Yearly Archives: 2011

Cravaack to Introduce Land Exchange Bill

Minnesota U.S. Representative Chip Cravaack said last week that he plans to introduce a bill in Congress to order exchange of state-owned land in the Boundary Waters for federal land in the Superior National Forest.Continue Reading

Protestors Demonstrate Against Mine

Opposition to plans to mine copper, nickel, and precious metals in northeastern Minnesota took on an “Occupy Wall Street” tone when protesters demonstrated outside a Duluth Chamber of Commerce meeting yesterday.Continue Reading

Superior Forest Head to Retire

Jim Sanders, who has held the top post on the Superior National Forest longer than any other forest supervisor, will retire at the end of December after 15 years in the position.Continue Reading

Inside the Pagami Creek Fire

A couple of boundary waters paddlers found themselves on Lake Insula on Sept 12 when the Pagami Creek Fire took off – this video shows them caught off guard by the flames. If the video above does not play, click HERE for the YouTube Video.

Plan Would Buy, Swap State BWCAW Lands

A plan being hammered out between federal, state, and local lawmakers and interest groups could see the federal government swap 43,000 acres of land with the State of Minnesota and buy another 40,000 acres for $80 million.Continue Reading

Some BWCAW, National Forest Areas Reopening

Areas in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Superior National Forest closed to the public because of their proximity to the Pagami Creek Fire have been reopened thanks to cooler, wetter weather and increased containment of the blaze.Continue Reading

Pagami Creek Fire 80% Contained

Despite last week’s hot, dry weather and high winds, firefighters battling the Pagami Creek Fire in northeastern Minnesota now have the blaze 80% contained, officials reported Monday morning.Continue Reading

BWCAW Drops Permit Lottery

Superior National Forest officials will no longer hold a lottery to distribute Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness permits for the most popular dates and entry points.Continue Reading

State Prospecting Leases Postponed Again

For the third time this year, Minnesota’s Executive Council has delayed the sale of a set of northeastern Minnesota mineral exploration leases on properties where the state holds mineral rights but private individuals own surface land.Continue Reading

Weather Keeps BWCAW Fire From Growing

Wet weather in northeastern Minnesota over the weekend helped firefighters in their battle with the Pagami Creek fire which raced across the Boundary Waters last week and continues to threaten the area.Continue Reading

As BWCAW Fire Slows, Recriminations Flare

After a second day in which weather conditions allowed a growing team of firefighters to hold ground against the fire burning in the Boundary Waters, frustration over the Forest Service’s initial response to the blaze has flared.Continue Reading

Weather Slows Advance of BWCAW Fire

Cooler weather on Wednesday that included rain and even some snow showers helped slow the advance of the Pagami Creek fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness which has consumed more than 100,000 acres of forest.Continue Reading

Pagami Creek Fire Nearly Quadruples in Size

Fanned by gusty northwest winds, the Pagami Creek Fire nearly quadrupled in size yesterday, charring Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness forest from Lakes One and Two in the north to just north of Clearwater Lake in the south.Continue Reading

Burning Used to Reduce Fire Danger

Superior National Forest officials are using intentional burns to reduce the danger posed by a small, lightening ignited fire near Lake One and Lake Two in the Boundary Waters east of Ely, Minnesota.Continue Reading

State Mineral Lease Sale Delayed Again

A council of top Minnesota government officials has again delayed the sale of a set of northeastern Minnesota mineral exploration leases on properties where the state holds the mineral rights but private individuals own the surface land.Continue Reading

Wildfire Grows in Boundary Waters

A lightning-caused wildfire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness that smoldered for a week has grown to 130 acres and is now being closely monitored by U.S. Forest Service officials.Continue Reading

Wolf Commnet Period Re-Opened

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is re-opening the comment period on its proposal to remove endangered species protection from gray wolves in the western Great Lakes states.Continue Reading

Moose Also Struggling in Canada

Moose populations on the Canadian side of the Quetico-Superior region’s international boundary are also showing long-term declines according to aerial surveys by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.Continue Reading

Wilderness News Summer Edition is Online

The Summer 2011 Issue of Wilderness News Print Edition is now online! Click here to download the PDF > Featured in this issue: Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center By Rob Kesselring Take a drive to the end of the Gunflint Trail and spend a few hours at Chik-Wauk Museum, the word serendipity will come to…

Judge Denies Cell Tower Near BWCAW

A Hennepin County judge ruled Wednesday against AT&T’s proposed 450-foot lighted cellular communications tower which would have been visible deep into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.Continue Reading

Voyageurs to Conduct Deer Tick Survey

Voyageurs National Park officials are partnering with the Minnesota Department of Health this summer to collect data on deer ticks. Deer ticks are known to carry pathogens for Lyme Disease and other maladies.Continue Reading

Minnesota Changes Wolf Hunting Plans

The state environmental bill signed into law this morning by Minnesota governor Mark Dayton changed the the state’s wolf management plan by allowing establishment of a hunting season as soon as the gray wolf is removed from the federal Endangered Species List.Continue Reading

Glencore Buys More of PolyMet

Glencore International, the Swiss commodities and natural resources behemoth, furthered its stake in PolyMet Mining, buying an additional $13.1 million of the company’s stock. PolyMet plans a copper-nickel mine near Babbitt, Minnesota.Continue Reading

MN State Parks Suffer during Shutdown

MN State Parks are losing $1 million a week in camping permits, trail fees, fishing licenses and concessions as the government shutdown drags on during the height of tourist season. How will the economies of northern Minnesota towns be affected?Continue Reading

PolyMet EIS Slowed by Shutdown

The Minnesota state government shutdown is delaying work on PolyMet Mining’s revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement which depends on the efforts of Department of Natural Resources and the Pollution Control Agency officials.Continue Reading

PolyMet Gets Loan, Buying Land

PolyMet Mining closed a $4-million loan from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board and exercised its option to buy 5,375 acres of land it plans to swap with the U.S. Forest Service for its proposed mining operation.Continue Reading

USFWS Concerned About Stricken Bats

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced yesterday that bats stricken with white nose syndrome may warrant federal protection as threatened or endangered species. One of the species, the northern long-eared bat, is a northeastern Minnesota resident.Continue Reading

DNR Let Lutsen Violations Slide

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources admits it repeatedly let the Lutsen Mountain ski resort draw more water from the state-protected Poplar River for snow-making than its 1964 permit allowed. Continue Reading

State Mineral Lease Sales Postponed

A council of top Minnesota government officials has postponed the sale of 77 northeastern Minnesota mineral exploration leases on properties where the state holds the mineral rights but private individuals own the surface land.Continue Reading

International Task Force Issues Report

The International Lake of the Woods and Rainy River Watershed Task Force recently released its draft report addressing how Canada and the United States should work together to manage water quality and related issues in the watershed.Continue Reading

Wild Rice Rally to Greet Governor

Environmental advocates will greet Minnesota governor Mark Dayton with a rally in support of wild rice protection when he visits northern Minnesota for the walleye fishing opening this weekend.Continue Reading

Interior Secretary Announces Wolf Plan

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar formally announced his department’s plan to remove the eastern gray wolf from federal protection under the Endangered Species Act and return management of the animal to state and tribal governments by the end of this year.Continue Reading

Cell Tower Near Voyageurs Rejected

While a court ruling on an AT&T cellphone tower near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness awaits a judge’s decision, the Koochiching County Board rejected a request by the company to build a 350-foot tower near Voyageurs National Park.Continue Reading

Chain of Lakes: No Quota Change

In the latest chapter of an on-going saga rankling local residents and outfitters, the U.S. Forest Service will not adjust permit quotas for motorboats on the Moose Lake to Prairie Portage chain of lakes leading into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near Ely.Continue Reading

Wilderness News Print Edition – Spring 2011

The Spring 2011 Issue of Wilderness News Print Edition is now online! Experience Lake Superior from a kayak, travel back in time with an early voice for the Boundary Waters, and follow urban teens-at-risk into the wilderness in canoes they built by hand.
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Klobuchar Calls for Wolf Delisting

Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar wants gray wolves removed from the federal Endangered Species List, calling for the state, environmental groups, and others to work together on management of the predator.Continue Reading

Feds Again Propose Wolf Delisting

Federal officials will once again try to remove the gray wolf from protection under the Endangered Species Act, saying populations of the animal have recovered in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.Continue Reading

Late Spring Prompts Fishing Closures

Due to anticipated late ice-out on several lakes and rivers along the Minnesota-Ontario border, some waters will be closed to fishing at the start of this year’s season to protect concentrations of spawning walleye from potential over-harvest, the Minnesota DNR has announced.Continue Reading

Voyageurs Moving to New Headquarters

In a move that reflects the warmed relations between Voyageurs National Park and its gateway community, park officials are set to move their headquarters to a new complex leased from the city of International Falls.Continue Reading

Officials Call Voyageurs Day a Success

Community officials from the International Falls area called this month’s Voyageurs National Park Day in Washinton, D.C. a success for raising awareness of the park and region among Minnesota’s federal lawmakers.Continue Reading

Old Mine Drainage Worries Advocates

The drainage of pollutants from an abandoned mine near Ely coupled with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency allegedly lax oversight of the situation has environmental advocates concerned about the state’s ability to oversee the large copper-nickel mines proposed for the area.Continue Reading

Congressman Pushing PolyMet Project

Newly-elected Minnesota 8th-District Congressman Chip Cravaack met recently with company officials, regulatory agencies, and elected officials in an attempt to expedite PolyMet Mining’s proposed copper-nickel mine near Babbitt.Continue Reading

Cut in Moose Hunting Permits Likely

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials are likely to cut the number of moose hunting permits in half next fall due to the continued decline in the population of moose in northeastern Minnesota.Continue Reading

DNR Seeks Comments on BWCAW Lakes

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking comments on its management plans for a number of lakes and streams in the Finland area, including six lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.Continue Reading

Moose Decline Continues in NE Minnesota

The number of moose in northeastern Minnesota continues to fall, according to aerial survey results released by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The current population is now estimated at 4900 animals, down from the 5500 estimated last year.Continue Reading

PolyMet Won’t Produce Copper Metal

PolyMet Mining’s plan to mine and mill copper, nickel, and precious metals near Babbitt won’t result in production of finished copper metal on-site, the company announced in a change of plans yesterday.Continue Reading

GPS-Collar Moose Study Underway

In an on-going effort to understand the reasons behind decline in Minnesota’s moose population, a study using global positioning system technology to track the massive ungulates in underway.Continue Reading

PolyMet Hires Former MPCA Commissioner

PolyMet Mining, the Canadian firm that hopes to build a $600-million copper-nickel mine near Babbitt, has hired former Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Brad Moore as an Executive Vice President.Continue Reading

Broad Implications for PolyMet Loan Suit?

A lawsuit brought by a coalition of environmental groups questioning the legality of a Iron Range Resources loan to PolyMet Mining could have wide-ranging implications for projects supported by Minnesota state government money, some worry.Continue Reading

Coalition to Sue Over Park Air Quality

A coalition of environmental organizations intends to sue the Environmental Protection Agency and two other federal agencies over haze pollution in national parks and wilderness areas, including Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.Continue Reading

Wolf Lawsuit Stayed Until June

A lawsuit brought by two Minnesotans and joined by the state’s Department of Natural Resources calling of removal of Upper Midwest wolves from the federal Endangered Species List has been stayed until June.Continue Reading

Environmentalists Sue Over PolyMet Loan

Five environmental groups are suing the State of Minnesota over a $4-million loan that Iron Range Resources approved for PolyMet Mining as part of its plan to mine copper, nickel, and precious metals near Babbitt.Continue Reading

Voyageurs Continues Collared Moose Study

Nineteen adult moose will be captured and fitted with telemetry collars this month as part of a continuing project to investigate the potential effects of climate change and other factors on the long-term viability of moose in Voyageurs National Park. Continue Reading

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