The ski is mightier than the rod

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Correction: an earlier version of this post made mention of Lutsen Resort. That company is not related to Lutsen Mountain Corp. which operates Lutsen Mountain ski area and resort.

The Minnesota House has approved a bill that would allow Lutsen Mountain Corp., which operates Lutsen Mountains ski area and resort, to pump up to two million gallons of water per day out of the Poplar River. The move has angered conservationists that assert the draw down of the river will threaten trout populations.

The Lutsen measure is a provision of the invasive species bill.

The ski area has defied Department of Natural Resource regulations since 2001 when it continued to pump water out of the Poplar beyond permitted amounts. The Duluth News Tribune reports that the pumping continued without DNR enforcement action.

Pumping river water is an easy and cheap way for the resort to make artificial snow. But during the long and cold North Shore winter, portions of the river with low water can freeze so deeply that it could decimate organisms including fish.

The Pioneer Press reports that “Lutsen is the only commercial operation in the state that’s allowed to pump water from a trout stream in winter.” If the bill is signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton, Lutsen’s authority to pump the water from the river will be reviewed by the legislature in five years.

More details on the bill and the pumping operations are available in Wednesday’s Greater Minnesota Morning Report.

Also clicking on MN Today

Anglers might be wise to keep it shallow this opener

Dean Beck with the Department of Natural Resources fisheries division in Glenwood feels the colder than normal April could make things more difficult when the season opens up for walleye, sauger and northern pike anglers this Saturday (Alexandria Echo Press).

Proof there’s more young people in Duluth

From nightclubs to theaters, to live music venues, Duluth’s nightlife has certainly picked up.Many have suggested it points to a younger crowd in town. And now census numbers back it up (Northland News Center).

Minnesota Poll: Support falls for ban on gay marriage A majority of Minnesotans oppose amending the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, according to a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll (Star Tribune).

Duluth News Tribune: Redistricting ripe for reform in Minnesota

“Completely” broken or not, redistricting in Minnesota is ripe for reform. States like Arizona and, recently, California, leave the work to independent, citizen-led commissions who can concentrate on what’s right and what’s best for the people. They don’t leave it to politicians who are focused on the next election.

Minnesota Scenes

Waterfall

  • nancy burns

    Michael Olson blog identifies wrong resort in his article…

    You haved incorrectly identified Lutsen Resort as the business that has asked the State Legislature for this bill. It is not Lutsen Resort. It is the Lutsen Mountain Corporation which operates the Lutsen Ski Hill, an entirely different business with different owners located 2 miles from our property.

    Please correct this misinformation as we are not happy that you are making accusations that are untrue about our business. In fact, we have been and continue to be very active with our time and resources with a variety of organizations working to ensure the health of the Poplar River and Lake Superior.

    Again, we would appreciate a formal correction on this publication. Perhaps you’d like to do a story on the great environmental commitment we have.

    Sincerely, Nancy Burns and Scott Harrison, Lutsen Resort Owners