Department Of Natural Resources
It’s being called the first confirmed attack of a person by a gray wolf in Minnesota history, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Now, a 16-year-old Solway boy is home recovering from a vicious bite wound to the head. It happened early Saturday morning at the West Winnie Campground on Lake Winnibigoshish in north central Minnesota. The campground is operated by the U.S. Forest Service and was temporarily closed following the wolf attack. The gray wolf, also known as a timber wolf, was captured by trappers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The wolf was shot and killed to permit testing for rabies at the University of Minnesota veterinary diagnostic lab.
With high temperatures and drought conditions in parts of the state, fire officials are warning about the risk of wildfires and urging people to be careful in dry areas. Tom Fasteland is a coordinator with the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids. He says part of the state is still covered with green vegetation, which reduces the risk of fire, but the landscape can change quickly in a heat wave. He says people should be careful in recreational parts of the state. He says areas around Bemidji, Detroit Lakes and Cass Lake are dry, and in parts of northern and central Minnesota the fire-danger rating is “high” or “very high.”
The number of zebra mussels on Lake Mille Lacs has dropped this year for the first time since they were found in 2005. Minnesota outdoors officials say a survey this week found about 1,070 zebra mussels per square foot.
The Department of Natural Resources says the wildfire danger has been rising across Minnesota. Precipitation over the last 30 days has been half the normal level over most of the state, so fire managers are urging people to use caution in dry areas.
The DNR announced Monday that the bald eagle, gray wolf, snapping turtle and 26 other animals and plants would be off the state’s endangered species list. It’s the first change to the list in 17 years. Richard Baker, the endangered species coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources, argues that it’s very successful. He calls the case of the bald eagle the perfect example.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has removed bald eagles, gray wolves and snapping turtles from their list of endangered, threatened and special-concern species on Monday. Twenty-nine species were removed from the list, 180 plant and animal species were added and the statuses of 91 species were either upgraded or downgraded. Rick Baker, the DNR’s endangered species coordinator, says the list’s purpose is to help certain species – not confine and isolate them.
Greg Spoden is the state climatologist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Compared to last summer, Spoden says this summer feels cool. “July of 2012 was the second hottest month in Minnesota history,” Spoden said.
Minnesota’s waterfowl season will open Sept. 21. The opener is one day earlier than 2012 and the earliest since 1945. The season continues for 60 days under a north, central and southern zone structure with different season dates for each zone.
For six years, coyotes have been popping up in the metro. Now, the DNR is calling it a major problem, and several people from different suburbs say their pets have been killed by the predators.
Minnesota wildlife officials are set to announce details of the upcoming wolf hunting and trapping season. This season will be the second since the animals came off the endangered list in the region.
A Minnesota bear researcher remains under orders to remove radio collars from bears he’s studying by the end of the month, but will be allowed to appeal. Bear researcher Lynn Rogers sounded optimistic after a meeting with Gov. Mark Dayton and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr on Monday. But Landwehr said afterward he does not plan to lift his decision to rescind Rogers’ permit to keep tracking collars on bears in the Ely area.
The oldest fishing pier on Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis has been replaced, and the Department of Natural Resources says the new pier is ready to support anglers and lake-goers for years to come.
The fight against invasive plants and animals just got easier. That’s good news because zebra mussels are becoming an increasingly bigger problem in Minnesota.
Despite a record late ice-out, spring waterfowl surveys show that Minnesota’s breeding duck population has improved from last year. The Department of Natural Resources estimates the state’s breeding duck population at 683,000 compared with 469,000 last year.
Bear researcher Lynn Rogers is getting his wish to meet with Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton as he makes a last-ditch appeal to keep his permits to radio-collar wild bears and place video cameras in their dens.