Raven, the star of KARE 11’s “Minnesota Bound,” was in no mood to sit still while her co-star Ron Schara was being interviewed.
Her image and reputation for being a well-trained Lab went into the ditch before the interview even started as you can see on my startribune.com/video. While I was setting up my camera equipment, Schara instructed the dog, more precisely identified as Raven III, to jump up on the flatbed of the truck that was the scene of our interview. I told Schara that Raven was going to have to do that again, once my camera was ready.
To my delight, Schara’s patience was tested as Raven took her sweet time doing as commanded. Maybe that ACL she had repaired about five years ago was aching. It was raining. My video also includes a clip from 2011, when Raven and I were at the same party and she was following the boss’s commands precisely.
This month Schara celebrated 20 years of “Minnesota Bound,” with a one-hour prime-time special, show #704. I took this as an occasion to do a Q&A with Schara, someone with whom I was friendly toward the end of his Star Tribune career, which spanned 1968 to 2007.
Don’t you want to know if Ron has done everything bears do in the woods?
Q: What are three things you would change if you were in charge of the DNR?
A: One, I would be more accountable to the collapse of the fisheries of Mille Lacs. Nobody’s been fired. Nobody’s been [reassigned]. Why not? Clearly DNR made a huge mistake there. Second thing I would do is be more proactive media-wise. I would have more news conferences, etc. And the third thing I might propose changing is having a citizens commission instead of a single commissioner, to take some politics out of it. I like our commissioner today, but he’s still appointed by the governor. Raven, heel, here. Sit down.
Q: What did you think of wolf-hunting season?
A: Wolves are no different than deer. They’re a renewable resource. I support wolf hunting, as long as it’s controlled. We can have wolves and we can have hunting, just like we have deer hunting. Raven, heel, here. Sit down here. She’s bored. She’s heard all my answers before.
Q: What are the biggest conservation issues facing Minnesota?
A: Clean water and disappearing prairie and a generation of folks who are not connected to some of those issues.
Q: What are your thoughts on getting youngsters outside and away from iPhones, computers, video games? Kids are the future conservationists. Did you see the story in the Star Tribune about the problem of getting minority kids interested in fishing?
A: Yes. We can’t do enough of that, as far as society getting out. All we can do is plant the seed. We need parents and others to get more involved and just don’t say, Hey, stare at your iPhone. There is a huge disconnect between kids and nature and I don’t think that’s good. You’ve got to be part of nature. That’s where you came from.
Poll: If the state's $1.9B surplus were "fun money," how would you spend it?