Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

DNR outlines wolf season details -- a two part hunt and trap

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 10:31am

Minnesota’s first regulated wolf hunting and trapping season will be conducted this fall and winter. The DNR is proposing to split the season into two parts: an early wolf hunting season coinciding with firearms deer hunting; and a late wolf hunting and trapping season after the firearms deer season for those with a specific interest in wolf hunting and trapping.

The early hunting only season will be open only in the northern portions of Minnesota where rifles are allowed for deer hunting. It will start on Saturday, Nov. 3, the opening day of firearms deer hunting. It will close either at the end of the respective firearms seasons in the two northern deer zones (Nov. 18 in Zone 1 or Nov. 11 in Zone 2), or when a registered target harvest quota of 200 is reached, whichever comes sooner.

According to Wildlife Program manager Steve Merchant, wolf kills must be registered almost immediately after taken.

“Persons will have to register the wolves that they take by the end of the day following the day of harvest. We will have a mechanism that will keep track of those registrations. It’s an electronic system where people can register their wolves by either taking them in to an ELS agent or use the telephone or online. As those people register those animals, it’s reported and communicated to us, so that’s how we will know.”

The late hunting and trapping season will begin Saturday, Nov. 24. It will close Jan. 6, 2013, or when a registered total target harvest quota of 400 in both seasons combined is reached, whichever comes sooner. The late season will be open statewide.

A total of 6,000 licenses will be offered, with 3,600 available in the early season and 2,400 in the late season. The target harvest quota will be 400 wolves for both seasons combined, and will initially be allocated equally between the early and the late seasons.
Tribal government may elect to hold their own wolf seasons, and Merchant said the DNR is consulting with them.

“We’re having continued conversation with tribes. I am unaware at this time of any tribes who have elected to hunt wolves, but they certainly may.”

Wolf hunting licenses will be $30 for residents and $250 for nonresidents. Wolf trapping licenses will be $30 and limited to residents only. A lottery will be held to select license recipients. The bag limit is one wolf per licensee.

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U of M study finds increase in 30- to 49-year-olds moving to rural communities

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 9:02am
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There’s a lot of talk about how more and more young people are leaving rural communities like ours. However, there has been little talk of what a different demographic---those between 30 and 49 years old---have been doing. A new study from the University of Minnesota finds that these folks have increasingly been moving to rural places. In this interview, WTIP's Mark Abrahamson speaks with Ben Winchester, a research fellow at the University of Minnesota Extension’s Center for Community Vitality, about the study.

Learn more about the study here.

Photo courtesy of Ben Adamson via Flickr.

"Move it in May" - Youth Academics

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 3:17pm
Ball-A-Vis-X combines Balance/Auditory/ and Vision eXercises.

"Move it in May" is a month-long celebration of active living in Cook County - sponsored by Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, North Shore Health Care Foundation, Health Reform Minnesota, Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply, Cook County Public Health and Human Services, Superior North Outdoor Center and Sawtooth Outfitters.

In this feature, produced by WTIP in collaboration with Cook County Statewide Health Improvement coordinator Kristin Wharten and Active Living Steering Committee coordinator Hartley Newell-Acero, local educators talk about the importance of regular physical activity during the school day as a means to foster greater academic performance, and we visit Great Expectations Charter School in Grand Marais during a "Ball-A-Vis-X" session - which combines a series of Balance/Auditory/ and Vision eXercises.   

(Click on "AM Community Calendar" below to hear audio feature.)

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As part of the "Get Active Cook County" initiative, individuals and teams are encouraged to register and track activity minutes and miles online, and there are a variety of events happening in May to make getting active easier.

• May 21-26 -- Bike/Walk to Work or School Week, featuring blender bike smoothies for bike commuters provided by Superior North Outdoor Center

• May 25 -- Bike/Walk to Work or School DAY

• May 27 -- Bike ride to Naniboujou sponsored by Superior North Outdoor Center; preregistration requested by May 25 at 387-2186

• May 26 -- Artistic Trails, Creative Hike with landscape painter Neil Sherman; preregister at 612-716-5733

Lake Superior beach monitoring resumes after Memorial Day

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:34pm
Grand Marais public beach at Bear Tree Park

Beginning after Memorial Day, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will be monitoring the water quality of 39 public beaches along the Lake Superior shoreline from Duluth to north of Grand Marais. Conditions of the beaches, including public notices to avoid contact with the water due to poor water quality, will be posted on the telephone hotline at 218-725-7724 and the www.MNBeaches.org website.

Staff from the monitoring program will check the water quality primarily for the presence of E. coli bacteria, which can be a health risk and an indicator of the possible presence of other potentially harmful pathogens or contamination. Samples will be analyzed once a week from 31 beaches while samples will be taken and analyzed twice weekly from eight of the most heavily used beaches in the Duluth area. The results will be posted immediately on the telephone hotline and the beaches website.

If the E. coli concentrations in water samples from a beach exceed certain standards, MDH staff or local designees will post an advisory on the beach and issue public notices through the website and other means. Typically the advisories recommend no water contact. Last year, of the 755 samples taken, 13.5 percent of them triggered water contact advisories.

Minnesota's Lake Superior shoreline has almost 80 public beaches or recreational water access points. The 39 beaches in the monitoring program are visited by thousands of people each year. A significant part of the state's coastal recreational waters are subject to contamination from a variety of sources. These may include wildlife and pet feces, storm water runoff, sewer line breaks and overflows, failing septic systems, dirty diapers, waste discharge from boats, swimmers and anglers, and animal feeding operations. This contaminated water is a potential cause of gastrointestinal illness and other diseases.

Election filing period for county seats opens tomorrow, May 22

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:28pm

For anyone interested in running for public office, the candidate-filing period for federal, state, county and some local offices begins Tuesday, May 22 at 8 a.m. and closes Tuesday, June 5 at 5 p.m.
Candidates filing for office in Cook County do so at the Cook County Auditor’s Office, in the Cook County Courthouse in Grand Marais.
According to a May 5 announcement by County Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers, there are a few county seats on the ballot in 2012. There are two county commissioner seats, District 2, currently held by Fritz Sobanja and District 4, currently held by Jim Johnson.
The fee to file to run for commissioner is $50
Three seats will be on the ballot for the Cook County Soil & Water Conservation District—District 1, currently held by Donald Goodell; District 3 currently held by Joan Farnam; and District 5 currently held by Jesse Derscheid.
The fee to file for the Soil & Water Conservation District is $20.

Early deadline for "World's Longest ATV Parade" is May 22

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:26pm

ATVers around the region are invited to take part in an attempt to “take back the record”—the world’s longest ATV parade record—on Saturday, June 23, 2012. The ATV Association of Minnesota encourages ATV enthusiasts to pre-register by May 22 to receive a special commemorative T-shirt.
In June 2009, about 50 Cook County outdoor enthusiasts rode their all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) into the Guinness Book of World Records at just such a parade. Those 50 people were part of a record-breaking parade of 1,632 ATVs in the city of Silver Bay.
The title was short-lived, however. In the fall of 2010, the state of Utah broke the Minnesota record with 1,870 ATVs. So ATVAM plans to take back the world record and northland ATVers are once again invited to take part. ATVAM hopes to have more than 2,000 ATVs in the parade.
There will also be fun riding opportunities on the fabulous Silver Bay Moose Walk ATV trail system and other ATV-related activities. Sponsors of the ATV Parade will be hosting booths on-site for participants to see new products. Parade organizers will also be holding a contest for the most creatively decorated ATV. After the parade concludes Zup’s Foods will be hosting a buffet at the Silver Bay Union Hall.
Registration and the staging area for the parade will be one half mile north of Outer Drive and Highway 61 in the field in front of AmericInn Motel. There will be signs showing participants where to go. There will be ample parking on the streets and surrounding areas. The parade route will be a designated ATV trail for the day, so children can ride in the parade as long they meet all MN safety requirements. Side-by-side ATV's and three-wheelers are welcome to come, but will not be counted by Guinness World Records™ towards the record breaking attempt.
Participants are also asked to bring a canned food item to donate to the Silver Bay