MN DNR

DNR bear biologist and research project leader Dave Garshelis joins Heidi Holtan and John Latimer on the Tuesday Morning Show to talk about bears.  Dave talks about bears getting into our bird feeders and garbage due to easy access and the 70% decline in natural foods over the past decades.  For more about living and recreating in bear habitat, visit the DNR website.

John Latimer had the chance for an extended conversation with the ebulliant Megan Benage.  She's a regional biologist who specializes in prairies and grasslands.  You can check out the Prairie Pod Podcast here. 

And check out the Recreation Compass from the DNR's website that Megan mentions.

From the MN DNR:

Fishing opener is a Minnesota rite of springtime, and this Saturday’s kickoff of fishing for walleye, bass, trout in lakes, and northern pike will have anglers on the water to wet a line, reconnect with nature and benefit from time spent outdoors.

While the fishing opener is a time-honored tradition, the COVID-19 pandemic requires that Minnesotans approach the fishing opener differently this year, said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen.

Andy Tri is a bear biologist with the Minnesota DNR.  We caught up with him this morning and talked about dens, cubs, what's happening with bears now, what to do if you accidentally flush a bear off a nest, and what happens when bear cubs are orphaned. 

This past fall, several bears denned in cornfields left standing because of a particularly wet season.  Farmers are connecting with local conservation officers to handle the situation when they come across a den.  Andy told us about that process as well.  

audobon.com

The Aitkin County Private Woodlands Committee Winter Tour is Saturday December 7th from 8-4:30 at the McGregor Community Center.  The tour is called “Taking A New Look At My Land”.  This day of learning helps us to understand how our private lands are part of a complex landscape, connected to the world.  For instance: 

The timber harvested locally plays a part in a global economy. 

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/nongame/projects/mlmp_state.html

Non-Game specialist, Gaea Crozier from the DNR joined us this morning to tell us more about why they need volunteers for a loon study coming up at the end of June/beginning of July. 

The Minnesota Loon Monitoring Program is a great way to get involved with wildlife on lakes near you.

The Minnesota Loon Monitoring Program is a long-term project of the Nongame Wildlife Program of the DNR. Hundreds of volunteers collect information about common loon numbers on more than 600 lakes.

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/aboutdnr/commissioner/index.html

Sarah Strommen is the new DNR Commissioner for the state of Minnesota.  We had a chance to talk about the hot-button issues like Chronic Wasting Disease, Aquatic Invasive Species, Enbridge Energy Line 3 Pipeline Project that the agency works with and the MN Legislature and the DNR's budget, slot limits for fishing and Minnesota's state park system.

dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html

Heidi and John spoke with Paul Lundgren State of Minnesota Wildfire Section Manager about:

  • Burning restrictions and why they contribute to wildfire prevention (30 percent reduction in Minnesota wildfires during the last decade).
  • Consequences of an escaped burn pile – injury and property destruction
  • Number of wildfires and acres burned so far in spring 2018

Information on Burning Restrictions visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Tune in for our weekly segment - this week the latest on copper nickel mining in Hoyt Lakes -Polymet, the DNR is studying bears and ice conditions. 

Quinn Swanson

Mike Duval and Phil Hunsicker are keynote speakers for this year's Back to Basics workshop in Pine River. Both of them work for the MN DNR's Division of Ecological and Water Resources. Phil is an Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Planner and Mike is District Manager. They're also both musicians in the band Hans Blix and the Weapons Inspectors.