Environment

Minnesota’s Moose Population Shows Signs of Stabilizing

Photo: MN DNR ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota’s moose population is showing signs of stabilizing after a steep decline, but officials say the majestic creatures of the North aren’t out of the woods yet. The Department of Natural Resources on Monday, put northeastern Minnesota moose population at 3,710. Because of the difficulty of counting the animals, Minnesota Public Radio…

Woman Dies in Snowmobile Accident in Iron County

IRON COUNTY, Wis. – On the afternoon of Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, around 5:30 p.m., the Iron County Sheriff’s Department received a call of a snowmobile crash on Trail 17 approximately a half mile north of the DuPont Road Intersection in the town of Oma. According to Iron County Tony Furyk, Pamela A. Knaack, 51, of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin was unresponsive…

2017 American Birkebeiner Cancelled

Birkie Fever Continues Despite the Cancellation

For only the second time in 44 years all ski races set for this weekend’s Annual American Birkebeiner have been cancelled. The only other time this happened was in 2000. Organizers for North America’s largest cross country ski race held out hope for this weekend as a potential snow storm was on the horizon. Last minute efforts started early as…

American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet, Prince Haakon Races Cancelled

  HAYWARD, Wis. – After unseasonably warm weather and rain, and the predicted snow missing the Hayward and Cable area, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation announces the cancellation of the 2017 American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet, and Prince Haakon cross-country ski races. Instead, BirkieStock 2017 will take place as an inaugural celebration of the American Birkebeiner Trialhead and start area. Skiers, spectators,…

Mont du Lac Still Open Despite Warm Weather

Could go to Weekend-Only Schedule Soon

MONT DU LAC, Wis.-Despite the recent string of rain and warm temperatures, Mont du Lac is still buzzing along with many winter sports enthusiasts enjoying the hills. Preparation are key this year for outlasting an unusually warm trend. Management of the resort told us that current conditions are “variable,” as the weather is acting more like spring then winter. “Winter…

Birkie Trail and Race Updates

Snow Is In The Forecast

HAYWARD, Wisc. – Over 40,000 people are expected to arrive in the Northland tonight in anticipation for the 2017 American Birkibeiner Race. With the recent warm week melting nearly all of the snow pack from this winter, trail conditions are on everyone’s mind. Right now only the north half of the trail from Cable, Wisconsin to Trailhead OO is possibly ski-able on…

Thousands Bunking in Hayward for Annual American Birkebeiner

Hotels are Filling Up Across Many Parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota in Preparation for the Annual Ski Race

HAYWARD, Wisc. – The annual American Birkebeiner calls for a lot of booking when it comes to travel reservations. Officials say the average commute from from hotel to the trail for a race participant can be up to two-and-a-half hours long. It’s why local hotels receive calls nearly one year in advance before the big weekend. “It is very important…

Deer Management Seminar

DNR Puts Plan Together To Maintain Good Deer Population For Years To Come

Duluth, Minn Deer hunting in the Northland is a big deal and the DNR now has a plan to keep it that way. The plan is a first of its kind in Minnesota and its focus is on maintaining a healthy deer population that offers recreational and economic opportunities. Deer hunters came together tonight to discuss the plan that includes…

Boy, 13, Dies After Being Shot While Hunting in Michigan

GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) – Authorities say a 13-year-old boy has died after being shot in the head while hunting small game in western Michigan. Michigan State Police responded Saturday to a report of a hunting accident in Oceana County’s Greenwood Township and found the boy from the Grand Rapids-area community of Wyoming had been shot. He was taken to…

Another Catch-and-Release Season Expected on Mille Lacs Lake

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Walleye anglers face another year of catch-and-release fishing on Mille Lacs Lake. The Star Tribune reports that the Department of Natural Resources officials told the Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee last week to expect a second consecutive catch-and-release season as it tries to rebuild the popular lake’s struggling walleye population. Central region fisheries manager Brad Parsons says…

Duluth Firefighters Urge Planning Ahead for a Disaster

Are you prepared?

DULUTH, Minn. – Disasters take many forms from fires to earthquakes, and they can strike anywhere, at anytime. “Before a disaster strikes, it’s important for families to have a plan. If you don’t already have one, start one today. Prepare now, so you don’t panic later,” says Local 101 firefighter Pete Johnson. Local 101 suggests using the following guidelines to…

Duluth Closes 85 Miles of Traverse Trails

Warm weather has left many of the trails in poor condition

DULUTH, Minn. – The warmer conditions in the area have caused Duluth to close nearly eighty-five miles of trails. Many of the traverse trails are in delicate condition. The trails are wet, muddy, and prone to damage. Cyclists of Gitchi Gumee Shores said that going out onto the trails in these conditions will lead to water gathering on them that…

Event Changes Announced for the Birkie

HAYWARD, Wis. – With the unseasonably warm temperatures, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) has announced that Birkie Week events scheduled for Friday, February 24, have been moved to Saturday, February 25. These events include the Kortelopet and Prince Haakon races. In addition, ABSF officials have determined there are three possible scenarios for Saturday events. SCENARIO 1: With some snow…

Energy Design Conference and Expo to Open at DECC

Event Gives Professionals and Homeowners Chance to Learn Green Methods and Technology

DULUTH, Minn. – A conference opens tomorrow at the DECC to showcase energy saving designs for homes and other buildings. The event offers a chance for contractors, architects, students and homeowners to learn the latest in green building methods and new energy efficient technology. “We live in a region that really takes energy efficiency and energy conservation very seriously. I think when…

Change of Course for the Birkebeiner

Due to warm weather conditions, Lake Hayward is no longer safe for skiers

HAYWARD, Wisc. – With warm weather conditions throughout the state, along with a forecast of rain Monday, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) has announced that an adjustment to the overall race course for Birkie Week events is required. After warm weather over the weekend, Lake Hayward is no longer a viable option for racers. As part of a normal…

Senate Confirms Scott Pruitt as Head of EPA

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Scott Pruitt was approved on Friday by a vote of 52-46. Pruitt served six years as Oklahoma’s attorney general and was closely aligned with oil and gas companies in his home state, whose executives backed his political campaigns. He filed 14 lawsuits as…

Garbage, Human Waste at DAPL Camps Main Concerns of Polluting Missouri River

THE GARBAGE ISN'T THE ONLY THING THAT MAY MAKE ITS WAY TO THE RIVER AND CREATE A NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — Governor Burgum’s concerns for cleaning up at the main pipeline protest camp rise along with the temperatures. He issued an evacuation order on Wednesday. He says what protesters have left behind could end up polluting the rivers. Protesters left their mark on the site of the Dakota Access pipeline. That area of land floods almost every spring….

Wisconsin Lawmakers Ditch Plans to End Daylight Saving Time

MADISON (AP) – Two Republican lawmakers have scrapped a bill to end daylight saving time in Wisconsin amid a backlash on social media and now want to make the sunshine-extending time change permanent year-round in the state. Representatives Samantha Kerkman and Michael Schraa introduced a bill last week that would have eliminated daylight saving time in Wisconsin. The change would…

‘Bag-It Duluth’ Calls On City Council For No-Plastic Ordinance

DULUTH, Minn. – Momentum is building as community members gather to talk about and potentially come up with a plan to rid away from using plastic bags and Styrofoam to–go containers. The event Thursday that was hosted by “Bag–It Duluth.” The group is hoping to raise the level of concern involving plastic and our surrounding water supply. Researchers and city…

Major Flooding Possible in Northern Red River Valley

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) – Forecasters say there is an increased risk for moderate to major flooding in the northern Red River Valley of northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota this spring. those areas have the wettest soils and highest snowpack conditions, according to an updated spring flood outlook, released Thursday by the National Weather Service. The forecast says the…

Anglers Can Fish Without a Michigan License this Weekend

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Want to go fishing but don’t have a license? No problem, but just for a couple of days. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has scheduled its Winter Free Fishing Weekend for Saturday and Sunday. No license is required, although other fishing regulations will remain in force. The free weekend is held each year to promote…

Enbridge Adds Part of Dakota Access Pipeline to Their System

Using $1.5 Billion Bridge Loan for Acquisition

DULUTH, Minn.-Enbridge has announced it’s acquiring 27.6 percent of the Bakken Pipeline System. That pipeline is part of the very controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, which runs through some ancient Native American sites in North Dakota.  It’s has also caused concern for the environment in that region as well. Both of those issues have caused large protests at the site. Enbridge…

Free Beekeeping 101 Workshops

The workshops will be held at Barstow Hall on the UWS Campus

UPDATE: Due to the overwhelming interest, all sessions are at capacity. Plans are in the works to add more sessions for the spring! SUPERIOR, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Superior is hosting a free Beekeeping 101 workshop this weekend. Two workshops are planned for this weekend, one on Saturday February 18 from 9 a.m. – noon and another on Sunday…

New DNR Estimates Show Wisconsin Hunters Took More Deer in 2016

MADISON (AP) – Updated data from the state Department of Natural Resources shows hunters killed about 4,280 more deer during this past nine-day gun season than they did in 2015. Preliminary estimates after the season ended in November put the kill total at 196,785, down from 198,057 in 2015. Updated figures the DNR released February 7 show hunters took 202,338…

Mediation Program Helps Struggling Minnesota Farmers

ST. PAUL (AP) – Low commodity prices are causing financial pain on Minnesota farms, but bankruptcies are rare thanks in part to a state mediation program. Minnesota Public Radio reports the farmer-lender program requires lenders to offer struggling farmers the chance to renegotiate debt terms with the help of a mediator before repossessing any property. The program began during the…

Group Sues Feds for Delaying Bumblebee’s Endangered Listing

This 2012 photo provided by The Xerces Society shows a rusty patched bumblebee in Minnesota. Federal officials said Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, that the rusty patched bumblebee has become the first bee species in the continental U.S. to be declared endangered after suffering a dramatic population decline over the past 20 years. (Sarina Jepsen/The Xerces Society via AP)TRAVERSE CITY, Mich….

County Board Shows Support for National Forest Mining and Fighting Invasive Species

DULUTH, Minn.-The St. Louis County Board today approved a resolution in support of copper mining in Superior National Forest and funding to fight aquatic invasive species. The copper mining resolution calls on Trump’s administration to reverse President Obama’s decision to block mining in 234,000 acres of the forest. Last week, commissioners heard arguments on both sides of the issues, and…

Minnesota Slip Clean-Up Plans

The contaminated sediment of the Minnesota Slip will be capped.

DULUTH, Minn. – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has announced that the contaminated Minnesota Slip will be dredged and capped. Nearly 37,000 cubic yards of sediment are contaminated where the William A Irvin is docked. The toxins located in the sediment are at high enough levels that they could affect the bugs and fish that live there. However, the contaminated…

Warm Weather Brings Out the Shovels

But the Thaw-Freeze Cycle is Bad for the Roads

DULUTH, Minn.- The warm weather helps the ice break up, making it easier to remove snow and ice from sidewalks, roads, and driveways. The warm weather even helps city workers remove ice using less chemicals. Many people are enjoying the warm weather, and utilizing it to finish up some chores. With temperatures well over freezing, ice and snow is easy…

The Latest on Problems with an Emergency Spillway at Nation’s Tallest Dam

A damaged spillway with eroded hillside is seen in an aerial photo taken over the Oroville Dam (Croyle/Handout via REUTERS )OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) _ The Latest on problems with an emergency spillway at the nation’s tallest dam (all times local): 12:40 p.m. The acting head of California’s water agency says he’s “not sure anything went wrong” on a damaged spillway…

Wisconsin Fire Officials Ask Walker for Help

MADISON (AP) – Wisconsin fire officials are calling on Governor Scott Walker to expand to use of circuit interrupters in new homes. Firefighters, electrical inspectors, and other fire safety officials held a news conference at the state Capitol on Monday asking Walker to enact the recommendation of an advisory panel of experts. The state Department of Safety and Professional Services…

Wisconsin Lawmakers Propose Ending Daylight Savings

MADISON (AP) – Republican lawmakers are looking to make the summer sun set earlier. Representatives Samantha Kerkman and Michael Schraa introduced a bill Friday, that would eliminate daylight saving time in Wisconsin. The move would mean state residents would no longer have to move their clocks ahead an hour in the spring. That would mean the sun would appear to…

Wisconsin’s Deer Overpopulation Harms Soil, Plant Growth

MADISON (AP) – New research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests an overpopulation of deer is having a long-term impact on the state’s forests. Wisconsin Public Radio reports that biologists have known for a long time that an overabundance of deer negatively affects the number and diversity of plants in our forests, but a new study headed by Autumn Sabo,…

Minnesota Man Fatally Shot Hunting Coyotes in North Dakota

EDGELEY, N.D. (AP) – A Minnesota man has died in an accidental shooting while hunting coyotes in North Dakota. LaMoure County Sheriff Bob Fernandes says 57-year-old Ron Rechtzigel of Cannon Falls, Minnesota, was hunting near Edgeley when he died Tuesday. Fernandes says Rechtzigel was hunting coyotes with two other men in a field. The sheriff says the weather was poor,…

Active Adventures: Winter Bike to Work Day

Dozens of Duluthians Rode Their Bikes to Work Friday, Celebrating Winter Bike to Work Day

DULUTH, Minn. – Friday morning, more than 30 Northlanders grabbed their bikes and headed to the Duluth Rose Garden to celebrate International Winter Bike to Work Day. The day is observed across the globe and aims to normalize winter biking. Cyclists gathered at the Rose Garden around 7:30, and rode via Superior Street to the Minnesota Power Plaza. Event organizers from…

Trump Blocks Listing Bumblebee as Endangered

One day before it was to be added to the endangered species list

This 2012 photo provided by The Xerces Society shows a rusty patched bumblebee in Minnesota. Federal officials said Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, that the rusty patched bumblebee has become the first bee species in the continental U.S. to be declared endangered after suffering a dramatic population decline over the past 20 years. (Sarina Jepsen/The Xerces Society via AP)TRAVERSE CITY, Mich….

Updated Water Appropriation Permit Application from PolyMet Received by DNR

Technical experts with the DNR will now review the updated applicaion

ST. PAUL – PolyMet Mining, Inc. has submitted their updated water appropriation permit application to the Department of Natural Resources. This updated permit application includes a request for an appropriation from Colby Lake. Technical experts from state, local, and tribal governments associated with the DNR will review the updated application, and it will be considered with the previously received applications…

Republicans Push for Carbon Tax to Fight Climate Change

WASHINGTON (AP) – A push by a group of senior Republican statesmen for a tax on carbon to help combat the effects of climate change is already meeting entrenched opposition from their own party. Former Secretary of State Jim Baker with to the White House today, looking for Trump administration support for the plan. It would place a new tax…

Army to Allow Completion of Dakota Access Oil Pipeline

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The Army has notified Congress that it will allow the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, completing the four-state project to move North Dakota oil to Illinois. The Justice Department filed court documents Tuesday including letters to members of Congress from Deputy Assistant Army Secretary Paul Cramer….

Clean Water Gala Supports St. Louis River Alliance

Organization Celebrates 21 Years

DULUTH, Minn. – This week the St. Louis River Alliance is celebrating 21 years of hard work with their Clean Water Gala. The event raises money for the St. Louis River Alliance and their efforts in cleaning up the St. Louis River Estuary. There will be a silent auction featuring a Harbor Cruise on Marine Tech Barge, a River Excursion…

Firefighters Battle More Than Blazes

Hypothermia is a Big Problem in Winter Fire Fighting

SUPERIOR, Wis.- More Heating and electrical appliances can mean more fires in homes across the Northland. When firefighters battle blazes in the wintertime, they may be in an environment like a burning house that can be more than 300 degrees, and within minutes come back outside to subzero temperatures. This contrast in temperature can cause hypothermia. To combat this, fire…

Meteor Over Lake Michigan Lights Up Sky in Several States

  Videos from Lisle Police Department and Morton Grove Police GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP ) – A meteor over Lake Michigan lit up the sky Monday morning across several states in the Midwest. Dashcam video from police cruisers in Wisconsin and Illinois captured the fireball streaking through the night about 1:30 a.m. In addition to Illinois and Wisconsin, the American…

Upstate New York Digging Out of 5 to 8 Feet of Lake-Effect Snow

OSCEOLA, N.Y. (AP) – State crews and local public works employees are working to remove five to eight feet of lake-effect snow that has fallen on parts of upstate New York since last week. The National Weather Service says its meteorologists recorded 76 inches, more than six feet in Oswego County town of Redfield and 66 inches, around 5 feet,…

UW Study Finds DNR Under-reported Wolf Deaths

MILWAUKEE (AP) – A new study has found the state Department of Natural Resources has underreported wolf poaching. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers reviewed the deaths of 937 wolves from October 1979 to April 2012. The state’s first wolf hunting season began that fall. Of the 979 wolves, 431 wore radio collars. The researches found that…

PolyMet Forum Addresses Possible Environmental Impacts of Mining Project

Health and Environmental Experts Led Discussion about Proposed Mining Project Near Hoyt Lakes

DULUTH, Minn. – A panel discussion of the potential effects of the proposed PolyMet Mine was held in Duluth today. The forum allowed Northlanders to learn more about the possible environmental impacts of the mine, which may be built between Hoyt Lakes and Babbitt. Three health and environmental experts led the discussion which centered around potential impacts to the Duluth…