Environment

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…

One Dead in Cloquet House Fire

Multiple Agencies responded to Scene

CLOQUET, Minn.- One person is dead after a fire destroyed a home and attached garage at about 8 p.m. last night near Cloquet. Multiple agencies responded to the fire at 3912 Highway 33 spending hours extinguishing the flames. The body of the victim has been seen to Anoka for an autopsy. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.  …

Protesters Oppose Mining in National Forest

Crowd Gathered Outside Congressman Nolan's Office Following Recent Announcement

DULUTH, Minn. – A group of protesters gathered in front of U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s downtown Duluth office Thursday. Earlier in the week, Rep. Nolan coming out in favor of reversing the Obama Administration decision which blocked mining in more than 234,000 acres of the Superior National Forest.  These acres are close to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, which has…

Ice Orbs Are Gathering for Art Collaborative at Lake Superior Ice Fest

SUPERIOR, Wis. — It’s getting colder and colder this week, which is wonderful news for those organizing the Lake Superior Ice Festival, taking place this weekend. Preschool children from Superior delivered dozens of frozen ice orbs to the festival grounds on Barkers Island earlier this morning. It’s the first of a group of community members that have frozen water balloons to…

Minnesotans Encouraged to Swap Older Stoves

Project Stove Swap Offers Homeowners an Incentive to Replace Wood-Burning Stoves

DULUTH, Minn. – You’ve likely heard of “Cash for Clunkers”; well, there’s now a similar program for wood–burning stoves. Project Stove Swap gives Northern Minnesotans an incentive to replace their older, inefficient wood–burning stoves with a newer more environmentally friendly model. The project is a partnership between Minnesota Power and the non–profit Environmental Initiative.  Organizers say swapping out an old…

Committee to Finalize CWD Recommendations in Wisconsin

MADISON (AP) – An advisory committee is getting ready to finalize its recommendations for revisions to Wisconsin’s long-term chronic wasting disease program. The Department of Natural Resources adopted a 15-year plan in 2010, which calls for a review following the 2015 hunting season. The DNR, state agriculture officials and the Conservation Congress set up a committee to assess the plan…

Cow Moose Rescued After Fall into Idaho Basement

1/2 Show Caption Hide Caption 2/2 Show Caption Hide Caption KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) – Authorities say a female moose is safe after she fell through an unlatched window into the basement of an Idaho home. The Idaho Mountain Express reports that the moose spent about three hours in the basement early Sunday morning. Law enforcement officers and those form the…

MnDOT Applies Seeks Funding for “Can Of Worms” Project

The project would be completed in three phases, the first beginning in 2019

DULUTH, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation has submitted an application for a federal grant, in hopes of funding a major project to fix the well–known “Can of Worms” interchange on Interstate 35 in Duluth. The grant was submitted to the Federal Highway Administration to fund $45 million towards the first of the three-phase project. If the grant is…

Death Toll from Southeast Tornadoes Rises to 21

Photo: Fox 8 ALBANY, Ga. (AP) – The death toll from a weekend outbreak of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms int he Southeast has increased to at least 21. A 77-year-old woman in southwest Georgia died form storm-related injuries, Thrusday night, at a hospital. Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler told The Associated Press on Friday that Patricia Ann Gohman received head…

Minnesota Poultry Farmers Warily Watch Bird Flu Outbreaks

Bird flu has been found in 40 countries, putting WHO on high alert

ST. PAUL (AP) – Poultry farmers in Minnesota are cautiously watching the spread of bird flu in Europe and Asia. Minnesota Public Radio reports that the World Health Organization is on “high alert” because the bird flu virus has been found in 40 countries around the world since last fall and is quickly spreading. Michael Osterholm, director of the University…

Fungus Killing Northern Minnesota Bats

Bats at the Soudan Underground Mine have been dying from white nose syndrome.

Somewhere between 8,000-12,000 bats call the Soudan Underground Mine home, but a wide spreading fungus is hurting their numbers. The fungus known as white nose syndrome grows on the bat’s muzzle and causes them to wake up from their winter hibernation. The bats then leave the mine to look for food, but don’t have enough fat stored up for the…

Official: Trump Wants to Slash EPA Workforce, Budget

WASHINGTON (AP) – The former head of President Donald Trump’s transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency says he expects the new administration to seek budget and staff cuts. Myron Ebell left the transition team last week saying, in an interview with The Associated Press, that his specific proposals to the White House remain confidential. But asked what he personally…

Grand Avenue Estates Project Gets Pollution Grant

Development Project Near Morgan Park Gets a Boost

DULUTH, Minn- There is growing excitement for a major housing development along the St. Louis River corridor that hit a polluted snag. The city of Duluth and the developer have landed a $654,000  clean–up grant from the state. That money will go towards the nearly 1 million cost to get rid of contaminated soil on the property. This means the…