Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Moose population drops dramatically; no hunting season

Thu, 02/07/2013 - 11:32am
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A recently completed aerial survey of moose in northeastern Minnesota indicates the rate of population decline has accelerated dramatically.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that the northeast population declined 35 percent from last year. Since 2010, the moose population has declined 52 percent.

In response to the survey results, the DNR will not open a 2013 state moose hunting season or consider opening future seasons unless the population recovers.

“The state’s moose population has been in decline for years but never at the precipitous rate documented this winter,” said Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner. “This is further and definitive evidence the population is not healthy. It reaffirms the conservation community’s need to better understand why this iconic species of the north is disappearing from our state.”

Landwehr stressed the state’s limited hunts are not the cause of the population decline. “Yet taking this action is reasonable and responsible in light of latest data and an uncertain future,” he said

Based on the aerial survey conducted in January, the new population estimate is 2,760 animals, down from 4,230 in 2012. The population estimate was as high as 8,840 as recently as 2006.

 “It’s now prudent to control every source of mortality we can as we seek to understand causes of population decline,’’ said Landwehr.
Starting in January, wildlife researchers began fitting 100 moose in northeastern Minnesota with GPS tracking and data collection collars. This multi-year research project will investigate the causes of adult moose mortality, calf mortality, calf survival, moose use of existing habitat and habitat quality.

To date, 92 collars have been placed on moose in the Grand Marais, Ely and Two Harbors areas.

Everyone invited to encore One-Act Play performance

Wed, 02/06/2013 - 12:23pm

An encore presentation of the high school one-act comedy We're Not Making This Play Up As We Go - Honest by Bradley Walton will be given Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.

The cast includes Cy Fortunato, Luke Fenwick, Mikala Schliep, Sam Kern, Sam Deschampe, Seleine Morowitz, Emily Terrill, Melanie Stoddard and Michaela Peterson. Stage manager is Julia Larsen; director is Sue Hennessy.

Admission price? Bring two useable items for the food shelf or $3.

AARP Tax Aides ready to assist with tax returns

Wed, 02/06/2013 - 12:21pm

The local AARP tax aide volunteers have been training every Tuesday in January and February. They also attended a mandatory IRS “webinar” on Wednesday, January 23.

All of this training is necessary, explained Pam McDougall, one of the number crunchers at the webinar. “There are always a lot of changes—and we expect even more this year.”

At their Tuesday sessions, the volunteers review tax exercises, update tax prep computers and prepare for the 2012 tax law tests. It seems like a lot of hard work for volunteers, but another volunteer, Chuck Flickinger said, “We enjoy it. It is rewarding to help people through the process.”

The local AARP TaxAides will once again be helping members of the community with their federal and state income taxes, and property tax refunds—free of charge.

People are helped on a first-come first-serve basis. Once tax aides have gotten the information and tax documents, they can tell you when your tax return will be ready, so that you can leave and come back later if you wish.

A TaxAide will check your return for accuracy, after which you will receive a printed copy of your return, which will be e-filed to the government, with your refund arriving in one to four weeks depending upon your choice of direct deposit or mail.

Rep. Dill supports DNR season closure: "Moose is iconic."

Wed, 02/06/2013 - 12:02pm

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced today the moose population in Northeastern Minnesota has dropped 35 percent from last year. The agency said it will not hold a season this fall or consider opening future seasons unless the population recovers.

District 3A Rep. David Dill said he fully supports the DNR action, and called the population drop “precipitous.” WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Dill moments after the season announcement was made.

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Cook County/Silver Bay Boys Alpine Team qualifies for state

Wed, 02/06/2013 - 4:26am
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Six members of the Cook County/Silver Bay Boys Alpine Ski Team qualified for the State Meet after the team took second in the Section 7 Meet Tuesday at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.

The State Meet will be held Wednesday, February 13 at Giants Ridge.

Hermantown took first in the Section 7meet and CC/SB finished right behind them.

Anders Zimmer took the top spot for CC/SB by finishing eighth overall in 1:17.04. He was the only North Shore skier in the top 10.

Also qualifying for CC/SB were Will Lamb in 20th with a time of 1:19.47, Luke Fenwick in 22nd at 1:19.51, Logan Backstrom in 30th at 1:21.59, Kyle Martinson in 47th at 1:26.71. Collin Berglund did not finish the course.

The CC/SB girls team finished out of the running for the State Meet. Duluth East and Mounds View finished first and second in the Section 7 girls competition.
 

Keep it Moving in February

Tue, 02/05/2013 - 11:23am

It’s not too late to register for “Keep it Moving in February,” where teams and individuals are challenged to just keep moving. If you've participated in the past, continue to use your existing username and password.
We've gone around Lake Superior more than 13 times in the spring! That is more than 16,000 miles of moving our bodies as a community. Let's see how many times we can do the Circle Tour in February.
Move It website features include: Track your individual and team miles of winter activities (indoor or outdoor); compare your progress this winter to your friends and neighbors; track your minutes of activity and watch your thermometer rise as you move toward the recommended weekly activity goal; an online calendar of active (indoor and outdoor) events in Cook County; and a link to the Volks Ski page to log your kilometers skied on Cook County's ski trails www.Volksski.com
All registered participants are eligible for moving to better health and state of mind, bragging rights, and for several gift certificates for fabulous prizes. Register online at www.sawtoothmountainclinic.org  by clicking on the "Move It" icon.
Move It is sponsored by the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic with planning and support from Cook County Public Health and Human Services, Cook County Visitors Bureau, Birch Grove Foundation, Grand Marais Safe Routes to School, Superior North Outdoor Center,
and the Cook County Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP).