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DULUTH—Northeastern Minnesota's moose population dropped some during the past year, but it appears to have leveled off after the big declines of a decade ago. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported Thursday that its annual winter moose estimate came in at 3,030 moose, an 18 percent drop compared to 3,710 moose in 2017. The agency said the decline was statistically insignificant.
DULUTH—After 13 years, millions of dollars and a winding path through regulatory scrutiny, Minnesota's first-ever copper mine might be on the verge of its last-ever public hearings. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Pollution Control Agency will hold open-house and public input sessions Wednesday, Feb. 7, in Aurora and Thursday in Duluth on draft permits they have released for PolyMet Mining Corp.
DULUTH, Minn. — Time is running out this winter for Lake Superior to ice over or even build enough ice to jig for lake trout off Duluth or walk to the sea caves near Bayfield. Lake Superior was only an estimated 14 percent ice-covered as of Wednesday, Jan. 31, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. The office uses temperature-sensing satellite data to estimate ice cover. A warmer, windy trend over the past two weeks has helped keep the big lake from forming more ice.
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn.—The long-awaited restart of the former Magnetation operations just outside Grand Rapids could happen as soon as the summer, with more than 100 people back to work, months earlier than previously expected. New owner Tom Clarke said this week that he now has engineering plans ready and financing in place to complete an estimated $20 million in retrofitting work to the former Magnetation pellet plant in Reynolds, Indiana.
DULUTH, Minn.—The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is looking for volunteers to trek across the north woods later this winter and count grouse poop in the snow, spruce grouse poop in particular. The spruce grouse may be the Rodney Dangerfield of the northern forest — it doesn't get much respect — often referred to as "fool's hen" because they tend not to fly away when approached.
ST. PAUL—The Minnesota DFL Environmental Caucus said Tuesday that they have endorsed State Auditor Rebecca Otto in the crowded race for the 2018 DFL gubernatorial endorsement. The caucus is made up of about 400 members from across the state who are trying to promote an environmental protection agenda among the state's Democrats.
ST. PAUL — Dave Quiser decided to go for a ride on Christmas afternoon in hopes of finding a grouse or two along the back roads north of his home near Cook, Minn. But instead the retired St. Louis County sheriff's deputy came close to losing his life in 30-below-zero temperatures. He'll be lucky now if he doesn't lose any fingers or toes due to severe frostbite. He was listed in serious condition Wednesday, Dec. 26, in the burn unit of Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
HIBBING, Minn. — Two adults are dead and two children suffered life-threatening injuries in an early morning house fire in Hibbing on Tuesday, Dec. 26. The Hibbing Fire Department said it was called to a fire at 212 42nd St. East at 1:37 a.m. While en route to the scene, crews were updated that there was heavy fire on the back of the home and that there were several people trapped inside.
DULUTH — Twin Metals Minnesota will get back its permits to explore for copper on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and continue working toward a copper mine southeast of Ely, under a decision Friday by the U.S. Interior Department. The move by the Trump administration reverses a decision to hold back the federal mineral leases that was made one year ago by the outgoing Obama administration.
BABBITT, Minn. — Whether it's $544 million in coverage suggested by PolyMet for the first year of mining or the reported $1 billion state experts say might be needed at peak mine activity, the so-called financial assurance for the proposed copper mine near Babbitt is being misinterpreted by some people as a guard against catastrophe.