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Boreal Community Media

Weekly Conservation Officer Reports

Jul 13, 2021 07:20AM ● By Editor
District 6 - Two Harbors Area - From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - July 12, 2021

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports angling success in the Ely area continues to be spotty as warm weather and water temperatures dominated over the week. A burning ban is in affect for the BWCA after several fires popped up following a thunderstorm on the Fourth of July. Conditions continue to be very dry and residents and visitors are urged to be extremely careful.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked boaters and anglers this past week. He also took numerous nuisance-animal complaints and followed up on several calls about litter and the fire closures.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time on remote lakes checking anglers. Some nice lake trout were seen in the bag. He checked ATV riders and worked AIS. Enforcement action was taken for ATV, boating and angling violations.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended the funeral for retired Conservation Officer Joyce Kuske. She met with members of the Cook County ATV club and worked ATV enforcement during the week. Manning spent a few days working in the BWCA, including with U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Belmore. In a first for both, Belmore and Manning took a report of an armed bear in the BWCA. A camper reported a bear stole a backpack containing his handgun (and several delicious-smelling snacks) from a portage landing and ran off into the woods. They were unable to track and locate the bear or the pack. The officers responded and, after searching the area, located and recovered the partially shredded pack, numerous empty snack wrappers and the undamaged firearm.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) patrolled in the BWCA and on other station lakes and ATV trails. The water levels are extremely low, making some river routes and portages difficult. One individual was arrested for 3rd degree boating while intoxicated after being found over twice the legal limit. The fire danger is very high, and Bear Head State Park staff reported several campsite guests leaving fires still burning in fire pits. Citations were issued for failing to extinguish campfires in each case. Other enforcement action included fishing without a license, no/insufficient PFDs, no navigational lights after sunset, glass in the BWCA, and failure to display watercraft registration.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling, boating, and ATV activity this week. Time was spent working on various wildlife-related complaints. Schottenbauer also celebrated the life of another lost partner retired CO Joyce Kuske this week. She will be missed.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports heavy OHV patrol throughout the week. One operator was stopped for multiple ATV violations. During the stop, Hill noticed liquid leaking out of a paper bag that was sitting on the floor of the machine. Further investigation found that the operator was drinking a Twisted Tea while on the roadway. When Hill stopped them, they tried to hide the open container by putting it in the bag. They were cited. Hill met with local ATV riders and answered questions about regulations. Nuisance-animal calls were handled.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating and invasive species enforcement efforts during the week. Water recreation activity remained high with recent warm and dry weather. Fire restrictions are becoming more restrictive as drought conditions persist and fire danger increases. Use caution and check for restrictions in your area before doing any outdoor burning.
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