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National Trout Center angles for State Bond Funding

Thu, Mar 28th, 2013
Posted in Preston The Great Outdoors

Minnesota legislators recently heard a proposal request for $4.5 million in state bond funding to establish a permanent home for the National Trout Center organization located in Preston. The non-profit center is currently operating in a temporary space.

Trout Center Chairman, George Spangler, presented the proposal during a House Capital Investment Committee hearing at the State Capital last week. Spangler requested dollars to design, equip, and construct the hands-on experiential learning center along the south branch of the Root River in southeast Minnesota.

Plans for the proposed center include a 10,000 square foot building with exhibit space, a multi-purpose conference room, and classrooms designed to educate the public about the regional ecology, geology, and climate that exists along more than 450 miles of trout streams in the four state driftless area. The center could also include the only cold-water living stream exhibit in the nation.

Lawmakers were each given a paper trout containing trout related statistics:

•Trout fishing generates $1.1 Billion in annual economic benefit to local communities in the driftless region.

•There are over 155,000 Trout Stamp holders in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

•For every dollar spent on stream restoration, $24.50 is returned annually to the regional economy.

•There are over 530 miles of public access easements on Minnesota trout streams.

•Non-resident anglers contribute 47 percent of direct expenditures to the trout fishery.

Spangler believes an expanded center would quickly become a regional and statewide asset, as well as, an economic engine for southeast Minnesota.

Bill sponsor, Republican Rep. Greg Davids, said the area is known nationally for its pristine trout streams and currently draws visitors from near and far. He went on to say that this is not a local trout center, or a state trout center, but rather a national trout center.

A companion bill, sponsored by Senator Jeremy Miller awaits action by the Senate Finance Committee.

Committee Chairwoman, Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, said she’s planning to unveil an $800 million borrowing package when lawmakers return from their spring recess in early April. She said the trout bill could be included.

Houston, we have owlets!

Thu, Mar 21st, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

By Karla Bloem A white, fuzzy, wobbly head reaches upwards through a fluffy curtain of feathers to be met by a tiny bit of a pocket gopher, gently rubbed against its beak. Iris, the tiny owlet’s mother, utters quiet chitters of encouragement to ..... 
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Snakes, Reptiles & Amphibians! Documentary Film will feature southeast Minnesota as one of five international field locations.

Thu, Mar 14th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro The Great Outdoors

Lanesboro, Minn. – Snakes! Reptiles & Amphibians! Don’t miss the opportunity to see these on the big screen in the documentary film “Herpers III: Tales from the Field” which features southeast Minnesota as one of five international field lo ..... 
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Holy Carp! and ZRP Water Ways Speaker series discuss Aquatic Invasive Species

Fri, Feb 22nd, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Two Rochester events, Holy Carp! and ZRP Water Ways Speaker series bring national invasive species expert Dr. Peter Sorensen to discuss Aquatic Invasive Species in March. Aquatic invasive species, carp, zebra mussels, milfoil and a host of others ..... 
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Houston, Minn., Owl Festival Winners span four continents

Fri, Feb 15th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Wildlife species know no borders, and this year’s award winners at the 11th Annual International Festival of Owls in Houston, Minn. reflect that global outlook. The top award winner in the World Owl Hall of Fame – the Champion of Owls -- is a ..... 
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Lost Creek Hiking Trail is fun AND educational

Fri, Jan 18th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Rick Grooters, Conservation Specialist The Lost Creek Hiking Trail was founded by a group of concerned people from Chatfield who wanted to give local citizens an opportunity to hike on a natural trail and learn about our environment. The group lat ..... 
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Rush Creek Trail dedicated in Rushford

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Sep 28th, 2012
Posted in Rushford The Great Outdoors

After more than two years of planning and development, and countless hurdles, the first phase of the Rush Creek Trail project in Rushford is in its last steps to completion. The extension, which ties into the Root River Trail, runs north from the st ..... 
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Lanesboro Gun Club hosts youth Fun Shoot day

Fri, Sep 7th, 2012
Posted in Lanesboro The Great Outdoors

On a recent stroll down memory lane, Norrin Storelee and Dave Campbell recalled the early days of the Lanesboro Gun Club. Norrin recalls one Halloween when some folks were out at the gun club goofing around and some outhouses got knocked over. Not t ..... 
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Local bear hunter tags possible record holder

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Aug 31st, 2012
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

When you think bear hunting, you may get the image of a burly, north woodsman holding a large rifle while stalking a massive beast. You may be surprised then to meet Jennifer Nolte, of Chatfield. The small-framed mother of three young children is ha ..... 
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