Conservation grants available for local groups

Feb. 7, 2011

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

The Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program (CPL) will accept a second round of applications for conservation projects starting Feb. 15.

Approximately $775,000 remains from the fiscal year 2011 appropriation for the program to be used for projects requesting between $5,000 and $125,000.

“We’re looking for good, small projects that will benefit Minnesota’s fish, game and wildlife,” said Leslie Tannahill, CPL grant coordinator. “In the first round of fiscal year 2011 applications, we received more applications for larger projects. This round we want to see the smaller ones. This is the perfect opportunity for local groups to get involved.”

Examples of previously funded projects and their locations can be found on the DNR’s website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/grants/habitat/cpl/2011_info.html.

Grants are available to local, regional, state and national organizations and to government entities.

Projects are eligible in the following categories:

• Restore or enhance fish and wildlife habitat on lands permanently protected by conservation easements or public ownership

• Protect land through acquisition of fee title or conservation easements that will be open to public hunting and fishing during open seasons.

A nonstate match of at least 10 percent is required for all applications requesting up to $100,000, and at least 15 percent nonstate funds are required for all applications requesting more than $100,000.

All applications must be submitted using the CPL online grant application system on the CPL website.

Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on March 31.

Information on CPL grants, including the FY2011 Request for Proposal and Program Manual, can be found on the CPL webpage at www.mndnr.gov/grants/habitat/cpl.

Howard Lake fishing derby is Saturday

The 65th annual Howard Lake ice fishing derby is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. on Howard Lake.

The derby is put on by the Howard Lake Sportsmen’s Club, and offers a grand prize of a 6.5’x12’ Ice Castle V-front fish house on wheels.

A FL8 Vexilar Depth Finder is first prize, with framed prints for second and third prize.

Additional prizes will also be awarded at the event.

Prior to the derby, The Country Store will have a wildlife art display with 25 or more wildlife prints available by silent bid followed by a Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Recipe Tasting from 11 a.m. to noon.

The Wild Rice tasting will serve until the supply is gone, and is free and open to the public – all you need is a raffle ticket, which is available at the event.

For additional information on the ice fishing derby, contact Denny Decker at (320) 543-2992.

Wright County PF corn giveaway Feb. 19

The Wright County Chapter of Pheasants Forever and Centra Sota have partnered to provide a corn giveaway for pheasants and wildlife Saturday, Feb. 19, from 8 to 11 a.m. at Lampi’s Auction located at Hwy. 55 and Wright Cty. #6.

Please bring your own containers. Quantities will be limited due to demand.

For additional information call (320) 274-CORN (2676).

If you would like to volunteer to assist with this event or any other events contact Bruce Bartl at (763) 682-0653.

Prairie Archers to host Sweethearts dinner at the Dodge House

Prairie Archers will be hosting a Sweethears dinner Saturday, Feb. 12 at the Dodge House in Lester Prairie from 4 to 8 p.m.

The prime rib dinner costs $16 and includes baked potato, tossed salad, dessert, coffee or milk, and a complimentary beverage.

Dinners need to be reserved prior to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, and there are no walk-ins as a limited number of meals are available.

To reserve a dinner, call either (320) 395-2877 or (320) 395-2721.

An alternate dinner that includes a 12 ounce butterfly pork chop is available for $10.

Waverly Gun Club to have concealed carry classes coming up

The Waverly Gun Club will be offering concealed carry classes in each of the next four months.

Each class takes place for two nights, and is offered once a month through April.

The classes in January begin at 6 p.m., and there is a $100 fee for the eight-hour class, spread over two nights.

The class dates are:
• Monday, Feb. 14 and Wednesday, Feb. 16.
• Monday, March 14 and Wednesday, March 16.
• Tuesday, April 19 and Wednesday, April 20.

For more information or to register, call Kevin at (763) 242-4553.

Watertown firearms safety training

Registration for Watertown firearms safety training will be Saturday, March 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Watertown Rod and Gun Club.

Classes will be March 24, 25, 29, 31, and April 4 and 7, with a field day being Saturday, April 9 at 8 a.m.

All classes will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

For additional information go to www.watertownFST@yahoo.com, or contact Cory (763) 218-3228 or Patrick (612) 709-1243.

Rainbow Sportsmen’s Club annual ice fishing contest is Feb. 13

The Rainbow Sportsmen’s Club is hosting its annual Ice Fishing Contest and raffle Sunday, Feb. 13 from 2 to 4 p.m. on Brooks Lake in Cokato.

The fishing contest is free, along with free minnows and hole drilling.

There are both junior and senior divisions for the fishing.

Raffle tickets are $1 each for a chance at the $300 top cash prize, along with many other merchandise and cash prizes.

There will be a lunch wagon on site with hot pork sandwiches, hot dogs, and beverages.

Bring out the whole family for some winter fun and relaxation.

For more information, contact Tim at (320) 980-0460 or Dave at (612) 670-1916.

Minnesota Deer Hunter’s banquet

The Minnesota River Valley Chapter of the MDHA is having its 28th annual banquet Saturday, Feb. 19. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Social hour starts at 5 p.m., dinner is at 7 p.m., and the program starts at 8 p.m.

Cost for the banquet is $25 for adults, and $15 for youth.

It will be held at the KC Hall in Shakopee, which is located at 1760 East 4th Avenue.

For tickets or more details, please contact Barb Breeggemann at (952) 445-4396.

Conservation officers reports from area
From the DNR

• CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers.
CO Mies worked on commercial inspections.
Mies also checked sleds and worked on a trespass case.

• CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked anglers and snowmobile activity in Wright County.
Several complaints were investigated and enforcement action was taken for leaving litter on the ice and leaving lines unattended in fish houses.
Reller also checked snowmobilers on area trails with very good compliance of the rules and regulations.
Only a few violations were detected for speed and registration violations.

• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) coordinated a District 13 work detail on Lake Waconia during the vintage snowmobile event. Anglers were checked on special regulation lakes with complaints being worked on anglers double tripping on pan fish.
Fishing success has started to get much better on area lakes

• CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) worked the Antique Snowmobile Show on Lake Waconia and other area trails with district officers focusing on snowmobile enforcement.
Violations included speed, failing to display snowmobile registration, failing to stop at road crossings, no safety training, operating against traffic at night, no trail permit, and allowing illegal operation of a snowmobile by a juvenile.
She worked Lake Minnetonka checking fish shelters and snowmobiles.
Assistance was given to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office on an ATV personal injury crash on Lake Minnetonka.
She also scheduled numerous firearms safety classes and clinics.

• CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling and spearing activity.
Additional time was spent checking ATV and snowmobile activity.
Hatlestad also followed up on a litter violation, an abandoned vehicle on a lake, and various big game issues.

• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports working mostly angling enforcement.
A good perch and pike bite is still going well on Lake Titloe, but only a few limits are being caught now.
CO Oberg also took time to speak at the Snowmobile Safety Class in Arlington.
He also worked snowmobile and ATV enforcement.

Landowner permits, deer feeding ban part of DNR’s CWD plan
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is taking the next steps in implementing its Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) incident response plan.

They include inviting landowners to participate in a deer sampling process, and putting in place a deer feeding ban.

Landowners who obtain shooting permits from the DNR will be authorized to take deer in a portion of southeastern Minnesota within roughly 10 miles of where a CWD positive wild deer was found, as part of the agency’s efforts to sample wild deer in the Pine Island area for CWD.

Landowners who accept shooting permits will be allowed to authorize additional shooters.

All harvested deer will be tested for CWD.

“Rather than having a traditional special hunt, we are working through local landowners to issue permits so they can assist with the sampling effort,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator and CWD incident commander. “All the land in the surveillance area is private land that cannot be hunted without permission.”

Carcasses of deer taken can be retained by the landowner or designated shooters, or surrendered to DNR for donation to individuals.

CWD test results are expected to be available within three business days so that people holding carcasses can make decisions on processing and consumption.

This approach will provide for more landowner control of shooters on their property and will also allow for better control of movement of carcasses prior to testing results being available.

Prions can be spread through portions of carcasses, particularly brain and spinal column.

If any CWD positive deer are identified, the carcasses will be taken to the University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for disposal.

DNR staff began contacting landowners in the CWD surveillance area on Thursday.

Landowner contacts are prioritized based on deer numbers and proximity to the location where the infected deer was harvested.

The deer population estimate based on the aerial survey has been completed and DNR estimates there are 6,500 deer within a 10-mile radius around the positive deer.

Of those 6,500 deer, 1,900 were seen within the core area, which is roughly a 5-mile radius around the positive deer.

Some of the highest deer numbers were observed in the area the positive deer was taken.

Based on these numbers, DNR has calculated a surveillance goal of 900 deer, of which 500 should be taken from the core area.

The possibility of using U.S. Department of Agriculture sharpshooters during the sampling effort also is being considered, but no specific plan is in place.

“Our hope is that we can get the majority of the needed sample with landowner shooting,” Cornicelli said. “There may be cases where a landowner prefers sharpshooters, or we need to increase sample size in certain areas beyond what we can get through landowner permits.

“Our goal is to determine the level of infection in the local deer population and to remove additional potentially infected animals,” he said.

In addition to the upcoming sampling effort, a deer feeding ban covering Dodge, Goodhue, Olmsted and Wabasha counties will be in place later this month.

The feeding ban includes a wider area because the potential extent of the CWD infection is not known and one of the most probable mechanisms for CWD spread among deer is over a food source that concentrates animals.

“One simple step that anyone placing food out for wildlife can do to help prevent the spread of disease is to stop feeding deer,” Cornicelli said.

DNR officials will present current CWD information and plans at a public meeting scheduled for Monday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Pine Island High School cafeteria.

After the presentation, a panel of experts from DNR, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association will be available to answer questions.

CWD is a fatal brain disease that affects deer, elk and moose, but not cattle or humans.

The disease was confirmed in Minnesota’s first wild deer Jan. 25.

An archer harvested that deer near Pine Island in November 2010.

The DNR has been actively on the lookout for CWD since 2002, when the disease was first found in a domestic elk farm in central Minnesota. An important management strategy for CWD is early detection.

DNR increased its southeastern Minnesota wild deer CWD surveillance efforts in fall 2009 after tests in January 2009 determined that a captive elk on a farm near Pine Island was infected with CWD.

The elk farm was depopulated in fall of 2009 and a total of four CWD positive captive elk were found.

Heightened wild deer surveillance efforts continued in 2010, with one CWD-positive deer detected.

Since 2002, the DNR has tested more than 32,000 hunter-harvested or road-killed deer, 60 elk and 90 moose as part of its early CWD detection strategy.