Voyageurs National Park
Voyageurs National Park has closed its backcountry for about two weeks for flood damage assessment and repairs. Voyageurs has been affected by high water on Rainy Lake and other lakes that make up much of the park on Minnesota’s northern border.
The Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to consider whether pollution controls at Xcel Energy’s Sherco power plant are adequate for cutting haze over two national parks and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The federal agency and six environmental groups filed a proposed consent decree Tuesday that obligates the EPA to take action on a 2009 National Park Service finding that haze from the coal-fired plant near Becker impairs the views at Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota and Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. The consent decree would settle a lawsuit the groups filed in 2012.
Authorities say a major sandbagging operation is under way on Lake Kabetogama (kab-uh-TOH’-gah-muh) in far northern Minnesota.
The director of homeland security and emergency management for the St. Louis County sheriff’s office, Steve Steblay (steb-LYE’), says the lake level rose sharply over the weekend. He says crews are sandbagging homes, resorts and roads to protect them. He says a large percentage of the resort and private docks and shoreline structures such as boathouses on Kabetogama are gone or have been destroyed.
Water quality experts will kick off a multi-year water quality study on an important northern Minnesota watershed at a public informational meeting Thursday. The Rainy River-Headwaters Watershed includes about 95 percent of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and most of Voyageurs National Park.
The moose population in Voyageurs National Park appears to be holding relatively steady. An annual winter aerial survey estimates the moose population on the Kabetogema Peninsula at 40.
Voyageurs National Park will launch its campsite reservation and fee system next month. The park on Minnesota’s northern border will phase in the system staring April 1.
A new National Park Service report says Minnesota’s national parklands drew over 600,000 visitors who spent over $34 million and supported over 500 jobs in the state in 2012.
The Voyageurs National Park Association has announced a three-year, $150,000 grant for the park on Minnesota’s northern border.
Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota is reopening to visitors, now that the federal government shutdown is over.
Minnesota officials say they’ll review an offer from the Obama administration to let states use their own money to reopen national parks that have been closed by the federal government shutdown.
Voyageurs National Park is going to start taking reservations and charging fees for campsites. Campsites and houseboat sites at the park on Minnesota’s northern border had been first-come, first-served, and the only access is by boat.
Sheriff’s officials say a 14-year-old boy has died in a swimming accident in Voyageur’s National Park in northeastern Minnesota. St. Louis County authorities say the boy was with a group touring Rainy Lake by houseboat.
Wildlife biologists say the moose population is holding relatively steady in Voyageurs National Park in north-central Minnesota.
Here’s a sign of hope for Minnesotans tired of winter. All trails in Voyageurs National Park in far northern Minnesota have closed for the season because of warm weather.
Federal regulators have issued final regulations aimed at reducing pollution from taconite processing plants that causes haze over northern Minnesota’s wild areas including Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, as well as Isle Royal National Park in Michigan.