ATV ride to fight juvenile diabetes

The Cuyuna Iron Range Riders ATV club is hosting a ride at 9 a.m. July 27 in support of Because of Brandon, a fundraiser to fight juvenile diabetes.

The event is free and open to the public. A donation bucket will be passed around. The group will meet in the parking lot next to the Great River Eye Clinic on East Main and Third Avenue in Crosby, across the street from the Cuyuna Regional Medical Center. There will be a short introduction meeting, riders are asked to leave their four wheelers on their trailers. Riders will trailer to the Cole Lake Shelter to unload machines. A guided ride will go through the Miller Black ATV trails. A light lunch will follow at the Cole Lake Shelter upon completion of the ride. All money raised will support education and sponsor youth to attend Camp Needle Point.

For more information contact Ken Irish, club president, at 651-470-2601 or by email at ironrider@comcast.net.

Bacon is best in Bass Snatchers tournament

With a total catch of 16 pounds, 7 ounces, Beau Bacon won the second Baxter Bass Snatchers tournament of the year, held June 23 on Lake Alexander.

Placing second was Darrin Kiefer with a total catch of 13 pounds, 7 ounces; and coming in third was Dennis Lothspeich with a total catch of 12 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, 20 anglers caught and released 94 bass during the tournament.

The Lunker of the Day was a 3 pound, 9 ounce bass caught by Chuck Fields.

Upcoming events at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Friday, July 12

10 a.m.-noon -- Fishing Friday Mornings. Join us as we learn all about fishing! We provide the poles, bait & instructors. Minnesota residents do not need a fishing license for this activity. Meet at the Interpretive Center.

Girls Scouts Love State Parks Weekend -- Girls scouts are encouraged to attend the programs to earn badges. However, anyone can participate!

Saturday, July 13

10-10:45 a.m. -- Kids’ Activity: Interesting Insects. Learn about the amazing world of these fascinating little creatures and take home a "souvenir" you make yourself. Meet at the Interpretive Center. Girl Scouts: This program will help complete the Brownie Bugs Badge.

11-noon -- Digital Nature Photography for Beginners. Taking nature photos will be a snap after you attend this hands-on program. Learn how to take photos of wildlife, plants or landscapes ... & bring home your best shot! Use your own camera or borrow ours. Meet at the Interpretive Center. Girl Scouts: This program will help complete the Junior Digital Photographer Badge.

2-4 p.m. Archery in the Park. Archery in the Park is hands-on instruction shooting a bow and arrow from certified instructors in a safe and supportive environment. This activity is for individuals age 8 and older. Children age 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. In case of rain this program will be canceled.

Stop by the Interpretive Center any time between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Girl Scouts: This program will help complete the Cadette Archery Badge.

Sunday, July 14

10:30-11 a.m. Wolf Adventures. A talk about the natural history of gray wolves will be followed by a family-friendly, nature film. Meet at the Interpretive Center.

Avoid hitting loons during holiday boating and throughout season

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding boaters to watch for loons not only around the Fourth of July holiday, but also as part of their season-long safety procedures.

Watercraft are a significant cause of loon mortality. Loons frequently nest and rear their young in areas where boats move at higher speeds.

Loon chicks are not able to fly until they are more than two months old; they’re also unable to dive for safety as mature loons and other birds can.

Mature loons are heavy birds, enabling them to dive as deep as 250 feet to search for food. They can stay underwater for up to five minutes.

Loons in Minnesota range throughout the busiest boating areas of the state, inhabiting lakes across almost all of northern, central and eastern Minnesota.

Other facts about loons:

  • Minnesota has more loons (roughly 12,000) than any other state except Alaska.

  • Loons can fly more than 75 miles per hour.

  • The red in the loon's eye helps it to see under water.

  • Scientists think loons can live for 30 years or more.

In addition to fast-moving boats, threats to loons include human disturbance and pollutants such as lead and mercury. The DNR monitors loon populations with the help of volunteers to improve understanding of what our state bird needs to maintain a strong, healthy presence here.

More information about the common loon is available at mndnr.gov/birds/commonloon.html.