Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I-94 Clearwater to St. Cloud project complete; all lanes now open

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Motorists travelling Interstate 94 between Clearwater and St. Cloud will find all lanes and ramps of the newly resurfaced roadway open to traffic.

Regular lane closures have occurred on the segment of road since late March as crews resurfaced the roadway’s pavement and shoulders, improved drainage and installed new guardrail.

That project is now complete, and no closures are planned on that segment of I-94 for the remainder of 2013.

Work continues on I-94 between St. Michael and Monticello. Motorists travelling that segment of interstate should slow down, be prepared to stop and plan for non-rush hour delays as lane closures will continue through early September.

For more information on the I-94 Clearwater to St. Cloud project, visit

For more information on the I-94 St. Michael to Monticello project, visit

For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota, visit

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stoltenow Named NDSU Extension Assistant Director

Charlie Stoltenow has been appointed the North Dakota State University Extension Service's assistant director and program leader for agriculture and natural resources.

Stoltenow has served as the interim assistant director and program leader for the past 11 months. He assumes the assistant director position Aug. 1.

"Agriculture and our natural resources are vitally important to North Dakota, so we are extremely pleased to have Dr. Stoltenow provide leadership to our Extension efforts in these areas," says NDSU Extension Service Director Chris Boerboom. "Charlie is passionate about the work of Extension and recognizes the importance of the teamwork and partnerships in all that we do."

Stoltenow grew up on a farm near
Great Bend. He earned a bachelor of science degree in animal science from NDSU in 1981 and a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Iowa State University in 1985. He worked in private practice and for the federal government before joining NDSU in 1996.

He has been the NDSU Extension veterinarian for 17 years and is a professor in NDSU's Animal Sciences Department. He also served as director of the NDSU Veterinary Technology academic program for two years and is a leader of the Extension livestock team.

"Agriculture and natural resources have been and will continue to provide a solid foundation for an economically successful
North Dakota," Stoltenow says. "The NDSU Extension Service has been part of that success for close to 100 years, and I am excited to be part of the next 100 years."

NDSU Center to Hold Nutrient Management Day

The North Dakota State University Carrington Research Extension Center's annual Nutrient Management Day will be held Aug. 13.

The program, formerly known as Compost Day, will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Topics to be covered and the presenters are:

* Containment pond management technologies available to North Dakota producers - E.J. Habrook, K-Line Irrigation Systems of North America, and Lori Frank, Barnes County 319 Watershed program

* Composting mortalities - Mary Berg, livestock environmental management specialist at the Carrington Research Extension Center

* Manure composting demonstration - Emily Kline, livestock environmental management specialist at the center

* Using manure and compost as a fertilizer for crops - Chris Augustin, soil health specialist at NDSU's North Central Research Extension Center

* Microbiology of manure and compost, and the role of microbes in converting manure to composted material - Ann-Marie Fortuna, NDSU soil health assistant professor

Registration is not required but is suggested by Aug. 9 to provide the event's organizers with the number of people attending lunch. The cost of lunch is $9 person. Water will be provided to participants. Morning activities will take place outside, so dress accordingly.

To register or for more information, contact Berg or Kline at (701) 652-2951 or or More information also is available at

Carrington Research Extension Center is 3.5 miles north of Carrington on U.S. Highway 281.

Bogus IDBS Bills Designed to Defraud Businesses

Burnsville, MN - July 30, 2013 - The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is issuing a nationwide alert on IDBS, a nebulous online firm which purports to be a provider of web design, website development, and e-commerce services. The BBB has determined the company, which also does business as Internet Data Business Services, is sending phony invoices to businesses across the U.S, and advises business owners to be on high alert for these bills.

"This appears to be a clear-cut billing scheme," said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. "IDBS sends phony invoices out in droves in the hopes that some portion of the businesses that receive them will just pay them, assuming they’re valid.” 

To date, the BBB has received ten complaints against IDBS, which operates out of a
UPS Store in St. Paul, Minnesota. Businesses who have received bills – for roughly $600 – from the company state they never contracted with them and received no services. IDBS has responded to all complaints brought to their attention by the Better Business Bureau so far and resolved them by agreeing to wipe out the alleged balances. However, the BBB feels this is a small concession as these bills are not real.

“It’s tough to give this entity too much credit for resolving complaints filed against them, when there is no transaction upon which to base the bills in the first place,” added Badgerow. “It’s like thanking someone to put out a fire which they started.”

The BBB and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suggest a few simple precautions to put a stop to paying for goods or services you haven’t ordered.

Designate certain employees as buyers. For each order, the designated buyer should issue a purchase order to the supplier that has an authorized signature and a purchase order number. These purchase orders can be electronic or written. The order form should tell the supplier to put that number on the invoice and bill of lading. The buyer also should send a copy of every purchase order to the accounts payable department, and keep blank order forms secure.

Train Your Staff. Advise employees who are not authorized to order supplies and services to say, “I’m not authorized to place orders. If you want to sell us something, you must speak to ________ and get a purchase order.” Establish a team of employees who order and receive merchandise or services and those who pay the bills to develop some standard procedures.

Check All Documentation Before You Pay Bills. If you receive merchandise, the receiving employee should verify that the merchandise matches the shipper’s bill of lading and your purchase order. Pay special attention to brands and quantity, and refuse any merchandise that doesn’t match up. Don’t pay any supplier unless the invoice has the correct purchase order number, and the information on the invoice matches the purchase order.

Know Your Rights. If you receive supplies or bills for services you didn’t order, don’t pay. Don’t return unordered merchandise, either. Treat any unordered merchandise you receive, like a business directory or even office supplies, as a gift. It’s illegal for a seller to send you bills or dunning notices for merchandise you didn’t order or ask you to send back the merchandise — even if the seller offers to pay the shipping costs.

Report Fraud. If a billing or directory scam has targeted your business, file a complaint with the BBB ( and the FTC ( You also can report scams to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and your state Attorney General.

The mission of the Better Business Bureau is to be the leader in building marketplace trust by promoting, through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct, and to instill confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, assist and protect the general public. We are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the BBB at or 651-699-1111, toll-free at 1-800-646-6222.

CRES Studies at UMC Seeks Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Interested in Potential Project Partnership

CROOKSTON, Minn. – Entrepreneurs and small business owners can receive valuable help through an opportunity offered by the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies (CRES) at the University of Minnesota Crookston. CRES is seeking regional entrepreneurs and small business owners interested in forming a unique partnership that would include valuable consulting services by U of M Crookston students under the guidance of qualified faculty at no cost.

Each semester, both spring and fall, CRES integrates projects into courses offered on campus. These projects become an integral part of the course curriculum and are designed to benefit small business owners and entrepreneurs while providing students with real-world business experiences.

Applications for the program are accepted anytime; however, priority is given to applications received prior to the due dates. The 2013 fall semester application deadline is Friday, August 9 and the spring semester application deadline is Friday, November 30, 2013, Applicants will be notified about their participation in the program no later than August 20 for fall semester and December 10 for spring semester.

All applications are screened by CRES and the projects that best fit the mission of CRES and enhance the learner outcomes for the course will be contacted for a follow-up meeting to determine guidelines, client expectations, and to review other relevant information regarding participation.

For more information about the opportunity, contact Rachel Lundbohm, director of CRES at 218-281-8190 ( or visit the CRES Web site at The CRES office is located in Dowell Hall 117 on the Crookston campus.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Minnesota fishing and hunting licenses go mobile

Forgot to buy your license? Then connect to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) mobile licensing page to purchase select fishing and hunting licenses via your smartphone.

“This service is a convenience for people who need a license when they’re on the go,” said Steve Michaels, DNR license program director. “Not every type of license is offered but the mobile purchase site is ideal for people who have yet to purchase a fishing, small game or state stamp validation and suddenly discover that they need one.”

Customers who purchase off the mobile site won’t receive a conventional paper license. Instead, they’ll receive a text message or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers.

More than 1,100 sales of electronic licenses have been logged since the mobile site’s soft launch in late June.

“The site isn’t, as yet, full service,” Michaels said. “There are features and products in the works. Even so, mobile license purchasing is a convenience DNR has not offered before and the sales numbers show our customers are responding.”

License types available for purchase on the mobile site include short-term angling, individual angling, resident combination angling, resident individual sports, resident combination sports, small game and state stamp validations. Any license that requires a site tag such as deer or turkey is not available for mobile purchase.

Once a customer purchases and receives mobile license information by text, email or both, he or she must be able to provide the email or text information to a DNR enforcement officer upon request as proof of a valid license.

Mobile device users will automatically be identified when visiting the DNR website at and selecting the “Purchase” button at the bottom of the page.

Minnesota residents 21 and older who never have purchased a hunting or fishing license can’t purchase a license electronically. They should initially purchase from a license agent or call DNR at 888-646-6367 and provide their driver’s license number so electronic purchasing can be enabled.

The mobile site is for purchasing only. It is not a mobile version of the complete DNR website.

All licensing information such as seasons, dates, times, eligibility or restrictions should be reviewed before a mobile purchase is completed.

Similar to the licenses purchased via the DNR website or by phone, a 3 percent convenience fee will be added to the customer’s order total.

License dollars are the fiscal foundation of fish and wildlife management in Minnesota. License revenue is dedicated to managing 5,400 fishing lakes, thousands of miles of rivers and streams, 1,400 wildlife management areas and more than 150 field conservation officers. Buying a license means lakes are stocked and managed, fish and game laws are enforced and conservation efforts happen on the ground.

DNR advises Beltrami Island State Forest visitors to respect Red Lake Tribal Land boundary signs

Many area residents and Beltrami Island State Forest visitors may have noticed the new Red Lake Indian land boundary signs posted within the forest. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging folks using state lands adjacent to the Red Lake Reservation boundaries to abide by Red Lake tribal laws and avoid trespassing on posted tribal lands.

Throughout the Beltrami Island State Forest, the Red Lake Indian Nation owns scattered parcels of ceded lands. These lands fall under Red Lake tribal laws. Recently, “no trespassing” signs were replaced and new ones posted to inform the public of tribal ownership and prohibit trespassing.

Within the last week, the DNR local forestry office has received questions regarding whether the general public is allowed to enter these lands to harvest blueberries. According to Red Lake Natural Resources, this activity is also reserved for tribal members.

Recreational users may cross Red Lake tribal lands only when traveling on maintained state forest roads. The designated trails systems within the Beltrami Island State Forest, including off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails, do not cross tribal lands except on maintained state forest roads.

Folks recreating near areas where signs are posted are reminded that it is unlawful to “destroy boundary and warning signs and hunt, trap, or fish on Indian land."

With more than 600,000 acres of public lands in the Beltrami Island State Forest, visitors will have no problem finding opportunities to gather blueberries as well as hunt, fish and trap.

“We are asking visitors to respect tribal lands and encourage folks with land ownership questions to call or stop by the local DNR offices to obtain a map of the Beltrami Island State Forest before they visit the area,” said Adam Munstenteiger, DNR forest supervisor in Warroad.

Red Lake tribal land regulations:

  • No trespassing on Red Lake tribal lands and waters.
  • No hunting or gathering (including berry picking) on Red Lake tribal lands.
  • No all-terrain vehicle ATV/OHV use on Red Lake tribal lands.
  • Small game hunting is allowed on Red Lake tribal lands with a Red Lake small game license.

Questions pertaining to hunting opportunities on Red Lake lands should be directed to the Red Lake Department of Public Safety 218-679-3315.

For more information, contact the local DNR forestry office or visit

For questions on the federal laws pertaining to tribal lands, contact Red Lake Natural Resources at 218-679-3959, or email:

Online learners offered field experience at Aug. 11 deer clinic

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites women and men who have completed Minnesota’s new virtual online firearms safety certification range and field day to attend Deer Day on Sunday, Aug. 11.

Deer Day is a great complement to the new online adult hunter education course and virtual field day.  Deer Day provides hands-on experiences with a variety of firearms and basics of how to hunt deer.

The event, hosted by the DNR’s Becoming An Outdoors Family program, will be from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on the Wilkens Farm near Mora in Kanabec County. Youth, ages 10 and older, are welcomed to attend accompanied by a guardian.

“The deer hunting clinic is an excellent opportunity for individuals who chose the virtual range and field day option to have one-on-one time with instructors to handle firearms, target shoot and and gain insights into deer biology and hunting.” said Linda Bylander, coordinator of the DNR’s Becoming An Outdoors Woman program. “Though open to all ages 10 and older, this hunting clinic places a premium on assisting women and families in a supportive and friendly environment.”

Register for the deer clinic by emailing Linda Bylander at

Registration is limited. Lunch will be served.

The virtual online firearms course takes about nine hours to complete and is interactive with narration, quizzes and final exam. Information about the course and other safety classes is available on the DNR website at

Monday, July 22, 2013

Proposed amendments to feedlot rules are open for public comment

St. Paul, Minn. -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announces a public comment period, from July 22 through Aug. 26, 2013, on proposed amendments to state rules regulating animal feedlots.

The MPCA proposes to amend these rules to address law changes made by the Minnesota Legislature in the 2011 special session. The MPCA is also taking this opportunity to remove obsolete rule requirements, address other law changes adopted since Chapter 7020 was revised in 2000, and provide clarification to certain existing rules in Chapters 7020, 7001 and 7002.

The MPCA regulates the collection, transportation, storage, processing and utilization of manure and process wastewaters associated with the operation of animal feedlots.  Since the 1970s, the MPCA has regulated feedlots primarily through permits, including National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, State Disposal System (SDS) permits, and construction short form and interim permits, the latter two also issued by counties under delegation from the MPCA.

The proposed amendments include:

  • incorporation of new statutory language eliminating the need to hold an NPDES permit except as required by federal law, while maintaining the requirement for larger feedlots to hold an SDS permit;
  • incorporating other new statutory requirements enacted since the feedlot rules were last revised, including new statutory pasture definitions and 10-year terms for SDS permits;
  • clarification of administrative requirements for permits, including the processes for issuance or denial of permits by delegated counties and modification of permits; and
  • removal of obsolete language, such as provisions governing older forms of permits, and expired transitional requirements, such as the “open lot agreement.”
To review the proposed rule amendments and the Statement of Need and Reasonableness, together with the official public notice, which explains how interested persons can comment on the proposed amendments, go to the MPCA’s Public Notices webpage ( Other rule documents are on the agency’s Feedlot Rulemaking webpage ( and search for “feedlot rulemaking.”

Applications for September mentored waterfowl hunt due Aug. 12

Youth who want to experience waterfowl hunting for the first time can apply to be one of 65 participants in this year’s mentored youth waterfowl hunt on Saturday, Sept. 7. Application deadline is Monday, Aug. 12.

The hunts will be conducted at Hamden Slough near Detroit Lakes, the Morris Wildlife Production Area near Morris and on private lands in the Prior Lake, Windom and the Fergus Falls areas.

The hunts are coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in cooperation with Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club. Partners provide mentors and areas to hunt.

To participate, youth must be 12-15 years old and completed firearms safety training. A parent or guardian must accompany the youth during the orientation, education and field sessions that begin Friday, Sept. 6, and the Saturday hunt.

“The upcoming hunts are an excellent way for youth and parents to learn waterfowling skills in a supportive and high quality environment,” said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator. “The intent of these hunts is to create skills, confidence, social connections and other understandings so that youth and their families will hunt on their own in the future.”    

Kurre said if the number of applications exceeds the number of available spaces, participants will be selected via lottery. Applying for hunts farther from the Twin Cities increases the likelihood of being selected.

The mentored youth waterfowl hunt occurs on Youth Waterfowl Day, a special day prior to the general waterfowl season than enables youth age 15 and younger to hunt waterfowl when accompanied by a non-hunting adult.
Visit for an application or call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 for more information. 

Workshop will help volunteers become first detectors of fruit and vegetable pests

ST. PAUL, Minn. – You can train to become the front line of defense against new and emerging pests of fruit and vegetable crops at a July 24 workshop at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The workshop targets Minnesota commercial growers, home fruit and vegetable gardeners, as well as others involved with or interested in new and emerging diseases and insect pests. In-depth sessions will focus on pests of new concern for Minnesota fruit and vegetable growers, including spotted wing drosophila, brown marmorated stink bug, Goss’s wilt of sweet corn and exotic downy mildews of basil and cucurbits.
This half-day program is based on the highly successful and award winning Minnesota Forest Pest First Detectors Program. It is a joint venture of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, University of Minnesota Extension and National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN).
The workshop will be held Wednesday, July 24, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the MacMillan Auditorium at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Drive in Chaska, MN. The $25 event fee includes gate admission to the Arboretum. Anyone may attend, including individuals who do not wish to become a First Detector Volunteer.
For more detailed information about the Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable First Detector Program and how to become a volunteer visit
Registration is open up until the 8:00 a.m. workshop start time. To register online for the Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable First Detector Workshop, visit or call 954-443-1422.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

U of M recognizes Farm Families of the Year for 2013

ST. PAUL (July 18, 2013)—This year, 75 families from throughout Minnesota will be honored as a 2013 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota.

The families will be recognized in ceremonies set for 1:30 to 3 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 8 at the annual Minnesota Farmfest near Redwood Falls.

Local Extension committees chose the families for demonstrating commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture. The families represent each county participating in the program.

"Farm families and agriculture are a major driver of Minnesota's economy and the vitality of Minnesota's rural communities," said Bev Durgan, dean of University of Minnesota Extension. "The University of Minnesota is proud to recognize these outstanding families for their contributions to agriculture and their communities."

More on Farmfest is available at

Honorees from our region include:

Becker: John and Linda Schouviller Family

Clay: Brian and Barb Kimm

Clearwater: Tom and Corrinne Anderson

Kittson: Roger and Bernice Anderson

Lake of the Woods: Darrell and Doris Nelson

Norman: Loren and Deb Eken Farm

Otter Tail: Leaderbrand Brothers

Polk: Neal and Jolene Anderson

Red Lake: David and Peggy Miller

Roseau: Ray and Lillian Christianson

Purchase bear licenses by Aug. 1; youth licenses free until then

Hunters selected in this year’s bear lottery must purchase their licenses by Thursday, Aug. 1, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

Licenses not purchased by the deadline will become available first-come, first-served at noon Wednesday, Aug. 7.

Youths age 10-12 can receive a free no-quota bear license until Aug. 1. No-quota licenses will be available for purchase after Aug.1 but youth younger than 13 will have to pay the full price of $44 because of an inadvertent change in state law that eliminated the 10-12 year old exemption from this fee.

Youths who purchase leftover licenses in regular bear permit areas also will have to pay the adult price.

The free 10-12 youth bear licenses were not addressed when youth license simplification changes were approved during the last Legislative session. The DNR will propose changes to reinstate youth fee exemptions in 2014.

Bike trail paving will cause temporary trail closures at Glendalough State Park

All trails east of the bridge to the Glendalough State Park lodge and trail center will be closed from Friday, July 26, until Saturday, Aug. 3, during final grading and paving of the park’s new bike and pedestrian trail, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said. This includes the Beaver Pond Trail, Lake Emma Trail, Ice Ridge Trail and Annie Battle Lake Trail.

All of these trails have sections that cross the construction zone, where there will be heavy equipment and hot pavement. Camping at the park’s canoe-in campsites also will be limited, but the main campground — where there are 22 cart-in campsites and four camper cabins — remains open.

Park visitors are encouraged to hike on the park’s Prairie Hill and Sunset Lake trails during this time. Both trails currently feature an abundance of wildflowers, after the significant spring rainfall. Access to the lodge and trail center should remain open on the weekends, but may be limited on weekdays. Construction times may be affected by weather and other considerations.

The new paved trail, which starts at the bridge over Battle Creek, will provide a loop through the park, create new trail portions traversing oak forest and restored prairie grassland and offer views of Annie Battle and Molly Stark lakes. When completed, it will connect the trail to the south entrance of the park creating a continuous 8-mile loop through the park.
Check the visitor alert on the park’s Web page at ( or call the park at 218-864-0110 for updates and more information.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Essentia Health-Ada Expands Therapy Services for Kids

Families in the Ada area will now be able to receive therapy services closer to home, allowing them to avoid a two- to three-hour round trip to Fargo for this type of care.  Essentia Health-Ada has expanded its physical, occupational and speech therapy services for children, thanks to new staff and a remodeled treatment space.

Two new providers have training in pediatrics and will be caring for kids: Kelsey Baker, a physical therapist, and Brittany Burke, a speech language pathologist.  Also, Mandi Wahlin, an occupational therapist, recently received additional pediatric training.

To make space for the new services, a registration and office area was converted to two treatment rooms.  That’s in addition to the current therapy gym.  The community is invited to see the new space during an open house event from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24.

During the planning process, leaders at Essentia Health-Ada worked with the local school districts, which reported a great need for these services in the community.

“It’s something we’ve needed for a while,” says Erin Stoltman, director of rehabilitation at Essentia Health-Ada. “To now have staff who can focus on this and do it well – it’s a big win for the facility and the community.”

The pediatric therapy services can help children with a wide range of issues, including language and motor skills delays.  “It’s a different approach with kids,” Stoltman explains. “You need to have an understanding of where they are in their development.”

Stoltman says therapy services, when needed, can have a major impact on kids’ learning and growth. “With speech issues, if kids can’t communicate, it will affect their success at school.  From an OT and PT standpoint, therapy is needed to help kids be kids, to enjoy the things they want to do.”

Sharing a fishing license is illegal

A Minnesota man faces multiple charges and fines after he was caught using his brother’s fishing license while on the St. Louis River near Knife Falls Dam in Cloquet, May 13, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). His brother was also cited.

Andrew T. Swenson, 30, of Cloquet had difficulty answering questions about date of birth, height, weight, and the address listed on the fishing license when asked by a DNR conservation officer (CO).

A check on the Minnesota driver’s and vehicle services website pulled up a picture of a person who looked different than the person who was fishing.

“I asked him to look at the photo on my computer screen and asked him who that was a picture of,” said CO Scott Staples of Carlton. “He said it was his brother.”

Swenson said his application for a fishing license was rejected because he was cited the previous year for fishing with extra lines. Staples had issued that citation.

Swenson was taken into custody on Staples’ warrant for his arrest for failing to pay the previous year’s fine.

While Swenson was booked into the Carlton County Jail, Staples called Swenson’s brother, Chayse J. Swenson, 20, of Duluth, who said he was aware that his brother had his license.

“He stated that he did not think it was that big of a deal,” Staples said. “I informed him that it was not legal to lend another person a game or fish license and that I would be mailing him a citation for that violation.”

Andrew Swenson was charged with a gross misdemeanor for giving false information to a peace officer, angling without a license, and lending, borrowing or transferring a license. The maximum fine for a gross misdemeanor is $3,000. Angling without a license carries a $50 fine. Lending, borrowing, or transferring a license is a $100 fine.

Chayse Swenson was charged with lending, borrowing or transferring a license. He pleaded guilty and paid the fine.

Col. Ken Soring, DNR enforcement director, said one of the most common fishing violations is angling without a license. Minnesota statute states anglers age 16 or older must have the appropriate license in their possession when fishing.

“Well, ‘I don’t have one’ or ‘I just forgot to bring it with me’ is an excuse that conservation officers wish they’d hear less often than they do,” Soring said. He also said it’s an excuse that’s easily corrected.

The state’s electronic licensing system issues licenses and stamps through 1,500 license agent locations statewide. Agents charge an issuing fee for each license and stamp sold.

Instant licenses and stamps are also available online or by telephone at 888-665-4236. An additional convenience fee is added for sales via the website or telephone.

“The purchaser is licensed immediately, which is a tremendous feature,” Soring said. “Then you’re on your way to your favorite fishing spot.”

Anyone witnessing a fish or wildlife violation is encouraged to contact the 24 hour toll-free Turn-In-Poachers (TIP) hotline at 800-652-9093. Cell phone users can dial #TIP.

Online firearms safety hunter course now available for adults

Minnesota residents 18 and older can now take the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ firearms (DNR) safety hunter education course online.

The new training option includes a virtual field day that emphasizes responsible gun handling and hunting safety. Students who complete the course are issued a voucher that they can use to complete their certification immediately or attend an instructor led field day.

“This will greatly increase certification accessibility to working adults and military personnel who traditionally have conflicts trying to scheduling a multi-week classroom course,” said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR Enforcement education program coordinator.

Minnesota and Iowa are the first states to offer this option for adults. The online course takes about nine hours to complete and is interactive with narration, quizzes and final exam. Both the main course and field day include a virtual range where students can shoot various firearms and action types at a variety of targets and distances. There’s even instruction on how to properly sight-in rifles and pattern a shotgun.

“This is a great addition to our computer based adult safety training programs,” Hammer said. “We think it will be a huge success and create even more safe hunters.”

DNR introduces ‘clean-and-drain’ areas at boat launches to curb spread of aquatic invasive species

To help boaters prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS), the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is adding more than 200 “clean-and-drain” areas to statewide public water access sites this summer.

The special areas will act as visual reminders to boaters to clean and drain their boats properly and provide safe and convenient places to do this. Installing components of the “clean and drain” areas at high-use sites on infested waters is a priority.

Minnesota is the first state in the nation to implement this type of modification at multiple water access sites,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “The boat ‘clean-and-drain’ areas are a part of the DNR’s ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Everyone who has a boat on a trailer has the personal responsibility to prevent the spread of invasive species; these areas will make it easier.”

The new areas should make it easy for boaters to understand what they need to do and where to do it. The aim is to put an end to the unsightly piles of discarded aquatic vegetation and bait that are sometimes left behind on ramps or in parking areas because there weren’t designated places for these materials after they were removed from boats. Sometimes boaters stop on ramps to pull their boat’s plug. This is unsafe and causes delays and can release harmful species or chemicals into the water.

Components include compost bins (to dispose of aquatic vegetation, unwanted bait, bait bucket water and zebra mussels), and pavement stencils and signs (to delineate activity areas and inform boaters).

The new areas should be used whether or not a watercraft inspector is present.

The following routine should become new protocol for boaters:

  • Load boat onto trailer safely and pull forward to boat “clean-and-drain” area.
  • Clean boat by removing plants, zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species from watercraft, trailer, anchor and all water-related equipment. 
  • Dispose of plants and animals in disposal bin.
  • Dump bait bucket water (and unwanted minnows and leeches) into disposal bin. Plan ahead to save minnows and leeches by transferring them to containers prefilled with well, bottled, distilled or otherwise purified tap water. Take unwanted worms and garbage to trash, which is often offsite (wanted worms can be saved).
  • Drain water from boat, ballast tanks and motor. Drain bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs. Keep drain plugs out and all water-draining devices open for travel.
  • Finish tying down the boat and securing equipment for travel.

More information about AIS best management practices for boat launch administrators can be found at or requested from the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New rules protect lakes, streams from construction runoff

Protecting lakes and streams from construction runoff is the purpose of a statewide permit recently approved by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens’ Board.

Construction runoff can contain pollutants. The additional drainage from developed sites can also cause erosion and other problems.

This permit aims to protect Minnesota’s waters in two ways. The first is through temporary practices during construction to manage runoff. The second is through permanent treatment of additional runoff, such as letting rainwater and snowmelt soak into the ground through rain gardens and other means.

For more information, visit the M-P-C-A website at

Capitol Farmers Market opens this Thursday

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Capitol Farmers Market is set to open again this summer near the Minnesota State Capitol. The Capitol Farmers Market is a satellite of the St. Paul Farmers Market and is expected draw hundreds of state employees with offices in and around the Capitol complex. Hours for the market, which is open to the public, will be 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. every Thursday from July 11 - September 26.

The Capitol Farmers Market is operated by the St. Paul Growers Association and will feature plenty of fresh produce, including a wide variety of greens, fruits and vegetables for Capitol complex employees to purchase just in time for weekend cooking at home or at the cabin. Vendors will also offer meats, flowers and other products for sale throughout the summer growing season and into the fall.

Minnesota Grown spokesman Paul Hugunin says the market is another venue for St. Paul consumers to connect with farmers.

“Response from shoppers last year was tremendous and it’s wonderful to have the market open again this year,” said Hugunin. “The market offers more marketing opportunities for Minnesota farmers and more healthy food choices for state employees and the public.”

The Capitol Farmers Market is one of more than 160 farmers markets listed in the online Minnesota Grown Directory at You can also order a free directory by calling 1-888-TOURISM.

The Capitol Farmers Market is located along Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, directly south of the State Capitol.

NDSU Extension Working With Wool Workshop

If you've wondered how the wool sheared from sheep turns into the sweater or scarf you wear, you'll have a chance to see how it's done at a workshop Aug. 2 in

The Working With Wool workshop will be held from
9 a.m. to noon Aug. 2 at the Stutsman County Fairgrounds. The North Dakota State University Extension Service and North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers Association are sponsoring the event.

Participants will learn about:

* Sections of the fleece

* Fleece quality and how factors such as breaks, stains or excessive vegetal material affect the quality

* How to prepare fleece for processing

* How to wash small and large quantities of wool

* Wool processing methods (carding and combing)

* Making rovings (long, narrow bundles of fiber) or batts (blankets of fibers)

* Spinning

* Weaving

* Dyeing wool

"Hand-spinners will be there to show how yarn is made, and weavers will show how the different cloth structures are made and their applications," says Julie Mangnall of Stirum, one of the workshop's organizers.

The workshop is designed for wool producers and anyone interested in wearing natural fibers. "To get paid top dollar for your harvest, you have to produce and manage that crop so your customer is delighted with your wool," Mangnall says. "Wool is a great year-round garment: warm in the winter and cool in the summer, depending on the type of material made from wool."

This workshop also is for those who want to learn more about environmentally friendly uses for wool, such as fertilizer, material for cleaning up oil or other fuel spills, and landscaping projects, she notes.

The workshop is one of several events scheduled during the North Dakota Lamb and Wool Expo set for Aug. 2-3 at the Stutsman County Fairgrounds. Other workshops are on cooking with lamb, training a stock dog and alternative sheep grazing systems. All of them will run from
9 a.m. to noon Aug. 2.

Participants also will be able to attend presentations on lamb fabrication, lamb quality characteristics, the
U.S. lamb market, flock health management and the future of the sheep industry. Those presentations will be during the afternoon and evening of Aug. 2.

Other expo activities include a lamb dinner on Aug. 2 and a lamb lunch on Aug. 3, a ram consignor sheep show and
Jamestown ram and ewe sale on Aug. 3, sheep shearing and wool handling demonstrations on Aug. 2, and a vendor fair both days.

The cost of the workshops is $25 per person. The cost for the afternoon and evening presentations on Aug. 2 also is $25 per person. Full registration (both days) if registering by July 26 is $45 per adult plus $25 for each addition adult family member and $10 for each child age 5 to 17. The expo is free for children under age 5.

For more information, contact Reid Redden, NDSU Extension sheep specialist, at (701) 231-5597 or To register, visit the NDSU Animal Sciences Department website at