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LUTSEN, Minn. -- A nasty, cold-water algae nicknamed “rock snot” has been confirmed in the Poplar River near Lutsen along the North Shore of Lake Superior, the first such finding in a Minnesota trout stream. The freshwater algae, officially called didymo, lives in low-nutrient, low-temperature environments that are common in North Shore streams and Lake Superior, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported Thursday, Oct. 25.
CHIPPEWA NATIONAL FOREST — Jens Heig first checked the tail and rump feathers of the smallish grouse, then checked the edges of the wing feathers. It was a juvenile bird, he concluded, a female. Then he dug into the crop, just to see what the bird had been feeding on (wild strawberry leaves) before digging into his backpack for a field test kit that looks a bit like something from CSI Northwoods.
SOUTH OF BALL CLUB, Minn. — In the woods of the Chippewa National Forest, with the late morning sun shining through mostly leafless trees, a beam of light enveloped an English setter named Tyler that was frozen on point. Ken Taylor, Tyler's owner, was handling the dog. Jeff "Cubby" Skelly, a local hunting guide, was moving forward on the left, ready to shoot, as was hunter Jim DePolo on the right. Jens Heig, another local guide, was watching closely, as was this newspaper reporter.
1902 - The U.S. General Land Office sets aside 500,000 acres in what would become the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, keeping it undeveloped by removing it from settlement acreage being offered to homesteaders. 1904 - Congress grants 20,000 acres to the state for the Burntside Forest Reserve. Minnesota forestry officials declare "State Forest Reserves should be devoted not alone to the business of raising timber, but to the pleasure of all the people."
DULUTH — It passed the U.S. Senate in the last minutes of the last day of a Congressional session that may have been its last chance to pass. Democrats were in power in Minnesota and in Washington, and several Minnesotans were in President Jimmy Carter's administration when the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act passed Congress on Oct. 15, 1978. That included Vice President Walter Mondale and Secretary of Agriculture Bob Bergland, whose department oversaw the U.S. Forest Service that managed what was then the BWCA.
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 ..."