DNR announces new appointments to committee on natural heritage

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr has appointed eight new members to the committee which advises the department on programs related to the state’s native prairies, forests, and wetlands and their native plants and animals. Full Story

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Waterfowl and habitat take center stage at symposium Feb. 7

Experts in waterfowl and waterfowl habitat from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and other organizations will present to the public at the Minnesota Waterfowl Symposium, a one-day conference from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, in Bloomington. Full Story

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DNR seeking comment on deer population goals

An online questionnaire about deer populations in large portions of northeastern, north-central and east-central Minnesota can be completed on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ website.

The questionnaire is part of the DNR’s deer population goal-setting process, which is underway in 40 of Minnesota’s 128 deer permit areas.

2014-15 Goal-setting map

2014-15 Goal-setting map

Citizen advisory teams for each of the five goal-setting blocks will consider and discuss questionnaire results when they meet this winter. Information from public meetings in each goal-setting block and written comments will also be factored in. Ultimately, each citizen team considers the social, economic and recreational contexts for a discussion of the permit areas’ deer populations and develops goal recommendations.

People have until Thursday, Feb. 12, to complete the online questionnaire. Written comments can be mailed to: Attention: Deer Goal Setting, Minnesota DNR, Box 20, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155. Comments may also be emailed to deergoals.dnr@state.mn.us.

The DNR began revisiting deer population goals in 2012, when similar area teams helped set new goals for some permit areas in the Windom, Floodwood and Tower areas, and 2014 in southeastern Minnesota. The DNR plans to have new goals established in all of Minnesota’s deer permit areas before the 2016 firearms deer season.

More information about the full goal-setting process is also available online.

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DNR postpones AIS training and trailer decal program

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will postpone the new aquatic invasive species training and trailer decal program that was due to launch at the end of the month while legislators consider changes to the program. Full Story

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DNR hires new agricultural program liaison

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced that Jason Garms is the agency’s new agricultural program liaison. Garms is a prairie biologist and a corn and soybean farmer. In his new role he will manage DNR agricultural policy development and program alignment. He will work with agriculture community leaders and farmers to strengthen the agency’s conservation partnerships.  Full Story

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DNR announces new special angling regulations

Angling regulations will change on nearly three dozen waters this year, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

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DNR officer honored by state chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation

The Minnesota chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) named Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Sam Hunter as its Minnesota Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Hunter joined the DNR in 2004 and is currently stationed in Park Rapids. Full Story

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Star of DNR eaglecam lays first egg just in time for tax season

Tuesday was the first day income tax returns could be filed, and right on cue, Minnesota’s most famous eagles seem to have dropped a little reminder to brighten the perennial chore. Full Story

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Hugo resident wins 2016 turkey stamp contest

An acrylic painting of a tom turkey by Nicholas Markell of Hugo has won the 2016 Turkey Stamp Contest out of eight entries received for this year’s contest, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.  Full Story

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Register for beginner fly-fishing weekend for youth-adult pairs

A youth paired with an adult can join other youth-adult pairs to learn the basics of fly fishing from experienced mentors over a whole weekend from Friday, May 29, to Sunday, May 31, near Lanesboro, Minnesota. Applications are available in the online events calendar Full Story

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First-timer mentored turkey hunt registration open

Those who want to hunt turkeys for the first time this spring have until Monday, Feb. 23, to apply to hunt under the guidance of experienced National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) volunteers. Applications are available online.

This year there are hunts designed for both youth and adult hunters. Youth ages 12 to 17 will hunt Saturday, April 18, and Sunday, April 19. Adults will hunt Saturday, May 16, and Sunday, May 17.

“First-time turkey hunters can go afield and hunt with mentors,” said Mike Kurre, mentoring program coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Beginning this year, these mentored hunts are available for any adult first-time turkey hunter, while continuing to be open to youth.”

To be eligible, a youth hunter must be age 12 to 17 on or before Saturday, April 18; have a valid firearms safety certificate; and be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If there are more applications than available mentors, participants will be selected in a random lottery.

“This is the 13th consecutive year the DNR and the NWTF have cooperated to provide opportunities for first-time turkey hunters,” Kurre said. “More than 2,400 youth have been introduced to this unique hunting experience since spring youth turkey hunts began in 2002. Through the program, family members of youth also become involved and help youth continue turkey hunting into the future.”

Participation in the hunts is only restricted by the number volunteers and private lands that are available. Anyone interested in providing quality turkey hunting land for the mentored youth hunts should contact a NWTF chapter online.

For more the mentored hunts and turkey hunting, see the Web page.

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Squirrel and rabbit hunting: One way to get into the winter woods

Even into the depths of winter after other hunting seasons have passed, there is still time to hunt gray and fox squirrel, cottontail rabbit, jack-rabbit and snowshoe hare in a season that runs until Saturday, Feb. 28. Full Story

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37 guns, 28 sets of antlers among items seized in deer case

Charges have been filed against a number of violators following a five-year deer investigation recently completed by conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

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Lake sturgeon continue recovery in Rainy River and Lake of the Woods

A recent lake sturgeon population study in Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River illustrates the slow, steady sturgeon population recovery owing to cleaner water, effective fishing regulations and vigilant enforcement – a success story that one day will allow anglers the realistic expectation of catching 100-pound sturgeon. Full Story

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4 plead guilty to 2013 deer poaching case

Four men pleaded guilty to a 2013 deer poaching case and had their hunting privileges revoked following an investigation by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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Canadian and U.S. investigation leads to heavy fine for game violation

A joint investigation by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Ontario Canada Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry resulted in a heavy fine for a Minnesota man. Full Story

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More restrictive walleye regulations for Upper Red Lake take effect Jan. 23

Beginning Friday, Jan. 23, walleye regulations will become more restrictive on Upper Red Lake because of a record December walleye harvest, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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Winter trout fishing to open for first time on 24 lakes

Anglers for the first time will be able to fish for trout in the winter on two dozen north-central Minnesota lakes, many of them within the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.  Full Story

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Deer population goal-setting public meetings begin Feb. 2

Opportunities for the public to participate in deer population goal setting for large portions of northeastern, north-central and east-central Minnesota begin Monday, Feb. 2, in Monticello.  Full Story

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Reservations due soon for seasonal and monthly camping

Those who want to stay longer than a week or two at a Minnesota state park should act now to nab one of the few campsites available for longer stays, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

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DNR, Red Lake Nation renew Upper and Lower Red lakes fishery management agreement

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Red Lake Nation and Bureau of Indian Affairs signed a new five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) today that outlines continued cooperative management of the walleye population in the Upper and Lower Red lakes. The signing took place during a brief ceremony in Red Lake. Full Story

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DNR announces 2 high-level appointments

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr announced two high-level appointments today.  Full Story

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No CWD detected among sampled deer in southeastern Minnesota

No chronic wasting disease (CWD) was detected in hunter-harvested deer in southeastern Minnesota during the 2014 firearms season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

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Only 1 of 500 Mississippi River samples test positive for invasive carp

Water samples from southeastern Minnesota pools of the Mississippi River that were collected in August and analyzed in December indicate only a small presence of bighead carp eDNA, according to the Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

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DNR to fly deer and elk surveys

Low-flying helicopters will be used for white-tailed deer population surveys planned by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for January through March in central and southeastern Minnesota, if suitable snow conditions develop. Full Story

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DNR did much to improve habitat, engage citizens in 2014

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources made significant headway in 2014 in improving the state’s natural resources and outdoor recreation, while engaging with thousands of citizens on important environmental decisions. Full Story

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DNR aquatic education program wins award

MinnAqua, a state aquatic resources and fishing education program, has won a national award for teaching youth about their natural environment through fishing. Full Story

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Conservation Corps Minnesota seeking applicants

Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa is accepting applications for 2015 AmeriCorps field crew member positions from individuals, ages 18 to 25, who have an interest in working outdoors. The priority application deadline is Dec. 31, but applications will be accepted until all positions are filled.  Full Story

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Fishing over the limit nets big fine, loss of boat

An Illinois angler faces nearly $2,200 in fines and restitution, plus the loss of his boat and equipment, following an investigation by conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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DNR solicits park and trail grant applications for 2015

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division is now accepting applications for the following grant programs: outdoor recreation, local trail connections, federal recreational trails and regional trails. Full Story

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DNR expands winter trout fishing in southeastern Minnesota

By David Schueller, DNR information officer

Fly fishing guide Dan Michener walked to a partially snow-covered riverbank in Whitewater State Park. He cast a tiny nymph into the water several times then let it drift through deeper pools, hoping to entice a trout to bite.  Full Story

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DNR accepting applications for coastal program grants

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting grant applications for projects through its Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program. Approximately $400,000 is available for grants with funding provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office for Coastal Management. The deadline for applications is Friday, Jan. 30. Full Story

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Ruling classifies Minnesota wolves as threatened

Effective immediately, Minnesotans can no longer legally kill a wolf except in the defense of human life. Full Story

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DNR, partners working on 4-year plan to boost pheasant numbers

Citizen input from the Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Summit soon will be converted into a four-year action plan to increase and enhance grassland habitat on public and private lands. Full Story

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New treatment aims to eradicate Christmas Lake zebra mussels

In an effort to eliminate any remaining zebra mussels from Christmas Lake in Shorewood, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has undertaken an experimental treatment that has been used only twice before in the U.S. Full Story

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Start a new tradition: Late-season pheasant hunting

An abundance of birds, lack of snow and higher late season bag limits are all good reasons why Minnesotans may want to try some late season pheasant hunting. Full Story

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State expands ‘fat bike’ riding opportunities

Minnesota state parks and trails has expanded the number of trails open for winter fat bike riding, including opportunities at five state parks and four state trails. These new riding opportunities are in addition to 20 miles of existing trails at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, a world-class mountain bike ride center, as rated by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. The winter fat bike riding opportunities in Minnesota state parks and trails now total 78 miles. Full Story

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Darkhouse spearing opens Dec. 22 on Dakota border waters

Darkhouse spearing becomes legal on Minnesota waters bordering North Dakota and South Dakota on Monday, Dec. 22, when a new law allowing spearing of northern pike takes effect. Full Story

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Citizens can apply to serve on Leech Lake Fisheries Input Group

Citizens interested in volunteering to discuss Leech Lake fish and habitat can apply to participate in the Leech Lake Fisheries Input Group. Applications must be completed by Wednesday, Dec. 31, and are available online. Full Story

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Prairie restoration underway at Minneopa State Park

A restoration of prairie and oak savanna habitat is taking place at Minneopa State Park near Mankato this winter, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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Round 2 now open for metro conservation grant program

Applications will be accepted starting Monday, Dec. 15, for round two of a metro grant program that aims to restore, enhance and protect habitat in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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Keep safety in mind when enjoying darkhouse spearing

After sawing a wide rectangle into the ice, a person holds a fish spear at the ready while looking through the water, past a small decoy meant to lure northern pike into range. A well-placed throw results in a pike on the ice and destined for the frying pan. Full Story

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Brothers plead guilty to deer hunting charges

Two brothers charged with illegal hunting violations in late 2013 recently pleaded guilty in a plea bargain agreement in Nobles County District Court, reports the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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Ring in the new year on candle-lit trails at Minnesota state parks

Additional events in January and February provide more opportunities on candle-lit trails

Thousands of people are expected to ring in the new year by taking a walk along candle-lit trails at Minnesota state parks on Dec. 31. The festivities will take place from: Full Story

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Give Minnesota state parks gift cards this holiday season

This holiday season, the Department of Natural Resources encourages shoppers to give the gift of the outdoors with Minnesota state parks gift cards. The cards can be purchased for any dollar amount over $10, and they never expire. They can be used for: Full Story

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