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The nation's top forecasters are predicting a colder-than-normal winter across the Northland. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a 2011-2012 winter outlook today that calls for a better-than-average chance that temperatures will be colder than normal across much of the northern U.S.
ON LAKE THREE -- The last firefighters are set to fly or canoe out of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness today, leaving any lingering puffs of smoke and flame in the Pagami Creek fire for the first winter snows to snuff. But even as a massive cleanup continues of 150 miles of fire hose, dozens of water pumps, 200 canoes and other gear used to battle the blaze over the past two months, Forest Service officials already are turning their attention to next summer's onslaught of campers. On Wednesday, here on the northwestern corner of the fire, forest officials toured campsites where the
The Pagami Creek fire in the Superior National Forest jumped outside its perimeter in spots in recent days fanned by strong winds in tinder-dry conditions. Trees inside the perimeter of the fire burned as well, sending embers in the wind that landed and started new fires that ground and air crews immediately attacked. Daria Day, an information officer assigned to the fire, said that despite the wind challenge, "we managed to hold our own." She said wind gusts reached as high as 36 mph with a sustained wind in the teens. She said the southeast wind pushed smoke across the Fernberg Trail area
ST. PAUL -- Residents and cabin owners in the Ely and Isabella areas won another reprieve Wednesday from any mining company exploration under their lands. The state's Executive Council voted unanimously to wait six more months before reconsidering a proposal to lease state-owned mineral rights to mining companies to explore in Northeastern Minnesota, including under private property. Gov.
A popular federal program that for 33 years has quietly trapped and killed thousands of wolves in northern Minnesota will become extinct after Friday. The wolves were targeted near where livestock and pets had been killed. And almost everyone who knew about the program -- farmers, conservation leaders, wolf lovers, state natural resource officials, Republican and Democratic politicians -- liked it. But with a moratorium on earmarks in Washington, there's no money assigned to the program after fiscal 2011 ends Friday, when wolf trappers will cease operations.
More than 830 people are now helping stamp out the remnants of the Pagami Creek fire in the Superior National Forest, and they're having an easier time of it after several days of rain. Crews now have more than 30 percent of the fire contained thanks to help from several aircraft, bulldozers, fire trucks and more. But more than an inch of rain since Sunday has been the biggest factor, along with cool temperatures. "It was raining hard enough (Wednesday) that they took the crews off the line by about noon.
Yet another cougar has moved across the Northland, heading east into Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Trail camera photographs taken in northern Douglas County on July 25, in Iron County on Aug. 30 and near Ontonagon, Mich., on Sept.
NINE MILE LAKE -- Patty and Gregg Scott spent four years building their log home, on their own, from the ground up, and they weren't about to sit around and wait for the Pagami Creek fire to burn it down. So on Wednesday, joined by friends and family, they grabbed chain saws and a skid-steer and fire pumps and hoses -- and they hacked out a line in the forest where they would fight the fire on their terms. "This is our dream. We built this with our own hands. It's not just a house," Patty Scott said as she hauled a balsam fir tree out of their woods.
Parts of Northeastern Minnesota have been without much rain for weeks now, with an officially severe drought spreading in parts of St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows a spreading area of abnormally dry conditions across northern Minnesota. The effects have been obvious. Birch trees have turned yellow and are dropping their leaves weeks earlier than usual under the stress of drought. Bears are desperate for food because late-summer berries and nut crops never materialized. Streams are dry and lake levels are dropping.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has pulled a proposal for mineral exploration leases off the agenda of the Minnesota Executive Council set to meet next week at the Capitol. The council, comprising the state's top elected officials, considered the mining leases in June but kicked them back to the DNR for more work. DNR leases, some of them for private property where landowners don't own the mineral rights, are located where state geologists and mining companies think there may be valuable deposits of copper, nickel, gold and other minerals that might be mined in the future.