Wolf season debate isn’t over yet
The Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected a request last week for a preliminary injunction that would have stopped the state’s first wolf hunting and trapping season. The petitioners, the Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves, have since brought the issue to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The groups filed a new injunction with the high court this week to stop the wolf season before its planned opening in less than three weeks.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) plans to issue 6,000 licenses, for which 23,000 people have applied. The state’s first season will start with the beginning of the firearms deer hunt on Saturday, Nov. 3.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves have claimed that the DNR did not follow state regulations in establishing the seasons. The DNR has argued that it followed all necessary steps.
Two Harbors Louisiana-Pacific expands
Louisiana-Pacific has big plans for expansion. The company manufactures siding for construction. They’re rebuilding parts of the Two Harbors-based plant to increase capacity and run more efficiently.
The L-P plant received a $2 million loan from Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board to support the project, announced last week. Other funding for the $7 million project comes from the company, a grant from IRRB, a grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Lake County.
The Lake County Board of Commissioners approved a motion earlier this month to help expedite the bidding process and get construction underway more quickly.
Louisiana-Pacific is a Nashville-based company founded in 1973.
Post office changes slated for the area
Local residents recently received letters from the United States Postal Service advising them of upcoming changes in their post office hours. The Post Plan, introduced by the USPS in September, will reduce retail window hours based on customer use. The plan, designed to save the USPS money while still keeping post offices open, will affect Beaver Bay, Brimson, Finland, Knife River, Lutsen, Schroeder and Tofte post offices.
In addition to returning mailed surveys, residents can attend public meetings scheduled for each post office. The full schedule has not yet been released, but meetings will likely occur in the beginning of November. The meetings will be attended by local USPS management who will release survey results, answer questions and ask for input. The USPS will make the proposed changes to hours after the surveys have been tallied and public comment has been received.
The Post Plan will affect 13,000 post offices nationwide and several hundred in Minnesota. It will take two years to implement. According to Peter Nowacki, Minnesota media contact for the USPS, the plan will save the USPS about $500 million a year.
“However, we’re running several billion in the red each year,” he said, so the Post Plan is only a small part of the equation.
Village Post Offices are also being considered as an option in some areas. VPOs would exist in local businesses and offer basic postal services to customers--selling stamps and housing P.O. boxes, for example.
Be strategic: Grow your business
A business program funded by the Blandin Foundation is returning to Two Harbors. The program, which consists of eight sessions over six months, is intended to help small businesses grow through strategic business planning. Past participants have included Jan Bergman of The Vanilla Bean, Cree Bradley of Chelsea Morning Farm, Sheila Leppala of Pure Driven and Michael Stiff of Hybridge Imaging. The series will be held at Larsmont Cottages. Business owners who have been operating for at least two years can visit www.entrepreneurfund.org or call Shawn Wellnitz at (218) 623-5726 to find out more or register. The cost is $600 and includes meals and materials.
Buckthorn a growing problem
Buckthorn, a plant initially introduced for landscaping, has become a problem in the state. Two varieties, common and glossy, have been classified as restricted noxious weeds, meaning selling, moving or transporting these plants is illegal. The plant out-competes native plants and lacks natural controls to inhibit its spread. Buckthorn has glossy oval leaves, black or redbrown 1/4-inch round berries, grows to 10-25 feet tall and is found in dry and wet sites.
If you have any questions about buckthorn or believe you have buckthorn on your property, please notify Lake County Soil & Water Conservation District at 218-834-8372 or firstname.lastname@example.org