Dave Orrick / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — Minnesota lake home and cabin owners — that oh-so-MN demographic — are getting older. And not any richer. And their health care costs are rising. Which might prove troublesome for the cherished natural resources — namely our lakes — that lakefront property owners are at the forefront of protecting. Those are among the findings of a study released Friday by Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates, an environmental-advocacy group that often focuses on issues relevant to lake property owners associations.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota drivers are the best in the U.S., and we're among the worst in the U.S. Confused? The two completely opposite assessments of Minnesotans' driving safety and traffic law compliance came recently from two different companies in the insurance industry. CarInsuranceComparison.com put out a report in late November saying Minnesota is the best. About a week later, QuoteWizard put out a report saying Minnesota is the 11th worst.
ST. PAUL -- Blaze pink is dead. Minnesota’s lead-ammo ban and muskie stocking plans are alive. A wholesale makeover of northern pike fishing regulations is on the slow track. And a plan to expand the elk herd has been dealt a major setback. Those are among the biggest upshots for outdoors enthusiasts in the aftermath of the Minnesota legislative session, which adjourned this week with arguably more left undone than done.
ST. PAUL -- Chippewa tribal members are about halfway toward reaching their quota of walleye from Lake Mille Lacs, according to figures updated this week. Here’s what’s different this year: Nearly every walleye — some 5,700 pounds — killed this year has been by spear, not highly contentious gill nets, according to tribal authorities. The total tribal allotment is 11,400 pounds.
ST. PAUL -- The walleye-based economy around Lake Mille Lacs is “hurting,” a county leader told lawmakers earlier this week as they discussed a $30 million financial aid proposal. “We’re hurting,” Mille Lacs County Commissioner David Oslin told a House committee Tuesday. “We’ve dropped over $26 million in property value.” Some resorts have seen occupancy drop by 60 percent in the last few years, said Karen McQuoid, a member of the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Council.
ST. PAUL -- A key water-quality initiative of Gov. Mark Dayton last year — vegetative buffer strips along streams and drainage ditches — is returning for an encore performance at the Capitol in St. Paul this week. On Wednesday, a Senate committee will hold a hearing on a series of proposed revisions to the not-yet-year-old law, which was signed by Dayton after a spirited battle that pitted environmentalists against some farm interests.