The man who has run Minnesota state parks for the past decade counts himself fortunate that voters gave him some extra money to spend. Courtland Nelson, 62, retires April 21 as director of the Parks and Trails Division of the Department of Natural Resources.
Minnesota state parks officials say their efforts to connect people with the outdoors are paying off in permit sales and visits.
Bear Head Lake State Park was voted America’s Favorite Park in 2010 in an online contest sponsored by Coca-Cola. The $100,000 prize provided seed money for additional state and federal funding.
It seems hard to fathom, but western settlement nearly wiped out the nation’s bison herd — some 30 to 60 million animals. That herd stretched from Minnesota’s grasslands to the Rocky Mountains. But over the years, hard work has brought the bison back.
The Minnesota Zoo and the DNR agreed to join forces Thursday in an effort to preserve and show off a herd of genetically-pure bison that lives in southwestern Minnesota.
Geocaching, a high-tech treasure hunting activity for out-of-doors types, will continue after the current program ends next month, the DNR says.
Officials say they’re pleased with the relaunch of a troubled campground reservations system for Minnesota state parks.
The new online system for state park reservations could not handle the flood of traffic it got and crashed about an hour after going online.