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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 info.dnr@state.mn.us, 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.

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