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Outdoor briefs

Tour will examine Byllesby phosphorus issues

The Cannon River Watershed Partnership will offer a tour of Lake Byllesby to help people understand the reservoir and its phosphorus concerns.

Participants will gather for a potluck at 6 p.m. in the Lake Byllesby Regional Park picnic shelter, located on the northeast side near the Byllesby dam. The pontoon tour starts at 6:45 p.m., followed by a discussion that will end by 8:30 p.m.

Register by Aug. 23. Contact Beth Kallestad at or by calling 507-786-3913.

Audubon group meets

The Red Wing Hiawatha Chapter of Audubon will learn about the snakes of Minnesota at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 at the Izaak Walton League clubhouse.

Jaime Edwards, a non-game wildlife biologist for the Department of Natural Resources, will focus on species that are rattlesnake mimics in the bluffs. The presentation is public.

Chimpanzee expert Goodall backs Lynn Rogers' bear work

ST. PAUL -- Independent bear researcher Lynn Rogers got a vote of confidence this week from Jane Goodall, the famed African chimpanzee researcher.

Goodall sent a letter to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton saying she backed Rogers' bear research near Ely and urging the governor to allow Rogers to continue his work.

Goodall is best known for her decades-long study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania, Africa.

Dayton's administration, through the Department of Natural Resources, has sought to restrict Rogers' work involving hand-feeding and befriending black bears, as well as his use of video cameras placed in bear dens.

Rogers counters that his work is indeed basic research on bear behavior and serves to educate thousands of people about black bears through social media.

The DNR moved in late June to end much of Rogers' field work. But a court-sanctioned agreement with DNR officials allows him to continue using radio collars and non-public cameras. The agreement will hold until his case comes before a state administrative law judge.

Under the compromise, Rogers agreed not to hand-feed bears except to replace, charge or maintain batteries on radio collars.