County land use permits available online

Need a building permit to add on to your home? How about to subdivide a parcel of land? Any land use permit offered by St. Louis County now can be applied and paid for online. This includes applications for structures, additions, land alterations, gravel pits, variances, conditional use permits, wetlands and property subdivisions.
St. Louis County administers zoning for all areas of the County outside of cities and a few select townships that handle their own zoning.
Through the new online permit application portals, people can apply 24/7 for permits such as for structures, additions, land alterations, gravel pits, variances, conditional use permits, wetlands and property subdivisions. The web address is crm.stlouiscountymn.gov. First time applicants will need to set up an account, which takes just a minute or two, and is free. Their information will then be stored, which will save them time in any future applications.


Ice houses off by March 20

Ice anglers in northern Minnesota are reminded ice shelter removal dates are approaching for lakes located north of Highway 200 and U.S. Highway 2, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
Dark houses, fish houses and portable shelters must be off the ice of inland lakes no later than midnight on Monday, March 20. For Minnesota–Canada border waters, the deadline for removal is March 31. Anglers are advised to remove shelters earlier if ice conditions warrant.
Enforcement action will be taken if shelters are left after the deadline. Anglers who don’t remove their shelter can be prosecuted.


Racoons work the night shift

By Bill Teftt. Photography by Ken
Hupila of Snotty Moose Studio.


Moose population remains low, but survey suggests 6-year population stability

Minnesota’s moose population shows signs of stability when comparing this year’s population estimate of 3,710 northeastern Minnesota moose with estimates since 2012, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“At this point, results do not indicate that moose are recovering in northeastern Minnesota,” said Glenn DelGiudice, DNR moose project leader. “While it is encouraging to see that the decline in the population since 2012 has not been as steep, the apparent stability does not allow us to forecast the direction of the population’s trajectory into the future.”


Volunteer to Help Minnesota’s waters

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is seeking volunteers for its Citizen Stream and Citizen Lake Monitoring Programs. Program volunteers track water clarity, which helps the MPCA learn more about a lake or stream’s water quality. “Thirty years ago when I started monitoring Long Lost Lake, I thought it would be an interesting thing to do for a summer. Little did I know that I would still be at it three decades later. I guess you could say I’m hooked,” says Jim Svobodny, volunteer. Data collected by Jim and other volunteers can be used by the MPCA to determine if a trend toward improving or declining water quality exists. Identifying these trends is one of the first steps in protecting or improving water quality throughout the state.


Burntside Lake Association to receive more AIS funding

The St. Louis County board gave initial approval to doling out over $850,000 in funds to find aquatic invasive species last Tuesday.
In the 2014 legislative session, the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Aid program was established. The funds under this program are allocated to counties based 50 percent on each county’s share of watercraft trailer launches and 50 percent on county’s share of watercraft trailer parking spaces.
The state appropriation for 2017 is $10 million. St. Louis County’s allocation for 2017 is $721,000 plus unused funds of $132,129 for a total of $853,449.


DNR hosting 12 public engagement meetings to discuss deer management

People interested in deer will have a chance to discuss goals and values that could define Minnesota’s first-ever deer management plan in a series of 12 public engagement meetings the Department of Natural Resources will host throughout the state between Tuesday, Jan. 31, and Thursday, March 2.
“When people think about deer management, hunting often comes to mind,” said Adam Murkowski, DNR big game program leader.
“Although hunting opportunities are an important aspect of the plan, it must also balance a wide variety of perspectives and define collaborative ways to enhance deer management and the habitats that sustain deer.”
The public engagement meetings are designed to help the DNR and its Deer Management Plan Advisory Committee accomplish that, Murkowski said.


Fishing Report from Russ

10 pound 27 1/2 inch walleye caught on White Iron Lake. Fisherman pictured, L-R, Timon Iverson (St. Paul), Milo Iverson (holding fish, Paris, France), and Will Poppleton, St. Paul)


Dayton backs Prospector Loop ATV trail

by Tom Coombe
If at first you don’t succeed, try again.
That’s the approach Gov. Mark Dayton seems to be taking this year by submitting a $1.5 billion bonding proposal that, in many ways, is a rehash of a proposal that failed to take hold after a legislative standoff in 2016.
Two local projects will advance in a big way if lawmakers come to an agreement this time around.
Dayton’s plan includes $1 million for the Prospectors Loop ATV Trail and about $1.6 million to replace roofs on two classroom buildings at Vermilion Community College.
The proposal came as the legislative session opened in St. Paul, with Dayton pressing for action in a bill that he says will result in about 23,000 jobs across the state.
“I’m proposing a bonding bill that should have been passed nine months ago,” Dayton said in a conference call on Wednesday.
It’s the second time around in St. Paul for the ATV trail proposal.


Verrmilion walleye regulation to change

Anglers on Lake Vermilion in northeastern Minnesota will be able to keep walleye up to 20 inches long, with one allowed over 26 inches, starting with the May fishing opener, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

The new regulation will require release of walleye from 20 to 26 inches, a change that is less restrictive compared to the current regulation that requires release of walleye from 18 to 26 inches. The four fish bag limit will remain the same.

“Lake Vermilion has abundant walleye with good numbers of large females,” said Edie Evarts, Tower area fisheries supervisor with the DNR. “The regulation change allows slightly more harvest while still protecting plenty of mature female walleye that produce future year classes.”

The DNR considered and modeled several options for the regulation change, and sought opinions from the public, as well as from the Lake Vermilion Fisheries Input Group that represents lake and statewide interests.


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