Learn mountain-biking basics at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area

Anyone looking for summer adventure may want to explore the mountain bike trails at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area during one of the three I Can Mountain Bike! programs on Saturday, Aug. 11, from 9 to 11:30 a.m., from noon to 2:30 p.m., or from 3 to 5:30 p.m.
During the first half of the program, participants will practice shifting, braking and body position in a wide open setting. During the second half, they’ll take a guided ride and explore the single-track mountain-bike trails.
Use of bikes and helmets will be included with the registration fee ($15/child and $25/adult). A Minnesota State Parks vehicle permit ($7/day or $35/year-round) is also required to enter the park.
Children should be at least 10 years old to participate and should be able to comfortably ride a bike on pavement prior to attending this program. Anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Reservations are required and can be made online or by phone at mndnr.gov/reservations (24 hours a day).
Call 866-857-2757 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily, excluding holidays.
I Can Mountain Bike! is part of a series of skill-building programs offered by the DNR’s Division of Parks and Trails. Other programs in the series introduce camping, fishing, paddling and archery.
The I Can! programs are made possible with support from the Parks and Trails Fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25 percent of the three-eighths percent sales tax revenue that may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.
Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, near Brainerd, features 25 miles of single-track mountain bike trails. It also has an eight-mile paved trail.
For more information about any of the I Can! Programs, including program dates, times, locations, and minimum age requirements. Visit www.mndnr.gov/ican or contact the DNR Information Center at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

DNR invites public input on proposed forest trails in St. Louis County

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites anyone with an interest in recreational trail systems and motorized recreation in the Kabetogama and Sturgeon River state forests in St. Louis County to attend a public meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 26 in Cook. Attendees will be able to review a set of proposals that include changes to trail systems in the state forest. The meeting will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Cook Community Center, 799 Third Ave. SE, Cook.
Draft recommendations include new all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and off-highway motorcycle (OHM) trails, permitting ATV/OHM use on portions of snowmobile trails, designating portions of the Taconite State Trail to allow ATV/OHM use and designating existing hunter-walking trails.
The DNR invites the public to visit the meeting to review maps of existing and proposed trails, discuss the DNR proposals, submit comments and suggest changes to the recommendations. The DNR will also accept written comments through 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11.  
Comments received at the meeting and during the public comment period will be used to develop a final recommendation that will be submitted to the DNR commissioner for approval. Changes to state forest trail designations must be made by commissioner's order and published in the State Register.  
Written comments may be submitted by:
Email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Fax to 651-297-1157.
Mail to Joe Unger, Parks and Trails Division, DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN  55155-4039.
For more information, call The DNR’s Parks and Trails Division, Central Office in St. Paul, 651-259-5279.
The DNR’s Parks and Trails Tower area office, 218-300-7842.
Information is also available online at mndnr.gov.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

Outdoor skills workshop for women scheduled Sept. 14-16

Women can hike to spectacular views of autumn colors and Lake Superior on the horizon during a three-day fall workshop that teaches a variety of outdoor skills through the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Getting to that view includes 330 feet of elevation gain on the Superior Hiking Trail – the kind of physical and mental challenge known well to Jo Swanson, trail development director for the Superior Hiking Trail Association and the keynote speaker for the fall workshop.
“One of my themes is empowerment – learning to overcome fears of adventuring in the outdoors,” Swanson said. “We live in a culture of fear and people react strongly when women go on outdoors adventures, especially when they go alone. The truth is that with planning and preparation, the outdoors can be a very safe place.”
The fall workshop is Friday, Sept. 14, through Sunday, Sept. 16, in a new location this year at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center near Finland, MN. Attendees will hear from Swanson and Minnesota state park naturalists. Session topics include Ojibwe heritage, Voyageurs, archery, canoeing, and the animals, plants and geology of the North Woods.
Linda Bylander, coordinator of the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program, said that along with the new location, the workshop offers a new selection of classes this year.
“Women who attend the fall workshop gain a whole range of experiences in a supportive environment,” Bylander said. “We chose dates when the fall colors should provide a beautiful backdrop.”
The workshop is designed for women ages 18 and up, but girls ages 14 to 17 are welcome to attend with parents or guardians. Visit mndnr.gov/bow for more information and to register.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

Artists may submit designs for waterfowl stamp

Wildlife artists can submit entries for the 2019 Minnesota Migratory Waterfowl Stamp contest from Monday, Aug. 20, through 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31.
The waterfowl stamp validation for hunting is $7.50 and for an extra 75 cents purchasers can receive the pictorial stamp. It also is sold as a collectible. Revenue from stamp sales is dedicated to waterfowl management and habitat work.
The gadwall is the only eligible species for depiction on the 2019 waterfowl stamp.
Artists are prohibited from using any photographic product as part of their finished entries. Winning artists usually issue limited edition prints of the artwork and retain proceeds. Judging will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at DNR headquarters in St. Paul.
To see more information on stamp contests, guidelines for submitting work and to sign up to receive regular email updates on the stamp contests, visit mndnr.gov/stamps. Contest guidelines are also available from the DNR Information Center by calling 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

Paddle the Chippewa River with Ranger Ed

Paddlers are invited to join refuge ranger Ed Lagace for a free paddle on Saturday, July 28, from 9 a.m.-noon.
The trip begins on the Chippewa River and returns through the Nelson-Trevino Bottoms of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Because of river current, this trip is recommended for experienced paddlers.
Registration is required by 4 p.m. Thursday, July 26, by calling or emailing Lagace at 507-494-6236 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The refuge is providing canoes, paddles and PFDs, or people can bring your own equipment.
The Chippewa River Landing is located on the eastern shore of the Chippewa River just north of Hwy 35 between Nelson and Pepin, WI.

SOURCE: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

DNR to open public range in Columbia County July 24

POYNETTE, WI - For the first time in more than 20 years, southern Wisconsin target shooting enthusiasts will get a new no-fee public shooting range on public land when the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources opens the Columbia County Public Target Range on July 24.
DNR Secretary Dan Meyer will cut the ribbon at 10 a.m. to welcome all to the new facility at the Mud Lake Wildlife Area just off King Road - about halfway between Poynette and Rio. County and local partners will be in attendance and the public is invited.
The facility features 100- and 50-yard rifle ranges, a 50-yard shotgun patterning range and a 25-foot pistol range; earthen backstops and side berms and overhead baffles in shooting sheds to ensure everyone's safety.
"This fully accessible range is another great example of public-private partnership and teamwork," Meyer said. "It will provide the public with an environmentally friendly and safe area to shoot and sight-in rifles and handguns.
Funding for the Columbia County range comes from the DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funds through the Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration grant. The funds come from an excise tax on firearms, ammunition and archery equipment. Matching donations came from private partners including the Columbia County Sporting Alliance and the Wisconsin River Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
"Promoting hunting, shooting sports and hunter safety is a long-standing objective within the Department of Natural Resources," Meyer said. "This target range is one more element in meeting that goal."
The facility's construction completes the process initiated in 2013 to establish a public shooting range in Columbia County. The Mud Lake Wildlife Area site was selected from several other Columbia County wildlife areas following a lengthy process involving many partners in county and local government who formed a range advisory committee. The committee identified several possible locations then held public hearings, a public comment period and conducted surveys before making its final recommendation to the DNR. DNR accepted the recommendation and in collaboration with the Department of Administration, coordinated the contracting and construction of the range.
To learn more about the state's public target ranges, visit: dnr.wi.gov and search keywords: Shooting Ranges.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

Fall webworms start making an appearance

MADISON - Web-like nests of fall webworm caterpillars, a common native pest active from July through September in Wisconsin, are beginning to appear in parts of the state.
"Fall webworms are rarely large enough to cause lasting damage to trees, but the presence of nests and feeding damage from caterpillars can greatly affect how the tree looks," says Todd Lanigan, forest health specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
The fall webworm (Hyphantrea cunea) feeds on leaves of almost all shade, fruit, and ornamental trees and shrubs, except for conifers, throughout most of the U.S. and southern Canada. They typically form nests of loose webbing over the tips of tree branches.
"Trees typically recover from feeding damage on their own, but defoliation for more than two or three years in a row could make trees more susceptible to diseases and other problems," he says.
If intervention becomes necessary, one of the easiest ways to manage fall webworms is to simply tear open the nests with a rake or pole.
"Opening the nests allows natural predators such as birds and other insects to reach caterpillars inside the otherwise impenetrable webbing," Lanigan says.
A rake or pole may also be used to roll up nests and remove them from the tree. Detached nests should be placed in a container of soapy water overnight to drown caterpillars. One may also simply scrape the nests off onto the ground and crush them to destroy the caterpillars. These actions are best undertaken in early morning or late afternoon when caterpillars are gathered in their nests.
Never attempt to burn the nests off the branches - this action will almost certainly damage the tree and may result in an uncontrolled fire and injury.
On small trees, where webbed branches are within reach, nests can be manually pruned out and destroyed. This is only practical if the webs have not become too large and the aesthetic shape of the tree will not be affected by pruning.
On larger trees, pesticide treatments might be useful. Apply appropriate pesticides while caterpillars are inside the nest in the morning or late afternoon. Chemical treatments are most effective on small, young caterpillars such as those present in late July/early August. Larger, solitary caterpillars are harder to control with pesticides. When applying pesticides, it is important to make sure that the nest is completely penetrated. Always read and follow label directions for safe use of any pesticide.
For more information on fall webworms, visit UW Extension at hort.uwex.edu/articles/webworms.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR