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MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #12                                                                                    Feb. 14, 2014
All news releases are available in the DNR’s website newsroom at www.mndnr.gov/news.
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IN THIS ISSUE
DNR proposes to extend fall southeastern Minnesota trout season
Minnesota’s moose population trend shows no significant change
DNR, MDHA to conduct deer listening sessions statewide

With winter trail recreation strong, DNR urges caution
Minnesota scientific and natural areas debuts Facebook page
DNR offers archery series for women


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

DNR proposes to extend fall southeastern Minnesota trout season

The fall catch-and-release trout season in all of southeastern Minnesota would be extended from Sept. 30 to Oct. 15 if changes now being considered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are adopted.

Other proposed changes include allowing catch-and-release angling on designated trout streams in southeastern Minnesota state parks from Oct. 15 to Dec. 31 and extending the winter trout fishing season in some southeastern Minnesota streams to all designated trout streams in southeastern Minnesota.

The proposed new rules and repeal of others will be adopted without a public hearing unless 25 signatures requesting one are received in writing by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 28.

Comments or questions on the proposed changes and written requests for a public hearing should be submitted to Linda Erickson-Eastwood, DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4020.

Complete information on the proposed changes and formal notice of their pending adoption are available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/input/rules/fisheries/se-mn-trout.html.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    Feb. 14, 2014

Minnesota’s moose population trend shows no significant change

Aerial moose survey results for 2014 show no significant change in Minnesota’s moose population even though more animals were seen than last year.

Results of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ annual aerial moose survey place the 2014 statewide moose population estimate at 4,350. The 2013 estimate was 2,760 but due to variability in the estimates, this year’s estimate does not represent a statistically significant change.

“The higher estimate this winter likely is related to ideal survey conditions rather than any actual increase in the population,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the DNR. “This year’s heavy snows across northeastern Minnesota made it comparatively easy to spot dark-bodied moose against an unbroken background of white.”

Cornicelli said this year’s estimate is very close to the 2012 estimate of 4,230, which suggests that last year’s estimate may have under-counted the population.

“All wildlife population surveys have inherent degrees of uncertainty,” he said. “Long-term trend and population estimates are more informative and significant than annual estimates.”

That long-term trend shows Minnesota’s moose population is continuing a significant downward trend. Even with this year’s higher population estimate, the number of moose is about half of 2006’s estimate of 8,840.

DNR’s ongoing moose mortality research also is providing important information on population status.

“Mortality rates of 21 percent among adult moose and 74 percent for calves in the first year of the studies illustrate the complexity of Minnesota’s moose population problem,” Cornicelli said. “Even though we counted more moose on this year’s survey than last year, the radio-collar data and overall population trend over time indicate a continuing population decline.”

The adult and calf moose mortality studies are in their second year. Researchers just completed collaring an additional 36 adult moose to replace those that died in 2013. Another 50 newborn calves will be collared this spring. Researchers hope information and insights gathered during the study will help identify potential management and habitat options that may stop or slow the long-term population decline.

No final decision about moose hunting will be made until after the DNR consults with the affected Chippewa bands in the 1854 Treaty ceded territory of northeastern Minnesota. The DNR suspended the season in 2013 because of last year’s low population estimate.

The DNR has conducted aerial moose population surveys in northeastern Minnesota since 1960. The survey involves flying a helicopter across 52 randomly selected areas of northeastern Minnesota to count moose. The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the 1854 Treaty Authority contribute funding and provide personnel for the annual survey.

A copy of the 2014 aerial survey is available online at www.mndnr.gov/moose, a Web page that also provides information on the DNR’s ongoing moose mortality research project.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    Feb. 14, 2014

DNR, MDHA to conduct deer listening sessions statewide

Listening sessions on deer population management scheduled later this winter throughout Minnesota will provide citizens an opportunity to voice their perspectives.

The Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) will co-sponsor the meetings. Meeting dates and locations will be announced later this month.

“We’ve been hearing from hunters who are concerned about current deer numbers and potential population impacts as a result of this winter,” said Paul Telander, DNR wildlife section chief. “These listening sessions provide an opportunity for direct interaction and communication.”

The sessions will be open to the general public. Anyone interested in deer management is encouraged to participate.  In addition to the public sessions, comments will be accepted on the DNR’s deer management Web page at www.mndnr.gov/deer.

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with the DNR and bring this discussion out to the different regions of the state,” said Mark Johnson, MDHA executive director.  “In many areas of the state, our members are seeking changes to the deer hunting regulations that will increase the state’s deer population. We plan to work with the DNR to increase deer numbers in those areas and improve hunter satisfaction.”

Johnson said changes in harvest strategies are needed in the short-term. For the long-term, MDHA also will continue their work with the DNR and others on efforts to enhance deer habitat.

Information on the upcoming listening sessions will be announced to the media and posted online at www.mndnr.gov/deer and www.mndeerhunters.com.  Individuals who subscribe to the DNR’s email lists for deer management and hunting information will be notified. To become an email subscriber, sign up online at www.mndnr.gov/emailupdates.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   Feb. 14, 2014

With winter trail recreation strong, DNR urges caution

With winter trail recreation up this year, the Department of Natural Resources advises people to be aware that some winter trails, such as groomed ski trails, are not open to bicyclists.

“We have had a great snowmobile and cross-country ski season so far,” said Andrew Korsberg, state trail program coordinator for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “Snowmobile registrations and ski pass sales are up from last year, and we have seen an increased interest in other types of winter sports, such as winter bicycling.”

The DNR grooms, plows and packs trails for many types of winter recreation and asks trail users to pay close attention to which are which. There are legal restrictions on trail use in some cases and safety considerations in others.

In addition to the usual questions about whether it’s OK to walk or snowshoe on groomed ski trails (it’s not), the DNR has been getting a variety of questions this year about where fat bikes are allowed.

Fat bikes have wide, low-pressure tires designed for use on snow and sand. They are not allowed on groomed ski trails. They are also prohibited on the state’s 21,000 miles of grant-in-aid snowmobile trails, many of which are on private property, where landowners have given permission only for snowmobiling.

For winter cycling enthusiasts, there are an increasing number of places to ride fat bikes throughout the state. There are about 10 miles of groomed trails for fat bikes at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area near Brainerd.

The DNR also allows fat bikes on two state trails in the Twin Cities. In the east metro, fat bikes can ride the 12-mile stretch of the Gateway State Trail from Cayuga Street to Jamaca Avenue. In the west metro, they can ride the 7-mile segment of the Luce Line State Trail, from Vicksburg Lane to Stubbs Bay Road.

For more information about the fat-bike trails at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, visit www.mndnr.gov/cuyuna.

Find maps of the Gateway (www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_trails/gateway/index.html) and Luce Line (www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_trails/luce_line/index.html) state trails online or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or call 651-296-6157, toll-free 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      Feb. 14, 2014

Minnesota scientific and natural areas debuts Facebook page

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is expanding its use of social media with the launch of a Facebook page www.facebook.com/MinnesotaSNAs for its scientific and natural areas (SNAs).

The DNR now has 11 Facebook pages and four Twitter accounts. The SNA Facebook page is part of a larger scientific and natural area outreach initiative to increase interest, understanding, and support of SNAs by building long-lasting and action-based conservation ethics.

The Facebook page is just one method the DNR is using to increase awareness, interest, understanding, and support of natural areas. Others include:

  • Reaching interested readers with Nature Notes e-News.
  • An expanding network of volunteer site stewards.
  • An updated website.
  • And a variety of events each month at SNAs across the state.

SNAs preserve natural features and rare resources of exceptional scientific and educational value that encompass:

  • Undisturbed plant communities.
  • Rare or endangered species habitat.
  • Seasonal habitat for bird or animal concentrations.
  • Natural geologic formations and features.
  • Plant communities undergoing succession as a result of natural processes.

Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.

Learn more about SNA’s at www.mndnr.gov/snas.

For more information about the new Facebook page or other outreach initiatives, send email to: sna.dnr@state.mn.us.

See the DNR’s social media community at www.mndnr.gov/social-media.
 
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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               Feb. 14, 2014

DNR offers archery series for women

Women who want to learn archery or improve existing skills can enroll in archery programs offered this spring through the Department of Natural Resources’ Becoming An Outdoors Woman (BOW) program.

Beginners can attend a series of events to learn archery basics, selecting proper equipment, target shooting at bulls-eye targets and finally 3-D targets. The advanced hunting series enables women to earn their Bowhunter Education certificate. Women who complete either three-part series have priority for mentored archery spring turkey hunts and fall archery deer hunts.

“These programs are great places to develop and hone skills in a positive, supportive and non-intimidating environment,” said Linda Bylander, BOW program coordinator. They are offered in collaboration with Safari Club International’s North Country Bowhunters Chapter. 

The beginner’s archery series will be held:
Date        Location                                 Time
March 1    Schwan Center, Blaine              2-4 p.m.
March 9    A-1 Archery, Hudson, Wis.        TBD
April 12    Chilakoot Archery, Stillwater      Noon-4 p.m.

The advanced hunting archery series will be held:
Date        Location                                  Time
March 1    Schwan Center, Blaine               4-8 p.m.
March 22  Chilakoot Archery, Stillwater       8 a.m-6 p.m.
April 12    Chilakoot Archery, Stillwater       Noon-4 p.m.

For more information or to register, contact Bylander at linda.bylander@state.mn.us or 218-833-8628.

BOW offers a wide ranges of outdoor skill classes in fishing, hunting and outdoor recreational activities. Visit www.mndnr.gov/bow on the DNR website to see list of 2014 BOW classes or call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 and request a copy of the 2014 catalog.

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