Statewide: March 29, 2011 Archive
Posted at 8:35 AM on March 29, 2011
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources staff say the quality of outdoor life will be significantly reduced if the department isn't allowed to increase the cost of hunting and fishing licenses.
The DNR is proposing to raise the price of hunting and fishing licenses as part of its Hunting and Fishing Heritage Initiative. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton included the increase in his budget proposal, but lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Legislature have been lukewarm, at best, to the idea of an increase in fees.
Hunting and fishing license fees haven't increased since 2001. Adjusted for inflation, a $17 resident fishing license would cost about $23 today.
DNR staff on Monday night said the fee hike is necessary to maintain the balance of the DNR's Game and Fish Fund, which is projected to hit zero by 2015. The fund is directly maintained by hunting and fishing license dollars, DNR officials said, and revenues now exceed expenditures by about $2.6 million annually (Grand Forks Herald).
Staff also batted back an idea that Legacy Funds could be used to offset the shortfall. If you have suggestions for the DNR leave them in the comment section, or Tweet them to @mntoday.
Also clicking on MN Today
Cattle stolen in Olmsted County
An Olmsted County family is out nearly $14,000 dollars after some of their cattle were stolen.Its not a crime you hear too often about, but its leaving one family with a huge loss (KAAL).
Tower woman cited for neglect after animals die of starvation
The owner of a dilapidated farm near Tower where at least six animals died of starvation has been issued a misdemeanor citation for animal neglect (Duluth News Tribune).
Feds want Ventura's suit against TSA thrown out
The U.S. government filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit Monday arguing all challenges to aviation and security-related TSA orders must be filed in the courts of appeal (KSTP).
Twins set spring training attendance records
The Twins say that they set new team attendance records for the just-completed spring schedule at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. (Biz Journals)
River cities: Sandbagging, waiting, wondering
While the waterways in the Austin area have dropped below flood stage and are receding, floodwaters remain a threat in communities along the Mississippi River (Rochester Post Bulletin).
Closures begin as Red River rises
As the river rises, there will be some Greenway access closures around Grand Forks in anticipation of the Red River possibly reaching flood stage by the end of next week (WDAZ).
Slideshow by MPR's Molly Bloom as seen first on our Floods '11 blog.
The Loon Tracker
The USGS is sharing realtime data from Loons that allows users to follow the migratory patterns of the Minnesota State Bird. Launch: Loon tracker
Moorhead will build a solar energy pilot project this summer to generate electricity for the city.
Moorhead Public Service, the city's public utility, will install three solar panel arrays that track the sun through the day. The panels will generate up to 10 kilowatts of electricity a day. City officials say that's enough electricity to power several average homes.
Moorhead Public Service has two wind turbines which generate electricity for the city. The first went on line in 1999.
"Moorhead was a leader when it began its wind turbine project over ten years ago and now Moorhead is a leader, again, in promoting renewable energy, " MPS General Manager Bill Schwandt said.
The new solar panels will cost about $100,000. A grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will pay about 40 percent of the project cost according to city officials.
City officials hope the pilot project will stimulate local businesses and homeowners to consider solar energy applications.
MPS' Energy Services Manager Dennis Eisenbraun thinks the project will also help determine the viability of solar technology in Moorhead's weather extremes.
It will be interesting to see how effectively solar panels generate electricity in Moorhead. As this map from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows, Minnesota isn't exactly a hot spot for solar energy potential.
Data from the National Climatic Data Center says over a year, it's sunny 57 percent of the time in Moorhead.
Moorhead expects to have the solar energy project online and generating electricity by the end of September.