Outdoor Notes for March 23
Aquatic invasive species detector training available in Backus
Registration is open for AIS Detectors, Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center's volunteer network and science-based training program launched in partnership with University of Minnesota Extension.
This training is the introductory course into University of Minnesota Extension & the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center's volunteer and citizen science program, AIS Detectors. The training is a hybrid online/in-person course. The course starts online with a self-paced training that takes approximately eight hours to complete and wraps up with a one-day in-person workshop. Participants will need to complete the online portion prior to arrival at the in-person event. The course covers some aquatic ecology basics and then dives into the biology, impacts, and identification of eleven invasive plants and animals of concern for Minnesota. Participants will also learn how to report invasive species, best practices for preventing the spread, rules and regulations, and how to search for aquatic invasive species on your own.
The on-line course portion of the training has opened. The in-person training session will be held 9 a.m.-5 p.m. June 7 in Backus at the Backus Land Services Building, 218 Washburn Ave. E in Backus.
Registration fee is $195 and includes unlimited access to the online course, a printed companion for the online training, the full-day in-person workshop (including refreshments and lunch), a copy of the new AIS identification field guide, and networking opportunities with other AIS Detectors and experts.
Those interested must be 18 years old to register. If the registration fee presents a financial hardship, visit the following link to learn more about our scholarship opportunities: https://z.umn.edu/AISscholarship.
Learn more about the AIS Detectors program at www.aisdetectors.org.
Wet conditions force temporary road and trail closures
Heavy rain and flooding mean some roads and trails in state forests, state parks, recreation areas, and wildlife management areas will close temporarily, according to the Department of Natural Resources. This is because they are not firm enough to support vehicle traffic without causing damage. The closures could remain in effect until sometime in May, depending on weather conditions.
"These are normal spring closures that happen when roads and trails become wet and fragile," said Dave Schuller, state land programs supervisor for the DNR's Forestry Division. "We ask that people use good judgment, obey the closures, and check the DNR website for updates. This is important for personal safety as well as avoiding damage to these roads and trails."
Road and trail users should pay particular attention to state forest closures. Generally, all roads and trails in a particular forest will be closed, but not always. Those that can handle motor vehicle traffic will remain open but may be restricted by gross vehicle weight. Signs will be posted at entry points and parking lots.
For information on road closures, log on to mndnr.gov/closures. Information on this page is updated on Thursdays by 2 p.m. However, closure signs may be in place before the website is updated.
Road and trail closure information also is available by contacting the DNR Information Center at email@example.com, 888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157, (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).
For information on roads and trails on county land, contact the county directly.