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News & Information

News and information, interviews, weather, upcoming events, music, school news, and many special features. North Shore Morning includes our popular trivia question - Pop Quiz! The North Shore Morning program is the place to connect with the people, culture and events of our region!


What's On:

Superior National Forest Update: November 21

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Hi.  I’m Jon Benson, Recreation Specialist for the Tofte and Gunflint Ranger Districts.  I’m here today to provide you with the Thanksgiving edition of the Superior National Forest Update.  For the week of November 21st, here’s what’s going on around the Forest.
Turkey Day is just around the corner and the chill of winter is in the air.  Hunting season is winding down, and many of you have been out looking for that trophy buck.  Good hunting safety practices should remain a key focus as complacency can often be a contributing factor to hunting injuries.  If you plan to be out in the woods during hunting season make sure you, your friends and your pets are wearing high visibility clothing and are taking more notice of your surroundings. 
Trappers in the Finland, Grand Marais and Two Harbors areas can register furbearers on Friday, Dec. 5, between noon and 7 p.m. at area DNR registration stations. A typo in the 2014 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook incorrectly lists the date as Dec. 6.
Trappers may also call to make an appointment for registration during regular business hours prior to the close of any species trapping season. Trappers are reminded that all furbearers must be registered no more than 24 hours after the close of the season for fisher and marten, and no more than 48 after the close of the season for otters and bobcats. Registrations stations are not staffed on weekends so trappers should plan accordingly to meet registration requirements.
When the hunting and trapping seasons end, please remember to take down your hunting stands as permanent stands are illegal on National Forest lands.  For any additional questions related to trapping or hunting licenses, rules, and regulations, listeners should contact the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources or visit their website.
For any information related to OHV use or access into different areas of the Superior National Forest, please stop into any District Office and request a free motor vehicle use map.  Remember that ATV’s and OHV’s are only permitted on roads and trails designated for that use on the motor vehicle use map and cross-country travel is not permitted.
Recreation use on the Superior National Forest is pretty low right now, but we have heard reports of people starting to venture out onto the ice.  Please use caution when walking on frozen lakes especially early in the season.  It is recommended that anyone planning to travel on the ice not do so by themselves and if you do plan to head out on the ice, please use caution and sound judgment before doing so.
Another pretty cool program that I wanted to mention is that the Superior National Forest is in the midst of our 25th year of wilderness education programs.  We have been providing these programs to 2nd, 4th, and 7th grade students in communities ranging from south of Duluth all the way to Grand Marais.  If you have any 7th grade students, they should have recently been visited by our wilderness education team.  Ask them if they learned anything new and interesting about the wilderness.
While driving, you could encounter some logging trucks on the Bally Creek Road, Devil Track, Ball Club, Shoe Lake, Greenwood, The Grade, Gunflint Trail, Swamp Lake Road, Cascade River Road and Cook County 7, Cook County 45, Cook County 3, Forest Road 369, Lake County 705, the Mark Lake Road and the Caribou Trail.  There will also be some hauling and harvest activity starting soon  along the Pine Mountain Road near the Gunflint Snowmobile Trail. 
Speaking of roads, the bridge on the 600 Road in Tofte over the Temperance River is now closed to vehicle traffic and boulders have been placed to prevent vehicle traffic from crossing this bridge.  Snowmobiles will be permitted on the bridge this winter, but the groomer will not be grooming this section of trail.  This bridge has been closed for safety reasons and we are working to find opportunities to fund a new bridge in this location.  The cost estimate for a replacement bridge is beyond what our budgets can currently support.
I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving and enjoy the start of the winter.  Until next time, this has been Jon Benson with the Superior National Forest Update.

Leonid Meteor Shower (Drew Wilson / Flikr)

Northern Sky: November 15

NorthernSky_20141115.mp36.32 MB

Deane Morrison is a science writer at the University of Minnesota, where she authors the Minnesota Starwatch column.

The Leonid Shower on the 17th and 18th; new moon on the 22nd; news from the Alma telescope and the November 12th landing on a comet.


'Down to the 5 yard line' for Tofte housing project

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Plenty of Tofte news, including progress on the senior housing project.  North Shore Morning host Julie Carlson spoke with Tofte Township Supervisor Jeanne Larson.  



Superior National Forest Update: November 14

USDA_SNF_Update_Atwood_20141114.mp33.9 MB

Hello, I’m Mary Ann Atwood, Gunflint Ranger District’s administrative support clerk, with this week’s edition of the Superior National Forest Update.  Here’s what’s going on that may affect travel and recreation on the Gunflint and Tofte Districts of the Forest over the next week.
You may have noticed that winter has arrived on the north shore.  Tread carefully on Forest Service roads as you will likely encounter a thin layer of ice.   Lakes are starting to freeze up as well.  Our wilderness rangers have encountered 2 – 3 inches of ice cover on most small lakes.  If you’re planning a paddling trip, call the Tofte or Gunflint District offices for an ice report. 
Whether hiking or paddling in the BWCAW, be sure to fill out a self-issue permit, available at entry points and district offices.  And remember; keep wearing orange in the forest during the firearm’s season.
Our fire shop is completing the last of the gravel pit burn piles for the year.  Speaking of burn piles, if you are planning on burning brush piles at your home, you still need a burning permit until you have at least three inches of continuous snow cover.
When driving, take some time to reacquaint yourself with how your car handles in snow.  Check that the winter emergency kit you took out of the back and stored in the garage all summer is back in the vehicle. 
Regarding logging trucks: On the Gunflint side, you can expect log trucks on Bally Creek and The Grade.   On the Tofte side, there will be hauling on Cook County 3 near Vyre Lake, on The Grade, on FR 369 near Sawbill Landing, and on Lake County 705. 
Now that there is snow on the ground, our biologists are recording animal tracks.  All sorts of animals that are hard to count in the summer are easier to monitor in the winter.  Lynx may be invisible in the summer, but their tracks give them away in the winter.  We are interested in collecting any lynx sightings or suspected tracks.  If you find any, stop by or call a district office with your sighting information.
As Thanksgiving approaches, holiday greenery, that is, balsam boughs and trees, come to mind.  Both forest products can be gathered on the Forest with the appropriate permit.  Check our website or pick up a flyer at the district office for details on harvest limits and permit prices. 
That wraps up what is going on in the Superior.  Whether the snow lures you out into the woods, or drives you inside to enjoy a book and hot chocolate, make the most of it and enjoy winter.  After all, we have about four and half months of it left to go!  This has been Mary Ann Atwood with the National Forest Update.



On the Nature of Teaching: The Learning Cycle

Nature of Teaching_WRELC_Walz_20141112.mp36.13 MB

On the Nature of Teaching is a monthly segment on WTIP highlighting how we teach and learn in the natural world.
Located near Finland, Minnesota, Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center was founded in 1971.  

In this segment, Shannon Walz, Education Director at Wolf Ridge, talks about the “Learning Cycle.”



Superior National Forest Update: November 7

USDA_SNF_Update_Robertsen_20141107.mp33.1 MB

Hello, this is Steve Robertsen, Forest interpreter, with the deer opener edition of the Superior National Forest Update.  Here is what’s going on that may affect travel and recreation on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts of the Forest over the next week
As most of us know, this is opening weekend for the firearms deer season in the state.  National Forest lands are open to hunting, except for within 150 yards of developed sites.  ATV use is limited to those roads and trails specified on the motor vehicle use maps available at district offices, there is no off road use of these vehicles for hauling game or traveling to deer stands.  Deer stands are allowed, but have to be taken down at the end of the season, or they will be impounded.  Remember, even if you are not hunting, orange is definitely the new black this time of year.  Be safe and be seen.  Good luck to everyone.
While you’re driving out there, you might run into a bit more logging traffic than last week.  On the Gunflint side, you can expect log trucks on Bally Creek, Devil Track, Ball Club, Shoe Lake, Greenwood, Pine Mountain, The Grade, Gunflint Trail, Swamp Lake Road, Cascade River Road and Cook County 7 and 45. 
There will also be hauling on the Mark Lake Road and the Caribou Trail.
On the Tofte side, they are still hauling up on Cook County 3 and the Sawbill Trail; but there will also be trucks on the Sawbill Landing Road and Lake County 705. 
The bridge over the Poplar River on the Barker Lake Road is now finished and open for traffic.  It is the opposite story for those looking to cross the Temperance River on the 600 road near the Sawbill Trail.  The longtime landmark steel truss bridge, known for obvious reasons as the “Pink Bridge”, is nearing the end of its life.  It will be blocked and closed to car and truck traffic starting this week, though it will be open for snowmobile use this winter.  Drivers will have to detour either via the Grade or Highway 61. 
Our fire crew is keeping busy by burning brush piles in gravel pits at several locations through the Forest.  This will continue as weather permits, so it is hard to say exactly which will be burnt on which day, but you may expect some smoke plumes from these fires. 
That wraps up what is going on in the Superior.  This can be a busy season in the woods, so be aware of other people, and respectful of their use of the Forest.  Stay safe, and good luck to all!  This has been Steve Robertsen with the National Forest Update.


School News from Birch Grove: November 4

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Trina and Chloe report the lastest news from Birch Grove Community School.


Dr. Seth Moore: Update on Moose Mortality Study

SethMoore_20141030_final.mp36.77 MB

Dr. Seth Moore is Director of Biology and Environment with the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. 

The Grand Portage Reservation is located in the extreme northeast corner of Minnesota, on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Cook County. Bordered on the north by Canada, on the south and east by Lake Superior and on the west by Grand Portage State Forest, the reservation encompasses an historic fur trade site on scenic Grand Portage Bay.

The band engages in fisheries and wildlife research projects throughout the year, working with moose, wolves, fish, deer, grouse, and environmental issues. Dr. Moore appears regularly on WTIP North Shore Community Radio, talking about the band's current and ongoing natural resource projects, as well as other environmental and health related issues.  In this segment, Dr. Moore talks about what's been learned about moose mortality since research on the Grand Portage Reservation began in 2009. 

(Photo by Christopher Hynes on Flickr)

November Moon (ladytimeless / Flikr)

Northern Sky: November 1

NorthenSky_20141101.mp35.27 MB

Deane Morrison is a science writer at the University of Minnesota, where she authors the Minnesota Starwatch column.

Sunspot AR12192, the Andromeda galaxy, Jupiter,  and a Full Beaver Moon on November 6th.

White-nose Fungus (Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation via Flikr)

National Bat Week: Oct 26 - Nov 1

Bats_Robertsen_coastal.mp310.4 MB

Bats play an important role in our ecosystem and not just on Halloween!  Bats are often misunderstood and currently challenged by white-nose syndrome.  North Shore Morning host Julie Carlson learns more from Steve Robertson, education specialist with the USDA Forest Service, Superior National Forest.


This feature was funded in part by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, by the NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, in conjunction with Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Program. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of WTIP and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal resource Management, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources or Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Program.