Staff Directory 6370510

Greg Stanley

Reporter | Environment
Phone: 612-673-4882

Greg Stanley is an environmental reporter for the Star Tribune. He has previously covered water issues, development and politics in Florida’s Everglades and in northern Illinois.


Stanley is a native of Milwaukee and loves the outdoors. He graduated from St. Norbert College with a degree in English.
Recent content from Greg Stanley
The compromise environment budget bill would ensure that state parks, like Jay Cooke State Park in Duluth, stay open.

Minnesota measure bans 'forever chemicals' in food packaging

The enormous reach of the proposed environment deal stretches from the Northwoods to farm fields to microplastic bits in the water — and it adds a 60th state forest.
Silver carp

Minnesota researcher makes the case to stop invasive carp at a lock and dam near Winona

The proposal to fortify the lock and dam brings excitement and skepticism.
A pair of female wolverine kits, born from the only captive breeding pair of wolverines in the U.S. at the Minnesota Zoo, frolicked around their enclo

Wolverines at Minnesota Zoo give birth to rare litter

The rare animals, wiped out of much for the Lower 48, are extremely difficult to breed.
Lake Itasca, pictured in 2014 at the point it flows into the Mississippi River, is one of Minnesota’s coldwater lakes that hasn’t lost oxygen.

Minnesota freshwater lakes are rapidly losing oxygen as temperatures climb

The problem has been affecting lakes in just about every temperate climate in the world.
Gilberto Vázquez Valle

Gilberto Vázquez Valle, KFAI host and lover of Latin American folk music, dies at 63

Gilberto Vázquez Valle, a longtime Twin Cities radio host on KFAI, guided listeners on Thursday nights through folk songs of Latin America. He saw folk…
Shawnda Henderson of Minneapolis rode the Giant Slide with her daughter Mira on the last day of the Kickoff to Summer at the Fair event at the Minneso

Mini-State Fair event brings thousands, sense of normalcy

About 70,000 people attended this mini-State Fair, a fundraiser that ended Memorial Day to help the fair and some of its vendors recoup losses from the pandemic-canceled 2020 event.
A driver plugged in the charger to his Tesla at the ChargePoint charging station near Canal Park Lodge in Duluth in 2019. ALEX KORMANN • alex.korman

Impasse over 'clean cars' rule continues to hold up Minnesota environmental funding

Millions of dollars for environmental efforts around the state remains in limbo.
University of Minnesota research professor Jacob Jungers checked the growth of Kernza at a field at the U’s St. Paul campus in 2019.

New kind of wheat draws pollutants from soil, water

The perennial wheat Kernza was grown just west of Brainerd on a few acres immediately surrounding wells within corn and soybean fields. Over the past three years, it cut nitrate contamination from the cornfields by 96% and from soybeans by 86%.
The St. Cloud Wastewater Treatment Plant is the only one in the state collecting and recycling phosphorus. It uses a more traditional anaerobic digest

U looks to wastewater plants to recover farmland fertilizer

Reusing the phosphorus would cut pollution.
A driver plugged in the charger to his Tesla at the ChargePoint charging station near Canal Park Lodge in Duluth in 2019.

Minnesota 'clean cars' rules may move forward

An administrative law judge said the MPCA has clear authority to adopt rules that address air pollution. Auto dealers and Republican state senators had objected.
In this file photo, a Tesla owner charges his car at the ChargePoint charging station near Canal Park Lodge in Duluth in November 2019. ALEX KORMANN �

Senate Republicans threaten to cut state parks funding over 'clean cars' rule

Senate Republicans say the emissions rules should have come before the Legislature.
A little brown bat photographed Friday, Sept. 17, 2010 in La Crosse Wis.  (AP Photo/La Crosse Tribune, Peter Thomson)

As bats continue to die off, St. Cloud plans to transform old sewer into bat cave

Rerouting the sewer could give the bats habitat for a comeback.
A ball cactus plant at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Threatened Minnesota cactus species could be saved with relocation effort

Both surviving clusters of cactuses are in active granite quarries. But they could be relocated.
Urban lawns are key habitat for the rusty patched bumblebee, which has been spotted near the Twin Cities.

Minn. program added acres of bee, pollinator habitat

Minnesota homeowners have taken $58,000 from a new state program and used it to plant nearly eight football fields worth of pollinator gardens, meadows and…
Messages were projected onto the barrier separating demonstrators from law enforcement outside the Brooklyn Center police station on Thursday night.

Despite curfew, fifth night of Brooklyn Center protest ends with no dispersal

Late Thursday, only a few people remained from a earlier crowd of about 1,000 that had gathered outside police headquarters for a fifth night of protests over the killing of Daunte Wright.
In this April 2019 photo, the sun shines on the Rainy River as ice melts off its edges. brian.peterson@startribune.com International Falls,  MN

Reflecting sunlight would cool the earth, but Minnesota researchers find far-reaching consequences

Tiny particles would mimic the emissions of volcanic eruptions to reflect sunlight and heat.
Wolves in Voyageurs National Park have been virtually ignoring moose as prey during the spring and summer, when moose calves are at their most vulnera

First collar video from wild Minnesota wolf shows fishing skills, adaptability

How exactly do lone wolves spend warm spring days?
Silver carp

Nearly 30 invasive carp pulled from Mississippi River in herding operation

State and federal agencies hunted the carp for first time in Minnesota waters.
This photo provided by Tricia Markle, a wildlife conservation specialist at the Minnesota Zoo, shows young hatchling wood turtles.

Roadside fences show promise for reducing Minnesota turtle fatalities

Turtle populations have been falling for years, in large part due to traffic.
This file photo shows cropdusting a field of corn in Camarillo, Calif., in a 2001 file image. (Carlos Chavez/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Lawmakers consider banning state's most widely used pesticide

The proposal to ban chlorpyrifos comes as federal regulators review its safety.
Monarch butterfly numbers have fallen 80% in Minnesota since the 1990s.

Minnesota cities seek power to ban certain pesticides amid pollinator collapse

Bees, butterflies have seen their natural habitats plummet.
Kicker here Minnesota is one of a dozen states that allow commercial turtle trapping, and one of just six that put no limits on the number of turtles

Minnesota lawmakers may end commercial turtle harvest

About 10,000 painted and snapping turtles are captured and sold each year.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture found lead in a little more than 7% of venison donated in the last decade to food pantries and shelters across

Lead contamination found in 7% of donated Minnesota venison

Fragments were found in 7% of carcasses since 2008, or 6,700 pounds of meat in past decade.
In this April 23, 2013, file photo, whitetail deer browse on tree buds in the Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield, Minn. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune,

Insecticide known for killing pollinators found in deer across Minnesota

More research is needed to determine threat to deer populations.
215 Wolves killed in 3-day hunt 119 Quota set for the Wis. hunt

As Minnesota considers wolf hunt, Wisconsin hunters blow past quotas

Wisconsin hunters killed nearly double their wolf quota in a three-day season.
Lead jigs and other tackle made of the material are used each year by hundreds of thousands of Minnesota anglers, and a significant amount of that tac

As trumpeter swans die, Minnesota lawmakers consider banning lead jigs and fishing tackle

Swans and loons die after scooping up lead sinkers
This file photo shows the Minntac taconite mine plant in Mountain Iron, Minn. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune)

Minnesota Supreme Court says state can regulate mine waste seeping into groundwater

The court's decision allows MPCA to impose stricter standards at a taconite mine Mountain Iron.
After killing pets and cows, a metro wolf pack disappeared.

A pack of wolves thrived near Minneapolis; how it died offers lessons for the future

From 2014 to 2017, they formed the first known pack so close to the Twin Cities in more than a century, growing to as many as 19 wolves.
Justin Watkins with a common carp, regarded by the DNR as perhaps the most damaging invasive species in state waters.

Corn, conveyor belts and a virus show promise in removing invasive carp from Minnesota waters

The invasive species has upended ecosystems in state waters since the 1880s.
A grizzly bear roams near Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

Were grizzly bears ever indigenous to Minnesota?

Long before grizzlies were driven into the mountains, they thrived in the plains, with their brown fur blending in almost perfectly with tall prairie grasses,
Conservation Corps crew leader Sarah Curran planted trees on the bits of raised land she could find along a Mississippi River floodplain in southeast

Minnesota's forests, land offer chance to cut greenhouse gases

A new report says nature-based climate solutions such as reforestation and cover cropping need to be in the mix.
This file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a gray wolf. (AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Gary Kramer, File)

Six environmental groups sue to relist gray wolves under Endangered Species Act

The wolves have recovered in Minnesota, but their populations are struggling elsewhere.
Joyce Scanlan

Joyce Eileen Scanlan, longtime leader of National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota, dies at 85

Joyce Eileen Scanlan could not get a teaching job in Minnesota when she moved to the state in the 1970s. She had been teaching English…
Joyce Scanlan

Joyce Eileen Scanlan, longtime leader of National Federation for the Blind of Minnesota, dies at 85

Joyce Eileen Scanlan could not get a teaching job in Minnesota when she moved to the state in the 1970s. She had been teaching English…
A 2007 aerial view of widespread damage in tamaracks from an outbreak of larch beetle near Big Falls in northern Minnesota. The bugs, native to Minnes

New uses for dead ash, fir and tamarack trees could help restore Minnesota's forests

To foil pest outbreaks, researchers at the University of Minnesota Duluth alter properties of undesired woods.
A rusty patched bumblebee on Joe Pye weed in 2014.

In push to save Minnesota's state bee, environmental groups, regulators disagree over habitat protections

Environmentalists seek special rules on plants and insecticides.
Congress and the Army Corps are planning to give Minneapolis most of the land around the St. Anthony Falls dam to turn into a park Tuesday December 29

Army Corps to give riverfront land near closed lock and dam to city of Minneapolis

Planners say Native American community preferences will guide development on the site.
Bison once helped keep grasses in check. Their absence, along with the overuse of fertilizers, wreaks ecological havoc.

As fertilizers spread worldwide, U researchers find herbivores can't keep up with excess grasses

In much of the world, animals can't keep up, U researchers found.
Bison roamed the prairie at Minneopa State Park in Mankato. The last wild bison disappeared from Minnesota 150 years ago.

Minnesota's bison herd expands in Olmsted County

It will mingle with three females at Zollman Zoo.
Seven of eight wolves that were moved to Isle Royale National Park from Michipicoten Island in Ontario have started forming packs, securing territory

As smaller wolves die, one group thrives on Isle Royale

Seven of the eight wolves that were moved from Ontario have started forming packs, securing territory and having pups.
The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Minnesota DNR, reigniting a fight over animal trapping that ensnares the protected Canada lynx.

Lawsuit alleges Minnesota DNR isn't doing enough to protect endangered lynx from trapping

The suit reignites a fight over animal trapping in northern Minnesota
Verso Corp. idled its Duluth paper mill, pictured in this file photo, over the summer.

Trees that once fed Duluth paper mill could become tinder for wildfires

A pest and caterpillar is killing thousands of spruce and balsam firs.
Brown trout

DNR turns to helicopters for restocking fish in remote lakes

The DNR used to drop trout from planes, but recently tried using a helicopter with more success.
BRIAN PETERSON ¥Êbrian.peterson@startribune.com Isle Royale National Park, 9/16/2009 ] Isle Royale is also home to the worldÕs longest conti

Why is Minnesota the only mainland state with an abundance of wolves?

In October, federal wildlife officials announced they were delisting the wolf, removing endangered species protections.
Industrial hemp is cultivated as part of a University of Minnesota project to develop a genetic test to better predict THC strength in certain varieti

Test developed by U could help hemp farmers keep crops legal

It could help ID seeds that will yield too much THC.
Peter Sorensen sat against the hull of his boat as Jeff Whitty, a research biologist, steered them down the Mississippi River towards their target are

Biologist pitches dramatic plan to keep some Minnesota lakes pristine

Minnesota has saved its most prized natural landmarks — towering old growth pines, dramatic waterfalls, pockets of native prairie — by protecting them within the…
A woman walked along the shoreline of lock and dam # 2 in Hasting near the site where a proposed 40-acre island will be constructed to block the wind

To protect Mississippi River dam, Army Corps may build an island near Hastings

The upstream land mass would act as a windbreak and provide habitat for birds
A tree for the centuries Kyla Wahlstrom led the fight to save the giant elm tree she has long admired while on walks in her Minneapolis neighborhood b

Minneapolis woman saves 200-year-old elm destined for chopping block

The tree, one of the few old elms left in the Twin Cities, towered over a small channel of Minneapolis' Lake of the Isles long before Minnesota was a state.
Kids played on the beach on the St. Croix River at Afton State Park in May.

St. Croix River water quality improving, phosphorus pollution remains a threat

The river is still one of the cleanest in the Upper Midwest.
University of Minnesota researchers haven’t found any evidence of the novel coronavirus in wells water, but hope to pursue a larger study next year.

Minnesota well water tests show no evidence of coronavirus

University of Minnesota researchers hope to start a larger study next year.
This photo shows a portion of the 2,100 acres of wilderness purchased by the Nature Conservancy from Mike Freed in Superior National Forest. Photo by

Nature Conservancy buys, preserves more than 2,000 acres of Superior National Forest

The land and six lakes will be protected as a wild corridor.
The emerald ash borer.

Emerald ash borer found in Carver, Sibley counties

The beetle has been spotted in 25 of the state's 87 counties. Experts say infestation can't be stopped.
A bulldozer pushed dirt along Park Point beach as part of an effort to raise the beach front and protect homes.

Missing Duluth Harbor dredging settlement found, but questions remain on interpretation

The Army Corps will continue propping up Minnesota Point with channel fill, but foes of the practice dispute the meaning.
A rusty patched bumblebee on Joe Pye weed. Pictures are from Susan Damon’s pollinator friendly bee garden in St. Paul in 2014.

Minnetonka settles dispute over mountain bike trail through endangered bee haven

The city will boost bee habitat in Lone Lake Park.
University of Minnesota research Prof. Jacob Jungers checks the growth of Kernza grass at a field at the U’s St. Paul campus in May 2019.

University of Minnesota leads project to boost yield, uses of crop that could cut water pollution

The U is leading research effort into boosting production of Kernza, a new strain of wheatgrass.
Donald Mayer

Donald Mayer, mechanical engineer and patent holder, dies of COVID-19 complications at 90

He spent much of his career at Thermo King Corp. in Bloomington, where he earned his 12 patents.
The image of this bull moose was captured by a trail camera.

Minnesota moose will not be listed as federally endangered species

Moose populations in Minnesota have fallen by more than 60% since 2006.
Minneopa State Park in Mankato is one of three sites in the state that’s home to some of the 150 bison carefully cultivated by the Minnesota Zoo and

Are bison the key to bringing back Minnesota prairies?

Dakota County to explore how herd affects land at park reserve
Judge John Guthmann presided over a hearing in January about evidence regarding “procedural irregularities’’ in the PolyMet water permit case

MPCA largely cleared of 'irregularities' in issuing PolyMet water permit

The judge noted, however, that the agency should not have deleted e-mails.
The Mesabi Miner pulled into Duluth Harbor on Tuesday as a bulldozer pushed dirt along Park Point as part of an effort to raise the beachfront.

Duluth Harbor dredging, beach restoration work might violate old pact

The answer is in a legal document from the 1970s that no one can find.
Robert Wallin

Robert Wallin, WWII veteran and generous volunteer, dies at 93

Robert Wallin was 17 years old and an Eagle Scout when he and a high school friend signed up with the Navy near the end…
Japanese stiltgrass has a white stripe on its leaves. It was discovered in Wisconsin, 20 miles from Minnesota.

University of Minnesota botanist discovers feared invasive Japanese stiltgrass in Wisconsin

Japanese stiltgrass can harm ecosystem, fuel fires.
The University of Minnesota Morris is now carbon neutral in its electricity use. Shown is its biomass plant.

University of Minnesota, Morris becomes carbon neutral in electricity use

Two wind turbines produce much of the power used on campus.
Beavers are so abundant in Voyageurs National Park that they may be helping moose populations by becoming food for wolves.

Unlikely food source may be behind moose success at Voyageurs Park

Voyageurs moose have a robust ally — or, perhaps, a sacrificial pawn — that others don't: American beavers.
A fight between the DFL-controlled House and GOP-led Senate has blocked the spending of a $61 million environmental trust fund for the first time sinc

Partisan fight over emission standards threatens $60 million in Minnesota environmental trust fund projects

Some still hold out hope that the money will be freed up in the special session.
A cleaning worker at the Jennie-O plant, Mejia fell ill and then found that her whole family had been infected with COVID-19: “We all got sick.”

Meatpacking is nearly normal, but workers left to cope with COVID-19's toll

More than 30,000 meatpacking workers nationally have fallen ill. At least 100 have died, with the lives of others upended or permanently altered.
A lone pine tree survived the plowing of this field south of Park Rapids, Minn., seen in a Jan. 28, 2015 photo. The mixed pine forests of central Minn

Potato irrigation project in Minnesota's Pineland Sands area faces another challenge

Environmental groups say an impact study is necessary.
Northern waters, such as Lake Winnipeg, above, are warming, allowing harmful algae to bloom.

Airborne dust may spur toxic algae blooms on remote Minnesota lakes

Scientists are racing to find out how blue-green algae reaches the waters in Minnesota's pristine natural areas.
A new bridge at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge over a stream that runs into the Minnesota River will lessen the need for the wooden one

Restoration work to prevent river flooding at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

The $4.1 million project will help control water levels on the federal conservation land.
Calvin Horton Jr.

Mystery remains over death outside pawn shop during Minneapolis unrest

Weeks after Calvin Horton Jr. was shot, his family has few answers
Dr. Andrew Baker was still performing George Floyd’s autopsy when initial charges were announced.

Floyd's autopsy makes medical examiner a rare target of anger

Prosecutors' release of Dr. Andrew Baker's preliminary findings highlighting other factors in George Floyd's death led to a storm of criticism that defense attorneys say is unfair.
A lone pine tree survived the plowing of this field south of Park Rapids, Minn., seen in a Jan. 28, 2015 photo. The mixed pine forests of central Minn

DNR: No impact study needed for potato irrigation project in Minnesota's Pineland Sands area

The project still requires water appropriation permits from the DNR, which could include some limits on nitrogen fertilizer and pesticide use.
The four fired Minneapolis police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd: Derek Chauvin, J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.

Minnesota licensing board to review four ex-officers' roles in George Floyd killing

The POST Board requested the criminal complaints against the officers.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

$1.25M bail set for Chauvin in Floyd death

The former Minneapolis police officer made his first court appearance by video feed, handcuffed in an orange jumpsuit sitting at a small conference room table.
A Predator B unmanned aircraft in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Which agency wanted drone flown over Minneapolis protests?

U.S. Customs & Border Protection declined to answer questions