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1902 - The U.S. General Land Office sets aside 500,000 acres in what would become the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, keeping it undeveloped by removing it from settlement acreage being offered to homesteaders. 1904 - Congress grants 20,000 acres to the state for the Burntside Forest Reserve. Minnesota forestry officials declare "State Forest Reserves should be devoted not alone to the business of raising timber, but to the pleasure of all the people."
DULUTH — It passed the U.S. Senate in the last minutes of the last day of a Congressional session that may have been its last chance to pass. Democrats were in power in Minnesota and in Washington, and several Minnesotans were in President Jimmy Carter's administration when the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act passed Congress on Oct. 15, 1978. That included Vice President Walter Mondale and Secretary of Agriculture Bob Bergland, whose department oversaw the U.S. Forest Service that managed what was then the BWCA.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Projects to bolster conservation efforts for Minnesota loons will get a huge boost under a settlement agreement announced Tuesday, Oct. 9, stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The agreement, published Tuesday in the Federal Register, sets aside $16 million from BP, the oil rig's owner, for fish and wildlife rehabilitation for species impacted by the explosion, fire and spill that killed 11 people, injured 17 others and sent millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf.
DULUTH—On the same day an international panel of climate experts predicted dire consequences if human-caused global warming continues unabated, scientists at the University of Minnesota added northern forests to the list of potential victims. Scientists looked at 11 species of trees growing in two northern Minnesota forests and said predicted temperatures will cause drier soils and reduce tree growth as temperatures warm.
DULUTH — The news across the pheasant range is pretty good for 2018 — numbers up in Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa and stable in North Dakota — with seasons underway in coming weeks. Numbers are still down from peak levels a decade ago, but high enough to offer encouragement to hunters who will go afield starting at 9 a.m. Saturday in Minnesota. But, the news for the state's pheasant hunting tradition isn't as good.
You might not recognize the name Carrol Henderson, but if you appreciate wildlife in Minnesota, you will probably want to thank him. Henderson, 72, has been the only director of the Nongame Wildlife Program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources since its inception in 1977. He's helped spur recovery efforts for peregrine falcons, trumpeter swans, river otters, bald eagles and other lesser-known species.
ISLE ROYALE NATIONAL PARK—Officials at Isle Royale National Park on Friday, Sept. 21, announced details of their plan to bolster the park's wolf population by capturing wolves in nearby regions and releasing them on the big Lake Superior island. The Park Service will trap and transport up to six wolves in coming weeks with a goal of at least 20 and up to 30 wolves moved to the island during the next three years.
Wolf supporters moved Wednesday, Sept. 19, to force the federal government to develop a broader recovery plan for wolves across more of the U.S., even as the Trump administration and other groups are trying to remove federal protections for the big predators. The Center for Biological Diversity on Wednesday filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for violating the Endangered Species Act by never developing a comprehensive recovery plan for gray wolves nationwide. The notice is a legal heads-up that a lawsuit is coming in 60 days.
DULUTH — The nearly half-century tally of birds that fly over Hawk Ridge every autumn is really a snapshot of annual migration, impacted by weather and natural cycles, and not necessarily a population survey. But the tale of two raptors that fly over Duluth on their way south each autumn are shining examples of what researchers are seeing across North America — two birds heading the same way this time of year way but going in opposite directions as a species.
DULUTH — What a difference a few mild winters and a lot more doe permits can make. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources area deer meetings, held at wildlife offices across the state in recent weeks, attracted surprisingly few hunters — some meetings went unattended and the most heavily attended attracted just 14 people. Across northeastern Minnesota, Tower and Grand Rapids attracted eight people each with only five in Two Harbors and just two in International Falls. And not a one of them brought pitchforks and torches.