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MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #62                                                                            Aug. 15, 2013
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IN THIS ISSUE
Bear hunters, guides should use online bait station registration tool
What’s new at DNR’s State Fair exhibit
DNR State Fair exhibit fact sheet
DNR nursery seedlings on sale



DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bear hunters, guides should use online bait station registration tool

Bear hunters and guides should use the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) online tools to register bait stations when baiting opens Friday, Aug. 16, rather than mailing in forms.

“Using the online bear bait registration tool means we have the most accurate and up-to-date information,” said Maj. Phil Meier, DNR Enforcement Division operations manager. “Accurate information helps hunters, bear guides and conservation officers.”

Hunters and guides can log into the online tool from the bait registration link at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/bear. Guides must have separate accounts for their clients and themselves.

People who don’t use the online tool must mail the registration form to local enforcement regional office no later than the next postal day following the date on which the bait station was established.

Hunters also are reminded they must submit two tooth samples from each bear harvested. Envelopes to mail the samples, which are used to determine the bear’s age, are available at bear registration stations. A list of stations by county and city is available online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/bear.

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DNR NEWS - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                       Aug. 15, 2013

What’s new at DNR’s State Fair exhibit

A wide range of free educational exhibits, presentations and entertainment, including several new activities and displays, will be part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair, which runs Aug. 22-Sept. 2 in St. Paul. The DNR building is open daily from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

"The DNR building and surrounding park area is often the traditional first stop for many fairgoers," explained Renee Vail, DNR state fair project manager. “Minnesotans are passionate about our natural resources and this is an effective and entertaining way for us to communicate conservation messages.”

WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR

DNR fish aquariums
The DNR has completely renovated its indoor fish exhibit, installing five large aquariums inside the main building. Each tank shows fish in their native Minnesota habitat: trout of southeastern Minnesota; fish of the St. Croix River; and species of central, southern and northern Minnesota lakes. The new tanks are built lower to the ground, making it easier for more guests to see the turtles, fish and other species.

‘Wall of Shame’ location
The Turn in Poachers “Wall of Shame” will be relocated to the former Nature Store building, and will be staffed by a conservation officer from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The retail store next to the DNR’s outdoor fish pond has been discontinued to make more room for conservation-related exhibits. A replica rack of antlers from a trophy eight-point buck illegally shot a few years ago will be on display.

Invasive species exhibit
Visitors should be on the lookout for emerald ash borers, purple loosestrife, zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil as they walk along a recreated prairie trail, conduct a watercraft inspection or visit an imaginary state forest campsite in a display inside the DNR building. People can practice using a boot brush to remove invasive plants, learn where zebra mussels might hide on a boat and find out why they shouldn’t move firewood. Through interactive activities and an informational video, visitors will learn how invasive species threaten natural resources and recreational activities, and how to prevent their spread. Plus, The Theater of Public Policy, an improv comedy group with a seriously funny take on zebra mussels, earthworms and emerald ash borers, will be part of the DNR outdoor stage lineup. 

Adopt-A-River sculpture
This is the 20th consecutive year an Adopt-a-River sculpture has been on display.Each year, a new sculpture is made from trash and scrap collected by an artist at Adopt-a-River cleanups on Minnesota waterways. The sculpture is a tribute to more than 90,000 volunteers who removed more than 6 million pounds of trash from public waters at more than 3,200 clean-ups over the years. The sculpture is located in DNR Park, south of the DNR fish pond.

High definition videos showcase DNR experts at work in the field
Inside the DNR building, there will be a theater area with videos showing DNR experts at work in the field. The high-definition videos feature the moose mortality research project, stocking of DNR State Fair fish pond, harvesting the governor’s holiday tree, a visit to a bear den, a bison round up at Blue Mounds State Park, zebra mussel detecting dogs and a northern pike study on Mille Lacs Lake.

The show lasts 20 minutes and is repeated throughout the day.

State water trails exhibit
The new state water trails display gives people an opportunity to see what it’s like to sit in a kayak and learn more about a wide variety of recreational opportunities throughout the state.

The Minnesota state water trails system is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and is the first and largest system of its kind in the nation. Water trails are recreational routes on waterways - managed for canoeing, kayaking, boating and camping. There is a state water trail within an hour of most Minnesotans.

Entertainment line-up
A full program of educational and wildlife presentations along with music and theatrical performances are scheduled for the DNR outdoor and garden stages and the fish pond area.

A variety of groups will offer demonstrations on the DNR volunteer outdoor stage and the garden stage (on the west side of the building). There will be presentations promoting state parks, campfire safety, ATVs, fishing, water trails, laser fire extinguishing, snowmobiling, hiking, MN DNR K-9 law enforcement unit, the fish fillet challenge, volcanoes, bicycling, aquatic and terrestrial invasive species, how to leave no trace when camping. Scott Wolter, geologist and TV host of America Unearthed, will display his extensive collection of Lake Superior agates.

The Raptor Center at University of Minnesota will educate people about raptors they see in their own back yards.

Last Chance Forever – The Bird of Prey Conservancy of San Antonio, Texas – will have live bird demonstrations.

There will also be performances by Church Basement Ladies from the Plymouth Playhouse.

Musical acts include Axiom, Ecuador Manta, Russell from MN w/Skippin-Stones, Red Rock Swing Band, Joe Meyer Band, Bitter Ridge, BLT Band (Bill Lommel and Troop), Darlene and the Boys, Roxxy Hall Band, SRO (Standing Room Only), and the Women’s Drum Center.

To view schedule of events, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/events/statefair/schedules.html.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                             Aug. 15, 2013

DNR State Fair exhibit fact sheet

DNR Building

  • Historic DNR building at State Fair opened Sept. 1, 1934.
  • It cost $73,000 to build (almost 10 times the net profit of 1934 State Fair).
  • Gate tickets in 1934 cost 25 cents.
  • Funding came from federal and state emergency relief administration and State Fair funds.
  • Civilian Conservation Corps erected the building in less than six months using machined logs.
  • The main building is 186 feet by 66 feet and is 40 feet high.
  • Approximately 800,000 people visit DNR building and surrounding park area each year.
  • DNR building open daily during State Fair from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

New DNR Aquariums

  • DNR has completely renovated its indoor fish exhibit, installing five large aquariums inside the main DNR building.
  • Each tank shows fish in their native Minnesota habitat: trout of southeastern Minnesota; fish of the St. Croix River; and species of central, southern and northern Minnesota lakes.
  • New aquariums are built lower to the ground, making it easier for more guests to see the turtles, fish and other species.
  • Combined aquarium capacity of more than 5,000 gallons of water, the same amount of water the average family of four uses in a month.
  • When full, tanks will weigh about 118,000 pounds or about the weight of a juvenile Right whale.

DNR Fish Pond

  • The DNR’s live fish exhibit is one of State Fair’s most popular attractions.
  • Outdoor fish pond holds about 50,000 gallons of water.
  • Outdoor pond is kidney-shaped and is about 100 feet by 50 feet.
  • This year’s exhibit is expected to display about 45 species of fish that call Minnesota home.
  • One of the most popular fish with fairgoers is the paddlefish. Characterized by its long, paddle-like bill, the paddlefish is found in the lower Mississippi River below Minneapolis. Paddlefish grow to be quite large, with fish up to 200 pounds being recorded. The paddlefish is a state threatened species.
  • The largest fish in the exhibit is the lake sturgeon, which exceeds 50 inches. A State Fair veteran, this specimen was the gift of an angler who harvested it legally from the St. Croix River several years ago. Lake sturgeon in Minnesota are found in the Mississippi, St. Croix and Rainy river systems.
  • Fish pond talks by MinneAqua program specialists take place at quarter to the half daily, from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

State Park Camper Cabin

  • A state park camper cabin model is on display during the State Fair.
  • Fairgoers can step inside the 24-foot by 12-foot cabin to check it out.
  • Cabins are built to provide a “camping out” experience within the comfort of four walls.
  • Cabin has two sets of bunks allowing accessibility for a wheelchair.
  • Camper cabin includes a picnic table and a fire ring with grill.
  • There are more than 80 camper cabins available to rent in state parks and recreational areas located throughout the state.
  • Most cabins are available to rent year-round. Most have heat and electricity. Cabins rent for about $50 per night.
  • Camper cabin display model open during the State Fair from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily. Located in DNR Park, near southwest corner of DNR building.

DNR Fire Tower

  • Was specifically built for State Fair to provide a wildfire prevention message to visitors.
  • Fire tower opened in 1966 and was closed in 1978 because of safety concerns.
  • Fire tower was repaired and reopened in 2006.
  • Fire tower is 65 feet tall.
  • There are 84 steps from bottom to top.
  • There is no charge for people to climb to fire tower stairs to get birds-eye view of fair.
  • Tower open daily during fair from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., weather permitting.

DNR Wildlife…Forever Wing

  • Fairgoers can learn about Minnesota species and wildlife habitat.
  • Special sound and lighting effects help create an experience of moving from day to night and through the four seasons, as visitors walk through the display.
  • Display located in DNR Building and is open daily during State Fair from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Adopt-a-River Sculpture

  • This is the 20th consecutive year that an Adopt-a-River sculpture has been on display.
  • Each year, a new sculpture is made from trash and scrap collected by an artist at Adopt-a-River cleanups on Minnesota waterways.
  • Sculpture is a tribute to more than 90,000 volunteers who have removed more than 6 million pounds of trash from public waters at more than 3,200 clean-ups over the years.
  • Sculpture is located in DNR Park, south of the DNR fish pond.

Smokey Bear

  • Smokey Bear is celebrating 69 years of reminding children and their parents about the dangers of wildfires.
  • Smokey Bear makes daily appearances at DNR Park at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • In conjunction with the Governor's 16th annual Fire Prevention Day on Friday, Aug. 23, the DNR Forestry Division will host a variety of special activities and Smokey Bear appears at DNR Park at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           Aug. 15, 2013

DNR nursery seedlings on sale

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) state forest nurseries are now accepting orders for April and May seedling pickup or delivery in 2014. Millions of seedlings are available for 2014 planting season, including 21 species of native bareroot trees and shrubs grown from seeds collected in Minnesota.

“A number of new species and packets were added to the 2014 seedling order form,” said Craig VanSickle, nurseries supervisor. “Red cedar, balsam fir, white cedar and cottonwood seedlings are now available, along with fruiting shrub, oak mix and spruce/fir packets.”

Visit the DNR’s website at www.mndnr.gov/nurseries for a list of available species and to download the tree seedling order form. Call 800-657-3767 to order seedlings.

A minimum of 500 seedlings must be ordered, which is enough seedlings to cover an acre of land. Seedlings vary in size from 6 to 18 inches in height, and prices start as low as $115 for 500 seedlings.

These seedlings can be used for reforestation, improving wildlife habitat, creating shelterbelts, developing green buffers to protect water quality and cleaning the air by removing carbon dioxide.

Minnesota landowners with forest stewardship plans should contact their plan writer for cost-share program information that cover costs to purchase and plant seedlings. Contact a local forestry office or visit www.mndnr.gov/foreststewardship to learn about the forest stewardship program.

By law, seedlings purchased from a Minnesota state forest nursery may not be planted for ornamental purposes, resold, given away or removed with roots attached for a period of 10 years from the date of purchase. Seedlings also must be planted in Minnesota.

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