Around Cook County
The state Department of Natural Resources will be taking a closer look at deer populations in Minnesota this summer – and they’re asking for input. Big Game specialist Erik Thorson spoke with WTIP’s Jay Andersen about reassessing the deer herd.
Lodging tax revenues for the second month of 2012 were down from February of last year county-wide. According to the latest report from the Cook County Auditor-Treasurer’s office, the February totals were down 5.5 percent across the board for reporting tourism organizations.
Lutsen-Tofte revenues were down 7.2 percent from last February. Grand Marais revenues were down 4.3 percent from this time last year. However, the Gunflint Trail revenues for February were up 5.1 percent.
The Auditor’s office emphasizes that not all businesses report taxes at the same time each year and revenues are an “apples-to-apples comparison.” That means only businesses which reported lodging tax revenues both in February of this year and last year are included in the monthly accounting.
Cook County Commissioners unanimously approved Lutsen Resort owner Scott Harrison’s application to the Cook County – Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) board on Tuesday, March 20. His credentials are significant, including a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College, an MBA from Cornell, a work history including being an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, an Outward Bound instructor, a farmer in Vermont, on faculty at the UMD School of Business, and many civic involvements.
Commissioner Sue Hakes told Harrison she hoped he would help the EDA with Cedar Grove Business Park as well as with Superior National at Lutsen Golf Course, which he has long been advocating for. He assured Hakes he would.
Harrison was officially sworn in at the EDA meeting later that afternoon.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Regulators have postponed voting on a plan for reducing haze over the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens Board was set to vote Tuesday on whether to send the plan to federal regulators. But the Star Tribune reports the plan was criticized by eight of the 12 organizations that testified, and one mining company said new the emissions limits might force it to cut production.
The board will take it up again next month. In the meantime, MPCA staffers will negotiate with Cliffs Natural Resources, which told the board its taconite plant in Hibbing would have trouble complying.
Environmental groups, as well as the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service, say the plan won't cut haze enough.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will offer a limited bulls-only moose hunt next fall, and is closing two hunting zones in the Northeast because of a declining population.
The state's moose population has dropped by half in the past five years, and officials say the animal could be gone from the state in 20 years.
Researchers say the limited kill by hunters isn't the cause of the decline and closing the season won't stop the downward trend.
An aerial moose survey this winter showed a population of 4,230 in northeastern Minnesota, down 14 percent from last year. The population was 8,840 as recently as 2006.
DNR officials say if they stopped the season this year, it wouldn't stop the decline in the population. The bull-cow ratio is sufficient to ensure that all cows can be bred. Hunters killed only 53 moose last season and wolves do not appear to be responsible for long term herd decline. Just 11 collared moose were taken by wolves since 2002.
Officials say the majority of mortality appears to be related to disease and parasites.
Tuesday’s announcement means Minnesotans who want to hunt bull moose this fall can apply for 87 available licenses starting Monday, April 2.
Eleven of the of the 87 available permits will be offered first to hunters who were selected in last year's lottery but opted not to hunt because of hunting access issues caused by the Pagami Creek Fire.
The moose season will open Saturday, Sept. 29, and conclude Sunday, Oct. 14.
Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB)
Commissioner Tony Sertich is holding a series of 10 listening sessions
for the public across the agency’s service area this spring. Two of
the sessions are on the North Shore.
“As we plan our future investments, we want to gather input on how we
can better assist business, community, and workforce development in
northeastern Minnesota,” said Sertich.
These sessions are being hosted by the mayors, school superintendents,
and chamber of commerce leaders in the communities. Each listening
session will begin at 5:30 p.m. Sertich will speak for about 30
minutes, followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer period. Members
of the IRRRB Development Team also will be on hand during and after
the sessions to visit with businesses looking to expand.
The Cook County listening session will be held at the courthouse on
Wednesday, March 28.
In Lake County, the session will be held March 29 at the Law
Enforcement Center in the courthouse.