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FOND DU LAC RESERVATION, Minn. — On a sunny, mid-August afternoon, Drew Erickson took a quick GPS reading and then bolted into the woods just off Moorehead Road, mosquitoes and swamps be damned. Erickson, of Grand Rapids, is part of a crew of four wildlife technicians hired by the University of Minnesota who bushwhacked in to survey more than 100 forest plots in Carlton and St. Louis counties this summer to see what food might be available for elk.
DULUTH — The future of golden-winged warblers in northern Minnesota forests, ringneck pheasants in farm country and sage grouse in the mountainous west are tied to the massive farm bill that's starting to wind through the Washington labyrinth, a coalition of wildlife and government agencies said Wednesday.
DULUTH, Minn.—Wolves in Minnesota, the region and Wyoming won another reprieve Tuesday when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the animals must remain under federal Endangered Species Act protection. The appellate court backed a 2014 district court decision that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service still hasn't shown that it properly followed federal laws when it declared wolves partially "recovered" across just a portion of the animal's historical range.
DULUTH — Scientists have been studying emerald ash borers since the Chinese insects started killing ash trees near Detroit 15 years ago. They've been following the imported insects' march east, then north and now west and watching the bugs kill nearly every ash tree in their path. But those were mostly green ash, with some white and blue ash, too — the kind of trees that once lined urban avenues, wooded parks and farm woodlots across much of the country.
AUOROA, Minn. — A 40-year-old Aurora man has been charged with stealing more than $3,400 worth of birch trees off state and county land near the Iron Range. A criminal complaint has been filed in St. Louis County District Court against David Allen Lawrence for timber theft from state land. It's believed to be the first criminal charge in Minnesota connected to the recent rash of illegal cutting of small Northland birch trees sold into the decorative knickknack market first reported by the Duluth News Tribune in March.
DULUTH, MINN.—"Brady" looks like any other law enforcement officer of his rank — an eager, aggressive disposition, a long snout and wagging tail. But unlike most of his fellow K-9 officers, Brady doesn't search for illegal narcotics or bombs. The 6-year-old golden retriever mix sniffs for zebra mussels. Brady's partner, Minnesota Conservation Officer Julie Siems, was showing off Brady's skills Thursday at the Pike Lake boat landing outside Duluth. Siems hid a rock encrusted with zebra mussels in the splashwell of a fishing boat.
DULUTH, Minn. — With a new building at a new location on Arrowhead Road in Duluth, it's the same old story and then some: Injured wild animals just keep pouring in to Wildwoods Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. On a fairly quiet afternoon at Wildwoods last week, there were three baby squirrels that needed feeding; a chipmunk that had recovered enough to chew its way out of its cage and was roaming free in its room; a Bohemian waxwing that was feeling better and wanted to fly north; a big brown bat recovering from dehydration; and a flying squirrel waiting for a new home.
DULUTH, Minn.—Many trees common in forests across the eastern U.S., including Minnesota and Wisconsin, won't be able to keep up with the current pace of climate change, according to a new study by the Woods Hole Research Center. The study echoes the findings of other, recent scientific research that shows some northern tree species simply won't adapt fast enough to climate change that scientists say already is occurring.
DULUTH — A winter storm will bring heavy snow to much of southern Minnesota and central Wisconsin Friday, Feb. 24, but the storm now is expected to just graze the northern Minnesota. The National Weather Service is forecasting 6-12 inches of snow across southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, and into central and northern Wisconsin, most of it falling during the day Friday.
GRAND MARAIS, Minn. — If the idea of taking a tour boat across choppy Lake Superior waters has you nauseous, how about a quick flight on a floatplane? The National Park Service on Friday, Feb. 17, announced that, for the first time ever, a private company may be allowed to operate regular seaplane flights from Grand Marais to the island park. While the island sits only 15 miles off Minnesota's North Shore, the park headquarters and much of the focus of park access has been through Houghton, Mich.