AIS Grant Projects RFP Notice

Aquatic Invasive Species Pilot Project Requests

for Proposals Open Through Sept. 15

Tags that give decontaminated boats a speedy pass to get back to the water, a youth-directed media campaign, new treatment approaches to Eurasian watermilfoil and centralized decontamination are among the innovative projects already funded by the Initiative Foundation to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

 

A Request for Proposals (RFP) is now open to fund additional projects that implement or expand innovative and comprehensive pilot projects to prevent the introduction or spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) into the surface waters of Minnesota and to assess the effectiveness of the selected projects’ strategies. Letters of inquiry must be submitted by Sept. 15, 2015.

Eligible partners for funding include local units of government, including joint powers organizations; tribal governments; and 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations. Collaboration among multiple community partners is encouraged. Projects being sought are those that reach new audiences; serve specific geographic areas; employ existing technologies in innovative ways; pilot new prevention strategies; locally enforce experimental regulations; or pilot innovative funding and administration of prevention programs.

This RFP is the fourth round of grant applications. The Initiative Foundation will award a total of $3.6 million to fund a limited number of pilot projects. This grant program was approved by the Minnesota Legislature from the Outdoor Heritage Fund (OHF), one of four funds of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. The OHF is administered by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC). Grant funds will pay up to 50 percent of project costs. A local match of 20 percent is required. The remaining 30 percent of funds can come from any source, including other state funds, except other Outdoor Heritage Fund projects. County AIS Prevention Aid money is an eligible match source.

Visit the Initiative Foundation website for further details on the RFP process, eligible and ineligible projects, and online application. Interested partners are encouraged to contact John Sumption at (218) 363-2942 or sumptionenv@gmail.com to discuss potential projects before submitting a letter of inquiry.

The deadline for submission of letters of inquiry is Sept. 15. Please feel free to copy or share this notice with others who may be interested.

Visit the Initiative Foundation website for further details and an online application.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Waterfowling Pulse: New Guns & Gear for 2015

New Guns & Gear for 2015

Check out this year’s selection of the latest shotguns, ammo, and gear for waterfowlers.

Image removed by sender.


The Waterfowling Pulse is a monthly Ducks Unlimited email designed for avid waterfowl hunters, providing updated information on duck and goose hunting tips, tactics, and gear.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Walk-In Access program extended with $1.67 million USDA grant

Walk-In Access program extended with $1.67 million USDA grant

Image removed by sender. Walk-in Access

A $1.67 million, three-year federal grant that funds Minnesota’s Walk-In Access (WIA) program has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grant means that hunters in western and south-central Minnesota will continue to have access to more than 22,000 acres of existing WIA hunting land, and will get at least 8,000 additional WIA acres over the next three years.

“We are thrilled to receive news of this grant award,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “These funds open up more opportunities for hunters, especially in areas of the state that are predominately privately owned. The funds also help enhance habitat on these lands.”

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the grant award on Monday, Aug. 17. The grant is through the USDA’s Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP), which was authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill to enhance public access to privately held and operated farm and ranch lands, and improve habitat for wildlife-dependent recreation.  

Launched by the DNR in 2011, WIA increases hunting opportunities in western and south-central Minnesota. In 2015, there are 22,800 acres enrolled in WIA across 31 counties. Bright yellow-green signs mark boundaries of the 200 sites. 

The program provides public hunting access to private lands and pays landowners to allow that access. Landowners are paid $10 per acre to enroll their lands in the program. Bonuses are added if more than 140 contiguous acres are enrolled, if the land is within one-half mile of existing state or federal hunting land, or if a multi-year agreement is signed.

WIA sites are open to public hunting from Sept. 1 to May 31, with no additional landowner contact needed. Hunters must have a $3 WIA validation on their hunting license to legally access WIA lands.

In addition to sustaining the WIA program, the VPA-HIP grant provides funds for landowners to enhance the habitat on WIA acres. The grant will also fund a research project through the University of Minnesota to study both landowner and hunter interest and participation in the program. 

Maps of WIA sites and more information on the program can be found at www.mndnr.gov/walkin

Posted in News | Leave a comment

DNR news releases, Aug. 17, 2015

MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #62                                                                             Aug. 17, 2015
Media contact: Chris O’Brien, DNR information officer, 651-259-5343, christopher.obrien@state.mn.us. All news releases are available in the DNR’s website newsroom at www.mndnr.gov/news. Follow the DNR on Twitter @mndnr.

IN THIS ISSUE
Women can fish, shoot muzzleloaders and more at fall workshop
Indiana anglers caught abusing Minnesota’s resource
DNR encourages rural homeowners to be ‘Firewise’
DNR nursery seedlings now on sale
Good planning helps hunters avoid trespassing
Deer lottery application deadline is Thursday, Sept. 10
New displays featured at DNR’s State Fair exhibit
DNR State Fair exhibit fact sheet
Question of the week: oak wilt

 

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Linda Bylander, outreach program coordinator, 218-203-4347, linda.bylander@state.mn.us.

Women can fish, shoot muzzleloaders and more at fall workshop

 

Women can register for the chance to try open water fishing, zip lining, shooting muzzleloaders and more during a fall workshop Friday, Sept. 11, to Sunday, Sept. 13, in Grand Marais.

The workshop from the Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will be held at Gunflint Lodge, the same lodge as the first BOW workshop 20 years ago.

“This workshop lets women learn a variety of outdoor skills and broaden their outdoor experience,” said Linda Bylander, DNR outreach program coordinator.

Registration for the fall workshop is limited to 80 participants and costs $395 for a deluxe cabin. To register, or for more information on the more than 100 family and women BOW programs, see www.mndnr.gov/bow.

-30-

NOTE TO MEDIA: Photo available at ftp://mediaroom.dnr.state.mn.us in folder named “news release resources,” then in folder named “08-17-15 BOW.”

 

 

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 Aug. 17, 2015
Media contact: Rich Sprouse, public information officer, DNR Enforcement Division, 800-366-8917 ext. 2511; richard.sprouse@state.mn.us.

Indiana anglers caught abusing Minnesota’s resource

Six licensed anglers from Indiana face nearly $3,400 in restitution and fines of about $1,000 each for being 676 fish over the limit on a Minnesota lake.

A Turn In Poachers (TIP) call on July 2 led conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to two cabins on Upper Cormorant Lake where the anglers had a bevy of crappies and sunfish. The legal limit is 10 crappies and 20 sunfish in possession per angler.

Charged with misdemeanor fishing violations in Becker County were Clifford Emmons, 78;  Anthony Emmons, 54; Gregory Emmons, 58; Ryan Emmons, 32; Chad Wright, 42, and Amanda Wright, 40, all of Bedford, Indiana. They are scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 31.

“This is a serious example of catching and keeping an over-limit of fish,” said Conservation Officer Bill Landmark of Moorhead.

“This is a real loss for the people who enjoy fishing Becker County lakes,” said Col. Ken Soring, DNR Enforcement director. “These community fishing waters provide anglers a close-to-home place to fish. It’s vital that people obey the rules so there are plenty of fish for everyone to catch.”

Minnesotans have a deep connection to the environment and generally want to ensure they are taking care of shared resources, Soring said. “We want to work with the public to apprehend those who fail to respect the resources or the rights of other citizens,” he said. “A majority of the anglers abide by the rules and regulations, and they won’t tolerate poaching.”

The 2015 Minnesota Fishing Regulations Handbook is available online or can be obtained from any fishing license vendor, as well as many outdoor retailers. More information about fishing regulations is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/fishmn.

Report game and fish violations to the TIP hotline at 800-652-9093. Cell phone users can dial #TIP. Informants can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.

-30-

NOTE TO MEDIA: Photo available at ftp://mediaroom.dnr.state.mn.us in folder named “news release resources,” then in folder named “08-17-15 Indiana over-limits.”

 

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                Aug. 17, 2015
Media contacts: Linda Gormanson, DNR wildfire prevention supervisor, 651-259-5288, linda.gormanson@state.mn.us; Jeff Jackson, DNR northeast region Firewise specialist, 218-322-2705, jeff.jackson@state.mn.us.
DNR encourages rural homeowners to be ‘Firewise’

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is encouraging rural homeowners to become “Firewise” to reduce the risks of wildfires to their homes.

“Now is an excellent time to evaluate and take home wildfire prevention steps while homeowners are clearing woodlots, cutting firewood or removing downed or dying trees from around their homes,” said Linda Gormanson, DNR wildfire prevention supervisor.

As more homes are built in the woods and fields of Minnesota, existing firefighting resources are less able to protect everyone’s property while trying to control a wildfire.

The DNR’s Firewise program identifies four factors homeowners can control that affect whether a home will survive a wildfire: access, site, structure and burning practices.

Access
Access affects how easily firefighters and emergency vehicles can find and access a home. Without a good access and escape routes, firefighters will not endanger themselves to save a home.

The address must be clearly visible from the road to ensure firefighters can find the home. Homes with driveways less than 150 feet long can be accessed from the street. They should be at least 12 feet wide and clear of branches 14 feet up. Longer driveways must accommodate fire-fighting vehicles. They must be 20 feet wide, have a firm, all-weather surface and a vehicle turnaround near the house. Bridges or culverts should support the weight of a fire truck.

Site (home defensible zone)
In rural areas when multiple homes are at risk, a home may need to stand without firefighter protection. How a home is situated on the lot will determine whether it can survive when firefighters are not there to defend it. The critical area, called the home defensible zone, is the 30 feet directly surrounding a home, including any outbuildings.

Inside the home defensible zone, anything flammable should be removed or modified. If the trees are predominantly conifers, a 10-foot minimum space should be maintained between tree crowns (branches of adjacent trees) and tree crown and home. This prevents fire from jumping tree-to-tree and tree-to-home.

The vertical arrangement of vegetation is also important. Is there continuous fuel (grass, leaves, branches), called ladder fuel, providing a ladder for fuel to climb from ground to tree crown? These fuels are eliminated by mowing tall grass, trimming shrubs and pruning the lower tree branches up 6 to 10 feet, or one-third of the tree height. Keeping the lawn green and mowed short will prevent it from carrying fire.

Flammables next to buildings include firewood piles and leaf and needle fall that accumulates around foundations and under decks. Firewood piles should be moved outside the home defensible zone by March. Use rock and stone landscaping materials next to buildings, and clean the leaves out of the rocks each spring.

Remove old cars, lumber piles and other debris from the defensible zone. Make sure fences have easily accessible gates and are free of debris and trees.

Reducing fuels in the wooded area 100 feet beyond the home will reduce the intensity of an approaching wildfire. Trees may need to be thinned to increase spacing, especially conifers at high densities. Pruning the remaining trees up 6 to 10 feet, or one-third of the tree height, and reducing underbrush will help reduce fuels and lessen wildfire intensity.

Structure
Home modifications that further reduce wildfire risk can be expensive. They include re-siding with brick, stone, stucco or steel, and replacing shake roofing with class “A” shingles or steel. Enclosing foundations, decks and overhangs with steel, masonry or less expensive flame-resistant sheeting will also reduce wildfire risk.

Other less expensive modifications include spark arrestors on chimneys, enclosing soffits with a solid barrier, and screening vents with a fine mesh to prevent access from flying embers.

Burning Practices
The number one cause of wildfires in Minnesota is escaped debris from burning fires. Consider alternatives to burning leaves and debris like composting. Recreational fires should be started in a fire-safe pit or container and completely extinguished before left unattended.

Before lighting any outdoor fire, check for local fire restrictions and permit requirements. Also be aware of weather conditions and forecast. High winds, high temperatures and low humidity are contributing factors to escaped fires.

The Firewise program is funded in part by the USDA Forest Service (www.firewise.org). The goal is to reduce losses from wildfire by assisting homeowners through their communities. Communities can qualify for funding assistance by identifying high fire risk areas, evaluating the hazards that cause the risk, and mitigating those hazards through planning, fuels reduction and education.

For more information, visit www.mndnr.gov/firewise or contact a local forestry office www.mndnr.gov/areas/forestry.

-30-

 

 

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 Aug. 17, 2015
Media contact: Craig VanSickle, DNR nurseries supervisor, 218-652-2385, craig.vansickle@state.mn.us.

DNR nursery seedlings now on sale

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources state forest nursery is accepting orders for April and May seedling pickup or delivery in 2016.

Millions of seedlings will be available for the 2016 planting season, including 21 species of native bareroot trees and shrubs grown from seeds collected in Minnesota.

“A number of species and packets are available,” said Craig VanSickle, DNR nursery supervisor. “Balsam fir, red pine and red oak seedlings are available, along with our fruiting shrub and evergreen packets. New this year is a deer packet to enhance your wildlife area.”

Visit the DNR’s website at mndnr.gov/forestry/nursery for a list of available species and tree seedling order form, or contact the nursery at 800-657-3767.

Private landowners may order a minimum of 500 seedlings, which is enough to cover an acre of land. The purchase can be broken down into increments of 100 of each species. Seedlings vary in size from 5 to 24 inches in height, and prices start as low as $125 for 500 seedlings.

Seedlings can be used to:

  • Reforest land.
  • Improve wildlife habitat.
  • Create shelterbelts and buffer zones.
  • Improve air and water quality.

Minnesota landowners with a forest stewardship plan should contact their plan writer for information on cost-share programs for purchasing and planting seedlings. They may contact a local forestry office or visit www.mndnr.gov/foreststewardship to learn about the forest stewardship program.

-30-

 

 

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                             August 17, 2015
Media contact: Rich Sprouse, public information officer, DNR Enforcement Division, 800-366-8917 ext. 2511; richard.sprouse@state.mn.us.

Good planning helps hunters avoid trespassing

The August Canada goose hunt is underway in Minnesota, and the Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters to respect landowners and not trespass.

“The trespass law applies to all outdoor recreation, including hunting, boating, fishing, trapping, hiking and camping,” said Col. Ken Soring, DNR Enforcement director. “When taking part in any outdoor recreation, you may not enter legally posted land or agricultural land without permission.” It is also a violation to enter land that has been legally posted during the calendar year, even if the signs are not currently in place.

Trespass is the biggest problem landowners have with hunters.

“It is critical for hunters to have good relationships with landowners, especially when you consider that in some parts of the state about 95 percent of the land is privately owned,” said Soring. “By outdoor recreationists making it a standard practice to always seek permission and respect ‘no trespassing’ signs, those relationships will improve.”

Landowners, lessees or authorized managers need only post their land once a year. The signs must be placed at intervals of 1,000 feet (500 feet in wooded areas) or signs may be placed at primary corners of each parcel and at access points to the property. Signs must state “No Trespassing,” or similar words, in 2-inch high letters and have either the signature or the name and telephone number of the landowner, lessee or manager.

Trespassers can face civil or criminal penalties and have their license privileges revoked. “The maximum fine is up to $3,000 and license revocation,” said Soring.

Soring noted that all conservation officers and peace officers enforce trespass laws. He also noted there are laws regulating the retrieval of game from private property.

“A person on foot may, without permission, enter land that is not posted to retrieve a wounded animal that was lawfully shot, but may not remain on the land after being told to leave,” said Soring.

There are other exceptions as well:

  • A person on foot may, without permission, enter private land without a firearm to retrieve a hunting dog. After retrieving the dog, the person must immediately leave the premises. This exception does not authorize the taking of a wild animal.
  • A person on foot may, without permission, enter land that is posted with “Walk-In Access” signs.

A successful hunt begins with careful planning, Soring said. “There are many things to consider when planning a hunt, such as: What safety protective gear will you need? What’s the right gun or the right bow for your game? What are the weather conditions? Where can you legally hunt?”

Helpful hints to stay legal and safe can be found in the 2015 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook at: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/regulations/hunting/index.html.

-30-

 

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 Aug. 17, 2015
Media contact: Leslie McInenly, big game program leader, 651-259-5198, leslie.mcInenly@state.mn.us.

Deer lottery application deadline is Thursday, Sept. 10

Firearms and muzzleloader hunters who want to harvest antlerless deer throughout much of Minnesota this hunting season are reminded they must purchase their license and apply for an antlerless permit by Thursday, Sept. 10, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.

Antlerless deer permits are issued by lottery in designated permit areas. Some areas that have not been in the lottery classification in recent years are in that classification this year, primarily as a result of new deer population goals.

“Hunters should review the hunting and trapping regulation book now,” said Leslie McInenly, big game program leader with the DNR. “The lottery applies to over half of the state permit areas this year, and it’s important to start planning for the season.”

Hunters who want to participate in special firearm deer hunts also need to apply for permits that are issued by lottery, and the application deadline is Sept. 10. More information on deer permit areas and special hunts is in the DNR hunting regulations handbook, found online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.

-30-

 

 

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 Aug. 17, 2015
Media contacts: Dawn Flinn, state fair coordinator, 651-259-5344, dawn.flinn@state.mn.us; Steve Carroll, DNR media unit supervisor, 651-259-5342, steve.carroll@state.mn.us.

New displays featured at DNR’s State Fair exhibit

Several new displays and exhibits, along with a wide range of free educational exhibits, presentations, music and entertainment will be part of the Department of Natural Resources exhibit at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair, which runs Aug. 27 through Labor Day.

“The DNR building and surrounding park area is a favorite of many fairgoers,” said Dawn Flinn, who helps coordinates the DNR exhibit. “Minnesotans are passionate about the state’s natural resources. This is a great way for us to spread the word about how interesting, important and exciting nature is.”

About 500,000 people visit the DNR’s State Fair exhibit each year. The DNR’s theme this year is: “Nature Rocks! Fish, Fossils, Forests, Oh My!”

Featured topics include lands and minerals, fishing, forestry, state parks, ATVs, lands, hunting, the DNR K-9 unit, aquatic and terrestrial invasive species, biking and wildlife.

DNR exhibits include:

DNR forestry display

  • New interactive exhibits inside DNR building designed to simulate walking into a forest.
  • Five information trees will engage the public on: forest stewardship, urban trees, forest products, fire and forests, and Minnesota’s biomes.
  • The fire tree will allow visitors to experience the sights and sounds of a forest fire and learn about how the DNR works to minimize fire risk in Minnesota.
  • Visitors can explore using the tools foresters use in the woods everyday – clinometers and increment borers.
  • The forest products tree will allow visitors to seek and discover Minnesota forest products common in their everyday lives.
  • An interactive floor model puzzle of dimensional lumber illustrates how much wood comes from a log.
  • Project cost about $200,000 and was paid for with a combination of the state general fund and federal grants.
  • This is year one of a two-phase installation that is expected to be completed next summer.

Land and minerals display

  • New interactive display located in theater area inside DNR building.
  • “Blast Shack” takes historical look at mining in Minnesota and features actual footage of iron ore blasted from an active mine that includes sound. Old-fashioned plunger provides kids with opportunity to get a feel of what it’s like to set off a blast.
  • Fairgoers can learn how taconite pellets are made.
  • “What is Under Your House,” display will allow people to check out geology/type of rocks under their house.
  • A “Minnesota Bedrock Geology Quilt” – an 84-inch wide by 108-inch long quilt using 80 colors that show the bedrock geology of Minnesota.
  • A hands-on display of Minnesota-found fossils, co-sponsored by the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Stand-up paddleboard simulator

  • New stand-up paddleboarding simulator located near DNR fish pond.
  • Experience lasts about three minutes. All ages welcome; parental participation required for children under 8 years of age.
  • Variety of life jacket styles, including inflatables, will be available to try on.
  • Stand-up paddleboarding is the fastest growing paddle sport in Minnesota.
  • Simulator will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Wall of Shame trailer

  • Mounted animals and stories of how they were taken illegally.
  • 16-foot long lighted trailer.
  • Returns to fair after brief hiatus.
  • Display located on south side of building.

DNR outdoor fish pond
The outdoor fish pond is stocked with about 45 different species of fish ranging from sunfish to paddlefish, walleye to bass. Watch them live on an underwater fishcam on the DNR website.

DNR fish aquariums and reptile exhibit
Five large aquariums inside the main DNR building feature fish and turtles in their native Minnesota habitats: trout of southeastern Minnesota; fish of the St. Croix River; and species of central, southern and northern Minnesota lakes.Live native snakes are also on display.

DNR volunteer outdoor stage
A variety of groups will offer demonstrations and music on the DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage.

DNR conservation officers will demonstrate how their patrol dogs detect wild game and fish hidden out of sight, apprehend people, along with a special demo on finding invasive species zebra mussels on items.

Explore wilderness ethics through an interactive presentation by the Subaru Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers.

Discover the world of reptiles and amphibians through live animal demonstrations.

Musical acts include: Ali V, Axiom, Bitter Ridge, BLT Band (Bill Lommel and Troop), Darlene and the Boys, Ecuador Manta, Joe Meyer Band, Peter Neuman and the Real Deal, Red Rock Swing Band, Selby Avenue Syncopaters, The May North, The Overland Band and Thrift Store Sonata.

Call of the Moose Minnesota
A more than 50 percent decline in moose population since 2010 has left the iconic Minnesota animal in real danger of disappearing. The Call of the Moose Minnesota campaign is designed to advance awareness for the plight of the moose and to raise funds for moose research and management.

DNR volunteer partners
Birds, boat building, poached animals and conservation are just a few of the things people will learn about at our partner displays. Touch animal furs, play invasives bean bag toss or try the bird ID spinning wheel.

For more information, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/events/statefair/index.html.

-30-

NOTE TO MEDIA: Images available at ftp://mediaroom.dnr.state.mn.us in folder named “news release resources,” then in folder named “08-17-15 State Fair.”

 

 

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                Aug. 17, 2015
Media contact: Steve Carroll, DNR media unit supervisor, 651-259-5342, 612-390-0687 (cell), steve.carroll@state.mn.us.

DNR State Fair exhibit fact sheet

DNR forestry display

  • New interactive exhibits inside DNR building designed to simulate walking into a forest.
  • Five information trees will engage public on: forest stewardship, urban trees, forest products, fire and forests, and Minnesota’s biomes.
  • Fire tree will allow visitors to experience sights and sounds of a forest fire and learn about how the DNR works to minimize fire risk.
  • Forest products tree allows visitors to seek and discover Minnesota forest products common in their everyday lives.
  • An interactive floor model puzzle of dimensional lumber illustrates how much wood comes from a log.
  • Visitors can explore using the tools foresters use in the woods every day.
  • Project cost about $200,000 and was paid for with a combination of state general fund and federal grants. Second phase of project anticipated to be completed next summer.

Land and minerals display

  • New interactive display located in theater area inside DNR building.
  • “Blast Shack” takes historical look at mining in Minnesota and features actual footage of iron ore blasted from an active mine that includes sound. Old-fashioned plunger provides kids with opportunity to get a feel of what it’s like to set off a blast.
  • Fairgoers can learn how taconite pellets are made.
  • “What is Under Your House,” display will allow people to check out geology/type of rocks under their house.
  • A “Minnesota Bedrock Geology Quilt” – an 84-inch wide by 108-inch long quilt using 80 colors that show the bedrock geology of Minnesota.
  • A hands-on display of Minnesota-found fossils, co-sponsored by the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Stand-up paddleboard simulator

  • New stand-up paddleboarding simulator located near DNR fish pond.
  • Experience lasts about three minutes. All ages welcome; parental participation required for children under 8 years of age.
  • Variety of life jacket styles, including inflatables, will be available to try on.
  • Stand-up paddleboarding is the fastest growing paddle sport in Minnesota.
  • Simulator will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Wall of Shame trailer

  • Mounted animals and stories of how they were taken illegally.
  • 16-foot long lighted trailer.
  • Returns to fair after brief hiatus.
  • Display located on south side of DNR building.

Main building

  • Historic DNR building at State Fair is celebrating 81st anniversary this year.
  • The 40-foot-high building opened Sept. 1, 1934.
  • Approximately 500,000 people visit DNR building and surrounding park area each year.
  • Building cost $73,000 (almost 10 times the net profit of 1934 State Fair).
  • Gate tickets in 1934 cost 25 cents. Today, a regular adult admission ticket costs $13.
  • Funding came from federal and state emergency relief administration and State Fair funds.
  • Civilian Conservation Corps erected the building in less than six months using machined logs.
  • DNR building open daily during fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

Fish pond

  • Fish exhibit is one of State Fair’s most popular attractions.
  • Pond holds about 50,000 gallons of water. It is kidney-shaped and is about 100 feet by 50 feet.
  • Exhibit is expected to display about 45 species of fish that call Minnesota home.
  • One of the most popular fish with fairgoers is the paddlefish. Characterized by its long, paddle-like bill, the paddlefish is found in the lower Mississippi River below Minneapolis. Paddlefish grow to be quite large, with fish up to 200 pounds being recorded. The paddlefish is a state threatened species.
  • The largest fish in the exhibit is the lake sturgeon, which exceeds 50 inches. A State Fair veteran, this specimen was the gift of an angler who harvested it legally from the St. Croix River several years ago. Lake sturgeon in Minnesota are found in the Mississippi, St. Croix and Rainy river systems.
  • Fish pond talks take place at quarter to the hour daily, from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Aquariums

  • DNR renovated its indoor fish exhibit two years ago, installing five large aquariums inside main DNR building.
  • Each tank shows fish in their native Minnesota habitat: trout of southeastern Minnesota; fish of the St. Croix River; and species of central, southern and northern Minnesota lakes.
  • Aquariums are built lower to the ground, making it easier for more guests to see the turtles, fish and other species.
  • Combined aquarium capacity of more than 5,000 gallons of water, the same amount of water the average family of four uses in a month.
  • When full, tanks weigh about 118,000 pounds or about the weight of a juvenile Right whale.
  • Project cost about $460,000, and was paid for using funds from the Legislative bonding bill appropriated to DNR to maintain facilities and assure they are safe and accessible.

Camper cabin

  • A state park camper cabin model is on display.
  • Fairgoers can step inside the 24-foot by 12-foot cabin to check it out.
  • Cabins are built to provide a “camping out” experience within the comfort of four walls.
  • Cabin has two sets of bunks allowing accessibility for a wheelchair.
  • Camper cabin includes a picnic table and a fire ring with grill.
  • There are more than 80 camper cabins available to rent in state parks and recreational areas located throughout the state.
  • Most cabins are available to rent year-round. Most have heat and electricity. Cabins rent for about $50 per night.
  • Camper cabin display model open during the State Fair from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Located in DNR Park, near southwest corner of DNR building.

Fire tower

  • Specifically built for State Fair to provide a wildfire prevention message to visitors.
  • Opened in 1966 and was closed in 1978 because of safety concerns. Was repaired and reopened in 2006.
  • It is 65 feet tall and there are 84 steps from bottom to top.
  • There is no charge to climb fire tower stairs to get birds-eye view of fair.
  • Tower open daily during fair from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., weather permitting.

Wildlife Wing

  • Fairgoers can learn about Minnesota species and wildlife habitat.
  • Special sound and lighting effects help create an experience of moving from day to night and through the four seasons, as visitors walk through the display.
  • Master naturalist volunteers on duty to answer wildlife questions.
  • Display located in DNR building and is open daily during fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Smokey Bear

  • Smokey Bear is celebrating 71 years of reminding children and their parents about the dangers of wildfires.
  • Smokey Bear makes daily appearances at DNR Park at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

-30-

 

Question of the week

Q: How do I spot oak wilt on my property, and what can I do about it?

A: Oak wilt is a difficult disease to diagnose. In northern red and northern pin oaks (leaf lobes with pointed tips), leaves wilt rapidly from the top and outer leaves down. The entire tree can wilt, lose its leaves and die in as little three to four weeks. Fallen leaves may be brown or partly green with a distinct line between brown and green. In white oaks (rounded leaf lobes), wilting happens one branch at a time, and the tree can take years to die. A pocket of trees with oak wilt will have dead trees in the center and dying trees surrounding it.

The oak wilt fungus is spread in two ways: below ground through interconnected roots to nearby oaks of the same kind, and above ground by sap beetles. The beetles are attracted by the fruity smell of fungus growing beneath the bark of diseased oaks. Beetles feed on the fungus, and fungal spores clinging to their bodies are carried to healthy trees recently wounded by storm damage or by pruning.

To avoid spreading oak wilt, don’t prune oaks between April and mid-July, when sap beetles that spread the fungus are active. Trees that wilted during the growing season should be cut down in the winter and treated on-site or hauled to an approved wood waste site. To treat, you may remove the bark from the trunk or cut and stack to dry as firewood. If the diseased trees or firewood are not removed until the following spring, cover the stacked wood carefully with plastic tarp sealed at the ground to prevent beetles from getting to the wood.

Before you decide what to do, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis of the problem. Hire an experienced tree care professional, or send a sample to the University of Minnesota Plant Disease Clinic: https://pdc.umn.edu/.

Val Cervenka, DNR forest health program coordinator

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Waterfront Bulletin for August 2015

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a webpage.

 

August 2015

Clean Water Partnership grant funding suspended but loan program continues

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) was not awarded grant funds for the Clean Water Partnership (CWP) program from the 2015 Legislature. As a result, there will be no CWP grant funding rounds in 2016 or 2017. Current CWP projects will continue until their agreement end dates, the last of which will be June 30, 2018.

Although there will be no grant funding, there is almost $11 million available for CWP loans in the next biennium. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, as well as the Governor’s Buffer Initiative, the CWP loan program is developing an open funding process for loan-only applications that allows project sponsors to apply and receive loan funding at any time during the year. Details of the process are still being finalized, but are expected to be available soon.

If you have any questions please contact Pete Fastner of the MPCA Watershed Section at 651-757-2349, peter.fastner@state.mn.us


DNR grant program now accepting applications

The Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) is accepting applications for its Conservation Partners Legacy grant program. This 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-percent match of non-state funds is required. Funding for this program comes from the Outdoor Heritage Fund.

For the Traditional and Metro grant cycles, $6.8 million is available. These projects must be on public lands or waters or on lands protected by a permanent conservation easement. Apply by Sept. 14.

For the Expedited Conservation Projects (ECP) grant cycle,  $1 million is available. These grants, up to $50,000, are for eligible activities on public lands or waters open to all seasons of hunting and fishing. This cycle is open continuously for applications until May 18, 2016, or until all funds are awarded. Apply by Sept. 16 for the first round of funding.

Visit these webpages for details:

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


Conservation tour highlights successful projects, partnerships

Farming and conservation representatives from 20 states, Washington D.C., and one Canadian province visited five farms in southeast Minnesota Aug. 12 as part of a tour organized by the Conservation Technology Information Center. The tour highlighted successful projects and partnerships in conservation agriculture.

During the expo and lunch stop at the Dave Legvold farm outside Northfield, MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine spoke on how his agency can be an effective partner with farmers.

The extensive water quality data being collected by the MPCA – thanks to Legacy Amendment money – means the agency can work with farmers and landowners to detect and diagnose problems.

“Like a patient going to the Mayo Clinic for testing and treatment, we hope that our water quality assessments will help develop a diagnosis for our waters that don’t meet standards,” Stine said.

Generally, Minnesota needs to reduce levels of nutrients, sediment and bacteria in a majority of akes and streams. The MPCA wants to work with landowners and regulated parties to make choices and plan the state’s future with water quality in mind, he said.

“We know what it takes to have productive soil and water quality,” the commissioner said. “It’s no mystery. It takes soil stability. It takes nutrient reduction. It takes water retention. It takes all of us working together.”

Photo above: Farmer Dave Legvold, at left, receives congratulations from MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine on being the newest recipient of the Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification, a voluntary program for adopting practices that help water quality. See more of how Legvold farms in this MPCA story and program: On-farm research: Results that count for profits, water quality.


Red River of the North the third of state’s 5 largest rivers monitored by MPCA

The Red River of the North is one of Minnesota’s five largest rivers to be targeted by a MPCA intensive water quality monitoring effort.

The MPCA is half way through a 10-year effort to assess the condition of smaller rivers, streams and lakes throughout Minnesota’s 81 watersheds. The state’s largest rivers — the Mississippi, Minnesota, Rainy, Red and St. Croix — are being studied to complement that effort.

During the warm months of 2015-16, MPCA monitoring crews will travel the Red River from its headwaters in Breckenridge to the Canadian border. A crew is currently working in the area between Wahpeton and Fargo.

Twenty-nine smaller watersheds flow into the Red River before it crosses the Canadian border. By combining the results of ongoing monitoring in these smaller watersheds with results from the Red River, the MPCA can obtain a more complete picture of water quality conditions in the area and potential problem areas.

To see monitoring teams in action, you can watch short videos on fish sampling and invertebrate sampling on the MPCA’s website.


Open for comment: Report on reducing chloride in metro lakes and streams

The MPCA is seeking feedback on a chloride pollution reduction report in metro area lakes, streams, and wetlands. Thirty-seven waters were found to have chloride levels that violate state water quality standards. All other waters and groundwater are in need of protection to prevent chloride contamination.

The plan characterizes the impacts of chloride on water resources across the Twin Cities. Chloride pollution occurs when salt used for de-icing and water softening makes its way into lakes, streams, and wetlands. This happens through snow melt and wastewater discharge or septic systems. Once in the water, chloride remains in the environment and continues to accumulate over time.

A key challenge in reducing salt usage is balancing the need for public safety with the growing expectation for clear, dry roads, parking lots, and sidewalks throughout the winter. Many road authorities have made notable efforts to reduce salt usage while maintaining public safety. The Chloride Management Plan is intended to build on those efforts to determine salt reduction strategies to restore and protect Minnesota’s water resources.

Comments on the report should be submitted in writing by 4:30 p.m. Sept. 2 .to Brooke Asleson, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194, or brooke.asleson@state.mn.us.

Written comments must include a statement of your interest in the report; a statement of the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the draft report you believe should be changed; and specific reasons for your position.


Shell Rock watershed: Multiple stressors hurting fish, other aquatic life

Lakes and streams in the Shell Rock River watershed in southern Minnesota are suffering multiple stressors that hurt fish and other aquatic life, according to a study by the MPCA.

This drainage area totals about 254 square miles, all in Freeborn County, with the largest city being Albert Lea, population 18,000. The majority of the watershed is farmed for corn and soybeans with an extensive drainage system. Fountain Lake, in the center of Albert Lea, is popular for boating, fishing and other recreation. Myre-Big Island State Park owns 40 percent of the shoreland of Albert Lea Lake, which is the first lake in Minnesota to greet travelers on Interstate 35.

Excessively high levels of nutrients cause severe algal blooms that stress fish and aquatic life. Algal blooms also make the water unsightly and smelly for recreation. Some forms can even be harmful to humans and animals.

The sources of nutrients include agricultural fertilizer running off or leaching from fields, manure runoff, and wastewater.

Other related stressors include:

  • Low or fluctuating levels of dissolved oxygen needed to sustain aquatic life.
  • Low flows and high water temperatures during dry conditions contribute to fluctuations in dissolved oxygen levels.
  • pH levels high enough to harm fish and other aquatic life by damaging gills and other effects.
  • Lack of habitat due to sediment, which is soil and other particles that cloud the water and build up on lake and stream bottoms, making it hard for aquatic life to breathe, feed and reproduce.
  • Imbalance of dissolved salts and minerals that can be toxic to aquatic life.
  • Changes in stream flow to accommodate drainage.

To improve water quality in the Shell Rock watershed, the MPCA recommends:

  • Major reductions in nutrient levels in the watershed’s streams and lakes by better management of fertilizer and manure throughout the watershed.
  • The Albert Lea wastewater treatment plant will also need to remove more phosphorus from its discharge to the Shell Rock River.
  • Preventing erosion from streambanks, driven by increased flow from drainage, to reduce the sediment levels in water bodies.

The MPCA and local partners will include more detailed recommendations in the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies, the document that culminates this first cycle of intensely studying the watershed.

Recent media cover of the watershed:


MPCA seeks comments on water quality improvement report for 12-Mile Creek

The MPCA is seeking comments on a water quality improvement report for 12-Mile Creek in Wright County. The report, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), focuses on low dissolved oxygen levels throughout the creek. The MPCA is accepting comments on the report through Aug. 26.

12-Mile Creek flows northeast from Little Waverly Lake, just north of the city of Waverly, and drains into the North Fork Crow River. All forms of aquatic life depend on minimum levels of dissolved oxygen to live and grow. Excess sediment and other pollutants entering the creek combine and consume oxygen that is critical to the health of aquatic life. To help 12-Mile Creek meet state dissolved oxygen standards, this report calls for significant reductions of oxygen-demanding sediment and pollutants entering the creek.

A TMDL report is a scientific study that calculates the maximum amount of a pollutant a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards.

Comments may be submitted to Margaret Leach, MPCA, 7678 College Road, Baxter, MN, 56425, or by e-mail to Margaret.leach@state.mn.us.

Written comments must include a statement of your interest in the draft TMDL report; a statement of the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the draft TMDL that you believe should be changed; and specific reasons supporting your position.

Photo above right: A technician uses red dye to conduct a time of travel study in the creek.


Applications open for Minnesota River Congress action board

Applications are being accepted for the first Minnesota River Congress action board. It will govern the group being organized to coordinate and promote work to improve natural and economic resources in the 15,000-square-mile river basin covering much of southwestern Minnesota.

About 70 people attending the fourth Congress meeting July 23 approved the organization structure, application form,  and purpose statements, and affirmed the process under way for not-for-profit, tax-exempt status.

State officials attending the Congress in New Ulm expressed support: Reps. Paul Torkelson and Clark Johnson, DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr, and DNR southern region manager Dennis Frederickson. “The Minnesota River basin needs a voice in the legislative process,” says Rep. Johnson. “This Congress is a major step in that process.”

The action board would be composed of one representative from each of the basin’s 13 watersheds, 14 people from sectors including business, agriculture, recreation, and local government, and six state agency staff. The one-page application form asks for watershed residence and sector, and a brief statement of interest and qualifications.

Congress promoters believe there is a need for a basin-wide organization following the dissolution of the former Minnesota River Board. Action board application forms are available by contacting Scott Sparlin, sesparlin@gmail.com. More information about the Minnesota River Congress is available from the Minnesota Watershed Alliance.


Mississippi forum: Equal access for parks and recreation?

The next Mississippi River Forum will focus on “Parks and Recreation: Equal Access for All?” with Dr. Raintry Salk of the Metropolitan Council sharing key findings of her research on park use among select communities of color throughout the Twin Cities. The forum will be held

  • Friday, Aug. 28, from 8-9:30 a.m. at the St. Cloud City Council Chambers; and
  • Friday, Sept. 25, from 8-9:30 a.m. at the McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis

For more information, including how to join the Aug. 28 meeting via webinar or phone, see the Mississippi River Forum webpage on the National Park Service website.


10 things not to miss at Eco Experience

If going to the Minnesota State Fair Aug. 27-Sept. 7, you won’t want to miss these exhibits at Eco Experience:

  1. 1.     Bagnado: A 25-foot-tall tornado made of plastics, demonstrating the vast amount of this material thrown away by Minnesotans every day.
  2. 2.     Eco camper: A micro camper made in Minnesota that leaves a small carbon footprint.
  3. 3.     YOXO toys: Kids can earn these toys made by a St. Paul company from sustainable and recyclable materials.
  4. 4.     Flush yourself: Climb into the larger-than-life sink and slide down the drain to learn what happens when flushing water down a sink or toilet.
  5. 5.     AgriCULTURE: Discover immigrant food through daily cooking demos, displays, games and food samples.
  6. 6.      AirBeam:  A mobile $250 monitor for air quality.
  7. 7.      Climate Scale: Jump on the “people’s scale” to show the power of collective change. On this scale fairgoers can interact with one another and show how people and neighbors working together can make change.
  8. 8.     Eco-friendly home improvements:Learn how to improve your home step-by-step while saving on energy costs.
  9. 9.     Citizen scientist: Fair guests can practice being a Citizen Scientist by learning different frog and owl calls, using a Secchi tube to measure water clarity and evaluate the health of a stream, and learning the unique characteristics of Monarch butterflies.
  10. 10.   Reuse: This area will feature youth- and adult-friendly, hands-on projects plus daily demonstrations of DIY reuse projects and repair techniques.

In the news and online


Subscriptions and submissions welcome

The MPCA publishes the Waterfront Bulletin as an email-based newsletter featuring updates on watershed funding, projects, events and research throughout Minnesota. Waterfront is published to share information with internal MPCA staff and external watershed partners. If you have a story to share, please contact MPCA Public Information Officer Cathy Rofshus at the email or phone number listed below.

Subscribe to WaterFront via Email Alerts, available at www.pca.state.mn.us/waterfront.

Cathy Rofshus

Public Information Officer

MPCA

507-206-2608

catherine.rofshus@state.mn.us


  Minnesota Pollution Control Agency      [ Contact us ]
Unsubscribe •  Preferences  •  Help  •  This email sent using GovDelivery (800-439-1420)

This email was sent to gary@capitolconnections.com using GovDelivery, on behalf of: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
520 Lafayette Road North · Saint Paul, MN 55155 · 1-800-439-1420
Posted in News | Leave a comment

LSOHC Hires New Assistant Director

Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council The State of Minnesota State Office Building, Room G95 100 Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 13, 2015

Contact: Mark Wm. Johnson, Executive Director, 651-296-6397, mark.johnson@lsohc.leg.mn

Joe Pavelko, Assistant Director, 651-297-7142, joe.pavelko@lsohc.leg.mn

New Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council Assistant Director

Joe Pavelko has recently been hired as the Assistant Director to the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC). Pavelko comes to the Council with a wealth of experience in natural resource conservation and government grants from within the non-profit and public sectors. In addition, Pavelko has had considerable experience managing programs funded by the Outdoor Heritage Fund (OHF). Executive Director Mark Johnson stated, “Joe brings a unique perspective to the LSOHC that I believe will be a great benefit to the Council, staff, and project managers. We are excited to have him as part of our team.” Pavelko commented, “I’m extremely fortunate to be joining such a great organization and to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on Minnesota’s natural resources and outdoor heritage.”

The LSOHC, composed of eight appointed citizens and four appointed legislators, makes recommendations from the OHF to the Legislature. The OHF was established as a result of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy amendment, passed by Minnesota voters in November of 2008. The amendment established a dedicated sales tax increase of 3/8th of one-percent to be deposited in four dedicated funds. One-third of the dollars raised are deposited in the Outdoor Heritage Fund for expenditure to protect, restore, and enhance habitat in Minnesota.

For more information please visit www.lsohc.leg.mn.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Fresh Energy’s Global Warming Action, August 2015

FreshEnergy

Global Warming Action

 

August 2015

 

J. Drake Hamilton meets President Obama in the White House

President says the Clean Power Plan resulted from tireless efforts of leaders like yourself

August3President    August3PresidentJDH

 

President Barack Obama on August 3 formally released the long-awaited Clean Power Plan that will limit carbon pollution from U.S. power plants, by far the largest cause of global warming. The Clean Power Plan would cut emissions 32 percent by 2030, from 2005 levels, mostly by creating disincentives to burn coal to generate electricity and creating incentives to replace coal with renewable energy and energy efficiency.

 

The President invited Fresh Energy’s science policy director, J. Drake Hamilton, to join him at a small group meeting in the White House prior to his historic announcement of the single greatest step the United States has taken thus far to combat climate change. J. was thrilled to participate, and the group included one other Minnesotan: Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke.

 

President Obama told J.’s group, “the Clean Power Plan could not have been completed without the tireless efforts of leaders, advocates, and experts like yourself. As a result of your hard work, we will be able to protect our nation’s health while continuing to grow a vibrant clean energy economy.”

 

Minnesota editorials in support of the Clean Power Plan

Star Tribune – Obama’s Clean Power Plan is good for the planet, good for public health

The Star Tribune recently editorialized that the Clean Power Plan will lead to cleaner air. “It’s common sense that what’s good for the planet is good for human health,” wrote the editors of the Tribune. “What’s released into the air from electricity generation, particularly from dated coal-fired plants, can have a harmful impact on air quality.” The Clean Power Plan will cut dangerous air pollution from power plants, avoiding 3,600 premature deaths and 90,000 asthma attacks in children – a benefit highlighted by many including Fresh Energy, the American Lung Association and the Minnesota Department of Health.

 

Duluth News Tribune – Emissions rules: Minnesota on target to reduce carbon pollution

The Duluth News Tribune editorialized on progress in meeting Minnesota’s pollution limits, showcasing Minnesota’s early leadership that other states should follow. “Minnesota is well-positioned,” said J. Drake Hamilton of Fresh Energy. “We got smart early on in Minnesota because we’re innovative people.”

 

Learn more about the Clean Power Plan and Fresh Energy’s work leading up to the international climate negotiations in December 2015

If your company or civic organization is interested in learning how local, state, and national clean energy policy impacts you, invite J. Drake Hamilton and Fresh Energy to speak at one of your events. As one of the Midwest’s premier experts on the Clean Power Plan and climate policy, J. will be among world leaders attending the international climate negotiations in Paris this December to negotiate global climate policy development. Take advantage of a great opportunity to learn how J. and Fresh Energy are achieving measurable progress towards a strong and prosperous energy economy.

 

Fresh Energy loves to visit Minnesota communities. Invite Fresh Energy to speak at an event your community! Contact J. Drake Hamilton at hamilton@fresh-energy.org or 651-726-7562.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

DNR news releases, Aug. 13, 2015

MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #61                                                                                    Aug. 13, 2015
Media contact: Chris O’Brien, DNR information officer, 651-259-5343, christopher.obrien@state.mn.us. All news releases are available in the DNR’s website newsroom at www.mndnr.gov/news. Follow the DNR on Twitter @mndnr.

IN THIS ISSUE
DNR to hold open house on plans for
  Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park
Apply now for mentored upland bird hunts
Adults can’t hunt when accompanying youth on Youth Waterfowl Day
DNR seeks comments on Weaver Bottoms aquatic habitat restoration and
  enhancement project

 

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                   
Media contacts: Christa Maxwell, Lake Vermilion-Soudan park project manager, 218-753-2580, ext. 251, christa.maxwell@state.mn.us; Jim Essig, park manager, 218-300-7003, jim.essig@state.mn.us.

DNR to hold open house on plans for
Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park

 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division will hold an open house at the Tower Civic Center, Tuesday, Sept. 1, from 5 to 7 p.m. to provide updates on development plans for Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park. The Tower Civic Center is located at 402 Pine Street, in Tower.

DNR staff will be on hand to provide construction updates on the new campground, public water access and water treatment facility, and answer questions about future development plans. The public is invited to participate and provide written comments.

“We are looking forward to sharing our progress to date and hearing feedback from visitors and residents,” said Park Manager Jim Essig. “This is the largest state park development project in the last 30 years, and we want the public to be involved in the development.”

When complete, the park’s main campground will accommodate:

  • 168 people at 33 drive-in campsites, where amenities will include electricity, flush toilets, showers and Wi-Fi, plus a water access site that will connect campers to boating and fishing opportunities on Lake Vermilion.
  • 60 people at two group camps designed for tents and recreational vehicles, with a sanitation building that includes flush toilets and showers.
  • 30 people at a semi-primitive group camp with vault toilets.

Future construction phases, pending funding, will include a lodge, trail system, cabins and nature play areas, as well as additional campsites accessible by hiking, boating and all-terrain vehicles. When fully developed, the park will get an estimated 250,000 visitors annually, bringing an estimated $18.2 million in spending to the region.

In 2008, the Minnesota Legislature authorized Lake Vermilion State Park and set aside $20 million in bonding to purchase, plan and develop it. The purchase agreement for the 3,000-acre property was signed in May 2010, and a master plan for the park was developed with much public input. Because the new park is co-managed with the adjacent Soudan Underground Mine State Park, the legislature changed the name to Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park during the 2014 legislative session.

The park has been open since 2010 for recreation such as hiking, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and geocaching. Interpretive staff have offered occasional programs, including a BioBlitz that involved citizens in the identification of plants, animals and insects at the park.

For more information about the park, including the master plan, see www.mndnr.gov/stateparks.

-30-

NOTE: Image available at ftp://mediaroom.dnr.state.mn.us in folder named “news release resources,” then in folder named “08-13-15 Lake Vermilion.” 

 

 

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               Aug. 13, 2015
Media contact: Mike Kurre, mentoring program coordinator, 651-259-5193, michael.kurre@state.mn.us.

Apply now for mentored upland bird hunts

Families and youth can apply now for an opportunity to hunt with experienced upland bird hunters in October.

The mentored hunts, scheduled for several dates in October, are being offered through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Pheasants Forever and the Ruffed Grouse Society. The application deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 8.

“These mentored hunts teach those new to bird hunting the techniques, equipment needs and skills they need to be safe and successful in the outdoors,” said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator.

Youth must be 12-17 years old on the date of their hunt, have earned a firearms safety certificate and possess a small game license if required. They must also have a parent, guardian or adult authorized by a parent or guardian accompany them as a mentor, without a firearm. The adult must also accompany the youth at the pre-hunt orientation.

In the family hunt, all participants can hunt, but they need to be 12 years of age or older, have little to no pheasant hunting experience, and have the appropriate safety certificate, stamp and license.

Applications, hunt dates and more details are available online at www.mndnr.gov/discover or by contacting Kurre at 651-259-5193 or michael.kurre@state.mn.us. Successful applicants will be notified via mail or email by the end of September.

-30-

 

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                             Aug. 13, 2015
Media contacts: Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist in Bemidji, 218-308-2281, steve.cordts@state.mn.us; Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations manager, 651-259-5220, steve.merchant@state.mn.us.

Adults can’t hunt when accompanying youth on Youth Waterfowl Day 

Adults who accompany youth hunters on Youth Waterfowl Day, Saturday, Sept. 12, cannot hunt, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. This corrects a previous Aug. 10 announcement about the waterfowl seasons.

During Youth Waterfowl Day, hunters ages 15 and under may take regular season bag limits when accompanied by a nonhunting adult (18 or older). The accompanying adult may not hunt and does not need a license.

Ducks, Canada geese, mergansers, coots and moorhens may be taken from a half-hour before sunrise to 4 p.m. Motorized decoy restrictions are in effect. Five geese may be taken statewide.

For more information on waterfowl hunting, see www.mndnr.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

-30-

 

 

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                             Aug. 13, 2015
Media contact: Charlotte Cohn, hydropower projects manager, DNR Ecological and Water Resources Division, 651-259-5072, Charlotte.Cohn@state.mn.us.

DNR seeks comments on EAW for Weaver Bottoms Aquatic Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Project

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting public comments on an environmental assessment worksheet (EAW) prepared for the Weaver Bottoms aquatic habitat restoration and enhancement project.

The DNR is proposing to restore and enhance aquatic habitat in Weaver Bottoms, a backwater area of Pool 5 of the Mississippi River, in Wabasha County. The project will restore depth to a natural floodplain lake that has become filled with fine sediments over the past 80 years, after navigation dams were built on the Upper Mississippi River. Sediment from approximately 20 acres of shallow water will be mechanically dredged and trucked to a 10-acre upland site on privately owned pasture land. The agency will take comments during a 30-day public review period from Aug. 17 to Sept. 16.

A copy of the document is available online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/index.html. Under “environmental review,” select “Weaver Bottoms aquatic habitat restoration project EAW” from the scroll-down list. A hard copy may be requested by calling 651-259-5072.

The document is available for public review at:

  • DNR library, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155.
  • DNR central region office, 1200 Warner Road, St. Paul, MN 55106.
  • DNR Lake City area office, 1801 Oak St., Lake City, MN 55041.
  • Minneapolis Central Library, government documents, 2nd Floor, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401.
  • Rochester Public Library, 101 2nd St. SE, Rochester, MN 55904.
  • Wabasha City Library, 168 Allegheny Ave., Wabasha, MN 55981.

The EAW notice will be published in the Aug.17 EQB Monitor. Written comments must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, to the attention of Charlotte Cohn, EAW project manager, environmental policy and review unit, Ecological and Water Resources Division, DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4025.

Electronic or email comments may be sent to environmentalrev.dnr@state.mn.us with “Weaver Bottoms aquatic habitat restoration project EAW” in the subject line. If submitting comments electronically, include name and mailing address. Written comments may also be sent by fax to 651-296-1811.

Posted in News | Leave a comment