A controversial proposal to tighten the use of body-gripping traps to reduce the inadvertent trapping of dogs could be presented to the Legislature this week.
And when the public gets a chance to comment, expect fireworks.
"There's absolutely no way we'll please everyone,'' said Dennis Simon, Department of Natural Resources wildlife chief.
The DNR and legislators have been meeting with trapping groups to try to reach agreement on the new restrictions.
At least six dogs have been killed in traps since fall, and some dog owners have called for the DNR to require the body-gripping traps to be used only off the ground, where they wouldn't accidentally catch dogs. Trappers have said that would make trapping ineffective for some species.
The DNR is expected to present its proposal to the Legislature this week. Legislators ultimately will decide whether to impose new restrictions.
"I think we can find a solution that's better than the current situation and protects more dogs but at the same time allows trapping,'' said Rep. Denny McNamara, R-Hastings. "It's probably not going to go as far as some people want it to.''Wolf hunting opener?
About 300 Minnesota conservation leaders, politicians and bureaucrats attended last week's Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance banquet in Maplewood, and there were speeches aplenty. But a comment by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., drew the loudest reaction, a mixture of applause, laughter and shouts of approval.
Klobuchar was talking about her successful efforts to remove the wolf from the federal list of endangered species, which has returned wolf management to the state.
"I was thinking that since the governor started a [governor's] pheasant opener, and since I worked so hard on the wolf delisting, maybe I could have the wolf opener,'' Klobuchar quipped.
The Legislature is expected to debate in coming weeks a proposal to hold a wolf hunting season next fall.Close lock to fight carp?
Klobuchar suggested that the lock near downtown Minneapolis could be shuttered to prevent the spread of Asian carp up the Mississippi River.
"I personally believe we should look at closing that lock,'' she said, apparently referring to the lock near St. Anthony Falls. "We should look at that as one solution.''A prickly situation
Conservation officer Chris Vinton of Perham got a call from a woman recovering from hip surgery who thought she had ghosts in a shed because the lights kept going off and on. A neighbor checked it out and found a porcupine inside. The critter turned the lights on and off when it climbed a pole with the switch on it. Vinton helped her evict the porcupine.Did you know?
• A bill introduced at the Legislature would allow Minnesotans to hunt coyotes from aircraft and snowmobiles. Check out www.startribune.com/outdoors for details of the proposal, which one legislator calls "nutty.''
Doug Smith • firstname.lastname@example.org