DNR general permit may help expedite statewide flood repairs
Private landowners, agencies, and political subdivisions throughout the state impacted by flooding who want to repair damaged shorelines, bridges, culverts, roadways, structures, stream channels and other facilities to pre-flood condition may be eligible to quickly acquire the necessary DNR permit by applying online at the Minnesota permitting and reporting system (MPARS) website at www.mndnr.gov/mpars.
When applying online through MPARS, the authorization may be obtained in just days. People without Internet access can obtain a paper permit application from a local DNR or county zoning office.
Before beginning repairs, people working at or below the high water level on lakes, wetlands, and streams need to apply for the permit, pay a small fee (usually $100), and receive authorization. For repairs above the high water level, contact the local governmental unit to obtain permission.
In-kind replacement (i.e. same kind, size and dimension) may be authorized by this permit. Deviations from in-kind replacement can be authorized if specifically identified in the permit authorization.
Expedited authorization is not available for projects that seek approval for unauthorized construction already started or completed, channelize or realign a stream, take place in or impact a designated trout stream, enlarge a drainage ditch, block, divert or appropriate stream water, alter a water level control structure, convert a bridge crossing to a culvert crossing or excavate fill from public waters without consultation and approval of the DNR.
To use MPARS:
Go to the MPARS website www.mndnr.gov/MPARS.
Click the "Open MPARS" button.
Create an account.
Complete the permit application.
Pay the fee online for permit.
For questions about the flood repair general permit, contact the county DNR hydrologist. Contact information is at files.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/area_hydros.pdf.
Learn deer hunting basics at Aug. 9 clinic
People can learn the basics of deer hunting at an event being offered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Saturday, Aug. 9.
In hands-on stations, participants can learn how to track deer, find hunting land, safely place a deer stand, learn to shoot shotguns, rifles and bows, and about deer habits and habitat.
"This event is a wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in learning the basics of deer hunting and getting hands-on experience," said Linda Bylander, coordinator of the DNR's Becoming an Outdoors Family program.
The event will be noon to 5 p.m.at the Forest Lake Sportsmen's Club near Forest Lake. Youth ages 10 and older are welcome to attend accompanied by a guardian.
Instructors will include DNR wildlife staff, DNR conservation officers, volunteers and members of the Forest Lake Sportsmen's Club. Register by contacting Bylander, 218-833-8628, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration is limited and there is a $10 per person or $15 per family fee. To see a list of similar DNR programs, visit www.mndnr.gov/bow.
Now is the time to take a hunter safety course
With the fall hunting seasons just around the corner, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is urging hunters to sign up now for a hunter education class.
"Though classes are held throughout the year, their numbers peak in the summer and early fall," said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR Enforcement Division education program coordinator. "So now is the time to sign up and complete a course, because once the hunting season gets rolling, it might be too late."
Besides ensuring the ability to hunt this year, taking the class sooner rather than later means more time for scouting hunting locations, sighting-in rifles, practicing shotgun skills and securing permission to hunt on private lands.
Minnesota hunters born after Dec. 31, 1979, must take a DNR hunter education firearms safety training course and receive a certificate of completion before buying a license for big or small game.
Classes are taught by DNR certified volunteers in their local communities. Students, depending on their age, have a few options to become certified. Regardless of which option they choose the course provides them with basic safe firearms handling skills, wildlife identification, outdoor skills and responsibility that accompanies hunting and firearms use.
Classes fill-up fast. Find a class www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/firearms/index.html or call 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367.