Environment

UPDATE: Firefighters Investigating Cause, Watching for Hotspots on Highway 61 After Multiple Fires Saturday

The multiple fires have burned an estimated 45 acres, according to the the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center. 

  GRAND RAPIDS, Minn.- Hotspots along Highway 61 North of Silver Bay are still being monitored Sunday by fire crews from six different area fire departments, Minnesota DNR Fire and Air assets, and Lake County Rescue squad, among other responders. The cause remains under investigation. The multiple fires have burned an estimated 45 acres, according to the the Minnesota Interagency…

Highway 61 Reopens After Numerous Grass Fires, Silver Bay Police Say

Authorities say "numerous grass fires" forced the closure of Highway 61 north of Silver Bay, which is an area near the Tettegouche State Park.

SILVER BAY, Minn.- A portion of Highway 61 has reopened in Silver Bay, Minnesota, after grass fires were burning near the road. According to a Facebook Post on the Silver Bay Police Department Page, “numerous grass fires” forced the closure of Highway 61 north of Silver Bay, which is an area near the Tettegouche State Park. Around 8:00 p.m. authorities…

Line 3 Pipeline Protesters March Through Downtown Duluth

DULUTH, Minn. — A group of Line 3 pipeline protesters marched through the streets of downtown Duluth Sunday morning. The march was led by Indigenous water protectors, as they prefer to be called. The activists believe the pipeline is a threat to Native American waters and climate change. A Duluth police spokesperson said officers observed the protest from afar and…

Superior National Forest to Start Prescribed Fires

Officials say residents around Virginia, Ely and Grand Marais may notice some smoke and see flames.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Superior National Forest is set to start a series of prescribed fires across the forest as soon as this week. Officials say residents around Virginia, Ely and Grand Marais may notice some smoke and see flames. The planned fires protect not only plant and wildlife, but also nearby homes and buildings from hazardous fuels and even wildfires….

City of Duluth Urges Proper Road Sand, Salt Disposal at Collection Sites

According to officials, this allows them to properly dispose it, and keep it out of the area's waterways

DULUTH, Minn.- As winter slowly wraps up, people may notice a lot of road sand in their sidewalks and boulevards pushed there by snow plows. Instead of just throwing it in the trash the City of Duluth is asking people deposit it at one of their road sand collection sites. According to officials, this allows them to properly dispose it,…

$2.9 Million Proposal Would Better Prepare Minnesota Communities for Effects of Climate Change

The Proposal of $2.9 Million Would Provide Grants to Roughly 15 Communities in Central, Northeastern Minnesota

DULUTH, Minn. – Climate change is expensive, and now with a new proposal from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), funding for preventative planning and infrastructure repairs could become a reality. The proposal is for $2.9 million in grant money to be spent over the next two years. According to the MPCA, funding would help…

Planning Moves Forward For 2022 Seawall Reconstruction, Walkway Redesign Behind DECC 

Duluth Council gave the go-ahead to begin looking at designs for reconstructing the aging seawall and the surrounding greenspace from the Slip to Bayfront.

DULUTH, Minn.- Duluth City Council passed two resolutions for pre-design and pre-engineering work for Phase II  of seawall construction and rehabilitating the pedestrian walkway along Harbor Drive between Canal Park and Bayfront. Councilors say they expect construction to begin on the seawall in 2022. They plan to use some of the $13 million in state bonding bill money the city…

U.S. Rep. Stauber Hears Iron Rangers’ Hopes to Bring Critical Minerals Mining to Region

In what he called a community conversation in Aurora, MN, the Congressman heard feedback which he plans to bring back to Washington D.C.

AURORA, Minn.- 8th District Congressman Pete Stauber stopped by the Aurora Community Center Monday for a town hall style meeting with Iron Rangers, joining them in wanting to bring critical minerals mining to the Iron Range. “It’d be nice to see a new generation of people coming to the Iron Range to take on the next generation of mining,” said…

Looking Through the Lens of the Lighthouse Keeper

Split Rock Lighthouse Site Manager, Hayes Scriven, Has Passion for Capturing Nature's Beauty On The Job

TWO HARBORS, Minn. – They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The statement holds ever so true for one lucky photographer living along the North Shore of Lake Superior. “Photography and Split Rock go together like peanut butter and jelly, they’re just delicious together,” said Hayes Scriven, site manager at Split Rock Lighthouse. You could say the COVID-19…

Tree Clearing for Bats, Soil Processing Last Steps Before Mission Creek Restoration Work in August

Crews start tree clearing Wednesday, and expect soil processing to finish by the end of July.

DULUTH, Minn.- Reconstruction work is finally set to begin this summer on the Mission Creek burial site in Duluth’s Fond Du Lac neighborhood, three years after MnDOT crews accidentally tore it up working to replace the Highway 23 Bridge there. Before they can get started, they have to finish some prep work which includes a plan to keep the area’s…

Students Take Learning Science To A New Level

"They all grew up in and around Minnesota, so they know how to sled, but they never really thought about it from a physical perspective," said UMD Physics Professor Margaret Elmer-Dixon.

DULUTH, Minn. – A group of UMD students used Chester Bowl Ski Hill as their classroom for the day to learn more about science. Physics is a subject most people learn about in a classroom or lab but a University of Minnesota Duluth professor is taking a new approach. “They all grew up in and around Minnesota, so they know…

Phase 4 Lakewalk Reconstruction, Police Opioid Officer on Duluth Council Agenda Monday

The tail end of Lakewalk Reconstruction and new initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic are on the docket.

DULUTH, Minn.- The end is in sight for Duluth’s Lakewalk Reconstruction Project as Duluth City Council will look at designs for Phase 4. They’ll also vote on changes to the Duluth Police Department, including adding a civilian opioid officer position. On Monday Council will look at design work for Phase 4 of rebuilding Duluth’s Lakewalk primarily behind the DECC, after…

Burst Pipe Sends Water Gushing Through Skywalk, Into Greysolon Plaza

According to Duluth Fire Crews, no one was injured or displaced from Greysolon.

DULUTH, Minn.- A scare at Duluth’s Greysolon plaza on East Superior Street downtown on Tuesday, after water came gushing into part of the building and out onto the alley behind, a burst water pipe in the Skywalk to blame. According to Duluth Fire Crews, no one was injured or displaced as a result of this. The recent extreme cold, coupled…

Extreme Cold Keeping Some Property Managers Busy with Repairs on Houses, Apartments

At ShipRock Management maintenance staff offers to check on homes when tenants are away, to catch cold weather damage before it escalates.

DULUTH, Minn.- The recent arctic weather has been harder on homes in the area, especially Duluth’s older, more heat-inefficient houses and apartments. And some property managers say they’re finding their hands full with maintenance. At ShipRock Management, maintenance staff says their 10 full-time crew members have been working around the clock to combat frozen water lines and drains. “This past…

With Cold Temps, Experts Say Watch for Frozen Pipes and Faulty Windows or Doors

During cold weather conditions, it’s important to make sure you’re watching out for things like frozen pipes, and faulty windows or doors.

DULUTH, Minn.- The temps are expected to remain frigid over the coming days, which may have an impact on your home. During cold weather conditions, it’s important to make sure you’re watching out for things like frozen pipes, and faulty windows or doors. Once you discover that your pipes are frozen, be sure to call a plumber as soon as…

More Ice Cover Good for Lake Superior, Experts Say

Experts at the Minnesota Sea Grant say more ice cover on the lake means cooler water in the summer months.

DULUTH, Minn.- While ice on the lake proved almost disastrous for those anglers Tuesday, local experts say even though it’s coming in slowly, the appearance of ice cover is good news for the health of Lake Superior. Experts at the Minnesota Sea Grant say more ice cover on the lake means cooler water in the summer months. “A two degree…

Extreme Cold Frightful for Humans, Delightful for Animals at Zoo

According to Lake Superior Zookeepers, their animals are no strangers to climates like this.

DULUTH, Minn.- While humans have to take extra safety measures in this extreme cold, many animals at the Lake Superior Zoo love to be outside – but with windchills this low, things like frostbite are a still a danger, regardless of species. “Most all of the animals that we have here if they’re outside this is gonna be similar to…

“Mask Out Minnesota” Encourages People To Get Outdoors

"We want to encourage you to forget the four walls of your home this winter," said Renee Mattson, the executive director for the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission.

DULUTH, Minn. – The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission has started a new initiative to encourage people to get outdoors. Commission members visited the Hartley Nature Center in Duluth to promote a new campaign called “Mask Out Minnesota.” The campaign wants to motivate people to try out state parks and trails, which have gotten more popular during the…

A Tiger At The Wildcat Sanctuary Tests Positive For COVID-19

Veterinarians conducted a Coronavirus test after sedating her, revealing she had the virus.

SANDSTONE, Minn.- A rescue tiger living at the Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone tested positive for COVID-19, but has since recovered. A tiger named Sabrina is a rescue from Texas and upon her arrival showed signs of having possible respiratory issues. Veterinarians conducted a Coronavirus test after sedating her, revealing she had the virus. It is believed Sabrina contracted the virus…

Dozens Protest Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement on Streets Near Backus, MN

Enbridge maintains Line 3 has been repeatedly approved "based on six years of fact and science based regulatory and permitting review."

BACKUS, Minn.- A large protest near Backus, Minnesota Saturday called on President Joe Biden to stop Enbridge from constructing the Line 3 Pipeline Replacement, protesters said, just as he did the Keystone Pipeline this week. According to organizers, approximately 200 people gathered on the streets near Backus. This comes just a day after a protester was safely removed from a…

Biden Administration Making Effort To Improve Environment Policies

DULUTH, Minn. – It’s the second day in office for President Biden and he’s already making an impact signing numerous executive orders in his first 48 hours. Soon he could have his eyes set on the great lakes. Northland environmental experts hope addressing climate change remains one of President Biden’s top priorities, they would like to see several regulations return…

Lack of Snow Leaving Many Northland Snowmobile Trails in Poor Condition

According to the Minnesota DNR, many of the trails around Duluth are labeled "poor."

DULUTH, Minn.- It would seem Mother Nature is not keeping up with the pandemic-fueled demand to get outside and try new winter activities, as a winter lacking in snow has made an ugly scene and poor conditions on Northland ski and snowmobile trails. “We’ve been a little short on snow,” said Rob Waksdahl, Groomer Operator with the Duluth Drift Toppers….

First Responders Advise Caution As Sledding Injuries Increase

Duluth Firefighters say be careful before sledding as recent warming and freezing cycles have made snow extra slick. 

DULUTH, Minn.-Many people are pent up at home and want to get outside and enjoy the winter, but our fluffy snow has gotten a little slick and hard, causing some kids and adults to get hurt while sledding around Duluth. According to officials with the City of Duluth, emergency personnel have responded to more than a dozen sledding injuries recently,…

Birkie Drops Enbridge Energy Sponsorship, Says Relationship Doesn’t Align with Race’s Values

The dissolving of this agreement comes months after Enbridge started its controversial Line 3 Pipeline replacement project.

HAYWARD, Wis.- The largest cross-country ski race in the country, the American Birkebeiner or “Birkie” is taking a stand against what they see as environmental concerns with Enbridge Energy — dropping the corporation as a sponsor for this year’s race. According to a letter on the Birkie website, they are dissolving their previous agreement, after “we heard from some in…

Line 3 Pipeline Opponents Sue To Shut Down Minnesota Construction

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Opponents of a pipeline project that crosses three states have asked a federal court to halt construction in Minnesota on allegations that U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to address several environmental issues when it approved a water quality permit. Two Minnesota Ojibwe bands and two environmental groups filed a lawsuit Thursday that asks for a preliminary…

Silver Bay Woman Takes Daily Plunge Into Lake Superior

Silver Bay Resident Lauri Olson-Hohman is Going on 63 Days of Practicing the Wim Hof Method

SILVER BAY, Minn. – While many of us are dreading the cold winter months ahead, one Northland woman is embracing the season with a daily morning dip into Lake Superior. Silver Bay resident Lauri Olson-Hohman is practicing the Wim Hof Method. She’s been doing this for the past 63 days. The method is simple, yet complex. It’s a combination of…

UWS Student, Professor Track Waste of Disposable Masks, PPE in Superior

So far of the 200 pieces of data collected, most are concentrated in the East End and on the University Campus.

SUPERIOR, Wis.-Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Superior are tracking a different kind of waste that is newer in the city this year — personal protective equipment like masks and gloves. Those researchers said so far without the pandemic, the amount of plastics in the oceans is set to surpass the amount of fish by the year 2050. Now the…

Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center Offering DIY Wreath Kits

The Center is Having to Adjust Routine Operations Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

DULUTH, Minn. – Just like many other facilities, the Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center is now having to adapt during the pandemic. Because of Covid-19, the learning center has had to cancel several of its annual fundraising activities. “We got together as a staff and thought we need to get creative. That’s where the idea of these DIY kits came…

St. Louis River Alliance to Virtually Celebrate 2020 Progress

Preregistration is Required for the Virtual Celebration of Progress

DULUTH, Minn. – The St. Louis River Alliance has had a year of great progress on many projects along the St. Louis River estuary and other areas of concern. Happening Tuesday, Nov. 17, you’re invited to learn more about the progress during a virtual celebration. Due to COVID-19, the event is happening on Zoom this year. Participants are encouraged to…

Carlton County Offers Free Recycling of Holiday Lights

Holiday lights can be recycled for free at the Transfer Station on Highway 210.

CARLTON, Minn.- Holiday lights are being hung as Christmas approaches, but if you end up with some broken bulbs or just want to throw them out, you can recycle them instead at the Carlton County Transfer Station. Holiday lights can be recycled for free at the Transfer Station on Highway 210, as long as they aren’t attached to any plastic…

First Solar Garden in Duluth’s Lincoln Park Sustainably Powering Neighborhood

Non-profit Ecolibrium 3 made the unveiling Saturday on Michigan Street right along I-35.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Lincoln Park Neighborhood’s only solar garden is now officially in operation. Non-profit Ecolibrium 3 made the unveiling Saturday on Michigan Street right along I-35. The sustainable energy garden is powering the Duluth Veterans Place, which is a transitional housing project by the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MAC-V). Duluth Veterans Place planned to have solar panels themselves,…

Ministry Group Raises Money for Hurricane Relief Down South

Jesus is Life Ministries will be in the Hobby Lobby parking lot until Sunday raising money to bring supplies to Florida and Alabama.

DULUTH, Minn.- A Duluth church is once again collecting donations to give aid and supplies to those impacted by the hurricanes that have decimated the Southern United States. Every year Jesus is Life Ministries raises money in parking lots of various stores on Miller Hill. They will be in the Hobby Lobby parking lot until Sunday when they go to…

St. Louis County Plow Drivers Gear Up for First Heavy Snowfall

"You just never know what mother nature throws at us but whatever it is we're ready for, ready for the challenge," a county plow worker said.

DULUTH, Minn.- As much of the Northland is gearing up for Tuesday’s dumping of snow, St. Louis County plow crews say they’re ready to roll out. The County’s 34-truck fleet got their plow wings Monday, the last part the trucks are outfitted with ahead of the first snow. According to District Maintenance Superintendent Gordy Halverson, all of the sand and…

Ecolibrium3 Starts New Program Helping Low-Income Families Address Energy Effiency

DULUTH, Minn. – Ecolibrium3 has started a new program to help homeowners in low-income communities address energy efficiency in their homes. Homeowners can sign up for virtually energy efficiency audits. These audits will analyze a house’s energy usage and help give recommendations on ways to make improvements. This can also help estimate some of the savings homeowners can get by…

Duluth Council Unanimously Votes to Wash Out Lakewalk Extension Plans

The resolution calls to reallocate FEMA funds to repair the storm damaged shorelines at Brighton Beach and the Marten Trail. 

DULUTH, Minn.- Duluth City Council unanimously passed a resolution Monday to leave a missing part of the Duluth’s Lakewalk trail disconnected after storms severely eroded the shoreline in 2018. The resolution calls for the indefinite closure of the shoreline trails behind the Ledges Townhomes on 21st Ave. East, and indefinitely halting construction of a new footpath from the Beacon Pointe…

Duluth Council to Vote Monday on Leaving Lakewalk’s Missing Link Disconnected

Councilors say the shoreline behind the Ledges and Beacon Pointe is too washed out to try and make changes.

DULUTH, Minn.- Duluth City Council is expected to vote on whether to scrap plans to connect a missing link to the popular Lakewalk behind some shoreline properties. At their last meeting two weeks ago, the council tabled the resolution that would reallocate $915,695 in FEMA funds. Those funds were granted to repair the 2018 storm-damaged trail behind the Ledges Townhomes…

Duluth Family’s Dog, Wild Deer Become Unlikely Furry Friends

Frank, a year-and-a-half-old Black Labrador, and a wandering doe have regular morning playdates.

DULUTH, Minn.- One family’s dog in Duluth is proving that man may not be dog’s only best friend — a deer has taken that spot. In a video recorded from the Miller house’s window, a black lab and a doe carefully watch each other, each rearing to go. But this was not a vicious hunting or attack video. The dog…

Council Approves Funds to Re-Open Spirit Mountain This Winter, Tables Lakewalk Extension Talks

The Duluth City Council voted unanimously to fork over $300,000 to Spirit Mountain to help it re-open this coming winter, and tabled a resolution which would cancel work on the Lakewalk by Beacon Pointe.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Duluth City Council voted unanimously to fork over $300,000 to Spirit Mountain to help it re-open this coming winter. Council also tabled another resolution Monday night which proposed leaving some homes and condominiums along the lake disconnected from the main Lakewalk. The $300,000 to Spirit Mountain is to reimburse most of the $340,000 the Mountain spent on…

WLSSD Accepting Fall Leaves, Garden Debris to Turn into Compost

Any of your grass clippings, leaves, garden debris and even fresh-cut holiday trees can be dropped off for free and turn into compost to purchase for your gardening next year.

DULUTH, Minn.- As Fall leaves and garden debris pile up in your yard, WLSSD is accepting that yard waste to turn into compost. The drop-off site is on Courtland Street, off I-35 at 27th Avenue West. Any of your grass clippings, leaves, garden debris and even fresh-cut holiday trees can be dropped off for free and turn into compost to…

Park Supervisor Reveals the Underrated Trail for Seeing Fall Colors in Pattison State Park

DOUGLAS CO., Wis. — The best time to see the fall colors at the Pattison State Park just south of Superior is beginning right now and will last for the next three weeks, according to a park supervisor with the Wisconsin DNR. Pattison has about four to five miles of trails for visitors to hike, but the natural resource property…

Pick Your Own Cream of the Crop at Farmer Doug’s Pumpkin Patch

The Hoffbauer Farm is located at 3361 Lindahl Road in Duluth

DULUTH, Minn. – Farmers battled against a dry growing season in the Northland, but it didn’t stop one local farm from producing a good quality yield of pumpkins this fall. “We know that sooner or later the frost is going to come for keeps,” said Doug Hoffbauer, owner of Hoffbauer Tree Farm. At Farmer Doug’s farm, Mother Nature gets the…

City of Duluth Proclaims ‘Ann Redelfs Day’ to Honor Late Community Advocate

Redelfs served as an educator at UMD, worked with neighborhoods and police, and more before she died suddenly in April. 

DULUTH, Minn.- A longtime member of the Duluth community, the late Ann Redelfs was honored at Glensheen Sunday for her contributions to the environmental, social, and political landscape of the city. Throughout her life Redelfs lived Oklahoma, Houston, Ithaca, New York, and San Diego before moving to Duluth in 2004. She served as an educator at UMD, organized regular meetings…

First Frost Of Season Could Be Concerning For Gardeners

Gardeners say frost can cause a plant's growth rate to decline immediately.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Temperatures are starting to drop for the season and maybe creating frost concerns for local gardeners. Experts say when frost hits the vegetation will go into conservation mode and save nutrients down into the roots. The pores on leaves will also close to prevent the cold from coming in, which could cause the plant’s cells to freeze…

The EPA Awards Funding To Restore Environmental Areas Of Concern In Twin Ports

"When you clean up the water, remove the contamination, and restore the habitat, it is an immediate benefit for the environment and the community," said Kurt Thiede, Regional Administrator for the EPA.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it will be providing nearly $14 million in funding to help rehabilitate environmental areas of concern along the St. Louis River and the Great Lakes. The financial support is part of the EPA’s five-year plan to restore environments within the great lakes. The St. Louis River in the Twin Ports has…

Free Water Maps Get Northlanders Out on St. Louis River Water Trail

The maps detail the St. Louis River National Water Trail.

DULUTH, Minn.- Throughout the month of September, the St. Louis River Alliance (SLRA) is helping Northlanders get out on local water trails with new full color water maps. The maps detail the St. Louis River National Water Trail, a multi-use waterway with 11 loop trails for paddlers of all skill levels and other watercraft. On Wednesday the SLRA was at…

Inaugural Ann Redelfs Bird Count Honors a Life Lost Too Soon

The Ann Redelfs Bird Count is Happening Sept. 1 - 10 on the Grounds of Glensheen Mansion in Duluth

DULUTH, Minn – This year’s fall bird migration comes with a special meaning for one group of avid bird counters in the Northland. Dozens will be turning their eyes to the sky with a special message for a friend who impacted so many and was taken too soon. “It’s not the best day for birding, but they will come with…

One Year After Fatal Hit-and-Run, Nashwauk Remembers Toddler Logan Klennert by Planting Trees

Police say 39-year-old Jake Place was under the influence when he killed Logan and injured his aunt, his sentencing is set for October.

NASHWAUK, Minn.- It’s been one year since a fatal hit-and-run in Nashwauk by a driver under the influence took the life of 2-year-old Logan Klennert and injured his 16-year-old aunt. On Sunday, the community honored Logan while spreading the message to drive sober. Meanwhile, the man charged in the hit-and-run is set to be sentenced this Fall. “It’s been a…

Northland Red Cross Sends Volunteers to Help with Hurricane Laura Relief, Seeking More

Officials with the Northland Chapter of the Red Cross in Duluth say so far more volunteers are needed for medical, logistics, and other roles.

DULUTH, Minn.- As Hurricane Laura nears landfall on the Gulf Coast, the American Red Cross is gearing up to dispatch their response teams to the hardest hit areas ready to pick up the pieces from what is projected to be a devastating hurricane. One nurse from International Falls just landed in Houston Wednesday, and four more volunteers from the Northland…

Poetry Event at Wussow’s Cafe Uses Art to Talk Climate Change

The goal is to remind people that climate change should be local concern, not just a national one. 

DULUTH, Minn. – Poets in Duluth got together to share some of their art while raising awareness of climate change. The local band Woodblind opened up the Climate Emergency Poetry Night at Wussow’s Cafe in West Duluth. Both new and experienced local poets got up and shared their original works about climate change. The goal is to remind people that…