Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Forest Service lifts campfire restrictions in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 12:12pm

In light of continued precipitation over most of the Superior National Forest, the Forest Service is lifting campfire restrictions in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

As of 7:00 am Wednesday, May 23, 2012, campfires will be allowed any time of day in all areas of the BWCAW. 

Forest visitors are urged to be careful with campfires.  Please use designated fire rings when available and make sure all fires are completely extinguished before leaving.

For updates regarding conditions on the Superior National Forest, see the Forest website:

Hearth oven bread baking coming soon to Birch Grove

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 11:51am

The H.O.B.B.I.T.s   (Hearth Oven Building, Bread Baking Initiative Team) are off and running with development of a proposal for local businesses and grants.
An oven building class will be held at Birch Grove Sept. 9-13 with a grand opening on Sept. 29.  The class cost is $425, but we have written a grant for local scholarships which may bring the cost down to $250.
In preparation for the oven building, on May 24 there will be a brainstorming session regarding community use of the oven and related activities/classes at Birch Grove from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Contact Patty Nordahl at Birch Grove Community Center by email, call 663-7977, or mail at PO Box 2242 Tofte MN  55615 for a survey or more information.

Community Center Steering Committee to consider project revisions Wednesday

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:59pm

The Community Center Steering Committee will meet again from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, May 23 at the Jane Mianowski Conference Center.  The committee will be required to get the county board’s approval at each step in the process as plans are developed and the work is begun.  They will also be seeking public input along the way.

DNR outlines wolf season details -- a two part hunt and trap

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 10:31am

Minnesota’s first regulated wolf hunting and trapping season will be conducted this fall and winter. The DNR is proposing to split the season into two parts: an early wolf hunting season coinciding with firearms deer hunting; and a late wolf hunting and trapping season after the firearms deer season for those with a specific interest in wolf hunting and trapping.

The early hunting only season will be open only in the northern portions of Minnesota where rifles are allowed for deer hunting. It will start on Saturday, Nov. 3, the opening day of firearms deer hunting. It will close either at the end of the respective firearms seasons in the two northern deer zones (Nov. 18 in Zone 1 or Nov. 11 in Zone 2), or when a registered target harvest quota of 200 is reached, whichever comes sooner.

According to Wildlife Program manager Steve Merchant, wolf kills must be registered almost immediately after taken.

“Persons will have to register the wolves that they take by the end of the day following the day of harvest. We will have a mechanism that will keep track of those registrations. It’s an electronic system where people can register their wolves by either taking them in to an ELS agent or use the telephone or online. As those people register those animals, it’s reported and communicated to us, so that’s how we will know.”

The late hunting and trapping season will begin Saturday, Nov. 24. It will close Jan. 6, 2013, or when a registered total target harvest quota of 400 in both seasons combined is reached, whichever comes sooner. The late season will be open statewide.

A total of 6,000 licenses will be offered, with 3,600 available in the early season and 2,400 in the late season. The target harvest quota will be 400 wolves for both seasons combined, and will initially be allocated equally between the early and the late seasons.
Tribal government may elect to hold their own wolf seasons, and Merchant said the DNR is consulting with them.

“We’re having continued conversation with tribes. I am unaware at this time of any tribes who have elected to hunt wolves, but they certainly may.”

Wolf hunting licenses will be $30 for residents and $250 for nonresidents. Wolf trapping licenses will be $30 and limited to residents only. A lottery will be held to select license recipients. The bag limit is one wolf per licensee.

Attached file

U of M study finds increase in 30- to 49-year-olds moving to rural communities

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 9:02am

There’s a lot of talk about how more and more young people are leaving rural communities like ours. However, there has been little talk of what a different demographic---those between 30 and 49 years old---have been doing. A new study from the University of Minnesota finds that these folks have increasingly been moving to rural places. In this interview, WTIP's Mark Abrahamson speaks with Ben Winchester, a research fellow at the University of Minnesota Extension’s Center for Community Vitality, about the study.

Learn more about the study here.

Photo courtesy of Ben Adamson via Flickr.

"Move it in May" - Youth Academics

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 3:17pm
Ball-A-Vis-X combines Balance/Auditory/ and Vision eXercises.

"Move it in May" is a month-long celebration of active living in Cook County - sponsored by Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, North Shore Health Care Foundation, Health Reform Minnesota, Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply, Cook County Public Health and Human Services, Superior North Outdoor Center and Sawtooth Outfitters.

In this feature, produced by WTIP in collaboration with Cook County Statewide Health Improvement coordinator Kristin Wharten and Active Living Steering Committee coordinator Hartley Newell-Acero, local educators talk about the importance of regular physical activity during the school day as a means to foster greater academic performance, and we visit Great Expectations Charter School in Grand Marais during a "Ball-A-Vis-X" session - which combines a series of Balance/Auditory/ and Vision eXercises.   

(Click on "AM Community Calendar" below to hear audio feature.)


As part of the "Get Active Cook County" initiative, individuals and teams are encouraged to register and track activity minutes and miles online, and there are a variety of events happening in May to make getting active easier.

• May 21-26 -- Bike/Walk to Work or School Week, featuring blender bike smoothies for bike commuters provided by Superior North Outdoor Center

• May 25 -- Bike/Walk to Work or School DAY

• May 27 -- Bike ride to Naniboujou sponsored by Superior North Outdoor Center; preregistration requested by May 25 at 387-2186

• May 26 -- Artistic Trails, Creative Hike with landscape painter Neil Sherman; preregister at 612-716-5733