Monday, February 27, 2012

2012 Minnesota AIS Symposium

A two day AIS Symposium is coming up soon in St. Paul, MN.

Monday and Tuesday, March 19 and 20
 - Kelly Inn (161 St. Anthony Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55103)
 - $40 registration fee includes lunch and refreshments both days.

Symposium Objective:
From Asian carp to flowering rush, aquatic invasive species (AIS) are threatening Minnesota’s precious water resources and the communities that depend on them.  Join local officials, scientists, natural resource professionals and concerned citizens to learn about the latest research on AIS  management and the policy and legal implications of the approaches available today.

Details of the agenda, hotel costs, registration, etc. can be found at the following website:
2012 Minnesota AIS Symposium Information
(Note:  Kelly Inn offers a lodging discount if booked on or before March 4th)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hubbard Sleigh Festival

We have snow!

It came perfectly timed for the "Hubbard Prairie Sleigh Festival" coming up on Sunday, February 26th.

Find all the details by following this link:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Live Eagle Cams

Both the Minnesota Bound Eagle Cam and the eagle cam in Decorah, Iowa are up and running again.  The Minnesota nest is located in south central Minnesota and is about 75 feet in the air.
Click here to see it:  Minnesota Bound Eagle Cam
(The link is also in the "Webcams" box on our right sidebar.)
The Decorah Eagles can be seen by following this link:
Decorah IA - Eagles

You may also enjoy checking out the "Minnesota Bound" website found here:  Minnesota Bound
We will link to the Loon Cam when it starts again this year.  In the mean time you may want to read Larry Backlund's "Loon Blog" (source of the loon cam):  Larry's Loon Blog

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"The Future of Minnesota's Waters"

Sharon Natzel, association president, sent us this comment:
"We heard Darby speak in January at the Detroit Lakes Legislative Summit.  He was an excellent speaker with a terrific message."

The Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning will be sponsoring a program on "The Future of Minnesota's Water's" with Darby Nelson, author of "For Love of Lakes" and conservation activist.

This presentation will be held on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. at the Northwoods Bank Community Room. 
Free presentation.

For more information about Darby Nelson go to his website:  Darby Nelson's website

Lake associations work on AIS issues by 
Bob Berdahl/COLA

This article was published in the Park Rapids Enterprise and given to us by COLA.

Commentary:  02/11/2012

 by Bob Berdahl:

Hubbard County Coalition of Lakes Association is committed to work that keeps our lake healthy and maintains lakeshore property values. In recent months we have learned that owners of Hubbard County water influenced properties account for about 60 percent of the total property value in Hubbard County and pay about 53 percent of the $29 million dollar county property tax.

Most of us are also aware of studies that say lakeshore and river property values decline when there is a reduction in water quality. Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are impacting the water quality on many of Minnesota’s lakes. Many of us are aware of the problems that aquatic invasives cause, not only in reduced property value but also in the expense to control the invasive (if possible!) and the reduced ability for all to enjoy the lakes and rivers.

Property Tax Assessment Process in Hubbard County

Dan Kittilson, president of COLA wrote:
There will be a program on "Property Tax Assessment Process in Hubbard County" that is being  sponsored by the League of Women Voters Park Rapids on March 6th from 5:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. at the Park Rapids Library.

This program is on the process of property valuation assessment, not with the merits or deficits of property taxation. As lake shore owners you are probably even more interested in anything relative to property taxes.

Press Release from League of Women Voters
“The Property Tax Assessment Process in Hubbard County”, a program sponsored by the League of Women Voters Park Rapids will take place in the library lower level meeting room on March 6, from 5 to 6 pm.  Presenting will be Bob Hansen, the Hubbard County Tax Assessor.

The program focuses on the process of property tax assessment itself and how consistency of valuations is accomplished.  Questions from the audience will be welcomed.  Refreshments will be available. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Itasca Ice Harvest Slideshow

A hardy crowd showed up to see the Old Time Ice Harvest demonstration in Itasca State Park today.  The bright sunshine was beautiful, but didn't provide any heat on this extremely cold day with a cutting northwest wind.  These photos were taken by Carolynne White.  Her family used to harvest ice from Long Lake to be used in the summers back in the days when people had "ice boxes" instead of refrigerators.  Carolynne still has the old tools they used to cut and move the ice blocks.

Ice Harvest Demonstration, February 11, 2012


Additional Ice Harvest photos (by L.L. Kooyer) here:  Ice Harvest -

Friday, February 10, 2012

Old Time Ice Harvest

Offered by Itasca State Park and the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers.
From the MN DNR website:
"Discover the good old days of harvesting lake ice. Dress warmly as you come out on Lake Itasca to see ice harvesters use tools of the ice cutting trade. Watch them create an opening in the ice with a single handled handsaw, then breathlessly wait as they bounce the ice blocks out of the water onto the slippery edge. NOTES: This Old Time Ice Harvest demonstration will take place on Lake Itasca if ice conditions permit. Parking is available at the Lake Itasca boat landing. This event is presented by Itasca State Park and the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers."

Date:  02/11/2012
Time:  11 AM to 1 PM
Location:  Itasca State Park
Description:  Meet at the Lake Itasca Boat Landing
Directions:  Entrance to the park is 21 miles north of Park Rapids on U.S. Highway 71. From Bemidji the park is 30 miles south on U.S. Hwy 71.
More Information:  Contact Itasca State Park at (218) 699-7251 or by email at

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Winter Ramblings...

Morning Frost-1, 2/4/12
Photo by L.L. Kooyer
Morning Frost-2, 2/4/12
Photo by L.L. Kooyer
The last couple of days have been beautiful, giving the illusion of a white winter.  It did not snow but everything was covered in hoarfrost, formed from freezing fog painting a delicate landscape of mostly white with subtle shadows of faded colors and gray.  In the photos of the frost that I took this morning the sun has replaced the gray.

Carolynne White took a series of photos of the frost yesterday and made the set available for viewing on our Facebook page:

This has been an unusual winter and I have to admit that, personally, I'm not the least bit upset about that.  Keeping warm has not been a problem.  Those days when stepping outside is actually painful have been rare this year and the lack of moisture has saved me a lot of shoveling.  Last winter we had plenty of snow and a wonderful snowshoeing season, but shoveling was pretty much an every day event.  There has been no snowshoeing this year, so I admit the lack of snow does have a downside, although I happily ignore this most of the time.  Snowmobilers, skiers, even ice-fisher folk have reason to complain.  Poor conditions for snow sports means area businesses don't do as well and the lack of moisture could cause problems if we don't get enough rain when warmer weather moves in.  Yet thinking along that path we can be happy that if winter continues to wimp along, spring flooding this year will be minimal to non-existent and, even better, spring may come early!  And be less messy.  Can spring be less messy?  Do we ever have spring up here anyway?  There are those who maintain that most years we skip spring and go directly from winter to summer.  But back to the subject  -  umm…
oh, yes  -  Despite little snow we have managed to get out cross-country skiing a few times.  We've slid over pine needles here and there, but mostly there has been just enough snow to make getting out in the beautiful woods possible.  Below are two photos from one such trek.

Ski Trail
Photo by L.L. Kooyer
Skiing with C.C. White and Ann Pyle
Photo by L.L. Kooyer

Zorbaz Tonight

Tonight (Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012) is this month's "Zorbaz Night" - an informal gathering for Long Lake neighbors.  All are welcome.
Time:  6 pm
Place:  Zhateau Zorbaz, located just north of Dorset on Co. Hwy. 7.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Latest Newsletter from Minnesota Waters

The winter 2012 issue of Minnesota Waters newsletter, "The Confluence" is available to download from their website's Publications page: