- Member for
- 5 years 11 months
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Projects to bolster conservation efforts for Minnesota loons will get a huge boost under a settlement agreement announced Tuesday, Oct. 9, stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The agreement, published Tuesday in the Federal Register, sets aside $16 million from BP, the oil rig's owner, for fish and wildlife rehabilitation for species impacted by the explosion, fire and spill that killed 11 people, injured 17 others and sent millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf.
DULUTH—On the same day an international panel of climate experts predicted dire consequences if human-caused global warming continues unabated, scientists at the University of Minnesota added northern forests to the list of potential victims. Scientists looked at 11 species of trees growing in two northern Minnesota forests and said predicted temperatures will cause drier soils and reduce tree growth as temperatures warm.
DULUTH — The news across the pheasant range is pretty good for 2018 — numbers up in Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa and stable in North Dakota — with seasons underway in coming weeks. Numbers are still down from peak levels a decade ago, but high enough to offer encouragement to hunters who will go afield starting at 9 a.m. Saturday in Minnesota. But, the news for the state's pheasant hunting tradition isn't as good.
ISLE ROYALE, Minn. — Another two Minnesota wolves have been moved to Isle Royale in recent days as the National Park Service moves to establish a viable pack of predators on the largest island in Lake Superior. The wolves, both females trapped on the Grand Portage Chippewa Reservation at the tip of Minnesota's Arrowhead, joined two other Minnesota wolves brought to the island last week. This week's transfers took different transportation modes: The first took a boat ride, and the second was flown to the island.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday, Oct. 5, announced it will move to protect the eastern black rail — a small, secretive swamp-loving bird — under the Endangered Species Act. The agency said the official protection as "threatened" is needed because the bird has declined by more than 90 percent across much of its range "with a relatively small total population remaining across the eastern United States ..."
DULUTH—Several environmental and conservation groups on Wednesday, Oct. 3, filed a lawsuit claiming the 2018 Minnesota Legislature's move to pay for construction projects with money from the state's Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund is illegal. The groups, in the lawsuit served to the state attorney general and Office of Management and Budget director Wednesday afternoon, claim the 2018 Legislature "approved an unprecedented raid on Minnesota's Environmental Trust Fund to pay for infrastructure'' projects like sewer plants, landfills and water plants.
You might not recognize the name Carrol Henderson, but if you appreciate wildlife in Minnesota, you will probably want to thank him. Henderson, 72, has been the only director of the Nongame Wildlife Program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources since its inception in 1977. He's helped spur recovery efforts for peregrine falcons, trumpeter swans, river otters, bald eagles and other lesser-known species.
Minnesota's wolf population last winter was down some from the previous winter but statistically unchanged, the state Department of Natural Resources announced Monday, Sept 24. The DNR's winter population estimate came in at 2,655 wolves spread among 465 packs. Because the margin of error in the estimate is so big, plus or minus 700, that number is pretty close to the 2,856 wolves in 500 packs reported in 2017.
ON NATURE'S LAKE — For an early opening morning, just a day into fall, the start of Minnesota waterfowl season Saturday, Sept. 22, turned out to be pretty ducky. A low deck of clouds hung overhead allowing an incredible orange and red pre-dawn glow for a few minutes before socking in to keep the sun out of our eyes. A persistent southwest wind kept the decoys moving nicely and it was just cool enough so a jacket felt good. A few raindrops even fell as we paddled back to camp. Best of all, for the crew at the Squaw Lake Bird Watchers Society, the ducks cooperated.
SQUAW LAKE, Minn. — At the end of a winding, two-rut driveway under a canopy of maples just turning orange and red, past the black lab running in the yard and before you get to the lake where teal, wood ducks and mallards are flying over miles of wild rice, you'll fund Plushville. Officially known as the Squaw Lake Bird Watchers Society, it's the kind of place that should be in the photograph next to "duck camp" in Wikipedia, or maybe on the cover of Ducks Unlimited magazine.