Money Raffle Winners

Our money raffle drawing was held on September 14, 2014, the following is the list of winners. Congratulations!

$1000.00

            Donna Warren                        Lake City, MN

            Patty Ledewig             Frontenac, MN

            Dan Swanson               Hamburg, MN

            Cy Valerius                  St. Cloud, MN
           

 

$500.00

            Amy Brinkman                        Lake City, MN

            Shirley Wieck              Lake City, MN

            Powers Construction   Lake City, MN

            Norm Kelzenberg        Spring Lake Park, MN

            Randy Kaiser               Jordan, MN

            Fish Lake Sportsmen   Jordan, MN

 

Our thanks to the following Clubs for selling tickets!

Lake City, Fish Lake, Martin County, Fox Lake, United Northern, Wheatland-Twin Lakes, New Brighton, Belle Plaine, Prior Lake, Snake River, Holloway, Osseo, Tri-Lakes and Delano.

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‘Cabin close-up’ a time to inspect boats and water equipment for invasive species

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources asks every cabin and lakeshore owner to watch for aquatic invasive species (AIS) when removing docks, boat lifts, swim rafts and other equipment from the water.

“Since those items have been in the water for several months, now is the ideal time to spot invasive species that may be attached to them,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor. “Carefully inspect everything you remove from the water to see if there are invasive species attached. Your observations will provide invaluable information to the DNR in tracking the distribution of AIS – and give us a chance to rapidly respond if new infestations are found.”

People should look on the posts, wheels and underwater support bars of docks and lifts, as well as any parts of boats, pontoons and rafts that may have been submerged in water for an extended period. In newly infested waters, adult zebra mussels may not be abundant and there may only be a few mussels on a piece of equipment. On a smooth surface, juvenile mussels feel gritty, like sandpaper.

If a new infestation of zebra mussels, faucet snails or other aquatic invasive species is suspected, the exact location should be noted, a photo taken and a specimen should be kept for positive identification.

Call 888-646-6367 or contact a local DNR AIS specialist or a fisheries office. Responding quickly to new AIS infestations is critical to help curb the spread into other water bodies.

There are also specific legal requirements for cabin owners and boaters when removing and storing watercraft and equipment for the winter – or hiring someone to handle it:

Transporting and storing watercraft

  • When hauling boats or other watercraft to a storage facility away from the shoreline property, make sure there are no invasive species attached. It is illegal to transport watercraft with invasive species attached.
  • A list of permitted lake services providers is on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/lakeserviceproviders.
  • The form should be downloaded, completed, signed and kept in possession during transport. Zebra mussels and other invasive plants and animals must be removed before transporting the watercraft back to a lake or other water body.

Transporting and storing docks, lifts and equipment

  • It is legal to remove a dock, boat lift, dock, weed roller, swim raft, or irrigation equipment from infested waters and place it on the adjacent shoreline property – even if there are zebra mussels or other prohibited invasive species attached. A permit is not required to place equipment on the shoreline. Contact a DNR AIS specialist if an invasive plant or animal is found that has not been sighted on the lake before.
  • However, if someone wants to transport equipment from infested waters to another location for storage, cleaning or repair, they must have an authorization form to transport equipment to legally move it to another location.
  • If equipment is to be installed in another water body, all aquatic plants and animals such as zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil, must be removed – and equipment must be dried for 21 days before placing in other waters.

Hiring a business or individual to remove boats and equipment from any water body

  • Any business or individual in Minnesota paid to decontaminate, install, or remove boats, docks or water-related equipment is legally required to complete AIS training and obtain a permit before working in state waters.
  • Anyone hired to remove a boat or dock must have a current DNR permitted service provider sticker on their windshield. If they work for a lake service provider business, ask to see an employee certificate.
  • A list of permitted lake services providers is on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/lakeserviceproviders.

Learn more about Minnesota’s aquatic invasive species rules and regulations, and the DNR’s lake service provider program at www.mndnr.gov/AIS.

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Minnesota State High School Clay Target League fall season student athlete participation doubles.

Minneapolis/Saint Paul – The Minnesota State High School Clay Target League (MSHSCTL) will host 1,770 student athletes
representing 68 high school trap shooting teams and 13 high school skeet shooting teams in the 2014 fall season. Led by the
support of their schools and volunteer coaches, co-ed student athletes will participate on their high school team in shooting
sports for six weeks mid-September through October at shooting ranges throughout Minnesota.
“Last year the fall season included 880 student athletes,” said Jim Sable, Executive Director of the MSHSCTL. “The League
added skeet as a new shooting sport activity this fall because coaches and student athletes requested adding the sport. In
addition, more than 550 of the fall student athletes are new participants in the MSHSCTL.”
The Minnesota State High School Clay Target League attracts student athletes to participate in shooting sports while creating
a “virtual” competition among high school teams throughout Minnesota. Family travel is minimal because practice and
competition are conducted at a shooting range near the school’s location. Conferences are determined by team size rather
than geographic location for fair competition. Athletes earn True Team™ scoring points as determined by their performance
and ranking against all athlete scores within their team’s conference. The team score and overall standing are calculated by
adding the earned points from qualifying athletes and posted on the League’s website. Athletes and their families track their
individual and team performance on their phone, tablet or computer via the Shooter Performance Tracker™.
“By doubling the League participation this fall, more student athletes are setting their sights on shooting sports as a safe and
fun high school activity” Sable said. “Since 2001, the MSHSCTL has no reported injuries or school gun-free zone violations.”
More than 10,000 student athletes are expected to participate in the 2015 clay target league.
The USA High School Clay Target League is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and operates the Minnesota State
High School Clay Target League as the independent provider of shooting sports as an extra curricular co-ed and
adapted activity for high schools and students in grades six through twelve who have earned their firearms safety
certification. The League’s priorities are safety, fun and marksmanship – in that order.
For more information visit www.mnclaytarget.com.
Contact: John Nelson at 612-490-1388 or jnelson@mnclaytarget.com

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Request for Applications for Appointment to Serve on Citizen Oversight Committees for the Game and Fish Fund

The DNR is seeking at least 10 to 12 persons to fill three-year terms on Fisheries Oversight and Wildlife Oversight committees.  About half of the current members’ terms expire on December 14, 2014, and are subject to this open application.  Appointees are responsible for reviewing the agency’s annual Game and Fish Fund Report and, following discussions with agency representatives, prepare a report on their findings.  This is a self-nomination process.  Minnesotans who would like to serve on committees that review how the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) spends Game and Fish Fund dollars are welcome to submit an online application by 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 30.

 

Citizen oversight of the Game and Fish Fund has been a valued service since 1994.  Under the statutory authority in MN Statutes, Section 97A.055, Subdivision 4b, the DNR appoints at least ten persons each to the Fisheries Oversight Committee (FOC) and Wildlife Oversight Committee (WOC).  On December 15 each year, the DNR publishes an annual Game and Fish Fund Report on expenditures from the fund.  Each committee reviews the report in detail, discusses questions and any issues of concern, and prepares a report on the conclusions of its review.

 

The DNR seeks to appoint a mix of committee members who together comprise a range of knowledge and interests about natural resource management and how it is funded through various licenses, permits, stamps, and other funding sources.  Members have a strong interest in monitoring the proper expenditure of those funds.

 

Five members (including the chair) of each committee will also serve on an umbrella Budgetary Oversight Committee (BOC) and the commissioner appoints a BOC Chair to make that a group of eleven.  The BOC integrates the committee reports and addresses matters of common concern.  Oversight work usually wraps up by June each year.

 

General terms

 

The DNR Commissioner determines all appointments, based on recommendations from division managers.  Appointees may request mileage reimbursement but they are not eligible for a per diem.  Appointees are not paid and must abide by requirements pertaining to potential conflicts of interest.  This oversight work can require significant volunteer time and appointees are asked to make a three-year commitment.

 

Current and previous members must submit an application if they want to be reappointed.  The DNR will consider such factors as interests, knowledge, experience, demography, and geographic distribution, to maintain a mix of participation in each committee.

 

Additional information

See mndnr.gov/gamefishoversight for links to the following materials:

  • Diagram of oversight structure
  • Overview of Game and Fish Fund citizen oversight
  • Reports since 2002

 

How to apply

Applications will be accepted online at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2014-gff

 

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, September 30, 2014, at 4:30 p.m.

 

Contacts

The following managers are available if you have questions about this opportunity:

Don Pereira, Chief, Section of Fisheries at Don.Pereira@state.mn.us, or 651-259-5229.

Paul Telander, Chief, Section of Wildlife at Paul.Telander@state.mn.us, or 651-259-5237.

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MN BHA Update

MN BHA Friends,

 

About seventy people attended the Sept. 3 Hunting Film Tour in Minneapolis, where MN BHA had a table and spread the word about the good work we’re doing on behalf of wildlands, wildlife, and backcountry hunting/angling. Thanks to Erik Jensen for setting this up and Matt Norton, Mark Nordquist and Will Jenkins for assisting at the event!

 

-Interest in archery deer season remains high: http://www.startribune.com/sports/outdoors/274557141.html

-Grand Rapids man picked to head Legacy funding council: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/content/grand-rapids-man-picked-head-legacy-funding-council

-Job opening: Minnesota Deer Hunters Association executive director: http://blogs.twincities.com/outdoors/2014/09/10/job-opening-minnesota-deer-hunters-association-executive-director/

 

-CO BHA: States can’t afford to manage federal lands.

http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20140904/OPINION03/140909808/-1/Opinion

-Montana legislators nix recommendation to take over federal lands: http://ravallirepublic.com/news/state-and-regional/article_baaeddf5-0cdb-54d7-8121-e1c86037abbb.html

Nevada panel’s land control move killed:  http://www.reviewjournal.com/politics/government/nevada-panel-s-land-control-move-killed

-Public Land & Water at Risk: http://sportingclassicsdaily.com/issue/august-2014/article/fly-fishing-public-land-water?mc_cid=0a35191eb1&mc_eid=1c370a35d3

-BHA: Defend your freedom to roam, take the sportsman’s pledge:
http://www.backcountryhunters.org/index.php/sportsman-s-pledge

 

-Cool, wet spring might have suppressed grouse numbers: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/content/cool-wet-spring-migh-have-supressed-grouse-numbers

-Small game and duck hunter numbers decline in Minnesota: http://samcook.areavoices.com/2014/08/25/small-game-and-duck-hunter-numbers-decline-in-minnesota/

 

-“6×6 Karma.” Colorado Outdoors: 9/12/14. http://coloradooutdoorsmag.com/2014/09/12/6×6-karma/

-On Eve of 50th Anniversary of Land and Water Conservation Fund, 19 Sportsmen’s Groups Call on Congress to Fully Fund LWCF: http://www.trcp.org/media/press-release/on-eve-of-50th-anniversary-of-land-and-water-conservation-fund-19-sportsmen

-Fifty years of access: http://www.trcp.org/images/uploads/wygwam/LWCF_REPORT.pdf

-A 50th birthday gift for the LWCF? http://www.tu.org/blog-posts/a-50th-birthday-gift-for-the-lwcf

 

-Anderson: Hunters upset about small herds dispute DNR’s deer data: http://www.startribune.com/sports/outdoors/274042931.html

-Are We Killing Too Many Does? (2011) http://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/big-buck-zone/2011/08/are-we-killing-too-many-does

-Minnesota’s world record 8-point antlers now on permanent display at DNR: http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/273652751.html

 

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

-Company’s ability to pay to clean up B.C. tailings pond breach questioned: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Dramatic+drop+flow+from+breached+tailings+pond+Cariboo+region/10105163/story.html

-Why a mining accident in British Columbia matters to Minnesota: http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2014/08/why_a_mining_accident_in_british_columbia_matters_to_minnesota.php

-Birch Lake mining venture showcases its El Dorado—and stock price tumbles: http://www.minnpost.com/earth-journal/2014/08/birch-lake-mining-venture-showcases-its-el-dorado-and-stock-price-tumbles

-B.C. mine update: https://www.minnpost.com/earth-journal/2014/08/bc-mine-update-independent-inquiry-begins-alaskans-raise-concerns

TAKE ACTION to save Bristol Bay for sportsmen: https://secure3.convio.net/trcp/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=4D3270AEBE7A759BF470FAF60FCAAA53.app331a?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=367&AddInterest=1503

 

-10 wild spots turning 50: http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/03/travel/wilderness-act-turns-50/

-10 Reasons The Wilderness Act Was One Of The Best Ideas Ever: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/03/50-years-wilderness-act_n_5736822.html

-Keeping the wilderness untrammeled: http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/273258491.html

-“The fact is, nothing yet created by mankind can offer the degree of wildlife refuge as that provided by wilderness designation.” –BHA/NRA life member Bill Sustrich[1]

 

-4 True Stories That Prove Teddy Roosevelt Was the Toughest Person Ever: http://blog.theclymb.com/out-there/4-true-stories-prove-teddy-roosevelt-toughest-person-ever/?utm_source=facebook_social&utm_medium=driver&utm_campaign=four_teddy_roosevelt_stories

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

 

Have a good weekend,

 

 

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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Minnesota continues nation-leading effort to reduce mercury to protect Minnesotans’ health

St. Paul, Minn. – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has announced a new rule that will protect public health by reducing mercury emissions from taconite processing. The work to reduce mercury began under Governor Tim Pawlenty in 2007 and over the last seven years the MPCA has worked closely with the mining industry to develop the final rule. This rule will safeguard public health and the environment, while giving the mining industry long-term certainty and the time it needs to develop mercury reduction technology and strategies.

“In Minnesota, we have always found a way to support a thriving mining economy, while protecting the health of our citizens,” said MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine. “This rule to reduce mercury is an important step forward in safeguarding public health and working to meet our longstanding mercury-reduction goals. Mercury gets into the fish we eat, and affects brain function. Babies and young children are particularly impacted by the negative effects of mercury.”

The rule requires a few specific industries (including taconite) to define how they can reduce or eliminate mercury emissions from their processes. Specifically, iron mining companies will need to submit plans by 2018 that outline how they intend to achieve reductions by 2025. The rule also sets forth a consistent reporting requirement for all other major mercury-emitting industrial facilities (those emitting at least 3 lbs per year).

Minnesota already is a national leader in reducing mercury emissions from coal fired power utilities, currently on track toward reducing mercury 95 percent by 2016.  Electric utilities are doing this by installing controls and reducing or eliminating the use of coal. For the taconite industry, reducing mercury will take new technologies because mercury is released when the rock that is mined and crushed for taconite production is heated in the furnaces.

The new rule acknowledges that the mining industry needs time to develop mercury-reduction technology and strategies, and gives the industry great flexibility as to how they meet goals for reductions. The MPCA agreed that if by 2018 the mercury goals are impractical or unachievable, taconite facilities will be allowed to submit alternative approaches to reduce mercury emissions that are practical and feasible for their operations.

Commissioner Stine emphasized that Minnesota’s work serves as a model for how to limit the harmful effects of mercury. Stine said that Governor Dayton is directing MPCA leaders and pressing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement similar rules in other states around the U.S to reduce non-Minnesota sources of mercury in Minnesota waterways and fish.

“This rule is the first of its kind in the nation and demonstrates Minnesota’s leadership on an issue that directly impacts the health of our citizens and environment,” said Stine. “But we should not have to act alone.”

Broadcast version

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency unveiled a new rule to help protect public health from mercury released into the air from mining operations.  The rule requires iron mining companies, including the taconite industry, to complete, by 2018, a plan for reducing mercury emissions by 2025.

The new rule acknowledges that the mining industry needs time to develop mercury control technologies and gives them flexibility on how to make the needed cuts, said MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine.

“In Minnesota, we have always found a way to support a thriving mining economy while protecting the health of our citizens,” Stine said. “This rule to reduce mercury is an important step forward in safeguarding public health.”

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2014 Pheasant Hunting Forecast

While some may think the formula for producing pheasants is confusing or downright mysterious, science tells us weather and habitat are the two critical variables determining our pheasant population.  Evidenced by our 2014 Pheasant Hunting Forecast, positive weather patterns during the winter and spring seasons have assisted in population increases for most states.

For bird hunters who enjoy walking tracts of pheasant habitat, the fall hunting season of 2014 should provide a high level of anticipation compared to recent years. Read your own state’s Pheasant Hunting Forecast HERE.

While Pheasants Forever is obviously thrilled about this year’s upturn in bird numbers, “The Habitat Organization” remains steadfast in our commitment to improving both the quantity and quality of prairies and grasslands throughout pheasant country.

Favorable weather conditions can lead to short-term population gains, however, it’s habitat that remains the key to a long-term turnaround in bird numbers.  Even in the most challenging of times for habitat and wildlife, our member’s support of our mission for wild things and wild places is crucial for protecting habitat and our hunting heritage.

Good luck in the field this fall.  If you’re not yet engaged in the cause for conservation, help us continue the fight and Become a Pheasants Forever Member Today.

Pheasants Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.
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Pheasant population up slightly; habitat loss still poses biggest threat

Despite a short-term increase in the number of Minnesota pheasants, habitat loss continues to be the primary factor in the long-term decline of the state’s pheasant population, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR’s August roadside survey for pheasants showed a six percent increase in the pheasant index from 2013, an increase that occurred in spite of a severe winter, a slow start to spring and heavy rains in June.

This year’s statewide pheasant index was 28.7 birds per 100 miles of roadside driven. The highest pheasant counts were in the southwest, south-central and west-central regions, where observers reported 28 to 62 birds per 100 miles driven. Hunters will find good harvest opportunities in these areas.

Looking over longer periods of time, the 2014 pheasant index is 58 percent below the 10-year average and 71 percent below the long-term average.

Weather and habitat are the two main factors that drive pheasant population trends. Weather causes annual fluctuations in roadside indices. Available grassland habitat for nesting and brood-rearing drives the longer-term pattern.

Like other Midwestern states, the loss of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres is the primary reason there’s been a steady decline in Minnesota’s pheasant harvest since 2006.

“We expect the decline in the rooster harvest to continue because of more anticipated losses in grassland habitat in the next few years as CRP contracts continue to expire and more grassland is converted to cropland,” said Nicole Davros, the DNR research scientist who oversees the August roadside survey.

Pheasant hunters are expected to harvest about 224,000 roosters this fall, which is less than half the number of pheasants taken during the 2005-2008 seasons when hunting was exceptionally good.

Davros cautioned that direct comparisons between survey results from this year and last year may not accurately reflect population trends.

“The 2014 pheasant roadside counts do show improvement over last year’s numbers but we believe there were more birds in the field last year than what we counted because of the late hatch,” Davros said. “This year’s results suggest the survey did not undercount birds so hunting conditions should be comparable to last fall.”

Although many regions in Minnesota experienced a tough winter, conditions within the core of the pheasant range were not as severe. This likely led to higher winter survival for hens as evidenced by an 18 percent increase in the hen index from 2013. Higher winter hen survival leads to more pheasant nests in the spring.

Reproductive indices showed increases from 2013 despite having cooler spring temperatures and substantial rainfalls in June. The number of broods observed per 100 miles driven increased 28 percent and the number of broods per 100 hens increased three percent.

The average number of chicks per brood was down 15 percent compared to 2013, which may be related to below normal survival rates of very young birds during heavy rains in June. The median hatch date of nests was June 16, which was five days later than the 10-year average. Warmer temperatures in June may have helped young chicks survive the rains and drier conditions in July were beneficial for re-nesting birds.

Monitoring pheasant population trends is part of the DNR’s annual August roadside wildlife survey, which began in 1955. DNR wildlife managers and conservation officers in the farmland region of Minnesota conduct the survey during the first half of August. This year’s survey consisted of 171 routes, each 25 miles long, with 152 routes located in the ring-necked pheasant range.

Observers drive each route in early morning and record the number and species of wildlife they see. The data provide an index of relative abundance and are used to monitor annual changes and long-term population trends of pheasants, gray (Hungarian) partridge, eastern cottontail rabbits, white-tailed jackrabbits, mourning doves and other wildlife.

Also recorded in the survey:

  • The cottontail rabbit index increased 11 percent from 2013 but remained below the 10-year average and long-term averages.
  • The gray partridge index decreased 13 percent, well below its 10-year and long-term average.
  • The mourning dove index decreased five percent, well below its 10-year and long-term average.
  • The white-tailed jackrabbit index was similar to last year but remains at a historic low.
  • The white-tailed deer index was similar to 2013, at 20.8 deer per 100 miles, which is 34 percent above the 10-year average, and 109 percent above the long-term average.

The 2014 August Roadside Survey report and a map of pheasant hunting prospects can be viewed and downloaded from www.mndnr.gov/hunting/pheasant.

Minnesota’s 2014 pheasant season runs Saturday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Jan. 4. The daily bag limit is two roosters through November. It increases to three roosters from Monday, Dec. 1, through Sunday, Jan. 4. The possession limit is six roosters (increasing to nine roosters on Dec. 1). Shooting hours are 9 a.m. to sunset. Additional details are available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/pheasant

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