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PBST project to start Monday between Pine River and Backus

A project that will restore native plants and help ensure safety along the Paul Bunyan State Trail between Pine River and Backus begins Monday and will continue through the first week in June, the DNR said. 

The trail will remain open while the work is being done, but trail users should use caution around the crews and their equipment.

The goal of the project is to restore a dry oak-aspen-pine woodland plant community by reducing the density of existing jack pine thickets in some areas.

The project also will help ensure safe conditions along the trail as areas will be thinned to create better visibility for operators of cars and recreation vehicles. 

Conservation Corps Minnesota is doing the work under the supervision of the Natural Resources Management Program of the Division of Parks and Trails. Crews will work their way south along a nine-mile segment of the Paul Bunyan State Trail, starting in Backus.

For more information, visit or call the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or (888) 646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Brainerd out of running in Ultimate Fishing Town contest

It was probably a long shot. But now there is no shot. Brainerd will not be the Ultimate Fishing Town in 2011

Brainerd led all Midwest Region towns in nominations in the Ultimate Fishing Town USA contest, sponsored by the World Fishing Network, and was in the mix early in the first round of public voting. But it was downhill from there. The top two towns from each region and six wild-card picks advanced to the final round of voting and Brainerd wasn’t among the finalists, which were announced Tuesday.

But Minnesota is still represented. As of Thursday afternoon, Baudette was fourth with 3,179 votes. Roscoe, N.Y., led at 9,695.

The final round of voting ends May 31 and final results will be announced in June at a ceremony in the winning community. According to the WFN, in addition to the $25,000 grand prize to be used toward fishing-related activities/causes, the winning community will be featured in a 30-minute segment on WFN showcasing its fishing amenities. Second place is $5,000 and third place $2,500.