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
Minnesota’s gray wolves to be featured in new National Geographic and Disney+ documentary

Minnesota's wolves to be featured in new Disney, National Geographic documentary

The series, called "America the Beautiful," is available starting July 4.
Man shot and killed after argument in south Minneapolis

Man shot and killed after argument in south Minneapolis

A man in his 30s was shot and killed Monday afternoon in south Minneapolis.Police believe a group of four people, who all knew each other,…
The DNR said the “optimal population” of wolves is where their numbers have been since the late 1990s — between 2,200 and 3,000 animals.

Minnesota plans to keep its wolf population stable, if federal protections are lifted

No decision has been made on future hunting seasons.
The city of Paynesville upgraded its water treatment plant in 2014 to deal with potential contamination from a leak of leaded gasoline. City officials

Four cities to test wells after audit raises pollution concerns

The Legislature gave $200,000 to the central Minnesota city of Paynesville, which will hire a firm and work with the cities of Alexandria, Blaine and Foley to test the sites of four known petroleum leaks.
A white Pine seedling takes root near the charred remains of the forest burned in the Greenwood Fire. The Nature Conservancy crews were out all week h

A new forest takes root in a fire-scarred landscape in northern Minnesota

The Nature Conservancy planted 130,000 trees to help the woods recover.
Tears streamed down Stanley Turner’s face as he learned from court records how much of his settlement payments he has sold.

Star Tribune's 'Unsettled' series named Pulitzer finalist

Poetry collection published by Minneapolis-based Graywolf Press wins Pulitzer.
Two ATV riders drove near the Nemadji State Forest in 2021. Much larger off-road vehicles would be permitted on state trails under a proposal to raise

Minnesota lawmakers consider allowing bigger, heavier ATVs

A proposed law would allow ATVs to be as heavy as some sedans.
Gov. Tim Walz approached the flooded Cottonwood River in New Ulm with Sen. Amy Klobuchar on July 8, 2018. New Ulm is one municipality that needs help

Minnesota survey shows communities have made little progress in preparing for climate change

Only a small percentage have taken action on plans to adapt to a warming world.
Visitors wade into White Bear Lake in July 2021, where the lake has receded from the shore at White Bear Lake County Park.

Judge rejects DNR severe water restrictions around White Bear Lake

The order came in a long-running lawsuit over the depletion of the lake.
A great horned owl and its owlets perched on a branch near Lake Nokomis last March. This owl family has all died from the outbreak of avian bird flu.

Avian flu causing unprecedented deaths in wild Minnesota birds

This strain of influenza has proven nearly always fatal to owls, eagles, hawks and other raptors and is unprecedented in size, scope and harm done to wild birds. The virus poses little threat to humans.
A black bear stood on a tree stump near a feeding station at the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary in June 2019 in Orr, Minn.

Minnesota bears may be fat and happy, rather than at risk

It's possible bears are growing so fast that their teeth are no longer accurate measures of reproductive age.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources built a fence around an illegal deer carcass dump site created by a deer farmer in Beltrami County.

Minn. lawmakers would ban new captive deer farms to prevent spread of chronic wasting disease

Current trophy farm owners would be able to keep and pass their businesses down one generation.
Jeff Whitty, University of Minnesota researcher in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, transfers a temporarily stunned common carp from the

Minnesota lawmakers want to ask voters to approve 25 more years of environmental fund

Lottery proceeds have supported $700 million worth of projects over the years.
Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis. Steady, deep snow cover and recent rainfall helped Minnesota recover from one of the worst droughts in 50 years.

Steady snow, rainfall lifted much of Minnesota out of drought

Drought in northern Minnesota is still severe, but conditions are greatly improved.
The Red River of the North empties into the Netley-Libau Marsh at the southern end of Lake Winnipeg in 2016.

Does water really only flow out of Minnesota — not into it?

A rare intersection of North America's continental divides on the Iron Range has a big impact on the flow of water in the region.
Visitors waded into White Bear Lake, where the lake has receded from the shore at White Bear Lake County Park.

Drastic water-use changes proposed to steady White Bear Lake levels

State regulators say court order would require them to limit people to 55 gallons of water per day, and cut off other water users such as schools and businesses altogether.
After more than 60 years, the last shipment of coal arrived by train to Xcel Energy’s Black Dog Generating Station in Burnsville in April 2015. The

Surprising mercury pollution improvements in Minnesota lakes raise questions, give hope

Scientists are rethinking how much local efforts might pay off.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is offering up to $60,000 to help ranchers build fences and pens for livestock, or buy donkeys or guard dogs t

Minnesota ranchers in wolf range to get help to protect livestock

The latest round of grants from the state Department of Agriculture will help ranchers build pens and fences, and buy guard donkeys
Over the past decade thousands of Minnesota lakes and rivers have fallen into cesspools of nitrates, mercury, “forever chemicals” and other pollut

Minnesota's cleaned-up lakes, rivers show a path forward

Eagan proves it's far easier to shield lakes from pollutants than to clean them up, but it can be done.
Lake Bemidji, seen here hosting Hockey Day in 2019, has lost an average of 19 days of ice.

As winters warm, Minnesota lakes have lost about two weeks of ice coverage over last 50 years

Lakes are freezing later and thawing earlier.
Jumping worms have been found in some Minnesota forests.

Minnesota's forests at risk as invasive jumping worms spread

The worms, which lay waste to soil, have spread to forests throughout the Twin Cities area.
Bernadette Christiansen

Bernadette Christiansen, leader at the Guthrie Theater and McKnight Foundation, dies at 63

Christiansen died Nov. 8 at the age of 63.
The Grindstone River Dam in Hinckley is one of the dams the Minnesota DNR wants to remove.

Minnesota's river giants steadily returning after dams removed

Paddlefish and sturgeon are finding breeding grounds they haven't been able to reach for a century.
The “Big Woods” that once ruled the state are long gone, fractured into hundreds of parks and reserves.

How many of Minnesota's plants and animals can survive in small pockets of old forests?

Researchers aim to find how many species can live in small fragments of the state's old Big Woods.
Trout streams have been restored and realigned around the state to better mimic their natural meandering paths. But little research has been done to s

Are Minnesota's creek restorations working?

Researchers hope to find out by studying restored creeks over several years.
Laura Lewis, left, an environmental engineer, and Kenzie Kester, a geologist, both of whom work for AECOM, an environmental remediation business doing

MPCA to ask hundreds of businesses to begin monitoring for PFAS

The voluntary monitoring, which will focus not only on finding and reducing contamination in rivers and lakes, but also identifying sources of air, soil and groundwater pollution, would begin this winter.
Algae blooms on the swimming beach at South Lida Lake in Maplewood State Park in Otter Tail County.

State adds more than 300 polluted lakes, rivers to impaired waters list

The most common problems in recent years have sprouted from pollutants that have many sources, including some from miles away or even from out of state, which makes them especially daunting to regulate.
Katrina Kessler, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner

Gov. Tim Walz appoints Katrina Kessler to head Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

The agency veteran replaces Laura Bishop, who resigned in July.
Skeeter, a 13-year-old giraffe, underwent surgery at the Como Zoo.

Successful surgery for Skeeter the giraffe

The Como Zoo giraffe had a broken foot.
Blake Thomas Maloney, 26, has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder.

Police: Farmington man killed his mother, father and brother

Prosecutors say there is no known motive for the violence.
Water levels on a channel of the Mississippi River below the Coon Rapids Dam at Mississippi Gateway Regional Park,  seen Wednesday in Brooklyn Park, c

Minnesota's drought shows signs of easing with steady rain

For the first time since spring, more than 1/10th of the state — primarily in southwestern Minnesota — is no longer abnormally dry. The north still is seeing dry conditions.
This file photo shows the Twin Metals office in Ely, with a copper-painted front listing the minerals they plan to mine.

Twin Metals appeals rejected permits for mining rights near Boundary Waters

The federal government recently rejected pending lease rights and prospecting permit applications.
A group of caribou, also known as reindeer, graze in their enclosure Tuesday at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, Minn. GLEN STUBBE • glen.stubbe@s

Minnesota Zoo tests vaccine against spread of emerging deer virus

The virus killed four reindeer last year, as well as dozens of wild white tailed deer.
Kayla Sharboneau, front, and Kiara Fitzpatrick picked seeds as part of the nesting ground restoration effort.

Nature Conservancy to expand protected wetlands to save Minnesota turtles

Why did the threatened Blanding's turtle cross the road? Soon, you won't have to ask.
Fishing guide Jason Dudek pulls an 18-inch small mouth bass with what appears to be knife wounds out of Green Lake. The DNR believes those wounds may

Who or what is killing the bass in Green Lake?

Several dead fish with large wounds have raised concerns that an old fight is back.
In this Oct. 4, 2011, file photo, a core sample drilled from underground rock near Ely, Minn., shows a band of shiny minerals containing copper, nicke

Minnesota DNR to accept public comments on mining rules near Boundary Waters

The comments are part of a court-ordered review related to the proposed Twin Metals mine near Ely.
Monika Dipert filled her pot with bottled water to boil rice in her home in Andover, Minn., on Thursday, September 23, 2021. Dipert was shocked to lea

Contaminated drinking water found in Andover, Gem Lake

State officials are investigating the sources and scope of the leaks.
Ken Nodo has fished Little Rock Creek since he was a boy. To him, the fish in the creek are “the canary in the coal mine.”

A trout stream struggles in Minnesota farm country

Irrigation pumps up crops but threatens state's rivers and streams.
The Minnesota River in July 2020 at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington.  ] RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER

Drought offers rare chance to study phosphorus pollution from Minnesota sewers

Stricter discharge limits have never been tested under low river conditions.
Two-year-old Iklas Abdullahi Ahmed has been missing since around 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 6. Police believe she may have wandered away from her family on

Edina police: Missing toddler last seen near Rosland Park

Edina police are searching for a 2½-year-old girl last seen near Rosland Park on 66th Street.The girl, Iklas Abdullahi Ahmed, has been missing since around…
Minneapolis lifeguards pulled two boys out of Lake Nokomis

Minneapolis lifeguards pulled two boys out of Lake Nokomis

The boys, 10 and 14, were in critical condition Monday night
The insecticide chlorpyrifos will be banned early next year. This file photo shows cropdusting a field of corn in Camarillo, Calif. (Carlos Chavez/Los

Ban on common insecticide will force Minnesota soybean farmers to find alternatives

Chlorpyrifos, widely used on soybeans, found to pose risks to children, fetuses.
A fox crosses a Minneapolis street, in front of a woman on a walk with her dog Wednesday, June 27, 2018, in Minneapolis, MN.]


Are more wild animals moving into Minnesota's cities?

Drought conditions may embolden animals looking for food in the urban core.
David Preus

David Preus, Lutheran bishop and pastor, dies at 99

At the height of the Cold War, David Preus led a Lutheran delegation into East Germany. The World War II veteran and longtime Twin Cities…
A woman and children explored a dried-up channel of the Mississippi River in Mississippi Gateway Regional Park in Brooklyn Park on Tuesday, amid the o

Drought at levels not seen in Minn. since 1988, the Dust Bowl

The DNR put much of the state in a 'restrictive phase' on Wednesday.
Visitors swim in White Bear Lake, where the lake has receded from the shore at White Bear Lake County Park. ] LEILA NAVIDI • leila.navidi@startribun

White Bear Lake receding again as Minnesota drought worsens

Years after DNR fight, drought could trigger White Bear Lake restrictions.
The low water level at the Osceola Landing along the St. Croix was evident. Water levels in rivers, lakes and creeks were falling as Minnesota headed

River levels fall as drought worsens throughout Minnesota

The enduring drought spells growing trouble for the waterways of Minnesota.
About one week’s growth of oak wilt fungus surrounds each small sample of red oak in a petri dish at the University of Minnesota’s Plant Disease C

Oak wilt reaches Crow Wing County, putting Minnesota's northern trees at risk

It's the farthest north the disease has been found.
In this file photo from October 2020, people take in the view of the foliage along the Mississippi River near Shadow Falls Park in St. Paul. LEILA NAV

Lawmakers seek $350 million a year to restore Mississippi

The proposal would create a federal program that would award grants to states, tribes and local organizations for projects throughout the Mississippi watershed from the headwaters at Lake Itasca to the dead zone where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico.
Minnesota’s dry trees, like these spruce and tamarack in the Cloquet Valley State Forest, are a tinder box expected to fuel major wildfires this yea

Fears of a brutal fire season as drought threatens Minn. trees

Without rain, state's trees helpless against fires. And more wildfires had already broken out across the state by mid-June than in all of last year.
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. 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.