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Outdoor Notes for Oct. 8

On Aug. 17, Jay Beebe (center) presented a plaque of appreciation for Woodland Good Samaritan’s many years of hosting the Hospitalized Veterans Pheasant Dinner. Accepting the plaque are Ann Powers (left), community relations coordinator, and Jennifer Grams (right) director of Woodland Good Samaritan. Photo by Susanne Fussy

Pheasant dinner for hopitalized, disabled veterans is Oct. 25

Each year, the Minnesota Department of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars combine their efforts in a project called "Pheasant Dinners for Hospitalized and Disabled Veterans" to honor their service to our country. This program was started in 1941 by the late Minneapolis newspaper columnist Ed Shave. This year marks the 76th annual Pheasant Dinner for the state of Minnesota.

In 1990, Brainerd American Legion Post 255 and Past District Commander Jay Beebe started a Pheasant Dinner program for the Brainerd area, and 2017 will mark the 27th anniversary of the Brainerd Pheasant Dinner program. The dinners were held at the State Hospital for the first 10 years until the hospital closed. Beebe then moved the dinner to the Woodland Good Samaritan nursing home where most of the hospitalized and disabled veterans reside.

Each year the hospitalized and disabled veterans in the Brainerd area look forward to the Pheasant Dinner with great anticipation and enthusiasm. In addition to the dinner, each veteran receives a pheasant dinner cap and T-shirt. This year, the dinner will once again take place at Woodland on Wednesday, Oct. 25.

The Brainerd American Legion and Brainerd VFW are very grateful to Beebe for his unflagging dedication for the past 27 years to the Pheasant Dinner Program, as are the countless hospitalized and disabled veterans who enjoyed the opportunity to gather together and enjoy a wonderful meal.

Lothspeich leads in Baxter Bass Snatchers final standings

Dennis Lothspeich earned the title of Mr. Bass for the 2017 Baxter Baxter Snatchers tournament season, earning 195 out of a possible 200 points for the year.

Placing second was Keith Tuma, who earned 192 points. Third place went to Alan Steinbauer with 183 points and in fourth place was Tim Benson with 179 points.

2017 final standing.

200 points possible.

Barnum, Klimek take Northern's Inc. tournament on Whitefish

Northern's Inc. recently held it's two-day Classic Tournament Sept. 23-24 on the Whitefish Chain of Lakes, with the team of Rod Barnum and Craig Klimek winning with a total catch of 31 pounds, 5 ounces.

Placing second were Jeff and Tracy Wohl with 30 pounds, 3 ounces. In third place were Ron and Dave Wickham with 27 pounds, 10 ounces; Kevin and Lisa Hacker took fourth with 24 pounds, 7 ounces; and Bert Scripture and Leroy Frost were fith with 23 pounds, 14 ounces.

The lunker of the tournament went to Jeff Wohl, who caught a 9 pound, 3 ounce northern pike.

Sight in your rifle

The public is invited to Deep Portage on Saturday, Oct. 21, to sight in firearms for hunting season.

This is a free program, open to the public, and will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Organizers ask that participants not bring handguns.

Call Deep Portage at 218-682-2325 or email portage@uslink.net for additional information. Deep Portage is located 10 miles east of Hackensack, off Cass County Road 46. Visit the website at www.deep-portage.org

Apply now to serve on DNR fish work groups

Volunteers can apply to join one of the citizen-agency work groups that discuss how the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources manages fish.

There are individual work groups for bass, catfish, panfish and walleye, and one focused on both northern pike and muskellunge. New members are needed for all of these work groups except the panfish group.

"Fisheries work group members have valuable discussions about topics like fish habitat, bag limits, water quality, fishing's ties to local economies and angler trends," said Don Pereira, DNR fisheries chief. "These groups improve the DNR's relationship with citizens and they go in-depth on fisheries issues and angler points of view."

Volunteers can apply to one of the groups from Monday, Oct. 2, to Monday, Oct. 30. Each group of about 15 people will include volunteers and DNR staff who meet two or three times per year to discuss new research, population, harvest trends and fisheries management. Meetings average three to four hours, not including travel time. Applicants must be Minnesota residents age 18 or older.

Participants will be selected by the DNR and can serve a term of either two or three years. The groups are advisory and do not make decisions on policy or fish management. For more information or an application form, visit mndnr.gov/fishgroups or call 651-259-5182.

DNR makes progress on conservation and outdoor recreation goals

The Department of Natural Resources continues to make progress on its goals spanning many areas of conservation and outdoor recreation, from hunter recruitment and environmental permitting to fire management and wildlife monitoring.

"Our mission is to steward Minnesota's waters, lands and habitats for current and future generations," said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. "Through scientifically-based management of our natural resources and by setting ambitious but achievable goals, we can work with partners to achieve great outcomes."

The DNR's achievements are detailed on the agency's performance and accountability reporting website, which tracks the DNR's progress toward achieving conservation goals through 87 performance measurements and targets.

The DNR has been setting targets and tracking progress for most of these metrics for over a decade. Measurements on the website cover all aspects of the agency's work.

Some examples of significant results include:

• The number of visits and overnight guests to Minnesota state parks and recreation areas climbed 10 percent between 2015 and 2016 to 10.3 million visits. Sales of one-day and year-round permits continue to steadily increase. To strengthen the connection of Minnesotans to the outdoors, the DNR continues to innovate as the agency increases its understanding of recreational needs and motivations, builds partnerships, and expands successful programs.

• Over 51,000 students participated in DNR's safety courses during fiscal year 2016, a 19 percent increase from the previous year. The DNR provides a number of courses — like firearm and snowmobile safety — to introduce new and existing users to recreational opportunities, and encourage safe and responsible use of Minnesota's resources.

• Thirty-one homes and businesses were removed from floodplains to prevent flood damage between 2015 and the present. The DNR and communities are now spared the future expense and danger of protecting them when floods do occur. The cumulative number of buildings removed since 1995 is 2,826. In addition to providing funds to communities to buy and remove flood-prone buildings, the DNR provides data for flood forecasting and promotes sound land-use in floodplain areas.

• DNR facilities and fleet emitted greenhouse gases totaling 23,429 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2016. Facilities and fleet emissions have decreased 14.5 percent since 2010. The DNR aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent from 2010 levels by 2020.

• The DNR re-inventoried over 126,000 acres of its forest lands. Over the last decade, over one million acres have been inventoried. Forests change as they grow and age, and as they experience fire, windstorms, harvest, and other issues. An updated inventory is essential for tracking these changes and providing information for making sound forest management decisions.

The DNR updates the performance and accountability website annually, and the agency will work with interest groups, the public, and elected officials in providing important context for these measurements as well as strategic advice on how to best achieve Minnesota's conservation goals and targets.

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