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ST. PAUL—The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Monday unveiled a new deer management plan that agency officials say will promote citizen input, set a target goal for each year's deer harvest and keep habitat in good shape from the southern prairies to the north woods. The plan establishes an annual statewide harvest target of 200,000 deer — just one of several performance measures outlined in the plan. It marks the first time the DNR has set a goal for how many deer that hunters should expect to shoot each year.
CENTRAL LAKES, Minn. — A mile off the nearest gravel road in a stand of young aspen, balsam and birch, a four-man crew from the St. Louis County Surveyor's Office hopped off their tracked ATVs and loaded up their backpacks for a walk in the woods. They brought a chainsaw and hand saws, a compass and GPS units, metal signs and fence posts, shovels and post pounders, spray paint and bright pink ribbon, 200-foot measuring tapes and other tools.
DULUTH — There was hope across the state of Minnesota this winter by many college hockey fans that their teams would end up in the men's NCAA Frozen Four, being held in their home state. University of Minnesota fans thought their team was poised to make it to the event that's coming up next week at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. So did fans in Mankato, St. Cloud and just across the border at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.
DULUTH — One-third of wildlife species in the U.S. are at risk of extinction, 40 percent of the nation's freshwater fish are now rare or imperiled, more than 150 U.S. species already have gone extinct and another 500 critters that haven't been seen in years also may be gone forever.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Wednesday, March 28, said it has filed a response defending its proposed wild rice sulfate standard that in January was panned by a state administrative law judge. PCA officials say their proposed sulfate pollution standard is a good compromise that protects wild rice in places where sulfate pollution might damage it, but also allows more sulfate pollution in lakes and rivers where it may not harm the plant.
DULUTH—The proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes will cost nearly $1 billion to build if it's permitted, but will earn a $173 million annual profit for 20 years for the company after taxes and other expenses. That was the report Tuesday, March 27, as the company released its new technical and economic viability report aimed at investors and regulators. It's the first major update on the project's costs and projected revenue in five years.
DULUTH — The $1.3 trillion federal budget bill passed by Congress this week and signed into law by President Donald Trump on Friday, March 23 includes $4 million for the federal government to purchase state land within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The money will buy outright more than 51,000 acres of state land in small parcels across the lake-studded wilderness.
STEPHENSON, Mich.—Federal regulators are saying not so fast to a proposed open-pit mine in the southern part of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Environmental Protection Agency, in a recent letter to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, said it was objecting to the state's wetlands permit for the Back Forty zinc, copper and gold mine proposed by Canadian-based Aquila Resources. The EPA also cited shortfalls in how the mine project would impact Native American cultural resources.
DULUTH—The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Thursday, March 15, approved the environmental review for the proposed Enbridge Energy Line 3 replacement oil pipeline across northern Minnesota. The PUC, after delaying the decision in December and saying the Minnesota Department of Commerce needed to answer more questions, this time signed off on the environmental impact statement as adequate. The decision was expected because the commission asked for relatively minor changes at its December meeting.
CLOQUET, Minn.—The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has mailed out 8,500 public opinion surveys to residents in the areas of eastern Minnesota under consideration for reintroduction of wild elk. The surveys went to most rural landowners in and near the three potential elk reintroduction areas and to a random selection of city dwellers in southern St. Louis, Carlton and northern Pine counties. The surveys are part of the band's long-range study to see if an elk reintroduction is possible, practical and popular.