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MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #96                                                                               Dec. 23, 2013 
All news releases are available in the DNR’s website newsroom at www.mndnr.gov/news.

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IN THIS ISSUE
DNR seeks public comments on Woodtick Wheelers
  ATV/OHM trail in Cass County
Question of the week: Deer winter survival


DNR NEWS-FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DNR seeks public comments on Woodtick Wheelers
ATV/OHM trail in Cass County

Comments are due by Friday, Jan. 24, at 4:30 p.m.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites public comment on an application for off-highway vehicle (OHV) grant-in-aid funding for a 12-mile all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and off-highway motorcycle (OHM) trail in Cass County.  The trail would connect the community of Whipholt (on the south shore of Leech Lake) to the city of Longville.
 
Cass County would sponsor the trail and would provide trail monitoring, development and maintenance in cooperation with the Woodtick Wheelers ATV/OHM Club. Trail development and maintenance would be partially funded through the state OHV grant-in-aid program. The trail would be open to motorized recreation from May 1 through Nov. 1 each year, subject to closures for safety considerations or to prevent erosion or damage to the trail.
 
The DNR welcomes public input on the trail proposal. Copies of the proposal and a project map are available for review at www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/mgmtplans/ohv/plans/woodtick_wheeler.html.

To request a printed copy of the trail description, or to submit comments, please contact Dave Schotzko, area supervisor, DNR Parks and Trails Division, via:

The deadline for comments is 4:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 24.

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DNR QUESTION OF THE WEEK

Q: How does the winter cold and snow affect deer, and how do they survive Minnesota’s winter weather?

A:  Wildlife in Minnesota must be able to withstand a wide variety of environmental conditions, which provides a niche for cold-adapted species that may otherwise be outcompeted by species that cannot survive the winter. White tailed deer are found throughout North America and Central America, but also exhibit some winter adaptations. The heavy fur on the outside of a deer’s coat is hollow. The air stored inside each hair serves as an insulator that buffers the deer’s warm body from colder outside temperatures, much like the insulation inside a house’s wall traps warm air.

Snow affects deer in many ways. Like the hair on a deer’s back, fluffy snow can also trap air and provide good insulation for any animal that beds down in a deep snow drift. Snow can also be a detriment to deer because it can make food more difficult to find. In winter, deer often shift from typical grazers feeding on grasses and herbaceous plants to browsers that feed on buds and rely on fat reserves gained during the summer. Deep snow can also make travel more difficult for deer, meaning that they may alter their movement patterns or try to find areas where food and cover from wind are nearby one another. This can cause deer to “herd up” in winter as they congregate near an available source of food or a windbreak.

-Charlie Tucker, assistant manager, Red Lake Wildlife Management Area

 


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