Environment

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…

Storm Damage in Duluth Not as Bad as Past Storms, City Officials Say

While officials said they were prepared for storms as severe as those in the past, city officials said all in all, Duluth got out of the mix relatively unscathed. 

DULUTH, Minn.- Following a Friday night of turbulent storms, Duluth city officials said that the city had not taken much heavy damage, compared to nearby localities. On Friday the Duluth Fire Department responded to over a dozen calls of trees down on houses, cars, and power lines causing sparks. Meanwhile, the Public Works Department responded to about six calls of…

Severe Storms Batter Superior with Downed Trees, Damaged Homes

Two homeowners awoke to find a giant tree toppled onto their rental property.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Many homeowners in Superior awoke Saturday morning to see their lawns and property battered with branches and trees due to Friday night’s storms. “The storms we’ve had earlier this year haven’t been as severe,” said Battalion Chief Bob Zimmerman of the Superior Fire Department. “When you start to rank it with regard to severe storms, we saw the…

Pattison State Park Trails Busy During First Weekend Open After 2018 Flood Damage

Visitors from as far as Utah came to check out the waterfalls along the newly renovated trails.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Hikers, families and nature lovers wasted no time getting back to Pattison State Park over the weekend as it reopened after two years, after flood waters tore through the trails on Father’s Day 2018. “Very, very excited not only to be on the trails but to be outside, to be around people,” said David Zander, a Minneapolis native…

Boy Scouts Build Bat Houses To Help Declining Bat Population in Northern Minnesota

Bats are a crucial part of the Northern Minnesota ecosystem.

HERMANTOWN, Minn.- Boy Scouts at the Voyageurs Area Council partnered with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Minnesota Power to start making 70 houses for a different type of resident in need — bats. “It’s kind of a little condo for bats,” said Michael Jenkins, Scout Executive. The sound of machines cutting wood and the smell of fresh wet paint are…

Recent Incident Sparks Plea from Wildwoods: “Stop Littering”

The Canadian Goose Caught in String Was Cut Free, Then Transferred For Further Medical Care

DULUTH, Minn. – Millions of animals are injured or even killed annually due to the careless actions of human beings. Littering – whether it be cans, containers, string, or fishing line, these materials don’t mix well when coming into contact with animals. Wildwoods Wildlife Rehab Center in Duluth is speaking out regarding a recent incident that could have taken the…

Duluth City Crews Clear Heavy Chunks of Metal Culvert from Lester River

Crews said they were pieces of culverts washed out from the 2012 flood. 

DULUTH, Minn.- Among the swimmers in the river and hikers on the trail, some may have spotted city crews at Lester Park clearing metal debris out of the river. Public works responded to a citizen report of chunks of metal floating downstream. Crews said they were pieces of culverts washed out from the 2012 flood. Some of those pieces weiged…

Hartley Nature Center Launches August Fundraising Campaign

"We Heart Hartley" Campaign Runs August 1 - 31, 2020

DULUTH, Minn. – As July wraps up, the folks at Hartley Nature Center in Duluth are thrilled to announce a month-long fundraising effort called “We Heart Hartley.” Hartley Executive Director, Tom O’Rourke said the announcement comes after the cancellation of the center’s annual August fundraiser called “Wine in the Woods.” The cancellation is due in part to the ongoing coronavirus…

Gary New Duluth Rec Center Distributes Food Bags from YMCA Summer Food Service

Volunteers say the meals help in the food desert of Gary New Duluth.

DULUTH, Minn.- Some people in Gary New Duluth Wednesday spent the warm sunny weather handing out bags of food to those in need. The Duluth Area YMCA Summer Food Service Program has been giving out grab-and-go meal bags at the Gary New Duluth Recreation Center since March. The bags included juice, healthy snacks, and produce from the community garden. A…

Minnesotans Receiving Mysterious Packets of Seeds From China

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture Advises Minnesotans to Not Plant the Seeds

ST. PAUL, Minn. – On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced they’ve had multiple reports of residents receiving unsolicited packages of seeds appearing to come from China. “We’re uncertain what these seeds may be and why people are receiving these unsolicited packages,” said Denise Thiede, MDA’s Seed Unit Supervisor. “Until we know more, we encourage people to contact…

UWS Awarded Grant for Lake Superior Microplastics Research

SUPERIOR, Wis. – A UW-Superior professor has been awarded more than $40,000 to study microplastics in the St. Louis River and Lake Superior. The grant is from the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin. It awarded research money to three UW campuses: Madison, Eau Claire, and Superior. UWS students and chemistry professor Lorena Rios will use the grant money to study how…

MPCA Warns of Blue-Green Algae Dangers for Dogs

Two Dogs Have Died in Minnesota This Summer After Coming into Contact with Blue-Green Algae

DULUTH, Minn. – A toxic form of algae continues to take over area lakes, rivers, and ponds. Just this summer, two dogs in Minnesota have died after swimming in water tainted by blue-green algae. As we reach the dog days of summer, officials who research the growth often are looking to alert pet owners of potential danger. “You can’t identify…

St. Louis River Alliance Continues to Make Progress Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

A Small Skeletal Crew Continues to Work on Restoration Projects Impacting the St. Louis River Estuary

DULUTH, Minn. – The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting projects small and large across the Twin Ports, and restoration along the St. Louis River estuary is no exception. Kris Eilers, Executive Director of the St. Louis River Alliance (SLRA), says her team has had to rethink the way they are doing things amid the ongoing pandemic. She’s thankful the river has…

Wildfires in Superior National Forest, BWCA on Fourth of July

MINNESOTA — According to the U.S. Fire Service, multiple wildfires burned in the Superior National Forest and BWCA on the Fourth of July. In the Superior National Forest, four wildfires were reported in the west area. Three wildfires were reported in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness within St. Louis County, as well as another fire outside of the Boundary…

Saharan Dust Cloud Moves Through Midwest; Not Very Visible Through Minnesota Clouds

The cloud of dust from Africa creates vibrant sunsets and hazy skies, but cloudy skies keep Minnesotans from seeing it.

DULUTH, Minn.- If you were hoping to catch a glimpse of a hazy sky or a vibrant sunset here in Minnesota Sunday or Monday, caused by the phenomenon known as the Saharan Dust Cloud, you may be out of luck due to our pesky clouds. The Saharan Dust Cloud is dust picked up by thunderstorms and winds in Africa’s Sahara…

Denfeld Students Keep Up Course Cleanup Tradition Despite Grandma’s Cancellation

Denfeld Girls Soccer Team has picked up trash along the shore the day after race day for about 10 years.

DULUTH, Minn.- The cancellation of Grandma’s Marathon didn’t stop Denfeld High School students from their nearly 10-year tradition of picking up trash along the course the day after race day. “We’re a part of the community and it’s nice to get our name out, y’know get some supporters for our team,”said Denfeld Junior Kamryn Hill. After Grandma’s every year, it’s…

YMCA’s Camp Miller Announces They Will Be Open for Summer Season

Camp Miller, With Permission from Governor Tim Walz, Will Be Allowed to Host Family Camps Only

  STURGEON LAKE, Minn. – The YMCA’s Camp Miller in Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota, is celebrating its 122nd summer season this year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Leadership learned earlier this week from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, they will be allowed to open this summer for family camps only, with restrictions in place to prevent further spread of coronavirus. “We want…

2020 Duluth Monarch Festival Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Duluth Monarch Buddies Made the Announcement Tuesday Morning on Social Media

DULUTH, Minn. – Monarch butterflies will soon be fluttering back into the Northland, but there won’t be a festival to celebrate them this year. Duluth Monarch Buddies took to social media Tuesday morning, announcing the cancellation of the 2020 Duluth Monarch Festival. The event was scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 13. Members of the group say an outdoor…

Minnesota Company to Close North Dakota Coal-fired Plant

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The company that operates the largest coal-fired power plant in North Dakota announced Thursday it will close the factory and replace most of its energy with new wind farms in Minnesota. Maple Grove, Minnesota-based Great River Energy said its Coal Creek Station near Underwood in west-central North Dakota will be shuttered in the second half of…

Duluth Trails Open After Freeze/Thaw, No Plans to Close Beaches So Far

Walkers, runners and bikers flock to their favorite trails.

DULUTH, Minn.- Just in time for the nice weather, Duluth Parks and Recreation announced that most of the city’s multi-use natural surface trails are now open after being closed due to wet conditions. “It’s been a long time coming this spring,” said Parks and Rec Trail Cooridinator Matt Andrews. “We’ve all been patiently waiting for these trails to open up….

Lakes, Local Businesses Busy for Wisconsin Fishing Opener

While social distancing and practicing guidelines, anglers stocked up on bait and tackle and took to the water.

SOLON SPRINGS, Wis.- The near perfect weather Saturday lured Wisconsin anglers out for the day many have been waiting all year for: the 2020 Fishing Opener. “It’s been a long winter and get some walleyes, maybe some crappies, bass, whatever it’s, whatever’s biting,” said Kyle Tikkanen, fishing with his son, Kegan on Upper Saint Croix Lake. “Just getting out, enjoying…

Minnesota DNR: Take Feeders Down, Utilize Preventative Measures

As Bears Begin to Roam, The Minnesota DNR Reminds Residents to Use Caution

DULUTH, Minn. – Spring has sprung and now bears are all the buzz, waking up from a long winter slumber with new cubs who are ready to eat and roam with the parents. The Minnesota DNR is receiving reports of bear sightings near the Duluth Lakewalk and other urban areas. Officials want to remind residents that black bears are generally…