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LAKEVILLE, Minn. – Gander Outdoors, the reborn version of defunct Gander Mountain, opened its first store in Lakeville near the Twin Cities on Wednesday, Dec.
The last few Lake Superior woodland caribou may be on the brink of extirpation thanks to the freakishly cold winter of 2014 and hungry wolves decimating caribou herds in their last two holdouts. While wildlife enthusiasts mourn the loss of the last remaining wolves on Isle Royale, the opposite problem is happening on Ontario's Lake Superior islands just 100 miles or so away: Too many wolves for caribou to survive.
Legislation that would reopen areas near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to copper-nickel exploration and potential mining cleared the U.S. House on Thursday, Nov. 30. The bill, which passed 216-204 and still must clear the Senate and be signed by President Trump before taking effect, would end an Obama-administration ban on exploration and mining near the federal wilderness. The bill is aimed at Twin Metals, the Chilean-owned company that wants to build a massive underground copper mine near the Kawishiwi River southeast of Ely, Minnesota.
Two Minnesota anglers learned the hard way that Ontario doesn't mess around when it comes to fish and game law violations and big fines. Russell R. Sikkila Jr. of Chisholm was fined $800 (Canadian dollars) for trying to sneak a dozen leeches into Sand Point Lake, while Carl W. Brandt of Forest Lake was fined $1,500 for hiding bags of leeches in a worm cooler as he crossed the border at Fort Frances. Both men pleaded guilty to smuggling leeches into Ontario in violation of the import ban on most live bait. The cases were heard last week in court in Fort Frances.
DULUTH, Minn. — The governments of Canada and the U.S. are making "considerable progress" in cleaning up the Great Lakes but should set time-specific targets for fixing wastewater and drinking water systems, reducing agricultural and urban runoff and eliminating toxic pollutant releases into the lakes. That was the assessment Tuesday, Nov. 28, by the International Joint Commission, the quasi-government, cross-border group charged with overseeing U.S.-Canada border water disputes and with monitoring the health of the Great Lakes.
DULUTH — If state administrative law Judge LauraSue Schlatter agrees that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency proposal to protect wild rice from sulfate is officially "reasonable," she will be among the few people to publicly say so. Schlatter's job in coming months will be to pore over testimony about the PCA sulfate standard and determine whether the proposal is legal, follows state rules and is needed and reasonable. So far, after multiple public hearings, it seems almost everyone is saying it's not.
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.