Dennis Anderson

Dennis Anderson has been a Star Tribune outdoors columnist since 1993, before which, for 13 years, he held the same position at the Pioneer Press. He enjoys casting and shooting. Dogs, too, and horses. Also kids and, occasionally, crusading in his column for improved conservation.

Posts about Weather

Incredible ice jams attack Mille Lacs shoreline + video

Posted by: Dennis Anderson Updated: May 11, 2013 - 5:04 PM

Take a look at these photos (below) by Mille Lacs resident Steve Fellegy of the wind-whipped ice jams that piled up on the shoreline of Mille Lacs on Saturday. Above is a youtube video of the ice by Darla Johnson.

No usual opening day, to be sure.

These photos are from Picard Point on the east shore of MIlle Lacs. (Scroll to the bottom for a link to a video showing an ice jam attacking Izaty's, approaching and entering a home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More incredible still, check out this video of an ice jam attacking Izaty's on Saturday, creeping in real time toward and into a home. It's available here.

 

DNR to close some roads, trails due to wet weather

Posted by: Dennis Anderson Updated: April 11, 2013 - 3:19 PM

The Department of Natural Resources said Thursday that wet weather statewide will require it to close some road and trails.

Many of the affected roads and trails are in state forests, state parks, recreation areas and wildlife management areas. Road and trail conditions are deteriorating rapidly this spring, the DNR said.

The  closures could remain in effect until sometime in May, depending on weather.

“These are normal spring closures that happen when roads and trails become wet and fragile,” said Richard Peterson, recreation program coordinator for the DNR’s Forestry Division. “We ask that people use good judgment, obey the closures and frequently check the DNR website for updates.”

State forest closures can be particularly problematic. Oftentimes, all roads and trails in a  forest will be closed, but not always, the DNR said.

Online road and trail condition information is updated every Thursday by 2 p.m. Check out the “Current Conditions” page on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov (www.dnr.state.mn.us/trailconditions/index.html).

Closure information is also available by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free, 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Wolf hunting license results available online

Posted by: Dennis Anderson Updated: September 26, 2012 - 2:25 PM

Apply for a Minnesota wolf hunting or trapping license?

You can find out online now whether you've been one of the 6,000 winners in a Department of Natural Resources lottery.

Results are online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/wolf

More than 23,000 applications for licenses were received by the DNR.

Winners also will receive notification and wolf hunting regulations by snail mail. Those selected can also purchase wolf hunting or trapping licenses from a DNR license agent, online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by telephone at 888-665-4236.

Announcing that winners had been selected, the DNR said in a news release:

Participants in the early season hunt, which coincides with firearms deer season, must purchase their wolf licenses by Oct. 24. Participants in the late hunting and trapping season, which runs from Saturday, Nov. 24, to Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, must buy their licenses by Thursday, Nov. 15.

Any licenses not sold by those dates will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to unsuccessful lottery applicants beginning at noon on Monday, Oct. 29, for the early season and at noon on Monday, Nov. 19, for the late hunting and trapping season.

Any remaining licenses not purchased by unsuccessful applicants will be available for purchase by any eligible hunter beginning at noon on Thursday, Nov. 1, for the early season and noon on Wednesday, Nov. 21, for the late hunting and trapping season.

Minnesota assumed state management of the gray wolf after the species was removed Jan. 27 from federal protection in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Minnesota’s wolf population is estimated to be about 3,000 wolves. The target harvest of 400 wolves for this inaugural wolf season is a conservative approach that does not pose a threat to the conservation of the population.

 

Climate change threatens waterfowl in prairie pothole region, researchers say

Posted by: Dennis Anderson Updated: February 3, 2010 - 10:47 AM

A study just published suggests that the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the U.S. and Canada — where most of the continent's ducks are hatched — is very sensitive to climate warming and drying, shoud it occur, as some forecasters predict.

Below is a summary of the findings, according to the U.S. Geological Survey:

 

“The impact to the millions of wetlands that attract countless ducks to these breeding grounds in spring makes it difficult to imagine how to maintain today’s level of waterfowl populations in altered climate conditions,” said Dr. Glenn Guntenspergen, a U.S. Geological Survey researcher and one of the report authors. “Parents may not have time to raise their young to where they can fly because of wetlands drying up too quickly in the warming climate of the future.”

A new wetland model developed by the authors to understand the impacts of climate change on wetlands in the prairie pothole region projected major reductions in water volume, shortening of the time water remains in wetlands and changes to wetland vegetation dynamics in this 800,000-square kilometer region in the United States (North and South Dakota, Montana, Minnesota and Iowa) and Canada.

Many wetland species -- such as waterfowl and amphibians -- require a minimum time in water to complete their life cycles. For example, most dabbling ducks -- such as mallards and teal-- require at least 80 to 110 days of surface water for their young to grow to where they can fly and for breeding adults to complete molting, the time when birds are flightless while growing new feathers. In addition, an abundance of wetlands are needed because breeding waterfowl typically isolate themselves from others of the same species.

“Unfortunately, the model simulations show that under forecasted climate-change scenarios for this region (an increase of 4-degrees Celsius), the western prairie potholes will be too dry and the eastern ones will have too few functional wetlands and nesting habitat to support historical levels of waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species,” said Dr. W. Carter Johnson, another study author and a researcher at South Dakota State University.

The authors noted that their model allowed a more comprehensive analysis of climate change impacts across the northern prairies because it simultaneously examined the hydrology and vegetation dynamics of the wetland complex, which are both important for the wildlife that depend on the prairie potholes for part or all of their life cycles. 

 “Our results indicate that the prairie wetlands are highly vulnerable to climate warming, and are less resilient than we previously believed,” said Guntenspergen. “All but the very wettest of the historic boom years for waterfowl production in the more arid parts of the prairie pothole region may be bust years in a 4-degrees Celsius warmer climate.”

These findings may serve as a foundation for managers and policy makers to develop management plans to prepare for and adapt to climate change in the prairie pothole region.

The article, Prairie wetland complexes as landscape functional units in a changing climate, was published in BioScience (60[2]:128-140) and authored by researchers with South Dakota State University, the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Montana, St. Olaf College, The Desert Research Institute-University of Nevada, and the University of Idaho.

Climate change threatens waterfowl in prairie pothole region, researchers say

Posted by: Dennis Anderson Updated: February 3, 2010 - 10:47 AM

A study just published suggests that the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the U.S. and Canada — where most of the continent's ducks are hatched — is very sensitive to climate warming and drying, shoud it occur, as some forecasters predict.

Below is a summary of the findings, according to the U.S. Geological Survey:

 

“The impact to the millions of wetlands that attract countless ducks to these breeding grounds in spring makes it difficult to imagine how to maintain today’s level of waterfowl populations in altered climate conditions,” said Dr. Glenn Guntenspergen, a U.S. Geological Survey researcher and one of the report authors. “Parents may not have time to raise their young to where they can fly because of wetlands drying up too quickly in the warming climate of the future.”

A new wetland model developed by the authors to understand the impacts of climate change on wetlands in the prairie pothole region projected major reductions in water volume, shortening of the time water remains in wetlands and changes to wetland vegetation dynamics in this 800,000-square kilometer region in the United States (North and South Dakota, Montana, Minnesota and Iowa) and Canada.

Many wetland species -- such as waterfowl and amphibians -- require a minimum time in water to complete their life cycles. For example, most dabbling ducks -- such as mallards and teal-- require at least 80 to 110 days of surface water for their young to grow to where they can fly and for breeding adults to complete molting, the time when birds are flightless while growing new feathers. In addition, an abundance of wetlands are needed because breeding waterfowl typically isolate themselves from others of the same species.

“Unfortunately, the model simulations show that under forecasted climate-change scenarios for this region (an increase of 4-degrees Celsius), the western prairie potholes will be too dry and the eastern ones will have too few functional wetlands and nesting habitat to support historical levels of waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species,” said Dr. W. Carter Johnson, another study author and a researcher at South Dakota State University.

The authors noted that their model allowed a more comprehensive analysis of climate change impacts across the northern prairies because it simultaneously examined the hydrology and vegetation dynamics of the wetland complex, which are both important for the wildlife that depend on the prairie potholes for part or all of their life cycles. 

 “Our results indicate that the prairie wetlands are highly vulnerable to climate warming, and are less resilient than we previously believed,” said Guntenspergen. “All but the very wettest of the historic boom years for waterfowl production in the more arid parts of the prairie pothole region may be bust years in a 4-degrees Celsius warmer climate.”

These findings may serve as a foundation for managers and policy makers to develop management plans to prepare for and adapt to climate change in the prairie pothole region.

The article, Prairie wetland complexes as landscape functional units in a changing climate, was published in BioScience (60[2]:128-140) and authored by researchers with South Dakota State University, the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Montana, St. Olaf College, The Desert Research Institute-University of Nevada, and the University of Idaho.

      

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