Staff Directory 6370538

Bob Timmons

Outdoors Weekend Editor | Newsroom
Phone: 612-673-7899

Bob Timmons covers a variety of topics, from conservation to recreation, and coordinates the Star Tribune's Outdoors Weekend section content.


Timmons previously was the Page One layout and news editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He's a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (Wis.) graduate.
Recent content from Bob Timmons
A fawn near the banks of Dobbins Creek in the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center in Austin.

Bird and lake reports reflect nonstop action across Minnesota's natural world

Fawns also are born this time of year. Being odorless provides them protection.
The common loon, Minnesota’s state bird, is back on many lakes, nesting and raising young.

Call of the loons is heard — and the call to help them

The population of the state bird is stable, but conservation efforts like volunteer monitors prove they're essential to knowing that.
This is the hopeful scene Saturday and through summer.

Fishing opener: A tackle box full of useful tools, data and how-to advice

From where and how to buy a license, to ice-out updates to videos on targeting fish, there is something for every angler. Good luck.
Bird flu has been detected in two red fox kits in Canada and now in a fox kit in Minnesota.

Virus that's killed birds turns up in first wild mammal in Minnesota

A fox kit from Anoka County has tested positive for a deadly, highly contagious bird flu that has killed countless wild birds this spring.
Aquatennial canoe derby racers left Bemidji on July 14, 1960, for Minneapolis.

'It is a Minnesota thing': Canoe racing's popular past runs direct line to present

Marathon paddler has created 140-mile race on Mississippi River in June.
Water patrol deputies used ropes to entangle the propeller to slow and control the Whaler.

Hell in the water: Lake Minnetonka boater survives 'circle of death'

The quick action of good Samaritans and water patrol limited the dangers after a boater was flung into the water with the boat motor still running.
Current Minnesota law calls for boat safety education for youth only to operate watercraft.

Legislation would extend boat safety training to adults in Minnesota

The state currently only requires youth get educated before operating watercraft and is a minority among big boating states.
The chain of lakes in the Kabetogama Peninsula, center, and Rainy Lake, top, are seen during sunset at Voyageurs National Park in 2016.

Minnesota's special sites shine during National Park Week

From Voyageurs National Park to monuments, a trail, a river park and a shared riverway, the state's units are saturated in history.
Shipwreck Creek campground has 46 campsites and a shower building.

New campground builds on old plan for busy North Shore state parks

Planners in 1980 had a development blueprint for Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, knowing the region's popularity.
One of 46 new drive-in sites at Shipwreck Creek campground.

New Split Rock Lighthouse State Park campground opens on North Shore on June 1

Tent camping also is allowed at the new sites, but the campground was created with the popularity of recreational vehicles in mind.
Doug Shidell led a group on a 230-mile ride through the Driftless Region in 2019.

Like his business name, Twin Cities mapmaker biked, well, everywhere

Doug Shidell has ridden upward of 57,000 miles in the service of his comprehensive Twin Cities Bike Map. He just sold the business, but his spirit for exploration still fires.
Brittanie Wilson was invited to test an Action Trackchair at Myre-Big Island State Park, east of Albert Lea. Wilson was born with arthrogryposis, a di

All-terrain wheelchairs will help disabled state park visitors explore

Project calls for one chair in five different Minnesota state parks ready for use by early summer.
Abundant snowfall and cold temperatures in much of the state kept the trails in good shape.

Rogue behavior aside, winter delivered for Minnesota snowmobilers

Reports suggest it was the busiest winter in years on-trail; Snowmobile Instructors of the Year try to make it safe.
Thinking spring, from fishing to steelhead to running trails and more.

Living winter but thinking spring. From trout to trails to bikes to birds.

It's winter, but thoughts of what the next season holds are top of mind. All paths lead to spring.
Members of the North Anglers Club from North High School and others prepared for a day on White Bear Lake. The club was created with a No Child Left I

Grants program continues to connect young people with the outdoors

Applications for next phase of No Child Left Inside funds are due next week, with continued interest expected.
An image of a collared wolf was captured on a trail camera on Isle Royale.

Isle Royale wolf relocation inspires documentary, coursework for students

The project aimed at restoring the park's predator-prey balance is ongoing; now children have a way into the story, too.
The sun sets on Eddy Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in July 2021.

Why is the BWCA a wilderness and not a national park?

The area's history as a hub of industry and recreation led to unique protections and management for the Boundary Waters — and a national park next door.
Conservation officer Arnaud Kpachavi checked the fishing license Thursday of John Jankowski on Phelps Bay on Lake Minnetonka.

Minnesota conservation officers try to keep pace with more demands afield

Recruits to come are welcomed but seen as a patch for current vacancies and looming retirements.
A new University of Minnesota study is leaning on the principles of forest bathing — using the senses to immerse in nature.

U research looks to build on what's known about nature's benefits

A University of Minnesota pilot study focuses on the experience: Is there one way to spend time in nature that is better than another?
Darby Nelson spent most of a lifetime in Minnesota waters, learning about them and defending them. He is shown on the Le Sueur River.

A Minnesotan whose love of rivers and lakes ran as deep as his advocacy

Darby Nelson was a teacher, legislator, author and relentless defender of Minnesota's waterways.
The Sea-Doo Switch is a cross between a Jet Ski and a pontoon boat.

Minnesota's chill doesn't extend to the boating world

The Minneapolis Boat Show is back, reflecting an industry awash in sales for water-toy sellers and supporting outfits.
Shown in 2017, the Fat Bike World Championships in Crested Butte, Colo. The inaugural event was in 2016.

Fatbiking leaves mountains to bring racing festival to western Wisconsin

Fat Bike World Championships, billed as a celebration of the sport, will roll in New Richmond and be led by local riders.
The casings and berries might look pretty, but Oriental bittersweet is an invasive species targeted for eradication.

Get outdoors — and do some good for Minnesota habitats at the same time

Three Rivers Park District is battling a nasty invasive vine and could use trackers this winter to help the fight.
Ranking the year in Minnesota outdoors news.

Minnesota's outdoors year was active with people, issues and places

The ups, downs and in-betweens from the year that was on Minnesota's vast outdoors landscape.
Holiday on the wing: It's time to look, listen, crunch avian numbers

Holiday on the wing: It's time to look, listen, crunch avian numbers

The annual Christmas Bird Count, ongoing until Jan. 5, is longstanding work in Minnesota and across the world. It's arguably as vital as ever.
From ice fishing's ramp-up to marking the solstice, a list of winter tales

From ice fishing's ramp-up to marking the solstice, a list of winter tales

Ice fishing, the winter solstice and a last chance for hunters who are up for braving the December chill make are among the outdoor themes as 2021 winds down.
The “Sky Crashers” of the Aurora Ski Club, photographed in Red Wing, circa 1890. The Hemmestveit brothers, Mikkel and Torjus (upper right standing

A glide through Minnesota's deep Nordic skiing history is full of grit and moxie

Through people and place, a new book courses through an activity that has had a profound influence.
The big bear ambles by slowly in the Voyageurs Wolf Project’s clip.

Trail cam captures 'fat' bear up North — and the imagination of viewers

The sighting of an oversized bear in far northern Minnesota is generating outsized interest on social media.
Ice anglers walked across Lake Hiawatha in Minneapolis in search of a good fishing spot in January of 2019.

They lost seasons, too, but now sport shows are back

Ice fishing's popularity is reflected in the big annual events. The annual St. Paul show opens Friday, with a good vibe all around.
A young, whitetail buck paused in high grass after crossing a county road.

DNR to lift ban on moving captive deer in fight to limit chronic wasting disease

Emergency action was taken in October after Wisconsin shipped deer to several states, including Minnesota.
Emily Ford, shown earlier this year on the grounds of the Glensheen Mansion in Duluth, where she is head gardener.

Spotlight still follows Minnesota woman months after her winter hiking adventure

Emily Ford will speak Saturday at Midwest Mountaineering's popular fall expo.
Hikers leave Lady Di’s Bed & Breakfast in Damascus, Va., well-rested and fueled.

From Appalachian Trail thru-hiker to innkeeper, she found way back to the path

Dianne Seger left the Twin Cities for a Virginia town to support her trail family with good food, a place to rest, clean laundry — and loaner clothes with Minnesota sports logos.
A whitetail doe bounded off to safety while feeding.

It's a mixed landscape ahead of another deer firearms season

There are positive signs of hunter engagement, but will the likely COVID-fueled bump in license sales continue?
Ron Schara and Raven in a still image from one of the first “Minnesota Bound” shows.

Hitting 1,000: Ron Schara's 'Minnesota Bound' approaches milestone episode

The former Star Tribune columnist has turned the show into must-viewing for many outdoors enthusiasts throughout Minnesota.
Erika Rivers has led Parks and Trails since 2014.

Minnesota DNR's Parks and Trails director leaving to lead outdoors nonprofit

Erika Rivers, who oversaw a network of state parks, recreation areas and trails, is taking a new job with a nonprofit known for connecting underprivileged groups to the outdoors.
A closeup look at some of the prairie seeds collected this time of year and why they matter.This is Prairie Violet seed.

Prairie seeds like you haven't seen them

Three Rivers staff offers a glimpse at the work behind maintaining healthy habitats.
Thomas Drayton suffered from gallstones ahead of his benefit ride, and needed his gall bladder removed.

Benefit ride falls through, but dreams will continue

Thomas Drayton, who has late-stage thyroid cancer, planned to ride from the top of Minnesota to Iowa.
Fog hung over the tallgrass prairie in a view from the Seppmann Mill overlook, with the Minnesota River in the distant horizon.

Minneopa State Park newsletter captures 'the cycle and beauty of nature'

Minneopa State Park newsletter thrills devotees as it captures 'the cycle and beauty of nature'
Sandhill cranes left their roost Sept. 18 at Crex Meadows Wildlife Area in Grantsburg, Wis., a regular stopover on their migration south.

It's October, and that means sandhill cranes are staging

Dramatic in call and appearance, they're a thriving bird that's worth witnessing in abundance.
Carrie Tollefson had her nails painted by her daughter, Ruby, 11, while her youngest, Greer, 5, got ready to climb on the patio furniture and Everett,

Local runners will have a shot at Twin Cities Marathon glory this year

Carrie Tollefson is among the top women as the marathon returns from its pandemic hiatus. A Minnesotan hasn't won the race in decades, but that could change Sunday.
Various studies for years have tried to get some clarity on bird injuries and deaths around wind turbines. New University of Minnesota research of eag

U researchers drill down on ways to protect eagles in wind farms' airspace

In trying to help create deterrents, they are learning how raptors' react to different sounds.
Ducks and geese have shown a tremendous adaptability when their habitat is diminished or lost. But climate change presents another level of challenge.

Waterfowl, game birds have proven adaptable, but how much can they take?

Conservationists insist creating and protecting habitat is the best climate-mitigating strategy.
The sun rises on Lake Superior in autumn, 2006.

A life ruled by seasons, former Split Rock Lighthouse keeper writes of fall

Lee Radzak has done a lot and observed a lot as the caretaker of one of Minnesota's most popular and recognizable landmarks.
Assistant manager Jakob Willschau, bottom, and Emily Roose, right, of Piragis North Woods Co., an outfitter in Ely, showed Adam Battani, left, where t

Scrambling outfitters wonder what's lost, what's ahead as fires close wilderness

A solid, busy season appears now to be ending early with the wilderness closed and fires threatening. "Economically, it is a big hit for us," one outfitter said.
Thomas Drayton, who has Stage 4C medullary thyroid cancer, has decided to do a benefit ride of one (himself) from the Canadian border to Iowa to raise

Could a Burnsville man's ride change a life? That's his hope

Thomas Drayton has untreatable cancer and couldn't find a benefit ride, so he opted for DIY.
Redhead Mountain Bike Park in Chisholm opened 25 miles of trail in the last year, and is looking to expand.

Growth in state's new mountain biking trails goes for a different mix

Three systems, and some with expansion plans, reflect diversity of riding possibilities.
Kate Swanson, a helicopter flight nurse from Brainerd and avid mountain biker, cut around a berm on the “Drawpoint Trail” Tuesday at Cuyuna Countr

Wildly popular Minnesota rec area, neighbors prepare for 'Cuyuna 2.0'

Moving there, playing there, buying there: Communities rally around the recreation area's wild success and could be creating a model for other Iron Range towns.
The Cuyuna Range got its name when Cuyler Adams’ wife, Virginia, combined his name with his dog, Una.

Before Minnesota's Cuyuna was a mountain biking destination, it was all about the iron

Step into the past to learn the region's origin.
It’s the country life for Derrick Justin, shown at his home with his golden retriever, Aura, and Darla, one of his two dozen chickens.

'It was a life-changing thing': Moving, connecting and living in Cuyuna Country

Voices: Like more people, Derrick Justin is energized by his connection to the area.
Mari Kivisto navigated a rock wall on the Drawpoint Trail as night came to the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area. “Mountain biking gave me a comm

An expert's tips for biking Minnesota's Cuyuna Country, regardless of your level

Mari Kivisto of Deerwood guides all-comers, and she has some advice for places to start on a visit.
Seth Feider, left, and his wife, Dayton, celebrated his Angler of the Year championship in the Bassmaster Elite Series tour Friday in New York.

Minnesotan Seth Feider is king of the bass world

Seth Feider nailed down the prestigious Bassmaster Angler of the Year championship on Friday.
Seth Feider showed off a big bass last Sunday during the Bassmater Elite tournament on Lake Champlain.

'Born for this.' Minnesota angler on verge of biggest prize in bass fishing

Fishing against the elites of the professional fishing circuit, 36-year-old Seth Feider is a few casts away from claiming the title of Bassmaster Angler of the Year.
The Raptor Center will open again to the public; paddling options abound; and a Fourth of July cycling events returns.

Embrace your freedom to enjoy Minnesota's outdoors with these 12 ideas

From seeing wildlife to self-powered fun, activities are opening up to meet any interests.
Time for Olympic rings: The Ferlics, from left: Mike, Evan, Mason, Char and Nolan.

What's it like to see your kid make the Olympic team? It looks like this

Roseville native Mason Ferlic dug deep down the stretch of the Olympic trials steeplechase final with a little help from his family. Here's the joyous video from the end of the race.
A nesting pair of bluebirds brought food for their hatchlings in 2019 to one of the nesting boxes monitored by Keith Radel in Faribault. The male is a

Heard on repeat: Where are all the bluebirds this year?

It's a repeated observation this spring and early summer among birders, citizen-conservationists and others in Minnesota who anticipate the popular bird's migration.
Meghan Wellner prepared her bedding at her campsite in Jay Cooke State Park in Carlton, Minn.

Who's out there camping? It's a growing tent

Nationally, the camping scene remains robust, supported by many first-timers. There are parallels in the wilds of Minnesota, too.
The Minnesota Running Industry Task Force, of which Grandma’s, Twin Cities in Motion and others are members, has supplied state health officials wit

Question of mandatory vaccines touches road running, too

Should races, especially major ones, require all participants be vaccinated? Unsurprisingly the answer is complicated, as the heavyweights of marathoning have learned.
The Mississippi Speed Record crew, in an image from its Facebook page.

Minnesota-led canoe team swamps boat nearing Mississippi River speed record

The group that left the headwaters in northern Minnesota was within about 140 miles of finishing when disaster struck and ended its quest.
The Redhead trail system in Chisholm opened in 2020.

'Ride the Range' networks mountain biking trails on Minnesota's Iron Range

Four northern trail areas have collaborated during a hot time for the activity. The trail systems have diverse and unique back stories.
Josh Peroz, 17, cast into the Mississippi River below the Coon Rapids Dam last May while fishing with some friends. Mississippi Gateway Regional Park

No boat? No matter. Great online tools exist to find good fishing from shore

Not all of the half-million or so Minnesota anglers who have plans for Saturday's fishing opener will carve a path atop some freshwater in a vessel.
The MMZero team, in an image from its website.

Minnesota paddlers report breaking record for fastest trip down Mississippi

Two teams led by Minnesotans have been pushing their canoes day and night to get down the Mississippi River. One reported reaching its goal Monday morning.
Team captain Scott Miller of Minneapolis and his three crew mates will glide in a customized 23-foot Wenonah canoe. The team, from left: Adam Macht, J

Paddling down the Mississippi, looking to set a record

A Minneapolis man is leading a crew in an attempt to speed down the Mississippi River in a canoe. They're in the wake of another foursome with Minnesota connections deep into its own attempt.
From the weather to the bite, memorable fishing openers are eternal

From the weather to the bite, memorable fishing openers are eternal

For fishing hall of famers to readers, there is a common thread: They were happy to be out.
Jared Cuevas leaned in to son Aaron, who was hoping for a bite Wednesday on Lake Hiawatha. The family later landed a carp.

Get fishing, and the family will follow

Son's interest has led Minneapolis family into new waters.
Karen McTavish is drawn to pursue muskie like no other fish.

Chance muskie meeting ignited her fervor

Duluth woman has been all-in since last year's encounter.
A spring morning at Fort Snelling State Park.

Finding spring in the river world of Fort Snelling State Park

A morning walk revealed nature's slow churn and the stark beauty of flood plain forest.
The Twin Cities Marathon is using crowd science data to inform its October plans.

Minnesota running race organizers join to have a say in their future

The pandemic resulted in groups coalescing to help state officials help them.
Shown in a still image from the live feed, Harry — the male parent in the EagleCam nest — fed its two chicks Wednesday. The two hatched last weeke

By any metric, Minnesota is at the center of bald eagles' rebound

The bald eagle population in Minnesota is soaring, benefiting from conservation measures.
While she hiked for the love of it, Emily Ford said she is glad her hike is inspiring other people. She is shown on the grounds of Glensheen Mansion,

Duluth woman on thru-hike of the Ice Age Trail in winter: 'Me being me'

Emily Ford accepts the attention on her epic winter thru-hike, even if her intent was modest. "A lot of things in my life appear," she says, "and I just say, yes."
In 2019, marathon weekend drew more than 7,000 marathoners and more than 13,000 runners in the 10-mile race.

4,000 runners will hit streets in this fall's Twin Cities Marathon

Twin Cities in Motion announced Tuesday that marathon registration will open at 10 a.m. on April 8. The race is set for Oct. 3.
Finding their freedom outdoors

Finding their freedom outdoors

These Minnesotans went into the wild for different reasons, but all have experienced unmistakable awe.
The sun illuminated a dramatic palisade on South Fowl Lake Friday night near the dam.

What makes a great trip to the BWCA — from the experts

A trip into the million-acre Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for a long weekend is a must. So, too, are gaining some skills and taking on a longer adventure.
A female fisher at a box in December 2019 in the Remer, Minn., area. She rested for about 16 hours in the box and found it about a month after it was

Researchers deploy den boxes as possible tool to aid mysterious fishers

Their Minnesota story matches other wildlife: It's one of cycles, and offers clues about the fisher's current struggle.
Extended trips in remote places are invigorating.

Freeing your mind outdoors

Tell us about an extended trip into the wilderness and how it affected you.
People set out for an early morning hike through Wild River State Park last spring. People have flooded to Minnesota state parks — especially those

Task force suggests Minnesota needs a new outdoors office

Group is finalizing report to DNR, Explore Minnesota.