Like last year, I didn’t apply for a license to hunt or trap wolves in Minnesota this fall. Now, I’ll kick myself if one happens across me while I’m sitting in my stand come Nov. 9, but I’m willing to take my chances.
All of which is another way of saying Minnesota actress’ Jessica Lange’s letter to Gov. Mark Dayton asking him to suspend this fall’s wolf season didn’t change the way I feel about a hunt. You can read the letter here. (http://www.howlingforwolves.org/news/jessica-lange-governor-dayton-suspend-wolf-hunt)
In looking at Lange’s biography, I see all sorts of movies and shows she’s performed in. I didn’t see anything about wildlife management education or experience. Maybe I missed it.
But this much is clear: Opponents of Minnesota’s wolf hunting and trapping season have tried a bunch of different ways to stop it before it began, and to cancel it once it began. There have been lawsuits, legislative bills and hearings, and rallies. Now, they’re simply trying to use Minnesotans of some note to make hay. Here’s hoping it won’t have an effect.
• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is vital to efforts to stop Asian carp from moving north. Locally, the best example is at the Mississippi River locks and dams in Minneapolis and St. Paul, which the Corps controls. If the state is to put an electrical barrier at one of them, it needs the Corps’ permission to do so. And there’s no guarantee of that happening.
But what I found really interesting is a recent Star Tribune commentary penned by a local Corps official. In it, Judy DesHarnais noted all of the water bodies in the state that aren’t connected to the Mississippi River. As if we should simply let them swim north because they can’t get into the Boundary Waters from the Mississippi River.
The far better solution is to close the lock and dam at St. Anthony Falls, as it appears Congress may be on the verge of doing. At least then we will have established a northern barrier and then can work our way south. Rather than spending time and money on an electric barrier at Lock and Dam 1, we could focus our efforts further south and reduce the likelihood of Asian carp establishing populations in the Minnesota and St. Croix rivers.