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DULUTH, Minn. — Two Northland residents, including one with a history of pollution violations, have been ordered by the Minnesota Court of Appeals to pay more than $1 million in fines and fees for pollution violations. The decision upheld a lower court ruling that Dale Cich, his partner Diane Anderson and their company J & D Services must pay a civil penalty of $677,072 for environmental violations and reimburse the state $316,000 for waste cleanup and another $67,000 in attorney's fees.
DULUTH — Twenty northern Minnesota residents and tribal members will try to join environmental groups as parties directly impacted by the proposed Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project. The 20 have filed paperwork to join the contested case hearing set for November in the Twin Cities, a quasi-legal process that's part of Minnesota's public utility regulations.
AUOROA, Minn. — A 40-year-old Aurora man has been charged with stealing more than $3,400 worth of birch trees off state and county land near the Iron Range. A criminal complaint has been filed in St. Louis County District Court against David Allen Lawrence for timber theft from state land. It's believed to be the first criminal charge in Minnesota connected to the recent rash of illegal cutting of small Northland birch trees sold into the decorative knickknack market first reported by the Duluth News Tribune in March.
DULUTH, Minn. — With a new building at a new location on Arrowhead Road in Duluth, it's the same old story and then some: Injured wild animals just keep pouring in to Wildwoods Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. On a fairly quiet afternoon at Wildwoods last week, there were three baby squirrels that needed feeding; a chipmunk that had recovered enough to chew its way out of its cage and was roaming free in its room; a Bohemian waxwing that was feeling better and wanted to fly north; a big brown bat recovering from dehydration; and a flying squirrel waiting for a new home.
Residents along one of Minnesota's most remote stretches of road are accustomed to helping neighbors in need, whether it’s truck trouble or a forest fire or a white pine down across the road. On Monday Gunflint Trail residents added moose rescue to their resumes. A young moose walked onto the ice of Hungry Jack Lake, hit a soft spot and fell through, unable to get out on its own.
DULUTH, Minn.—Law enforcement officials in northern Wisconsin and northern Minnesota say there's been a recent rash of illegal cutting of small birch trees that are smuggled out and sold as decorations in stores and online. It's not just a few trees, but thousands of small birch cut, bundled and carted away off public and private forests without any payment or permits.
DULUTH — Yet another lawsuit has been filed against the U.S. Forest Service decision to approve the land exchange that enables PolyMet Mining Inc. to acquire the property where it wants to build Minnesota's first copper mine. The groups Save Our Sky Blue Waters, Save Lake Superior Association and the Sierra Club North Star Chapter filed the suit late Monday in federal court in Minnesota, claiming the Forest Service violated the federal Weeks Act that dictates how some national forest land must be used.
ST. PAUL — White-nose syndrome has now killed bats in six counties in Minnesota, up from two last year, and probably has spread to virtually everywhere in Minnesota where bats spend their winters. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources confirmed the expansion of the fatal disease on Thursday. The disease is being blamed for a more than 70 percent decline in bats at the Soudan Underground Mine during this winter's annual survey of the state's largest bat wintering area, called a hibernaculum, where white-nose syndrome was first confirmed in 2013.
DULUTH — The federal agencies responsible for a proposed mining ban near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness got an earful Thursday from supporters and opponents gathered at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management heard more than two hours of public input on the plan to stop Twin Metals and other companies from exploring or mining on 235,000 acres just outside the federal wilderness.
ST. PAUL—Bacteria and viruses that could make people sick have been discovered in small public drinking water wells across the state, according to a report released Friday by the Minnesota Department of Health. The study, ordered by the state Legislature in 2014, found that, while the overall presence of microbial indicators in samples was low, a high percentage of wells had at least one detection.