Green Visions

A Northland Morning feature focusing on local environmental issues, heard Wednesdays at 8:20 a.m.  Green Visions is brought to you by Duluth Grill and Heritage Window and Door.

enjoiskate8/Flickr

Northeastern Minnesota was never the land of the buffalo, but it was home to elk, before overhunting and habitat loss decimated the population.

Now the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is betting on funding from the LCCMR (Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources) to look into restoring wild elk to a portion of their former range.

Bill Mittlefehldt

You almost need a program to keep track of all the clean energy projects going on in the Northland these days.

Work continues on the 2025 Action Plan, the Georgetown University Energy Prize Competition and the Arrowhead Energy Cooperative just opened a solar garden for its customers.

Sarah Glesner

There are dozens of environmental organizations in the Twin Ports and almost all of them expand their reach and their resources by partnering with one another on different projects. 

But recently, the St. Louis River Alliance sat down for a meeting and instead of the regular troop of khaki- and jean-clad biologists and environmentalists, they were inundated with architects, landscapers and urban planners courtesy of Design Duluth.

St. Louis River Estuary

Diane Desotelle of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says it's a pretty good time to be a fish in the St. Louis River.

But it's going to get better. 

Through a network of unique partnerships and collaboration, the clean materials the US Army Corps of Engineers is dredging from ship channels in the harbor will be repurposed in the river to create better habitat for fish, including muskie, northern pike and walleye.

Will Steger.com

A man who's seen the effects of climate change first hand talked to Iron Rangers and guests last week at the Iron Range Convening.

Produced by Climate Generation, the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and the Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability,  Will Steger was the keynote speaker for the event, an opportunity to not only talk about climate change, but share ideas on how to combat it.

Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability

If you want folks to learn about lakes, perhaps the best way is to hold the meeting on a beach.  In July.  And then give them all nets and send them in search of the lake creatures you've just told them about.

The Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability is holding monthly get-togethers to help folks understand the resources they cherish, everything from lakes to locally-grown food to clean energy.

D. Berus / International Wolf Center

  We talk with Kelly Godfrey, Program Director of International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota.  Their ongoing efforts to educate the world about wolves and their place in the ecosystem include a series of wolf webinars.  On September 23rd, a webinar will be given about pack dynamics and a review of 26 years of work from the International Wolf Center.

  We talk with UMD Professor Randy Hanson about UMD's Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP), a fifteen-acre "land lab" that utilizes sustainable farming practices.  SAP was formed in 2009 to "institute education, research, and regional engagement around community food and agriculture systems in the western Lake Superior bioregion." 

National Association of City Transportation Officials

The Duluth Bicycle Coalition is frustrated.

During the long public input process into the reconstruction of Superior Street in downtown,  someone expressed interest in protected bike lanes at every meeting.

But when the plan from the city was presented in June, Superior Street looked, basically, just like it does now: diagonal parking to maximize parking spaces and no bike lanes.

Caitlin Nielson

If you give him a minute, Jamie Harvie is the kind of person who can tell you how all kinds of disparate things are connected.

Take for example, the upcoming Accountable Communities conference, put together in part by Harvie's Institute for a Sustainable Future. There, you'll learn how a gathering ostensibly billed as a health conference connects personal, economic, social and environmental health as well.

Housing as health care?  Harvie says it's all a question of "putting things in right relationship."

Wisconsin DNR/Josh Mayer.

If you're a Wisconsin resident and you have a thought or two about the state's management of wildlife, fish and habitat - for game and non-game - the public comment period on two new plans is winding to a close.

Hopes to put a factory farm (also called Concentrated Animal Feed Operations or CAFOs) in Bayfield County are being met with - among other protests - events like a recent "Stink-in" in Ashland.  What's the problem with 20-25 thousand hogs all in one place?  We talk with activist Frank Koehn about the environmental impact on the region, including the Lake Superior watershed.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S.

Healthy Duluth/ Henry French

Have you always wanted a trail in Duluth named after you?  If so, this is not your opportunity.  The city Parks and Rec Department is looking for something a little catchier than "the Lowell to Lakewalk trail" and they're asking for your ideas ... but there are a few ground rules.

Take a look at the news release for the Minnesota Pollution Control's upcoming public meeting: "Magnetation draft permit public meeting scheduled" and you're  lost almost as soon as you start reading.  But it turns out, these public meetings, held frequently around the state by the MPCA and other state agencies for a variety of proposals, projects and drafted documentation, are not as impenetrable as they might seem.  Not only can attendees learn a lot, they can have valuable feedback.

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