate enough to live here,” said Holly Dickson of Mandan. “I’m also a mom, so it’s important to me that we take advantage of this unique opportunity to conserve the things we love about North Dakota for our children and grandchildren. It’s been way too long since North Dakota developed a new state park. The last new state park was opened thirty years ago.”

Dick Monson, a farmer from Valley City, cited the importance of voluntary conservation programs that enhance a farmer’s property while maintaining healthy soils and productive farmland for future generations.

“The amendment will put money in the pockets of North Dakota farmers and ranchers who enroll in voluntary conservation programs on private lands. All of the current federal conservation programs are oversubscribed,” said Monson. “About half of the farmers applying for CRP get turned down. This measure will allow North Dakotans to design programs that work for us instead of relying on the federal government.”

Al Geisen, a wildlife enthusiast from Bismarck volunteered with the campaign because he’s concerned about the state of wildlife in North Dakota. A recent story in The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead highlighted concerns over wildlife populations. Pheasant, sage grouse and mule deer numbers are all down in recent years

“North Dakota wildlife is under tremendous pressure,” said Geisen. “Our state is at a crossroads. The decisions we make over the next decade will largely determine the health of our wildlife populations and the quality of life we enjoy in North Dakota. The Clean Water Wildlife and Parks Amendment is our chance to maintain healthy wildlife populations and ensure a bright future for our state.”

Teachers are also joining in the Clean Water Wildlife and Parks campaign. Naomi Thorson, a teacher from Dickinson, said that she got involved in the effort because she’s excited about funding for educational programs for children to learn about and enjoy nature and the outdoors.

“Our children and grandchildren will be the biggest beneficiaries of the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment,” said Thorson. “All North Dakotans have a responsibility to ensure future generations inherit the same amenities and natural resources that shape the North Dakota way of life- our clean water, our hunting and fishing opportunities and our parks and other natural treasures.”

Oil and gas development has created an unprecedented stream of tax revenue into the state. North Dakota is slated to have more than a $1 billion budget surplus by the end of the biennium.

“With these historic surpluses, we have a unique opportunity to invest in our state’s future,” said Adair. “Our state is in a position to address the needs of our schools, roads and other infrastructure and still fund conservation programs that invest in our clean water, our wildlife and our parks.”

The North Dakota Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment would dedicate a small portion of the state’s existing oil and gas extraction taxes to protect North Dakota’s clean water and lands for future generations. Funds would go toward protecting clean water in our rivers, lakes and streams; preserving unique natural areas like the Badlands and critical fish and wildlife habitats; create parks and other areas for recreation, hunting and fishing; protect communities and private property from flooding by improving natural flood controls; and provide more opportunities and places for our children to learn about and enjoy the outdoors.

The campaign is supported by a coalition of concerned citizens, including teachers, family farmers and members of the health community; conservation organizations; hunters and anglers; and small businesses from Main Street to those involved in outdoor recreation. Supporters of the initiative held an event at the ND State Capitol celebrating the signature-gathering milestone.

For more information, go to www.cleanwaterwildlifeparks.org

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August MMPA newsletter

Working to Preserve, Promote and Advance Muskie and Pike Education and Research in Minnesota.
August 1, 2014 Seventy-sixth Edition
From John Underhill, MMPA Co-chair
Greetings Muskie and Pike fisherman;
Dan Crooms and I met with New Ulm regional managers as well as staff from the Windom and Waterville offices to discuss the new 54” minimum size to discuss how it will affect the lakes in Southern MN and some interesting new research they are doing on Muskie growth in the southern lakes. We also discussed area needs and looked for ways to make the southern fishery a better one. Many thanks to those of you that called and provided input to their offices last month.
We will also be meeting with the DNR and stakeholders for an Esox Workshop later this month. I’m hoping these meetings can be productive. The rhetoric that we’ve been hearing from some participants is discouraging but has strengthened my belief in the direction Muskies and Pike management is moving .
We have much work to do and must remain vigilant in our protection of our water resources and our fishery. Please consider joining the MMPA. The money stays in MN and is used directly to benefit the fish we love. If you join you’re automatically entered into our drawing to spend a ½ day with Jeremy Smith of Linders Media. He’s a great friend to the fish, one hell of a Muskie fisherman and just a good guy, so please join today at www.mnmuskie.org. We take PayPal or you can mail a $25.00 check to MMPA Membership 2076 Copland Road; Maple Plain, MN. 55359
John Underhill
Stocking Report from Greg Kvale
The plan is to stock just over 33,000 pure strain fingerlings this fall and 2,160 tiger muskies. We have a contract to purchase 7,478 pure strain and will purchase all the tiger muskies. We had a tough time getting eggs again this year ended up taking around 700,000 from three egg takes. Had good hatch rates, so we met our quota for fry. We have all of our rearing ponds stocked and should produce more than enough fingerlings if we don’t get some extreme type of weather between now and the end of November. Minnows for forage are getting more expensive and harder to find. We plan on looking at how we can raise our own minnows or get started earlier next year to address the forage issue. You may have heard one of our musky rearing ponds is now listed as infested with zebra mussels. All fish from this pond will have to go to lakes that are infested with zebra mussels, for good or bad we have several lakes to choose from, so this should not be an issue. This cool weather should be good for our production to get 10 inch or bigger fingerlings this year.
From Jim Lilienthal (small pike issues)
Muskie rehab on Lake Winnibigoshish may not be an option with the high density population of small pike that exists on the lake. Fisheries told me no muskie introductions would be done. The meeting on August 28th of the muskie and pike work group has a huge impact on finding future muskie stocking candidate lakes. When over 50% of the potential muskie stocking waters are eliminated from consideration by high density small pike populations (greater than 7 per gillnet). If we don’t support the Fisheries Work Group changes for pike management that percentage will only rise.
I’m still putting a lot time into reviews of northern pike net catches, sizes, along with perch and walleye catches. My total focus will be the counties in the “problem pike area” the Central and North Central Lakes Zone. Fisheries has already covered pike management needs for the Southern Lakes Zone (other than the northern boundary line), and the Northeastern Lakes Zone in their “Concepts” document. I communicated with Tim Goeman this week on how the regulation proposal development for this zone was going, and he replied that they hope to have them ready for the next Northern Pike Work Group meeting on August 28th. That meeting should be the milestone event that should set the stage for legislative action. I am very concerned about the recent explosion of small pike on Lake Winnibigoshish. The 2013 lake survey showed the highest catch ever of northern pike with over 14 per gillnet and nearly 90% less than 25 inches long. The survey also had the lowest catch of large pike recorded. The walleye catch is down to 6.3 per gillnet. The long duration of high water conditions in 2014 (creating access to massive pike spawning sites) along with the highest ever population of the aggressive spawning small pike have the potential to produce an unprecedented 2014 northern pike year class. The pseudo “problem “with large size northern pike on Mille Lacs Lake (with 2.75 pike per gillnet is over 5 times less than Winnie’s) pales when compared to the pending pike problems Lake Winnie’s fish community is facing. High densities of small pike are “the problem pike”. We can’t get more responsible pike management done fast enough in the Central and North Central Lakes Zone of Minnesota! Jim Lilienthal
5th Annual Minnesota State High School Muskie Tournament
On June 27th eleven high schools teams representing six Minnesota Muskies Inc. Chapters met at 5:15 a.m. at Mantrap Lake in Park Rapids for the 5th Annual Minnesota State High School Muskie Tournament for a day of competition. After a brief orientation concerning invasive species and safety of both themselves and the fish, students were assigned judge boats and were off for a day of fishing.
One of the ways the event was different this year, was the amount of preparation each team had put into the event. Students had researched and pre-fished the lake. The night before, there were several big muskies caught, so they all had a game plan and high levels of confidence. The following high schools competed: Wayzata, Watertown Mayer, North Branch, Coon Rapids, Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, Dilworth Glyndon Felton, Becker, Foley, and Brainerd.
Throughout the day teams were catching northerns and getting on the board, but were trying for muskies, which beat any sized northern. The judge boats: Jim Kath – Brainerd Lakes Chapter, Mike Riha – North Metro Chapter, and Tom and Kathy Keith – Twin Cities Chapter were stationed throughout the lake, helping students whenever needed.
All teams were off the water by 1:30 and were treated to a lunch brought by Denise Olson and Greg and Elaine Randolph. During the Awards Program, students talked about where and how they contacted muskies that day. The winning fish was 39” and was caught by Brandon Dehring from Detroit Lakes HS. He and his partner Josh Weber are pictured. My wife and I were fishing about 100 yards from them, so when we heard the sounds of a splashing fish, we went to them and got a series of pictures. Just minutes before the end of the tournament, Jeremy Wolfe from North Branch HS caught a 32” muskie. Jeremy and his partner fished the event last year and knew the importance of fishing hard for all of the allotted time. The Detroit Lakes team was given a plaque and new muskie rods. All competitors were given a commemorative tee shirt and a package of lures. There were additional drawings, so all students won some prizes. For a number of students, this was the 2nd year they have fished the event. Ashley Dolezal from Bemidji HS competed in her third and final year in this event.
Parents and Principals should be very proud of their students. As they talked about how they organized their day, they utilized Bloom’s Taxonomy of Higher Order Thinking Skills. The comprehended what they were trying to do and applied that information. As they analyzed their ongoing results, they synthesized that information into new plans. At the end, they were able to evaluate what they did and how it worked out. They were a very impressive group!
I am grateful to the individuals and groups that support this event: Hedron Industries, Members of the Twin Cities Chapter of Muskies Inc., The Hugh C. Becker Foundation, The Twin Cities Chapter of Muskies Inc., Musky Mayhem, Musky Innovations, Tee Squared, Roger Remaley, Denise Olson, Greg and Elaine Randolph, Kathy Keith, Jim Kath, Mike Riha, Brett Waldera and Dennis Lappen. Without their help, this event would not be possible!
Jeremy Wolffe of North Branch HS and his 2nd place fish in the MN HS Muskie Tournament
All HS students competing in the MN HS Muskie tournament
Detroit Lakes HS team and their winning fish. It was caught by Brandon Dehring.
From Steve Wernersbach (MMPA PAC)
MN Muskie and Pike Alliance Legislative Fund
Events at the legislature every year have shown the need for a strong lobbying effort. This year has also identified several legislators willing to get involved and initiate actions that support the musky fishery. And the MMPA Political Action Committee Legislative Fund will be used to do exactly that at the end of this year’s session. Thanks to all of you who have contributed to allow this to happen.
For those of you that haven’t yet contributed, but would like to support this critical effort the form attached is your means to do so. This money can only be used to contribute to our selected legislator’s re-election funds. The MMPA is not allowed to use any general funds for this purpose. If we are to successfully secure the legislative actions needed to promote and advance the musky fishery in Minnesota it is imperative we maintain strong connections with these collaborative legislators. These PAC fund contributions are our best method for doing this.
The fund can accept a maximum contribution of $20 from any single individual per calendar year. Strong legislative support is more important now than ever. The legislature is extremely influential in determining where the DNR spends its fisheries dollars and in setting fishing regulations.
Please consider making this all important contribution.
Steve Wernersbach
Treasurer, MMPA PAC

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ZM found at Minnewashto & Lotus



Link above to news article on Zebra Mussels found by county AIS inspectors in Carver Co.  Four incidents have been reported this summer, three within the last two weeks.  Boats were coming from Minnetonka and Prior Lakes, some had been in the previous water lake less than a day.  So yes, boats can be contaminated in less than a day.  The DNR recommendations for only decontaminating when a watercraft that has been in infested water for 3 or more days has always been hugely erroneous.  Any watercraft coming from an infested water needs to be decontaminated or completely dried to bone dry (including the outdrives of an engine, ballast tanks and live wells).  It can take 2-3 years to discover a lake is infested and because we do not know which lakes may be infested it is extremely important that all boats be inspected prior to all launches and decontaminated if found to be contaminated or dried to bone dry, including ballast tanks, outdrives and livewells.

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Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program now accepting applications!

The Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) Grant Program funds conservation projects that restore, enhance, or protect forests, wetlands, prairies, or habitat for fish, game, and wildlife in Minnesota. Grant requests may range from $5,000 to $400,000 with a maximum total project cost of $575,000. Nonprofit organizations and government entities are eligible to apply, and a 10% match of non-state funds is required. $8 million has been appropriated for FY 2015. Funding for the CPL grant program comes from the Outdoor Heritage Fund.

The application system for the Traditional CPL grant cycle is now open and $3.3 million is available for funding. Apply by September 19th!

New Metro money! New this year is $3.75 million dedicated to habitat conservation projects in the 7-county metro area or within a city with a population of 50,000 people or greater. Apply now! The deadline is September 19th.

$1 million is available for the Expedited Conservation Projects (ECP) grant cycle. ECP funds up to $50,000 for eligible activities on public lands or waters open to all seasons of hunting and fishing. The ECP application is open continuously through May 13, 2015, or until all funds are awarded. Apply by September 17th for the first round of ECP funding!

Additional Information:

Traditional/Metro RFP


FY15 CPL Funding Schedule

CPL Evaluation Criteria

Questions? Please email lscplgrants.dnr@state.mn.us for more information!

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