We finished last week with a bit of stormy weather, which messed up my farming a little bit. We received several severe thunderstorm and hail warnings on our weather radio. If you don’t have a weather warning radio, it’s a good investment to make.
The radio provides a warning of approaching severe weather including tornados. I could be a lifesaver but, if nothing else, a heads up on golf ball-sized hail provides the opportunity to put the car in the garage and avoid some expensive hail damage.
Last week, in addition to letting the governor know we need some clarity as to what is going on in Department of Human Services, I spent some time in the Mille Lacs Lake area.
On Tuesday I participated in a DNR sponsored information gathering session at the Mille Lacs Kathoi State Park Pavilion. The DNR is taking citizen input as they develop a large lake management plan. Several of Minnesota’s largest lakes have a specific plan that identifies the major management priorities for that water body.
Historically the main focus on Mille Lacs has been on the walleye fishery. However it’s important to look at all the resources within the fishery and understand how they interact. DNR officials have conducted three input gathering sessions and will use that data to help develop a draft plan that we should see sometime later this year or early in 2020.
This past Thursday the Cuyuna Lakes Chamber and Mille Lacs Corporate hosted a gathering of area business men and women at the Grand Casino. The event included a look behind the scenes at an impressive commercial food preparation facilities that operates 24/7 to serve the large number of visitors at the Casino, Special Event Center and adjacent hotel.
We also had an opportunity for boat tour of the southwest part of lake. We visited Spirit Island an observed the large variety of birds that reside there. Spirit Island is part of the Mille Lacs National Wildlife Refuge that was established in 1915.
The refuge consists of Hennepin and Spirit islands. Hennepin Island is managed for the state-listed threatened common tern. Spirit Island is used by other colonial nesting species including ring-billed gulls, herring gulls and cormorants.
Hennepin and Spirit islands are another example of the many unique points of interest that the “Big Lake” has to offer.