Briefly: Feb. 8Brief news items from around the county.
2013 moose hunt called off
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced today that the population of moose in Northeastern Minnesota dropped 35 percent from last year. The agency said it will not hold a hunting season this fall “or consider opening future seasons unless the population recovers,” according to a news release Wednesday.
The plight of Minnesota's moose is well-known. The population of the iconic species has declined from an estimated 8,800 in 2006 to the current estimate of 2,760 animals, according to the DNR. In December, the moose was added to the state’s endangered species list as a “species of concern.”
Some Minnesota residents had called for an end to moose hunting because they said they don’t believe it’s right to hunt the species when its population is in continuous decline. DNR biologists had maintained that taking a small number of bulls from the population, about 2 percent, is not detrimental to the overall population. Over the past decade, state and tribal hunters have harvested an annual average of about 184 moose annually.
Minnesota’s modern moose hunting season began in 1971. Seasons were held in both the northwestern part of the state and in the northeast. The northwest population declined precipitously in the 1990s, and that season was closed in 1997. Hunting continued in the northeast. Out of concern for the declining population, the Northeastern Minnesota hunt became a bulls-only hunt in 2007. The DNR has reduced the number of permits available for the hunt in recent years. Last year, 45 bulls were taken by state-licensed hunters.
First four-day school week meeting held
On Tuesday night about 40 community members, parents and school staff attended a meeting at Two Harbors High School about the four-day school week. The four-day week was instated district wide in 2010 as a cost-saving measure, and the district must reapply to the state this year to retain the structure. Part of the reapplication process includes holding public meetings.
Community members can contribute to the discussion by filling out the survey at www.isd381.k12.mn.us. Alternatively, folks can send their comments or questions directly to the superintendent at firstname.lastname@example.org. The PowerPoint presentation from the meeting is available on the website. Questions posed at the meeting will be answered on the website, too.
The next 4-day meeting is at William Kelley High School on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and the final meeting will take place Feb. 26 at THHS at 6:30 p.m.
Local snowmobile club featured on Minneapolis TV station
The Voyageur Snowmobile Club recently received a visit from Jason Davis, host of “On the Road,” a segment on KSTP TV Minneapolis. Davis interviewed club members about the late John Brandt, who is credited with reviving the Voyageur Snowmobile Club. He lost his life in snowmobile accident in March 2011 at the age of 41. The club members built a shelter in Brandt’s honor on a local snowmobile trail.
The episode aired last weekend, and can be viewed online at kstp.com/article/26/
Rec Board announces available funds
The Lake County Recreation Board has money available for community celebrations and festivals, especially public events for Lake County residents. Application deadlines are March 15 and Sept. 13. Applications are available at the Lake County Service Center, from the Clerk of the Lake County Board or from Lake County Recreation Board representatives. Applications should be returned to the Lake County Recreation Board at the Court House in Two Harbors.