John Myers / Forum News Service
A half-dozen more Lake Superior island wolves will get a free ride across the big lake in coming days as the effort continues to restock Isle Royale with new wolves. The estimated four to six wolves remaining on Ontatrio’s Michipicoten Island in northeastern Lake Superior will be trapped and flown to Isle Royale. They'll join two wolves brought from the same island last month and two more brought from Northeastern Minnesota last autumn.
The Great Lakes region already is warming and changing faster than much of North America — and will continue to do so as global warming increases. That was the summary finding of a new report, released Thursday, March 21, compiled by 18 scientists from across the region, both U.S. and Canadian. The scientists gathered data from a broad range of previous studies that looked at ecosystems, economics, climate, agriculture and human health. It was called the most comprehensive assessment of climate impact on the region ever compiled.
Can fly fishing for brook trout in cold, clear Northeastern Minnesota streams save the world from hatred and prejudice? Not likely. But maybe it can save a soul. That’s what Geoff Vukelich said it did for him, over the last decade, as he learned to be an accomplished fly fisherman and a better person while casting on remote stretches of Northland rivers.
The U.S. Interior Department on Thursday, March 14, said it will publish its plan to remove federal protections for wolves in the Federal Register Friday, giving the public until mid-May to comment on the proposal. The plan, first promised last June and announced again last week, would have the most impact on Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan where established populations of wolves currently exist but where a court order has retained Endangered Species Act Protections for them.
DULUTH -- Minnesota’s moose population continues to hold its own, with slightly increased numbers this winter compared to 2018. That was the report Monday, March 11, from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which counts this as the eighth straight year of low but relatively stable numbers for the big forest animal. That lower but stable period comes after the state’s moose numbers crashed rapidly, from a modern high of 8,840 moose estimated in 2006 to just 2,700 in 2013.
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Wednesday, March 6, said it will act to remove federal endangered species protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states, once again opening up the debate over how many, if any, wolves should be killed by hunters and trappers. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service said it will make good on a promise from last June to restart the process by proposing so-called delisting of wolves — removing them from Endangered Species Act protections.
ALONG THE FIREHOLE RIVER — The big bull bison, off on his own from the herd, was thrashing his head to clear a spot in the deep snow, trying to dig his way down to something edible along the shoreline. A flock of mallards on the river were dabbling for food as swans just downstream strained their necks underwater to find vegetation. A red fox was perched on a fallen tree that stretched out over the river.
DULUTH -- Corey Verdoljak was a carpenter, building houses for 20 years, when he decided to do something completely different. The Superior, Wis., native and his wife, Brianna, pulled up roots from the Twin Ports to stake a claim in Alaska as a pilot. Only he found something he liked even better than flying. “Fishing,’’ he said without any hesitation.
ISLE ROYALE NATIONAL PARK - Isle Royale National Park officials on Wednesday, Feb. 6, reported that a single female wolf, one of three transplanted to the island for the Grand Portage Reservation in October, made its way onto the ice and back to shore in Ontario. That leaves just two transplanted wolves and two native wolves left on the island.
The new national reservation system for Boundary Waters permits opened Wednesday, Jan. 30, and then promptly crashed, with the U.S. Forest Service saying they will set a new date for permits to become available. Reservations for Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness permits were moved for the 2019 season to the recreation.gov site, the same site used for reservations at national parks across the country.