MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #51 July 10, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
Blue Mounds State Park re-opens July 14
Blue Mounds State Park will re-open Monday, July 14, following flood damage that forced the park to close on June 18, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.
“Our staff has done an exceptional job of making repairs and stabilizing the park,” said Kathy Dummer, southern region operations manager for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “Although there is more work to do, we are ready to welcome visitors.”
The campground, interpretive center, climbing area and all trails except the Mound Creek Trail will open
The park received nearly 11 inches of rain during two storms June 14-17. Excessive storm water runoff and rapidly rising waters and accompanying debris in Blue Mounds Creek damaged many areas of the park, including roads, trails, bison fence and the spillway connected to the dam on Lower Mound Lake.
In spite of the damage, no visitors to the park were injured. The park’s bison herd weathered the storms and remain in good health.
The park also continues to resolve the discovery of E.coli bacteria in the park’s water system earlier this spring, Drummer said. Flush toilets are available, but the park’s showers and sinks are closed. Water spigots within the campground and park are tagged as unsafe to use. Campers and visitors are encouraged to bring their own water. The cities of Pipestone and Luverne both have trailer dump stations. Campers can fill up water tanks at those locations for no charge. Camden, Split Rock and Lake Shetek state parks have also all agreed to provide water to fill campers.
Blue Mounds State Park is 40 minutes east of Sioux Falls off Interstate 90 and 3 1/2 hours southwest of Minneapolis, near the city of Luverne.
The park is known for its herd of bison, Sioux quartzite cliffs, rising 100 feet from the plains and sea of prairie grasses and flowers. The park is a favorite for birdwatchers who want to see nesting blue grosbeaks and other birds. Camping and rock climbing are popular activities at the park.
Updates and more information on the park can be found at www.mndnr.gov/bluemounds. Questions can be directed to the park office at 507-283-6051.
DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 10, 2014
“Mentored hunts teach youth about waterfowl habitat and techniques for safe and enjoyable hunting,” said Mike Kurre, mentoring program coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. National Wildlife Service, Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club and the DNR have teamed up to offer the hunts, which will take place in five areas:
Application forms must be received at the DNR central office by midnight on Monday, Aug. 11. Applicants will be drawn in a lottery, with preference given to novice hunters. Applicants will be notified within two weeks of the hunt. Successful applicants must attend an orientation on Friday, Sept. 12.
More information and the application form can be found at www.mndnr.gov/discover by clicking on mentored youth waterfowl hunt.
An annual subscription includes a spring, summer, fall and winter publication on hunting, fishing and the rest of the outdoors, and regularly costs $18 but with this offer is half-off for a purchase price of only $9. To subscribe, go to www.mndnr.gov/mnsportingjournal, note the password provided and use it after following the subscription link.
The promotion is available only through the DNR Minnesota Sporting Journal Web page and is limited to the first 3,000 customers or until Sunday, Nov. 30, whichever occurs first.
Learn camping basics at Lake Bemidji State Park
Learn to camp or refresh rusty outdoor skills during a two-night I Can Camp! program on July 25 and 26 at Lake Bemidji State Park.
Experienced instructors from Conservation Corps Minnesota will teach I Can Camp! participants basic camping and outdoor skills, including how to set up a tent, how to build a campfire and camp cooking. All camping equipment is provided (including tents, air mattresses and cook stoves). Participants just bring their own food and bedding (sleeping bags or blankets and pillows).
"Camping is fun, and it’s a longstanding Minnesota tradition," said Eric Pelto, who coordinates the “I Can Camp!” programs for the Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division. “Our instructors will be on hand to help with everything from tent set-up to meal preparation. They’ll also try to make sure everyone has fun by providing opportunities to try geocaching, digital photography and other activities.”
The I Can Camp! program is $60 for a tent accommodating up to six people. A one-day vehicle pass will be included as part of the program fee, or participants may buy a year-round Minnesota state parks permit for an additional $20.
Reservations can be made online or by phone.
I Can Camp! is part of a series of skill-building programs offered by the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. Other programs in the series introduce climbing, fishing, paddling and archery to beginners.
The programs are made possible with support from the Parks and Trails Fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25 percent of the sales tax revenue and may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.
For more information about the programs, visit www.mndnr.gov/ican or contact the DNR Information Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.