Environment & Outdoors

Pupparazzi / Lisa Johnson

Ryan Redington is repeating the strategy he used last year - starting off with a sprint to the front.  The question is: Can he keep up the pace?  Last year, this strategy unfortunately saw his team shrink in size to the point that he was passed approaching the final finish line.  KUMD's Chris Harwood talks with Beargease veteran John Stetson about Redington's possible plan of action, and the other five or so teams that are by no means left behind.  

©Kyle Krohn. Used with permission.

A very wise and wily mushing veteran once told me, “there’s a hundred different things that can happen when you’re mushing…and 99 of them are bad!”

Those were the words of John Stetson, the two-time Beargrease mid-distance champ responding to a question I asked as a reporter covering the race in 2001.  But those words would stick with me like glue as I learned the art and science of running sled dogs from Stetson a year later.

©Lisa Johnson

Over thirty years and 125,000 miles behind a sled later, when John Stetson talks about training dogs, he comes back, over and over again, to trust. How it can enable a person to control 14 fast-moving dogs with only a brake and their voice.  And how easy it is to lose.  

There are no prima donnas on John Stetson’s dog teams.  That goes for the dogs and the human mushers he trains.

"The Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is all about dogs," you say.  "So of course my dog is welcome, right?"

Beargrease organizers say please, leave your pet at home.

Two words: disease and dessert.

There are thousands of dollars and days invested in creating a competitive sled dog team, an investment that could be down the tubes if a sled dog picks up a bug from an unvaccinated or sick pet.

Patti Petersen/Flickr

Larry Weber says, once in a blue moon (like the one January 31), you should get out for a nice moonlight walk or ski or snowshoe tromp.

©Lisa Johnson

With temperatures in the 40s forecast for Friday, this might be the perfect time to wrap the trees, bushes and other plantings you want to protect from woodland marauders.

MaryRN

This week on The Sea Grant Files, host Jesse Schomberg brings us insight and information about the transportation of crude oil in and around the Great Lakes region.

©Catherine Winter. Used with permission

"January can give us interesting days," remarks Larry Weber, dryly.  We set a record low of -33 January 18 in 1994, and a year ago at this time, we had temperatures in the mid-40s.

brando/Flickr

Duluth's infamously old housing stock combined with the recent spate of below-zero temperatures has prompted many folks to take a second look at weather-proofing ... and Ecolibrium3 in Duluth is one of the places that can help you do just that.

Larry Weber joins us to talk about the winter issues that fascinate him, including something called "albedo." We also hear about how the January thaw affects the wildlife we see this time of year and how you can tell it's coyote mating season.

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