William O’Brien State Park, one of the metro region’s most popular, recently acquired a 48-acre donation from Peter and Sally Anson.

The couple have donated 200 acres to the park since 1993.

At the closing in March, the Ansons emphasized their desire for the land to be preserved. They acquired the land in the early 1970s.

"The addition of this latest parcel to William O’Brien State Park will allow us to open additional lands for public recreation, as well as increase our resource protection efforts and interpretive programming opportunities," park manager Steve Anderson said in a news release. "The Anson’s caring and stewardship of the land will continue on as part of the state park system."

The park is about an hour northeast of the Twin Cities on the St. Croix River, and includes more than 1,650 acres.

The DNR said the donated land is considered "critical habitat," and therefore the Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) program will provide matching funds equal to the dollar value of the land donation. Those funds will be used to purchase additional land for Minnesota state parks.



The public can comment through May 21 on proposed rule changes affecting Lac qui Parle Game Refuge, bear outfitting, bear hunting, trapping, falconry, goose and mourning dove hunting.

The rule changes do not include any of the deer hunting, waterfowl, furbearer or small game proposals discussed at 2010 public input meetings.

"The rules in this package have been discussed in most cases for several years," said Jason Abraham, DNR rules specialist. "Many of the proposals were the subject of public input meetings in years past and received support."

A copy of the proposed rules and additional information about the rules process is available online at www.mndnr.gov/input/rules/wildliferules/index.html.

The DNR will accept written comments supporting or opposing the rule changes, or requests for a public hearing through 4:30 p.m. on May 21. Comments must be submitted to: Jason Abraham, Box 20, DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4020, or by e-mail at jason.abraham@state.mn.us.



Tim Smalley, the DNR’s boating and water safety specialist, was inducted recently into the National Boating Safety Hall of Fame.

"Our hall of fame honors individuals who have shown exemplary leadership and performed outstanding service on behalf of safe boating," Virgil Chambers, National Safe Boating Council executive director, said in a release.

"Tim Smalley’s work has changed the face of boating safety outreach and education, not only in Minnesota, but across the country. He is a true champion of boating safety."

Smalley is a 25-year veteran of the DNR. He has work on TV and radio public service announcements used here and 30 states. He’s also written Minnesota’s boating safety course and collaborated on a number of books and publications about boating safety, survival, water rescue and ice rescue.







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