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DULUTH — Minnesota's wolf population jumped 25 percent in the past year, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Monday, Sept. 25, in large part to an increasing northern deer herd. The DNR said its annual survey showed an estimated 2,856 wolves spread among 500 packs, up from 2,278 wolves in 438 packs in the 2015-2016 survey. Wolf numbers had remained flat or declined some for several years before this year's jump.
Two catastrophic mine dam failures, one in Canada and one in Brazil, made worldwide headlines in recent years for the downstream damage they caused. Polymet officials say their tailings basin and dams will be so different from those that failed that any comparison is unfair and meaningless. But PolyMet's critics say the failures show the inherent danger of so-called modern mining operations, especially tailing basin dams, even under regulated conditions. Canada
FOND DU LAC RESERVATION, Minn. — On a sunny, mid-August afternoon, Drew Erickson took a quick GPS reading and then bolted into the woods just off Moorehead Road, mosquitoes and swamps be damned. Erickson, of Grand Rapids, is part of a crew of four wildlife technicians hired by the University of Minnesota who bushwhacked in to survey more than 100 forest plots in Carlton and St. Louis counties this summer to see what food might be available for elk.
EVELETH — Fires broke out at the former Days Inn hotel here on Wednesday, Aug. 9, and again on Thursday, Aug. 10, and will again all weekend. Arson investigators at the scene, dozens of them, are 100 percent sure that the fires were intentionally set. That's because they started them. Fire investigator school is in session at the abandoned, dilapidated and tax-forfeited hotel that's destined for the wrecking ball later this year. Investigators from across Minnesota, the Midwest and as far away as South Africa are in town to set fires in dozens of the hotel's 144 rooms.
DULUTH — The future of golden-winged warblers in northern Minnesota forests, ringneck pheasants in farm country and sage grouse in the mountainous west are tied to the massive farm bill that's starting to wind through the Washington labyrinth, a coalition of wildlife and government agencies said Wednesday.
DULUTH — Scientists have been studying emerald ash borers since the Chinese insects started killing ash trees near Detroit 15 years ago. They've been following the imported insects' march east, then north and now west and watching the bugs kill nearly every ash tree in their path. But those were mostly green ash, with some white and blue ash, too — the kind of trees that once lined urban avenues, wooded parks and farm woodlots across much of the country.
DULUTH — Jay Austin and his University of Minnesota Duluth research team were trying to study drifting ice sheets on Lake Superior when they ran into a problem. Data from the underwater Doppler recording devices was so polluted by background noise that they couldn't determine any results. Bummer for the ice research. But like any good, inquisitive scientist, Austin was intrigued. What the heck was making all that racket underwater in Lake Superior?
DULUTH, Minn. — It's been a landmark in Duluth since 1892, but the historic Union Depot is showing its age with a leaking front balcony and crumbling bricks. Officially called the St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center, the Depot is in need of $8 million in repairs, deferred upkeep and upgrades, a private engineering firm reported to county officials. St. Louis County, which owns the building, is willing to pony-up about $2.25 million of that total and is ready to ask the state for the other $5.75 million in upcoming state construction/bonding bills.
ELY, Minn. — Ely's oldest operating canoe-outfitting business has been shut down by the Internal Revenue Service for nonpayment of taxes, with equipment and canoes apparently seized by the government. An IRS notice on the door of Wilderness Outfitters notifies potential customers of the closure and warning people to stay away. Reached by phone Wednesday, June 28, owner Gary Gotchnik said he hoped to resolve the issue and reopen the business quickly. But it's not clear how that might happen.