DNR State Fair exhibit fact sheet

DNR Building

  • Historic DNR building at State Fair is celebrating 80th anniversary this year.
  • The building opened Sept. 1, 1934, and is 186 feet long by 66 feet wide and 40 feet high.
  • About 500,000 people visit the DNR building and surrounding park area each year.
  • Building cost $73,000 (almost 10 times the net profit of 1934 State Fair).
  • Gate tickets in 1934 cost 25 cents. Today, a regular adult admission ticket costs $13. Funding came from federal and state emergency relief administration and State Fair funds.
  • Civilian Conservation Corps erected the building in less than six months using machined logs.
  • DNR building open daily during State Fair from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

DNR Aquariums

  • DNR completely renovated its indoor fish exhibit last year, installing five large aquariums inside the main DNR building.
  • Each tank shows fish in their native Minnesota habitat: trout of southeastern Minnesota; fish of the St. Croix River; and species of central, southern and northern Minnesota lakes.
  • Aquariums are built lower to the ground, making it easier for more guests to see the turtles, fish and other species.
  • Combined aquarium capacity of more than 5,000 gallons of water, the same amount of water the average family of four uses in a month.
  • When full, tanks weigh about 118,000 pounds or about the weight of a juvenile Right whale.
  • Project cost about $460,000, using funds from the legislative bonding bill appropriated to the DNR to maintain facilities and assure they are safe and accessible.

DNR Fish Pond

  • The DNR’s live fish exhibit is one of the State Fair’s most popular attractions.
  • Outdoor fish pond holds about 50,000 gallons of water.
  • Outdoor pond is kidney-shaped and is about 100 feet by 50 feet.
  • This year’s exhibit is expected to display about 45 species of fish that call Minnesota home.
  • One of the most popular fish with fairgoers is the paddlefish. Characterized by its long, paddle-like bill, the paddlefish is found in the lower Mississippi River below Minneapolis. Paddlefish grow to be quite large, with fish up to 200 pounds being recorded. The paddlefish is a state threatened species.
  • The largest fish in the exhibit is the lake sturgeon, which exceeds 50 inches. A State Fair veteran, this specimen was the gift of an angler who harvested it legally from the St. Croix River several years ago. Lake sturgeon in Minnesota are found in the Mississippi, St. Croix and Rainy river systems.
  • Fish pond talks by MinneAqua program specialists take place at quarter to the half daily, from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

State Park Camper Cabin

  • A state park camper cabin model is on display, it’s 24 feet by 12 feet.
  • Cabins are built to provide a “camping out” experience within the comfort of four walls.
  • Cabin has two sets of bunks allowing accessibility for a wheelchair.
  • Camper cabin includes a picnic table and a fire ring with grill.
  • There are more than 80 camper cabins available to rent in state parks and recreational areas located throughout the state.
  • Most cabins are available to rent year-round. Most have heat and electricity. Cabins rent for about $50 per night.
  • Camper cabin display model open during the State Fair from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily. Located in DNR Park, near southwest corner of DNR building.

DNR Fire Tower

  • Was specifically built for State Fair to provide a wildfire prevention message to visitors.
  • Fire tower opened in 1966 and was closed in 1978 because of safety concerns.
  • Fire tower was repaired and reopened in 2006.
  • Fire tower is 65 feet tall.
  • There are 84 steps from bottom to top.
  • There is no charge for people to climb to fire tower stairs to get birds-eye view of fair.
  • Tower open daily during fair from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., weather permitting.

DNR Wildlife…Forever Wing

  • Fairgoers can learn about Minnesota species and wildlife habitat.
  • Special sound and lighting effects help create an experience of moving from day to night and through the four seasons, as visitors walk through the display.
  • Display located in DNR building and is open daily during State Fair from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Adopt-a-River Sculpture

  • This is the 21th consecutive year that an Adopt-a-River sculpture has been on display.
  • Each year, a new sculpture is made from trash and scrap collected by an artist at Adopt-a-River cleanups on Minnesota waterways.
  • Sculpture is a tribute to more than 90,000 volunteers who have removed more than 6 million pounds of trash from public waters at more than 3,200 cleanups.
  • Sculpture is located in DNR Park, south of the DNR fish pond.

Smokey Bear

  • Smokey Bear is celebrating 70 years of reminding children and their parents about the dangers of wildfires.
  • Smokey Bear makes daily appearances at DNR Park at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
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Celebrate outdoor traditions at DNR exhibit at 2014 Minnesota State Fair

A wide range of free educational exhibits and presentations, including several new activities and displays, along with music and entertainment, will be part of the Department of Natural Resources’ exhibit at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair, which runs Aug. 21-Sept. 1.  Full Story

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New and improved wayside welcomes North Shore visitors

The family of Ray Berglund, a St. Paul businessman who cared passionately about conservation, has been keeping his memory alive at the state wayside named after him on Lake Superior’s North Shore. Over the years, donations from the R.R.W. and Florence Berglund Family Foundation have funded several improvements to the 54-acre site, but restroom facilities remained an unmet need, until this summer. Full Story

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Herbicide applications in Two Harbors area to help reforestation

Herbicide applications will begin on select state lands in the Two Harbors area as part of reforestation efforts, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Treatments began in July and will continue through approximately Sept. 12. Full Story

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DNR wildlife to hold open house for proposed Gull River WMA

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting an informational open house to discuss the proposed Gull River wildlife management area (WMA) near Pillager. The open house is Wednesday, August 13, from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Sylvan Township Hall, at 12956 24th Ave. SW, Pillager. Full Story

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St. Croix State Park will pilot archery hunting this fall

St. Croix State Park in Hinckley will pilot an archery hunt for part of the 2014 fall deer season. The archery hunt will be Sept. 29 through Nov. 7, with the exception of Saturday, Nov. 1, and Sunday, Nov. 2, when the park will close for a youth firearms hunt. One hundred archery tags will be available; the deadline to apply for them is Aug. 15. Full Story

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Trap shooting club facilities can grow through DNR grant program

Minnesota shooting clubs that would like to develop or rehabilitate trap-shooting facilities open for public use can apply for funds through a new Department of Natural Resources grant program. Full Story

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Hunters can target Canada geese in August

Hunters can harvest Canada geese in west-central Minnesota from Saturday, Aug. 9, through Sunday, Aug. 24, the Department of Natural Resources said. Full Story

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Submit designs for Minnesota’s 2015 waterfowl stamp

Wildlife artists can submit entries for the 2015 Minnesota Migratory Waterfowl Stamp from Monday, Aug. 18 through 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29. Full Story

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Apply now for mentored upland bird hunts

Families and youth can apply now for an opportunity to hunt with experienced upland bird hunters on Saturday, Oct. 18. Full Story

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Paul Bunyan State Trail extends to Crow Wing State Park

Construction of a six-mile paved trail segment connecting the Paul Bunyan State Trail to Crow Wing State Park in Brainerd is now complete and open to the public, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division. Full Story

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DNR announces 2014 wolf season, survey shows stable population

Hunters and trappers can apply for the 2014 wolf season beginning Friday, Aug. 1, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced. Full Story

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Conservative deer season set; hunting licenses go on sale Aug. 1

Hunters can expect a conservative 2014 deer season designed to rebuild deer numbers across much of the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said. Full Story

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DNR proposes 4 new trout streams in northeastern Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking comment on a proposal to designate four new trout streams in northeastern Minnesota.  Full Story

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DNR simplifies southeastern Minnesota trout regulations

New trout fishing regulations that took effect July 14 expand opportunities for anglers and simplify regulations in southeastern Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources said. Full Story

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DNR seeking information from Red River basin anglers on lake sturgeon

Anglers who catch a lake sturgeon in the Red River or its tributary streams and lakes are encouraged to send information about the catch to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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Minnesota man pleads guilty to numerous illegal hunting charges

A Baudette, Minnesota man faces heavy fines, jail time and revocation of his hunting privileges following an investigation for illegal bear and deer activities by the Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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DNR enforcement managers retire

Two high-ranking conservation officers (COs) with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources retired July 15, taking nearly 70 years of experience with them. Full Story

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Free DNR decontamination training for businesses

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering training this summer for lake service provider businesses interested in learning hot-water/high-pressure decontamination methods to remove aquatic invasive species (AIS). Participants will receive hands-on practice cleaning boats using the specialized equipment. Full Story

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Bighead and silver carp discovered in Pool 2 of Mississippi River

Commercial fishermen under contract by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources netted two adult invasive carp in Pool 2 of the Mississippi River in the Cottage Grove area on Thursday, July 17. Full Story

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10 new conservation officers join the DNR

In a ceremony marking the culmination of 12 weeks of intensive training, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources welcomed 10 conservation officers to its ranks during a ceremony Tuesday, July 15, at Camp Ripley. Full Story

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DNR general permit may help expedite statewide flood repairs

Private landowners, agencies, and political subdivisions throughout the state impacted by flooding who want to repair damaged shorelines, bridges, culverts, roadways, structures, stream channels and other facilities to pre-flood condition may be eligible to quickly acquire the necessary DNR permit by applying online at the Minnesota permitting and reporting system (MPARS) website.  Full Story

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Eurasian watermilfoil discovered in Middle Spunk Lake in Stearns County

Eurasian watermilfoil has been discovered growing in Middle Spunk Lake near Avon in Stearns County, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said. Full Story

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DNR Conservation Officer Beckmann promoted

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has promoted a conservation officer to first lieutenant and district supervisor. Full Story

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Fort Snelling State Park to reopen July 16

Fort Snelling State Park is reopening after a three-week closure brought about by torrential June rains and flooding, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said. Full Story

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Apply for mentored youth waterfowl hunts by Aug. 11

Youth ages 12 to 15 can apply for the chance to hunt waterfowl under the guidance of experienced mentors on Minnesota Youth Waterfowl Day, Saturday, Sept. 13. Full Story

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Night fishing on Mille Lacs Lake opens July 21

Mille Lacs Lake anglers may fish at night beginning Monday, July 21 at 10 p.m., according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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Now is the time to take a hunter safety course

With the fall hunting seasons just around the corner, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is urging hunters to sign up now for a hunter education class. Full Story

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Learn deer hunting basics at Aug. 9 clinic

People can learn the basics of deer hunting at an event being offered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Saturday, Aug. 9. Full Story

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DNR invites public to help develop forest management plans

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites the public to participate in forest management planning for the Northern Minnesota and Ontario Peatlands and the Northern Superior Uplands areas. Full Story

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DNR seeks public comment on Cedar Lake trout designation removal

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking comments on the proposal to remove the stream trout designation from Cedar Lake, located south of Aurora in White Township. Full Story

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DNR general permit may help expedite flood repair in Koochiching and northern St Louis counties

Homeowners, businesses and municipalities impacted by flooding in Koochiching and northern St. Louis counties who want to restore damaged shorelines, culverts and rock crib docks to pre-flood condition, may be able to quickly acquire the necessary repair permit by applying online for a general permit 2001-1172 at the Minnesota permitting and reporting system (MPARS) website at www.mndnr.gov/mpars. Full Story

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Blue Mounds State Park reopens July 14

Blue Mounds State Park will reopen Monday, July 14, following flood damage that forced the park to close on June 18, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said. Full Story

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Minnesota Sporting Journal subscription half-price for hunting and fishing license buyers

Anyone with a 2014 Minnesota hunting or fishing license can get a 50 percent discount on an annual print subscription of the Minnesota Sporting Journal when they purchase online, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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DNR: Too many boaters not following aquatic invasive species laws

Violation rate too high, ramped up enforcement July 11-13 weekend

This summer, the Department of Natural Resources is finding too many boaters and other water users taking unacceptable and illegal risks by transporting aquatic invasive species (AIS). Full Story

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Minnesota state parks and trails launch ‘I Can Mountain Bike!’

Experience the fun of mountain biking during three introductory “I Can Mountain Bike!” programs on Saturday, July 26, at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area in Ironton, about 140 miles northwest of the Twin Cities near Brainerd. Full Story

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Zebra mussels confirmed in Pickerel Lake in Becker County

Zebra mussels have been confirmed in Pickerel Lake located 7 miles northeast of Detroit Lakes in Becker County in west-central Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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DNR seeks comments on EAW for Upper Lightning Lake project

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources seeks public comments on an environmental assessment worksheet (EAW) prepared for the Upper Lightning Lake water level management project, in Grant and Otter Tail counties. Full Story

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Colorful poster has tips for helping bees and butterflies

In a one-half acre plot in his backyard, prairie enthusiast Mike Halverson has seen many benefits of planting over 125 different species during the last 15 years.  Full Story

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DNR Enforcement Division names new operations manager

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced that Capt. Greg Salo will be promoted to the rank of major and named the Enforcement Division’s operations manager effective July 16. Full Story

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Breeding duck numbers down, Canada goose population similar to last year

Along with another unusual spring and late ice-out, Minnesota’s breeding mallard population counts are down slightly from last year while other species saw higher declines, according to the results of the annual Minnesota Department of Natural Resources spring waterfowl surveys.  Full Story

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Ruffed grouse counts see increase, possibly signaling uptrend

Minnesota’s ruffed grouse spring drumming counts were significantly higher than last year across most of the bird’s range, according to a survey conducted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

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Prairie chicken hunt lottery opens July 1

Starting July 1, hunters can enter a lottery for one of 126 permits available for the 2014 Minnesota prairie chicken season.  Full Story

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Walleye stocking a success despite challenging spring weather

On the lake’s surface at the end of a fishing line, a splash and the flash of gold confirm the success. It’s a walleye, perhaps the most sought-after fish species in Minnesota.  Full Story

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5 camper cabins open at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Just in time for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, five new camper cabins will be open to visitors at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park. Reservations can be made up to a year in advance, starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday, July 2.  Full Story

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