Associated Press

Minnesota lawmaker seeks tougher action against deer disease

Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn is sponsoring several bills that target deer farms to try to stop the disease from spreading from captive to wild deer. Another would give the University of Minnesota $1.8 million to develop faster and more sensitive diagnostic tests that farms and regulators could use on live deer and hunters could use to make sure their venison is safe to eat.

Tri-state region a year-round fishing draw

Northeast Iowa, southwest Wisconsin and northwest Illinois all are considered part of the Driftless Area, an expansive swath of land that escaped glaciation during the last ice age. And local fishermen know there is more to the Driftless Area than what immediately meets the eye.

Federal judge lifts hold on lawsuits against PolyMet mine

PolyMet completed swapping 6,650 acres of federal land in the Superior National Forest for a similar amount of private land last June. (U.S. Forest Service)MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge in Minnesota has lifted a hold that had been placed on four lawsuits challenging the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. The decision by U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen doesn’t…

Officials nix BWCAW reservations because of glitch

(recreation.gov)DULUTH, Minn. — Federal officials say they are starting over on accepting reservation for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northeastern Minnesota because of technical issues. Forest Service officials say only a small number of people were able to receive access to apply for permits, so officials are cancelling reservations that have been processed and are issuing refunds. Officials…

With shutdown over, Isle Royale wolf-moose study back on track

Wolves are being relocated to Isle Royale National Park on Lake Superior. (National Park Service)A 60-year-old study of wolves and moose at Isle Royale National Park is back on track after being derailed by the partial government shutdown, and enough private funding has been raised to ensure the work will go on even if federal agencies are idled again, officials…

Judge upholds protection for gray wolves in California

A California judge upheld protection for gray wolves under the state’s Endangered Species Act, rejecting a legal challenge from ranchers and farmers who fear the predators will threaten their livestock. The judge in San Diego ruled that California was right to list the wolves as endangered in 2014. A lawsuit on behalf of the California Farm Bureau Federation and the…

Montana sportsmen’s groups helping shed light on little-known bighorn herd

(Photo by Bob Drieslein)HAMILTON, Mont. — No one knows much about the isolated bighorn sheep herd that calls the area around Painted Rocks Reservoir home. That’s about to change. With the help of two sportsmen’s organizations, Montana Fish and Wildlife biologist Rebecca Mowry has been working this winter to capture and GPS collar eight of the animals. With the help…

National parks relish return to business

John Anfinson, superintendent of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area in Minnesota, said it felt great to tell his employees to open the Mississippi River Visitor’s Center. He texted his manager and said “Roll up the gate!”