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Like getting paid for fishing


Sun, Aug 13th, 2000
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In search of the endangered Blanding’s Turtle
By John P. LevellMonday, August 14, 2000

This is work? A real, honest-to-goodness paying job catching turtles, easily my all-time favorite animal with the possible exception of dogs. This is like getting paid for fishing! I try hard to convince myself of this fact, but it isn't easy, as I wade through the mud of the Kellogg-Weaver wetlands, an area noted for its extensive range of natural habitat.

Dr. Jeffrey Lang, a professor of Biology at the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks is the leader of this project. Dr. Lang, or the “Doc” as I sometimes call him, has spent much of his career studying crocodiles throughout the world including India and Australia.

For the last four to five years, Doc’s field activities have occurred “much closer to home” where he has studied the life history and ecology of a variety of different North American turtles including Blanding’s Turtle, a state listed threatened species both here in Minnesota and in Wisconsin. These studies include major reviews of the population status, distribution and management of this species on the grounds of the National Guard Post at Camp Ripley and in the Baxter/Brainerd region.

This in turn has led to Doc’s current research project, a similar study of Blanding’s Turtles in the area just south of that laid back, “Grumpy Old Men,” almost lazy Upper Mississippi River town we call Wabasha. There, in the aptly named Weaver Bottoms, Kellogg-Weaver Dunes and McCarthy Lake habitat complex this relatively large but decidedly inoffensive turtle remains surprisingly common, so much so that the region is widely believed to harbor the “largest single Blanding’s Turtle colony existing anywhere in the world today.”


Turtle-mania


Recognition of the potential size and importance of the Kellogg-Weaver Blanding’s Turtle population is in large part due to the dedication of Mike Pappas, a second-generation co-owner of Michael’s Restaurant in Rochester. Like some others I know, Mike is possessed by what is perhaps best termed “turtle-mania,” a peculiar sort of condition that causes an almost obsessive interest in turtles among those of us who wrestle with this affliction.

Mike has spent significant portions of each of the last 25 years patiently grinding notches into the shell edges of Blanding’s Turtles at Weaver. This standard procedure in turtle field studies makes the pos .....
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More Highlights from the

Sun, Aug 13th, 2000
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Fillmore County FairBy Virginia CooperMonday, August 14, 2000

There were so many great questions asked; last week we heard about all the trouble with tomato blight. This week will focus on Rust Diseases, especially in lawns.

Rust disea ..... 
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Not in my backyard

Sun, Aug 13th, 2000
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Monday, August 7, 2000

"Not in my backyard," read a recent "Journal" article about the proposed trail that would connect Spring Valley to the Root River Trail system. "Not in my backyard," say the neighbors of the Reiland dairy farm and the Mi ..... 
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The elusive Blue Racer

Sun, Aug 13th, 2000
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Monday, July 24, 2000

In an edition of this column published earlier this year (Fillmore County Journal Vol. 15, No. 34, May 29, 2000) we briefly examined how the physical geography of the Upper Mississippi River Valley, in combination with th ..... 
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Vanishing America

Sun, Aug 13th, 2000
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Monday, August 7, 2000

Ever since I read about Lilly and her general store in his book, Jailhouse Stories, I’ve been asking Neil Haugerud to take me over to the little burg of Amherst for a visit.

"You’ve never met Lilly?" Neil always ..... 
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Cars

Sun, Aug 13th, 2000
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Monday, August 14, 2000

My grandfather on my father’s side was quite mature when I was born. I’m sure he must have been almost seventy. I don’t think that I got to know him very well before he passed on. He wasn’t the type to bounce you on his ..... 
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A conversation about farming

Sun, Aug 13th, 2000
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Monday, August 14, 2000

A farmer friend of mine, who has been milking cows for the past 30 years, was recently lamenting the fact that all of his immediate neighbors no longer milk cows for a living.

“The valley used to be full of dai ..... 
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What I do when I can’t find anything to do

Sun, Aug 13th, 2000
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It helps if I make a list of things to do when I have the time. I think of all the nice things that I might be able to do for the people less fortunate than I am; such as giving advice to those in need of it and time to the timeless.

When the ..... 
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Journal Profile # 77

Sun, Aug 13th, 2000
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Name: Pat Hudella
Home: Carimona
Age: 56
Profession: Retired Medical Secretary
Family: Husband Roger; 2 daughters, Laurie & Bonnie; 6 grandchildren
Hobby/Interests: Reading, watching the many b ..... 
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