JP Rennquist Posts

DNR moves to formalize changes to Threatened, Endangered and Special Concern lists

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is moving to formalize proposed changes to the list of endangered, threatened and concerned species which was last updated in 1996. A media release was sent out today:

Twenty-nine species, including the bald eagle, wolf and snapping turtle, were removed from the list; 180 species of plants and animals were added; 91 species had their status either upgraded or downgraded while remaining on the list. The changes were based on large amounts of new information gathered by DNR and other researchers.

The “bald eagle, wolf, and snapping turtle” reads like a “who’s who” list of beings that are considered sacred to local Native American people. Although I am not aware of any plans for a turtle (Mikinak) hunt the DNR did authorize a highly controversial eastern grey wolf (Maiingan) hunt in 2012. A bald eagle (Migizi) hunt seems unthinkable, but many people would have said the same about a wolf hunt 15 years ago.

Someone at the DNR also thought maybe that it would be a good idea to frame the discussion of endangered species from the perspective of European explorers in the 17th and 18th centuries, rather than focusing on the healthy hunting and land-use practices of the Dakota and Ojibwe people who managed the lands for centuries before the Europeans arrived. You can look it over here while I knock this chip off my shoulder. (Screen grab below)

Source: Updating MN list of endangered, threatened, special concern species

Cultural faux pas aside, I think that some of the most significant changes to the listings are the inclusion of moose, and a large number of fish, plants, and insects to the state’s protected lists. For example, after eyeballing the charts accompanying the release, listings for dragonflies, mosses, lichens and plant-life have increased maybe ten-fold or more since 1996. I’m no biologist by any means, but I think that there may be both good and bad news in this report for environmentalists, hunters, loggers, farmers, and miners. Not that a person couldn’t be more than one (or all) of those things concurrently. But the enormous increase in threatened/endangered/special concern species overall is somewhat alarming to me.

The entire list is here (it is an enormous pdf). A shorter summary is here

The Economics of Sulfide Mining: Benefits and Costs

This address was given by Dr. Tom Power, Professor Emeritus at the University of Montana about a week ago in Duluth.

Communities of Color leaders take issue with UMD’s lack of diversity

I have been working as a radio producer lately, and I increasingly find myself in situations where I need to try and be even-handed and to try to represent different perspectives on nuanced issues. Racial diversity is one of those things that keeps popping up for me.

The issues surrounding racism and inclusion are loaded with bad history, a lot of grey area, and many answers that seem to pull good people in opposing directions. Potentially worst of all, people just stay with the status quo, trapped by indecision.

Where in Duluth: Buzzfeed edition

From Buzzfeed, the ultimate warming house in Duluth, MN

I was reading through this list of things Minnesotans are [allegedly] too nice to brag about and I saw this picture, figured it was from Duluth, and it is.

Minnesotans do brag about all of this stuff all the time, but it’s fun to see it on Buzzfeed. Several items in the article have a Duluth connection.

Where in Duluth?

Duluth is where the heart is. Where in Duluth, MN?

Bonus points if you can figure the swatch of land that the heart covers. I’m stumped on the scale there, but at a minimum I’m thinking Proctor and maybe Esko and a township or three.

Doug Moen, R.I.P.

Doug Moen, RIP. Photo courtesy of Todd Eckart

Doug Moen portrait by Kip Praslowicz

Doug Moen passed away yesterday following a tragic fall.

Karen Diver discusses another court decision against Duluth

At risk of setting off an avalanche of flaming comments here on PDD I am going to post this interview that I worked on today.

Idle No More Jingle Dress Dance Event in Duluth, Radio Documentary

Here is something that I have been working on. A one-hour radio documentary collection of sounds and voices from the Jan. 11 Idle No More Jingle Dress Dance demonstration through the streets of Duluth. It airs at 11 a.m. today on 89.1 FM WGZS in Cloquet. In case you are like the other 100 million people who will be instead listening to and viewing the inauguration of President Obama at that time on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday I have posted it online for people to listen to anytime in the form of a YouTube video.

I am still unhappy with some of the mix, the narration and my writing, but I am happy with being able to share these voices talking about this remarkable, historic event.


This popped up in my Facebook feed.

I mean, Master Card’s little contest might pale in comparison to the intense fervor, Duluthophilia, I call it, that some of us have for this town. Heck, this blog is basically all about how great we think we are (except for the bitching posts, which are still pretty much about how great we think we are.)

Christmas City of the North Parade Stream

Hi folks. Especially the folks who are far away Duluthians, this could be good news for you.

I just got word in this nice little video from Kevin Jacobsen and LeAnn Wallace that the Christmas City of the North Parade will be streaming live at the Northland’s Newscenter website.

The twitter hashtag is #christmascityparade

Tiny Bird Living in a Big Box

This bird is living in the Home Dept Store in Duluth. Or it was a few days ago anyway.

At first I just caught it out of the corner of my eye, thinking it was a figment of my imagination, then I discovered it was real. Then, and this is the best part, a lovely clerk in a bright orange smock caught me and my daughter looking for the bird and she started to tell us its remarkable story.

Posted: No Wolf Hunting

Wolf Hunting Prohibited on Fond du Lac Reservation

Passing along this photo from Ivy Vainio; click the image to see it in context.

Fond du Lac Band passed an ordinance banning the wolf hunt a few days ago.

Dan Kraker provided some fairly decent balanced coverage that explains some of the legal and cultural implications of the wolf hunt in this MPR News story.

Boy with Red Balloon in Downtown Duluth

Here’s a short video (plus a few snapshots) that I took last spring following one of the Saturday Morning Film showings outside of Zinema 2 in Old Downtown Duluth. Hopefully they continue the series again this coming winter and spring. It was cheap, family friendly, and pretty dang engaging for the parents, grandparents and hipsters in the crowd, too. You don’t often get that combination from the megacineplex fare.

Do I get some kind of prize if I am the first person to use the “sappy stuff” tag? Bragging rights and/or swag would be acceptable.

Virgin Mobile claws back TBT hashtag

Twitter nerds will understand this. Hashtag humor. It’s a niche category.

Click the image to go to the referenced Instagram pic of Trampled by Turtles playing at a Virgin Mobile event. Our boys are growing up. *sigh*

UMD Grad Dr. Brian Kobilka Wins Nobel Prize for Chemistry

Brian Kobilka, a 1977 UMD Chemistry graduate, has won a share in the 2012 Nobel Prize for chemistry. Dr. Kobilka can be heard in an interview with a representative from the Nobel Organization at