Associated Press

Judge stands by White Bear Lake ruling, criticizes DNR

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A judge is standing by her previous ruling directing the state to restrict groundwater pumping and lawn watering to protect White Bear Lake and its aquifer. Ramsey County Judge Margaret Marrinan denied a request by the Minnesota DNR to stay her September ruling and its request for a new trial. The Star Tribune reports Marrinan criticized…

State documents: Foxconn plant would add to air pollution in Wisconsin; officials say amount is manageable

The DNR has given preliminary approval for four Foxconn air pollution control permits. The agency is currently gathering public comments and is expected to make a final decision next month.MADISON, Wis. — State documents show emissions from Foxconn Technology Group’s planned manufacturing complex would rank among the highest in southeastern Wisconsin for toxins that create air pollution known as smog….

MPCA urges judge to drop objection to wild rice rule change

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota regulators asked the state’s chief administrative law judge this week to reverse her rejection of their attempts to change the state’s water quality standard for protecting wild rice. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said in a 286-page filing that it has made technical changes to its proposal that should address the judge’s concerns. The MPCA has been…

South Dakota’s Custer State Park gets boost – of nearly $2 million – in bounce-back from historic wildfire

CUSTER, S.D. — South Dakota officials say efforts to rehabilitate Custer State Park after a historic wildfire will be helped by a $1.8 million grant from a charitable trust established by the late hotel and real estate baroness Leona Helmsley. The funding announced recently will be used over three years to support aerial mapping, tree thinning and stream rehabilitation, among…

Idaho takes step toward grizzly hunting season

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho officials have started the process of opening a grizzly bear hunting season this fall that would allow the killing of one male grizzly. The Fish and Game Commission in a 7-0 vote directed the Department of Fish and Game to gather public comments on the possible hunt. The department will use those comments to draft a possible…

Colorado River’s humpback chub: endangered, and possibly ‘threatened,’ but no longer an extinction risk

(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — An endangered fish that makes its home in the Colorado River basin no longer is at the brink of extinction. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it will consider reclassifying the humpback chub as threatened within the next year. The fish that can navigate turbulent waters and have a fleshy bump behind…

Rathdrum becomes first Monarch USA city in Idaho

RATHDRUM, Idaho — Officials in the northern Idaho city of Rathdrum are hoping a new designation will attract a new kind of tourists: Monarch butterflies. The city is the first in the state to receive the Monarch City USA designation from the nonprofit group by the same name based in Maple Valley, Washington. To get the designation, cities plant milkweed…

Kentucky looks to extend deer season to thin state’s herd

(Kentucky Fish and Wildlife)FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission has recommended extending the deer season for some hunters to 16 days, along with other changes to help thin the state’s herd. The proposal would extend the season for hunters using modern guns from the current nine to 15 days, depending on region. The commission also proposed increasing…

Arkansas aims to slow spread of beetle that kills ash trees

(U.S. Forest Service photo)LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas agriculture officials have approved a statewide quarantine in hopes of slowing the spread of an invasive beetle that destroys ash trees. The State Plant Board announced Tuesday the quarantine in response to the emerald ash borer, which is a beetle native to Asia that feeds on and kills ash trees. Under the…

Mountain lion roams backyards outside Los Angeles

The mountain lion like this one was spotted in the eastern Los Angeles County community of Azusa, near the San Gabriel Mountains wilderness.AZUSA, Calif. — A mountain lion roamed through backyards in a neighborhood outside Los Angeles before wildlife officers tranquilized it. The lion was spotted Monday morning in the eastern Los Angeles County community of Azusa, near the San…

Vermont hunting club cancels crow shoot amid criticism

WILLIAMSTOWN, Vt. — A Vermont hunting club has cancelled its crow shooting competition after a social media outcry. Mark McCarthy, president of the Boonie Club in Williamstown, told the Burlington Free Press it will not be sponsoring the April 7 crow shoot, in which teams of hunters would have competed to win prizes by shooting the most crows. Critics of…

Arctic wolves adjusting to new pack at Minnesota center

(International Wolf Center photo)ELY, Minn. — Curators of a Minnesota wolf center say the artic wolf pups that arrived in 2016 have reached their challenging years and have been testing behavioral limits this winter. Axel and Grayson will turn 2 years old this May at the International Wolf Center in Ely, the Mesabi Daily News reported. The pups are troublemakers…

Environmental groups challenge Wisconsin DNR settlement

The DNR has given preliminary approval for four Foxconn air pollution control permits. The agency is currently gathering public comments and is expected to make a final decision next month.MADISON, Wis. — Several environmental groups are challenging a settlement between the state DNR and the Dairy Business Association over rules regarding concentrated animal feeding operations. The dairy association sued the…

In Oregon, Corps wants to remove cormorant eggs to support salmon

ASTORIA, Ore. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to remove 500 eggs from double-crested cormorant nests as part of a long-term management plan to protect juvenile salmon being eaten by the cormorants in the Columbia River. The Corps is in the fourth year of a five-year plan to cut the cormorant population on East Sand Island at the…

Zinke supports restoration of grizzlies in North Cascades

SEATTLE — The federal government intends to restore grizzly bears in the remote North Cascade Mountains of Washington state, a goal that represents “the American conservation ethic come to life,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Friday. Zinke made the announcement during a visit to North Cascades National Park’s headquarters in Sedro-Woolley, about 75 miles north of Seattle. The Department of…