Jack pine often don’t get much respect. The sometimes scraggly, usually not-too-tall pine trees often lag behind their bigger cousins, the white pine and red pine, when it comes to favorite evergreens of the north woods. But a jack pine on Namakan Lake in Voyageurs National Park has gained some national notoriety. The 73-foot-tall tree, on the shores of Moose Bay, has been officially declared the largest jack pine in the U.S. and was recently added to the American Forests’ Champion Trees national register.
DULUTH — PolyMet Mining Co. said Thursday it has received notice from the U.S. Forest Service that the land exchange for the company's proposed mine north of Hoyt Lakes will officially close June 28, giving PolyMet title to the mine site. The company is trading nearly 6,900 acres of private forest within the Superior National Forest boundary to the Forest Service in exchange for 6,500 acres of land at the mine site.
DULUTH — Minnesota’s beleaguered moose herd may have held its own over the past year, with an aerial survey showing more animals than last year and about the same number as 2012. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and tribal wildlife officials conducted an aerial survey in January of several areas in the northeastern Minnesota moose range and used those surveys to estimate a total population of about 4,350 animals.
DULUTH — A frigid winter is pushing Lake Superior toward a complete ice-over for the first time since 1996, although there’s still a ways to go before you can skate from Duluth to the Soo Locks. Lake Superior had at least some ice across an estimated 91 percent of its surface as of Thursday, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. That compares to the 40-year average annual Lake Superior ice coverage for February of just 30 percent.