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Outdoor Notes for July 16

Shoot Down Cancer event is Aug. 24

The American Cancer Society's Shoot Down Cancer event will be 5 p.m. Aug. 24 at Hunts Point Gun Club.

During this event, participants will shoot a 50-clay course, followed by a dinner, "Celebrity Bartender" contest, awards ceremony and a silent auction. Funds raised help the American Cancer Society provide free information and support for people facing the disease today, and fund cancer research that will help protect future generations.

Registration is limited to 60 shooters. Includes 50-clay course, dinner, T-shirt and gift bag. For shooters, it's $75; for non-shooters, it's $50. Registration is limited.

Registration is open to teams of five and individuals. Individuals will be placed on a team. To register, call Jane at 832-541-5766.

Misusing hydraulic jets to uproot aquatic plants or displace sediment is illegal

The Department of Natural Resources reminds lakeshore property owners that it is illegal to use hydraulic jets to move sediment or excavate the bottom of a lake, or to uproot aquatic plants in public waters.

"Aquatic plants are incredibly important for keeping water clean and fish populations healthy," said Jon Hansen, aquatic plant management consultant, in a news release. "We want everyone to enjoy our lakes, and misusing hydraulic jets not only destroys fish habitat but leaves a cloud of sediment and degrades the water for everyone else."

Hydraulic jets, including products like HydroSweep, Aqua Blaster, Aqua Thruster and Aquasweep, can resemble a fan or trolling motor contained in a short tube and create strong currents of moving water. These products are often advertised to control or remove "muck" and "weeds" from a lake bottom; however, using hydraulic jets in this manner is not allowed in Minnesota.

A person may legally operate a hydraulic jet if it is placed high enough off the lake bed so that it doesn't move sediment or destroy rooted aquatic plants. It must be directed upward toward the water's surface, which can prevent dead vegetation and duckweed from collecting around docks and boat lifts. Any displacement of sediment or removal of aquatic plants as a result of operating a hydraulic jet would be deemed a violation and may result in a fine.

Aquatic plant regulations and a guide to aquatic plants can be found at www.mndnr.gov/shorelandplants. For information on DNR water permits, visit www.mndnr.gov/permits.

DNR reminds visitors to bring only approved firewood onto state lands

Only approved firewood is allowed on Department of Natural Resources-managed lands, which include state parks, state forests and wildlife management areas. Firewood restrictions help prevent the introduction or spread of damaging forest pests, including emerald ash borer, gypsy moth and oak wilt.

"In recent weeks, various state parks have been experiencing a surge of people bringing in unapproved firewood," said Susan Olin, Lake Bemidji State Park assistant manager, in a news release. "Firewood is approved by location, not by vendor. Firewood approved for use at one state park or forest is not necessarily approved for use at another state park or forest."

Firewood that can be used on state-managed lands must be offered for sale by the DNR at that location or:

• Be acquired from a DNR-approved firewood vendor who sells firewood harvested within Minnesota and less than 50 miles from where it will be burned.

• Firewood that originated in Minnesota and obtained from a DNR-approved firewood vendor certified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture or USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. A vendor ticket, bundle label or sales receipt must accompany the firewood.

• Be kiln-dried, clean (unpainted and unstained) dimensional lumber that is free of any metal or foreign substance. Pallet boards are not considered approved firewood.

There is one exception: Those camping on state forest land outside of a designated campground may gather dead wood on the ground for campfire use on site.

"We want to encourage our visitors to help us protect our trees," said Sue Burks, forestry's invasive species program coordinator, in the release. "Our state parks, forests, wildlife management areas and other DNR lands are vulnerable to invasion from non-native forest pests."

The DNR encourages visitors to burn all firewood purchased from a park before leaving or to return unopened bundles for a refund. If all firewood purchased outside the park is not burned, visitors should leave any leftover firewood with the camp host or at the campsite for use by the next camper. It's important that visitors not take firewood home because it could move forest pests to a new location.

The DNR also recommends people avoid transporting wood from their home area to their lake cabin or other recreation sites around the state. The best firewood is local or MDA-certified firewood.

For more information, including a list of approved firewood vendors, visit www.mndnr.gov/firewood or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us,651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday.

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