DNR lifted burning restrictions in 13 metro area counties

April 30, 2012

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will lift burning restrictions in 13 Minnesota counties beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, April 27.

The DNR is lifting restrictions in areas where green-up is occurring and wildfire conditions are easing.

The following counties will be removed from burning restrictions April 27: Anoka, Benton, Chisago, Dakota, Douglas, Hennepin, Isanti, Pope, Ramsey, Stearns, Sherburne, Washington and Wright counties.

Although the state burning restrictions are lifted in these counties, local areas, counties or municipalities may have specific regulations or restrictions that affect burning operations.

People should check with local authorities to obtain proper permits before conducting any open burning.

DNR officials advise anyone conducting burning to keep their burn piles small, have a water supply nearby and stay with the fire until it is completely out.

If the fire escapes, the homeowner is responsible for the damage and suppression costs.

Burning permits are available through state and federal forestry offices, from local fire wardens, or online for $5 fee per calendar year at webapps1.dnr.state.mn.us/burning_permits/.

Online permits need to be activated on the day of the burn.

Many counties in central and northern Minnesota will remain under burning restrictions until current wildfire conditions are lessened.

These counties are: Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Carlton, Cass, Clearwater, Cook, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Kanabec, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Polk (part), Roseau, St. Louis, Todd and Wadena counties.

That portion of Polk County south and east of County Road 6 from the Mahnomen County line to Minnesota Highway 92 east to the Clearwater County line remains under burning restrictions.

Burning restrictions for these remaining counties will be lifted when vegetation green-up occurs and safe burning conditions prevail.

Additional information regarding burning restrictions can be found on the DNR’s website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire.

Upcoming events at Waverly Gun Club

Below is a list of the upcoming events at the Waverly Gun Club. For more information, go to www.waverlygunclub.org.

• Handgun league – starting Wed., May 2 for four weeks rom 5 to 8 p.m.

• Summer league for teams and individuals – starting Thursday, May 3 and begins at 6:30 p.m.

• Merchandise shoot – it is Sunday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and lunch is available.

• Women’s pistol league – starts Tuesday, May 6, and continues the second Tuesday of the month throughout the summer.

Apply now for the 2012 MN elk hunt
From the DNR

Hunters have until Friday, June 1, to apply for one of 23 elk licenses offered this year by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Elk licenses will be available in the traditional Grygla area.

Licenses also will be available in Kittson County, which offers its traditional zone and a new zone in the northeast.

Maps of all three hunt zones are available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/elk.

“A larger number of licenses are being offered this year to manage for the goal population levels identified in our elk management plan,” said Erik Thorson, acting DNR big game program coordinator. “A conservative bulls-only hunt is also being offered for the first time this year in a new area of northeastern Kittson County to target a population that also spends time in Manitoba. This limited hunt is designed to maintain this population’s wild behavior while still allowing the herd to grow.”

All applications must be filed electronically at any DNR license agent, the DNR License Center at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul, online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by telephone at (888) 665-4236.

Hunters may apply individually or in parties of two.

There is a non-refundable application fee of $10 per hunter.

Successful applicants will be notified by mail. An elk license costs $250.

Each party will be authorized to harvest one elk.

Applicants must choose one zone in which to apply; they cannot apply to hunt in more than one zone.

One license in the Grygla area and up to three in the Kittson County Central Elk Zone may be issued to qualified landowners in a preferential drawing.

Licenses in the new Kittson County Northeast Elk Zone are only available through the general drawing this year.

Unsuccessful landowner applications will be added to the general drawing, from which the remaining applicants will be selected.

Alternates will be selected in case successful parties opt not to purchase a license.

Three seasons will be conducted in this year’s elk hunt.

The first season in each zone runs from Saturday, Sept. 15, to Sunday, Sept. 23.

The second season in the Grygla and Kittson County Central Elk Zones runs from Saturday, Dec. 1, to Sunday, Dec. 9.

The third season in just the Kittson County Central Elk Zones runs from Saturday, Dec. 15, to Sunday, Dec. 23.

During the first season, two either-sex licenses will be available in Grygla (Zone 10), one either-sex license and five antlerless licenses will be available in Kittson County Central (Zone 20), and two bull-only licenses will be available in Kittson County Northeast (Zone 30).

In the second season, three antlerless licenses will be available in Grygla, while one either-sex license and four antlerless licenses will be available in Kittson County Central.

In the third season, one either-sex license and four antlerless licenses will be available in Kittson County Central.

If no qualified landowners apply, all licenses will be drawn from the general pool of applicants.

In Minnesota, elk hunts are considered once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, which means parties who choose to purchase a license will not be eligible to apply for future elk hunts.

DNR expects bull elk to be the preference of most hunters.

To accommodate this, the first drawing will select hunters for each zone.

A second drawing among selected hunters will determine what license a hunter may purchase and the season in which they can participate.

All successful applicants will be required to attend an orientation session prior to the hunt.

Hunters also will be required to register their elk in their hunt area.

Some biological information relative to elk physical condition will be collected at the check station.

Elk will be tested for chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis as part of Minnesota’s wild cervid disease surveillance program.

Hunters should be aware that all zones contain private land, so permission to hunt these lands should be obtained prior to purchasing a license.

DNR: Celebrate Arbor Month by creating a healthy yard
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds people that May is Arbor Month in Minnesota and Arbor Day, April 27, marks the beginning of an entire month of celebrating trees.

This year, Minnesota’s Arbor Month theme is “Creating a Healthy Community Forest.”

The idea is to encourage planting a wide variety of native trees to create a diverse community forest that is more resilient to large-scale devastation from tree pests.

A DNR 2010 Community Forest Survey showed that more than 50 percent of Minnesota’s community trees are ash, maple and spruce.

“With the 2009 discovery of emerald ash borer in Minnesota and the potential arrival of other invasive species, we could stand to lose a large percentage of our community forest trees to these devastating pests,” said Jennifer Teegarden, DNR forestry outreach specialist.

To celebrate Arbor Month, the DNR created “A Homeowner’s Guide to Creating a Healthy Yard.”

The guide provides an overview of how to transform a traditional yard to one that provides wildlife habitat, environmental benefits, increased property values and landscape diversity using native plants.

Urban and community forestry federal funds helped pay for the guide.

To obtain an Arbor Month packet that includes the guide, contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us, or call (651) 296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367.

Visit the DNR’s Arbor Month Web page at www.mndnr.gov/arbormonth for more information about how to create a healthy yard and to locate an Arbor Day or Arbor Month celebration.

“Remember, Arbor Month and Arbor Day are great times to go outside to explore nature,” Teegarden said.

Land for sale by the DNR
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will offer 12 parcels of land for sale at public auction May 30 at 11 a.m. in the DNR’s Central office, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155. Registration begins at 10:30 am.

Parcels are located in the northern portion of the state including Aitkin, Crow Wing, Cook, Hubbard and St. Louis counties.

While some parcels have been offered before, values are reflecting the change in the real estate market and may be at lower prices than previously offered.

Additional information regarding the land sales and terms and conditions can be found at www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/landsale/index.html.

CO weekley reports
From the DNR

• CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers and boaters in Stearns and Wright counties.
CO Mies checked turkey hunters along with wetland complaints.

• CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave presentations to Firearms Safety Classes in Monticello and Rockford and at a youth ATV class in Rockford.
Reller also followed up on several waters complaints with one resulting in enforcement action for working in public waters without a permit.
A district work crew focusing on ATV violations was attended in Kanabec and Aitkin counties.

• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) attended training at Camp Ripley.
Several calls were returned on angling regulations and nuisance animals. Equipment maintenance was performed

• CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) attended division training at Camp Ripley.
She testified in court for fishing case from last summer.
She also worked at a DNR booth at the Minnesota Bass Expo in Blaine.

• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) attended Use of Force Instructor School at the St. Paul Police Department. 
CO Oberg also scheduled several FAS talks and other classes. 
Officer Oberg also dealt with nuisance animal calls.

• CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling and boating activity.
Additional time was spent checking and advising boaters of AIS laws.
Hatlestad also spent time checking turkey hunters and ATV activity.

Question of the week
From the DNR

Q: It’s not uncommon for lakeshore property owners to return to their cabins in the spring to find damage to their shoreline, retaining walls, docks and boat lifts, and sometimes to the cabins themselves. What causes this?

A: This type of property damage is caused by “ice heaving” or “ice jacking.”

As ice freezes and thaws, cracks form because of the different contraction rates at the top and bottom of the ice sheet.

This is especially true in years when there’s a lack of insulating snow cover.

When the water rises in the cracks and freezes, the ice sheet expands slightly.

Rising air temperatures warms the ice, which causes the additional expansion to exert a tremendous thrust against the shore.

This powerful natural force forms a feature along the shoreline known as an ice ridge.

These ridges can sometimes reach as high as five feet or more.

Additional warming and cooling of an ice sheet can cause additional pushing action that possesses enough power to nudge bridge masonry piers out of plumb and push houses off their foundations.

For more information about ice ridges, go to: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/publications/waters/shoreline_alterations_ice_ridges.pdf