November 13, 2018 - DNR issues Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for revised Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project

Public comments invited through Nov. 29
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources today issued a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Final SEIS) for the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Risk Management project. The DNR is accepting public comments on the Final SEIS until 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29.

The Final SEIS describes the potential environmental and social effects of the revised Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project, known as Plan B.

The DNR received 107 comment submittals on the Draft SEIS, which included letters, emails, and transcribed comments from a public meeting held Sept. 13 in Moorhead.

The DNR used those comments to make revisions and produce the Final SEIS. The Final SEIS also includes all comments that were received and responses to substantive comments.

“We appreciate the many thoughtful comments we received on the Draft SEIS and considered those comments carefully in developing the final document,” said Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner.  “While the Supplemental EIS is not a decision-making document, it will be very helpful as we consider the Diversion Authority’s permit application.”

According to Landwehr, “Minnesota remains committed to enhancing flood risk management for developed portions of the Fargo-Moorhead area while also meeting Minnesota’s rigorous floodplain management and environmental protection standards.”

Broadly speaking, the Final SEIS describes the proposed project, identifies potential environmental impacts and considers mitigation and alternatives that may lessen the environmental impacts. The supplemental review, which is not an entire new EIS, focused on those aspects of the revised project that were not fully evaluated in the original Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The DNR is now seeking comments through Nov. 29 on the adequacy of the Final SEIS. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is declared adequate if it meets three criteria:

  1. The EIS covered the potentially significant issues and alternatives raised in scoping.
  2. The EIS provided responses to substantive comments received on the Draft SEIS.
  3. The EIS was prepared in compliance with the environmental review procedures established in state law.

To inform the DNR’s adequacy determination, public comments on the Final SEIS should focus on these three criteria for adequacy. If the Final SEIS is determined adequate, the environmental review process for the Fargo-Moorhead project will be complete.  The DNR would then proceed to making final decisions on the dam safety/public waters work application for the project.

Notification of Final SEIS availability is in the Nov. 13, 2018 Environmental Quality Board (EQB) Monitor. Additionally, anyone who submitted comments will receive an individual notification that the Final SEIS is available. The Final SEIS and additional details about the proposed project and the DNR’s review process are available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/environmentalreview/fm_flood_risk/index.html.

A copy of the Final SEIS is available for public review at:

  • DNR Library, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155.
  • DNR northwest region office, 2115 Birchmont Beach Rd. NE., Bemidji, MN 56601.
  • Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401, Government Documents, 2nd Floor.
  • Moorhead Public Library, 118 5th St. S, Moorhead, MN 56560.
  • Fergus Falls Public Library, 205 E. Hampden, Fergus Falls, MN 56537.
  • Fargo Public Library Downtown, 102 3rd Street North, Fargo, ND 58102.

Written comments on the Final SEIS must be received by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29.
Comments may be mailed to: Jill Townley, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Road, Box 25, St. Paul, MN 55155-4025.

Comments may be emailed to: environmentalrev.dnr@state.mn.us with “Fargo-Moorhead SEIS” in the subject line. If using the email address, people should include their name, so that they can be added to the mailing list.

Comments may be faxed to 651-297-1500.



November 8, 2018 - Stressed out? Visit a state park on Veterans Day and unwind with nature

It’s no secret that nature helps sooth a troubled mind. Consider spending an afternoon at a state park with a veteran this Veterans Day where the “awe” factor increases as the stress level decreases.

“A state park visit can provide a healthy dose of nature therapy,” said Erika Rivers, director of Minnesota State Park and Trails. “All park visitors benefit from time outdoors and for those exposed to a lot of stress, the benefits can be especially acute.”

Free year-round vehicle permits, providing unlimited access to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas, are now available to:

  • active military personnel in any branch or unit of the United States Armed Forces.
  • veterans with a service-related disability.

These benefits were approved by Minnesota lawmakers in 2017.

Studies done by the Warrior Institute, Outward Bound, Sierra Club and others show that outdoor recreation enhances emotional, physical and physiological well-being.  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the leading injury for American veterans. An estimated 30 percent of Vietnam War veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime, and 20 percent of veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom have PTSD in a given year, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It is estimated that less than 30 percent of veterans with mental health issues, however, will seek help.

“People generally find it difficult to seek help for mental health issues,” said Jodi Dehn, who is the DNR Yellow Ribbon Program Military Outreach Representative.

An antidote to trauma can start with something as simple as more time spent outdoors. “The cost is minimal but the effect can be substantial,” she said. The Yellow Ribbon Program designation acknowledges companies and agencies with exceptional and ongoing records of caring, commitment and compassion for military members and their families.

Special programs taking place at Minnesota state parks on or near Veterans Day include:

  • Whitewater’s German POW Camp, 7-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at Whitewater State Park (near Winona). Whitewater State Park once served as a prison to World War II Prisoners of War. This presentation explains how they got there, where they went later, and what life was like at the camp. For more information, call 507-312-2300.
  • Veterans in the Vicinity, 11 a.m.-noon, Sunday, Nov. 11, at Sibley State Park (New London). The land at and near Sibley State Park was a site of conflict during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Join a naturalist on Veteran’s Day to remember and honor all veterans with ties to West Central Minnesota and Sibley State Park. Meet at the Lakeview Campground. For more information, call 320-354-2055.

To see all licenses, permits and passes that are available to military personnel and veterans, and the form of identification that an individual needs to show, visit www.mndnr.gov.

 The DNR is recognized as a Yellow Ribbon Company for its support of active and retired military personnel and their families.

For more information, contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).

 

 



November 1, 2018 - Lakeville artist wins walleye stamp contest

Lakeville artist Stephen Hamrick won the Minnesota Walleye Stamp contest. Judges selected his painting from among 11 entries for the annual contest that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sponsors. 

The 2019 walleye stamp will feature Hamrick’s painting of a walleye swimming at night under a full moon near an angler’s leech-baited hook and slip bobber. Hamrick has won a DNR stamp contest 11 times; he also has won the waterfowl, pheasant, wild turkey, trout and salmon, and walleye stamp contests.

The voluntary walleye stamp validation costs $5 but the DNR does not require anglers to buy it to fish for or keep walleye. For an extra 75 cents, the DNR will mail the pictorial stamp to purchasers. The DNR also sells a pictorial collectable stamp without the validation for $5.75, and sells walleye stamps year-round. Customers can purchase walleye stamps at any time, even if they already have a fishing license.

Judges also selected Stuart Nelson of Cloquet and Josh Evan of Mapleton as finalists in the Oct. 25 contest at DNR headquarters in St. Paul. The DNR offers no prizes for the stamp contest winner, but the winning artist retains the right to reproduce the work.

The DNR uses revenue from stamp sales to purchase walleye for stocking in Minnesota’s lakes. All license vendors still have the 2018 walleye stamp available for purchase. The DNR website at mndnr.gov/stamps has more information about stamps.



November 1, 2018 - Archers take 237 deer at Camp Ripley

Mild, windy and wet weather greeted archers at this year’s Camp Ripley bow hunts near Little Falls, and hunters took 237 deer during the four-day event from Oct. 18-19 and Oct. 27-28. 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issued 2,883 permits, and the 2,365 participating hunters had above average success of 9.7 percent.

The Central Lakes College Natural Resources Program coordinated morning check-in and provided deer registration services at the hunts.

“We have a strong partnership with Central Lakes College,” said Beau Liddell, DNR wildlife manager at Little Falls. “They did a great job managing traffic and registering deer. The event is a worthwhile opportunity to train students pursuing careers in wildlife management.”

The archery hunt at Camp Ripley is an annual event. The DNR coordinates the hunts in collaboration with Central Lakes College Natural Resources Department, and the Department of Military Affairs, which manages the 53,000-acre military reservation.



News & Events AUG 11th

Starry Stonewort discovered on

Medicine & Pleasant Lake

Read More Read ALL

DNR News NOV 13th

DNR issues Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for revised Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project

Public comments invited through Nov. 29 The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources today issued a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Final SEIS) for the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Risk Management project. The DNR is accepting public comm...

Read More