DNR’s Norrgard receives prestigious national wetlands award


A Minnesota wildlife biologist will soon receive a prestigious national award for his efforts in advancing waterfowl and habitat conservation.

Ray Norrgard, wetland management program leader for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, will receive the 2014 National Wetlands Award for State, Tribal, and Local Program Development on May 8 at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C.

He was selected for the award by a national panel of wetland experts. The Environmental Law Institute administers the award, which is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, NOAA Fisheries, and the Federal Highway Administration.

“It’s rewarding to see Ray’s work recognized by the institute and national conservation community,” said Ed Boggess, DNR Fish and Wildlife Division director. “His commitment to wetlands and waterfowl has never faltered. His primary concern has always been doing what is best for the resource.”

Norrgard has worked on wetland and waterfowl conservation for nearly 40 years in government and non-profit positions. In his various roles at the DNR, Norrgard has taken a leading role in the development of several wetland programs. This includes, among many others, Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) – an initiative that has generated tens of millions of dollars annually to restoring wildlife habitat on marginal agricultural lands.

“Ray helped develop the RIM Program and worked to get the initiative passed through the state Legislature,” said Bradley Nylin, executive director of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association. “Once passed, he helped develop grant programs that have served as national models for conservation.”

Norrgard has also been a key contributor to several natural resource management plans and reports. He was the primary author of Minnesota’s Long Range Duck Recovery Plan – the most ambitious duck plan in the state’s history. The plan calls for an average duck population of 1 million birds and management of 2 million acres of wetlands and grasslands. He also led the completion of the most comprehensive report to date on the ecology and management of northern wild rice.

Norrgard has also created an extensive legacy of education and outreach in the state. He has written articles, conducted interviews, and spoken at clinics and symposiums for youth, adults, and wildlife management professionals. “Ray has a unique ability to interact and engage with all levels of the conservation community from state conservation leaders to the average duck hunter to kids at Minnesota Waterfowl Association’s youth camp,” said David Scott, assistant regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s migratory birds and state programs in Minnesota. “He is an outstanding communicator with a unique ability to share complex biological concepts with the public.”

He has also volunteered countless hours of his free time to promoting wetlands. “[Ray] has never hesitated to apply the commitment [he has shown in his work life] to his volunteer life as well,” said David Zentner, past national president for the Izaak Walton League of America. “‘Off-duty, Norrgard has also made significant contributions to Minnesota.” This includes working with a citizens group that spearheaded a successful constitutional amendment in 2008 that increased the state sales tax to support habitat and clean water conservation, parks and trails, the arts.

“Quite simply put,” said Peter David, wildlife biologist for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, “there is no one in the region who has done more over their career to steward the wetland resources he dearly loves. Our wetlands – and our wetland professionals – are far better off because of Ray’s tireless dedication, and his legacy will be felt for decades to come.”

Norrgard also received the Minnesota Award at the 2014 annual meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society. The Minnesota Award is the TWS’s highest conservation award.

For more information on the national award, visit www.nationalwetlandsawards.org or email wetlandsawards@eli.org.

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MN BHA Update

MN BHA Friends,

 

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

http://www.backcountryhunters.org/index.php/state-chapters/minnesota-bha/mn-bha-newsletter/696-minnesota-backcountry-hunters-anglers-2nd-annual-rendezvous-august-15-17

 

-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

-MeatEater Media Diet—BHA Board member Ben Long Talks About His Media Consumption Habits: http://themeateater.com/2014/ben-long-talks-media-consumption-habits/

-“Wapiti Ambush (Part II: ‘Bonking’ Bulls).” Colorado Outdoors: 8/12/14.

http://coloradooutdoorsmag.com/2014/08/12/wapiti-ambush-part-ii-bonking-bulls/

 

-National Trout Center: advocating for southeast Minnesota’s fragile stream trout: http://www.startribune.com/sports/outdoors/267543771.html

-Congress should support ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule: http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2014/08/congress_should_support_waters.html

-Learning the Art of Tenkara: http://firegirlphotographyblog.com/2013/09/05/learning-the-art-of-tenkara/

 

-Of Farmers, Hunters, Oil Money and the Double Secret Déjà Vu Shuffle: http://www.cascwild.org/of-farmers-hunters-oil-money-and-the-double-secret-deja-vu-shuffle/

-Sandpiper routes move forward, but hearing does little to clear future: http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_26299379/sandpiper-routes-move-forward-but-hearing-does-little

 

Updates on proposed sulfide mining in northern Minnesota (and elsewhere):

-PolyMet is not yet a yes or no decision: http://www.grandrapidsmn.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/polymet-is-not-yet-a-yes-or-no-decision/article_419d85a8-1f39-11e4-b82c-001a4bcf887a.html

-Tell the EPA to reject the Pebble Mine: https://secure.nrdconline.org/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=589E92F261325327D881B759DB99966D.app304a?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=3553&autologin=true&s_src=EMOPBMPETMEM0814CUBG&utm_source=link&utm_medium=alert&utm_campaign=email

-Latest Mining Catastrophe Has Direct Minnesota Ties: http://www.miningtruth.org/2014/08/latest-mining-catastrophe-has-direct-minnesota-ties/

-Mine tailings pond failure in BC sends 1.3 billion gallons of mining wasted into watershed: http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Mine+waste+leak+forces+water+Quesnel+Cariboo+River+systems/10088871/story.html

 

-The Biggest Eight-Point Buck Ever Killed (from Nov. 2009): http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/hunting/2009/11/more-details-sad-story-biggest-eight-point-buck-ever-killed?src=related&con=outbrain&obref=obinsite

-Decline in hunting permits shows shifting leisure trends: http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/blog/hindsight/decline-hunting-permits-shows-shifting-leisure-trends

 

-Breeding duck numbers hit record high: http://www.outdoornews.com/June-2014/Breeding-duck-numbers-hit-record-high/

-Hunters can target Canada geese in August: http://www.brainerddispatch.com/content/hunters-can-target-canada-geese-august

-Wild rice season opens Friday: http://samcook.areavoices.com/2014/08/11/wild-rice-season-opens-friday-but-rice-may-not-be-ready/

 

-Dispute erupts over Lessard-Sams Council candidates: http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/270423671.html?page=1&c=y

-Minnesota Legacy Amendment has backed nearly 10,000 projects since 2008: http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_26179495/minnesota-legacy-amendment-has-backed-nearly-10-000

 

-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

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Upcoming Events

Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy: Mississippi River – Lake Pepin Open House

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and its local government partners will hold an open house to discuss the Mississippi River – Lake Pepin Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) on Tuesday, August 26th at the Frontenac Sportsmen Club.  The watershed extends from Red Wing to Lake City and encompasses 205,747 acres, or 325 square miles.  This watershed study is named for Lake Pepin because all the streams included drain to the lake; however, Lake Pepin itself is addressed in a separate study known as the Total Maximum Daily Load Study.
 
 

 

The Mississippi River – Lake Pepin watershed is known for its coldwater streams and trout fishing. According to the MPCA, many streams flowing to Lake Pepin in southeast Minnesota offer high water quality and need protection, while a handful of trout streams need reductions in bacteria levels. Hay, Bullard, Gilbert, Miller and Wells Creeks contain levels of bacteria high enough to violate the state standard, but for the most part, the streams in the study area are in good condition. 

 

The study is open for public review and comment through September 10th and can be downloaded from the MPCA’sMississippi-Lake Pepin Watershed webpage. Attend the open house to learn more about strategies to protect and restore these local resources. 

 

Climate Change for Red Wing and Beyond: A Community Forum with Polar Explorer Will Steger

On Saturday, October 4, the Anderson Center will host an important community forum on the growing crisis of global warming with polar explorer Will Steger and other leading experts in the field.  Free and open to the public, the event will take place in the Center’s historic barn from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, with plenty of opportunity for open discussion.  A light lunch will be provided.

 

Minnesota Will Steger is the greatest living Arctic explorer.  His remarkable feats include the first dogsled journey to the North Pole in 1986, a 1600 miles traverse of Greenland, the historic 3,471 mile Trans-Antarctic dogsled expedition, and the first and only dogsled traverse of the Arctic Ocean from Russia to Ellesmere Island in Canada.  In 2006, he founded the Will Steger Foundation to educate and empower people to engage in solutions of climate change. 

 

The second major presenter is J. Drake Hamilton, science policy director at Fresh Energy, a nonprofit organization advocating practical policies about climate change.  Named one of Minnesota’s top 100 most influential people by Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine, she was recently awarded an International Leaders Fellowship by the European Union.

Other presenters include Julia Nerbonne, Executive Director of the Minnesota chapter of Interfaith Power and Light, a coalition of faith communities encouraging a religious response to global warming, and James Lenfestey, former member of the editorial board of the Star-Tribune, who has reported on climate science since 1988.

 

This important event is sponsored by the Anderson Center, Audubon Minnesota, Goodhue County History Center, Live Healthy Red Wing, Master Gardeners of Red Wing, and Minnesota Native Plant Society, among others.

 

 

For more information, call the Center at 1-651-388-2009. 

Climate Change Community Forum

 

Saturday, October 4th 10:00 am to 2:00 pm @ the Anderson Center 

 

For more information, call the Center at 1-651-388-2009. 

Lake Pepin as painted by Henry Lewis (1840)

Help Us Preserve and Restore Lake Pepin! Become a Member Today!www.lakepepinlegacyalliance.org

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Final Carp in MN Infographic

Read more info about invasive carp here: Invasive Carp threaten MN

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DNR to unveil new moose critical habitat license plate

WHAT:    

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

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

WHEN:
11 a.m., Monday, Aug. 11.

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

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
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):

http://www.backcountryhunters.org/index.php/state-chapters/minnesota-bha/mn-bha-newsletter/696-minnesota-backcountry-hunters-anglers-2nd-annual-rendezvous-august-15-17

 

-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:

http://www.minnpost.com/community-voices/2014/05/minnesota-needs-solid-research-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:

http://blogs.twincities.com/outdoors/2014/07/23/minnesota-deer-hunting-conservative-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:

https://online.nwf.org/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=FAD7655BB3490F35C9F6C7EE61B96A2A.app243a?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1959&s_email_id=20140728_OPL_ENG_NationalForests_OPL|STMem

 

-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

www.backcountryhunters.org

www.facebook.com/backcountryhabitat

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