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The 2019 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon will start next Sunday just outside Duluth and wind its way to Grand Portage, about 100 miles shorter than previous years and, unlike every past year, it won't be coming back to the start. Race organizers decided a shorter, one-way race could help breathe new life into Minnesota's most famous dog sled event, especially by attracting more entrants.
Wisconsin's first confirmed cases of West Nile virus in ruffed grouse were reported Tuesday by the state Department of Natural Resources. The DNR said that West Nile was confirmed in three of 16 grouse tested so far. The DNR said the results are still preliminary because another 238 grouse samples remain to be tested. The agency is testing both sickly grouse that were turned in to wildlife officials and grouse blood samples submitted by hunter volunteers in the field.
Here's hoping you enjoyed Tuesday's balmy temperatures across the Northland — highs in the upper 20s across much of the region — because we may not see days that warm again until well into February. The National Weather Service is calling for a huge pool of Siberian cold air to funnel into the eastern U.S. in coming days. Some forecasters have called it another Polar Vortex pattern.
Minnesotans interested in deer management can apply to serve on a new, statewide Deer Advisory Committee aimed at developing better communications between the public and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
With Minnesota wildlife officials scrambling this winter to slow the spread of chronic wasting disease among wild deer in southeastern counties, and 55 Wisconsin counties now identified as CWD sites, the impacts of the disease are hitting closer to the Northland.
If you hunt or fish, camp at state parks, cross-country ski, hike or snowmobile on trails — or if you have an opinion on copper mining or wild rice in northern Minnesota — you might want to pay attention to Sarah Strommen over at least the next four years. Strommen is the new commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources in a state that pays a lot of attention to natural resources. Gov. Tim Walz chose Strommen, 46, to lead 2,700 employees with a two-year budget of $1.1 billion at the DNR.
The lingering, partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government has reached out to touch another facet of Northland life — this time halting the Isle Royale wildlife study underway for 60 years on the big Lake Superior island. Researchers at Michigan Technological University have been told they can't go to the island until the government shutdown is over. It marks the first time since 1958 that the scientists won't be on the island to conduct detailed population counts and do other studies of the wolves and moose that call Isle Royale home.
The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has filed an appeal with the Minnesota Court of Appeals challenging the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's permit issued for continued operations of U.S. Steel's Minntac taconite tailings basin in Mountain Iron.
Grand Marais' Lonnie Dupre left Talkeetna, Alaska on Monday, flying into the Alaska Range to the base of Mount Hunter to attempt the first winter solo ascent of the mountain. The 14,573-foot peak is the steepest and most technical of the three great peaks in Denali National Park. Dupre was expected to start traveling on skis towards the base of Mount Hunter on Tuesday after stashing a week's worth of supplies at basecamp for his return.
Bill Majewski sat in the garage workshop of his home in Duluth's Smithville neighborhood and fired up a small rotary tool sounding so much like a dental drill that it produced involuntary cringes among guests. But instead of fillings and caps, Majewski's work is turning wood into copycats of nature. He calls himself a carver but he's also a sculptor, a grinder, a sander, burner and a painter. He turns pieces of butternut, basswood, cottonwood, tupelo and other woods into wildly realistic replicas.