Northeast Range Trap Team members recognized

Northeast Range Trap Team letter winners Austin Meskill, Joseph Foster, Josh Pohlman, Christopher Ferguson, Chelsea Larson, Jon Hakala and Kenny Aase.


Gypsy moth spraying in Ely area

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is preparing to treat four areas in or near Cloquet, Duluth, Ely, and Two Harbors to eradicate gypsy moth infestations detected in those areas last fall.
Officials will conduct the treatments starting sometime between June 4 and June 15, with the exact dates determined by weather conditions and caterpillar development.
To eradicate the moths before they spread, officials will conduct two aerial applications of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk) over each of the areas, spaced 7-10 days apart.
Btk is a biological product that is organic certified for food crops. It has no known health effects for humans, pets, birds, fish, livestock, bees, and other insects.
To help area citizens stay informed, the MDA has set up an Arrest the Pest Info Line at 1-888-545-MOTH. The info line will offer the latest details about treatment dates and times.


Buoys on lakes are for safety

BUOYS at Burntside Lake were not put out until after Memorial Day due to a funding issue involving the Minnesota DNR, according to St. Louis County Commissioner Tom Rukavina. Reportedly three boats had lower unit damage due to hitting submerged rocks. The buoys were to be put out Thursday.


Angler season underway

Big northern pike were found on opening weekend in the Ely area. Lake trout and stringers of walleye were also reported. Let's go fishing!


Dayton breaks ranks, vetoes wild rice bill

by Tom Coombe -


Reminder: Comment on new deer management plan by May 9

The Department of Natural Resources welcomes comments through Wednesday, May 9, on Minnesota’s draft deer plan that sets a new statewide harvest target, increases citizen participation in deer management and outlines ways to keep the population and habitat healthy.
The plan includes limiting the deer population in northeast Minnesota in areas where moose are present.
Part of the plan outlines strategic ways the DNR will prioritize its resources and activities to meet the plan’s eight key goals, which range from keeping Minnesota deer healthy to ensuring biological and societal factors are considered in management decisions.


MPCA to withdraw Wild Rice rulemaking

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is withdrawing the Wild Rice rule from the rulemaking process that it has been in for nearly a year.
“We’ve heard many, many voices, including the Administrative Law Judge on this topic, and the message is clear,” says MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine. “Although the science is accurate, when it comes to how best to apply the science and affordably implement the rule, we still have more work to do. So, the MPCA will withdraw it from the rulemaking process. We look forward to working with legislators over the next three weeks to determine an alternative path forward.”
Recent findings by an Administrative Law Judge and the ongoing expressions of concern from all sides led the agency to reevaluate their plans, according to Stine.


Nolan’s North Country Scenic Trails Bill passes House Natural Resources Committee

Bill would help put the finishing touches on a unified 4,600-mile national hiking trail system from North Dakota to New England and the East Coast
The House Natural Resources Committee today unanimously passed U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s bipartisan bill (H.R. 1026) to incorporate the more than 400 miles of Superior Hiking Trail, Border Route Trail and the Kekekabic Trail into the North Country National Scenic Trail. The measure, which will proceed to the full House for final passage, brings the trail’s total length to approximately 4,600 miles and extends the route into Vermont from its current terminus near Crown Point, NY.
Nolan noted that the plan doesn’t involve any new dollars or require taking any land through eminent domain or condemnation. The new route skirts around and protects about 100 miles of environmentally sensitive bogs and wetlands that had been included in an earlier suggested route but had not been built.


Public comment sought on Minnesota’s first deer plan

The Minnesota DNR has released a draft copy of a statewide deer plan. An open house will be held Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at the in Mt. Iron.
For hunters in the northeast portion of the state, the plan puts moose over deer. The DNR will continue to set low deer population goals wherever moose are present.
“From a moose management perspective, the most feasible and potentially effective management strategy to reduce this negative impact on the moose population is to maintain deer densities on their shared range as low as practical,” the plan states.
Anyone interested in deer can comment on Minnesota’s draft statewide deer management plan now through Wednesday, May 9.
Comments can be submitted online at mndnr.gov/deerplan or at the 35 public open houses being held around the state in April where people can talk to wildlife managers, ask questions and provide input.


On the lookout

UP A TREE and up the Fernberg Trail was this handsome pine marten. Photo by Pam Roberts


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