Earlier tonight, Powerline’s John Hinderaker posted something about the Strib’s article about Minnesota’s shrinking moose population in Minnesota’s Arrowhead region. John questioned the DNR’s conclusion on what’s causing the decline. Here’s the conclusion stated in the article:

Reasons for the decline are uncertain, but researchers continue to believe a warming climate is responsible. Minnesota, already at the southern fringe of the moose range, apparently is becoming inhospitable for the large animals. Moose are extremely heat-sensitive, and temperature readings in Ely show over the past 48 years, average summer and winter temperatures have increased substantially.

Here’s how John questions that conclusion:

Really? The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says mean temperatures have increased in the state by a whopping one-half of one degree Fahrenheit in the last 50 years. Those moose must be sensitive creatures.

I won’t hesitate in admitting that I don’t know what’s causing the moose population’s decline but I’ve got a hunch why the Strib ran this article. Bear with me a moment as I make note of another statistic relevant to this story:

Already in the northwest part of the state the number of moose has fallen from around 4,000 in the mid-1980s to around 100 today.

Let’s compare that with what’s happening in Minnesota’s Arrowhead region:

Wildlife researchers estimate that there are 5,500 moose in that region of the state. With a 23 percent margin of error, the estimate is not statistically different from last year’s estimate of 7,600, but it supports other evidence that the moose population is declining.

I think this part of the Strib’s article is why this article ran:

People come up here to catch fish and see wildlife,” said Bob Baker, owner of Gunflint Pines Resort and Campground on the Gunflint Trail, northwest of Grand Marais, Minn. “The moose is the one animal people want to see when they’re here, and its decline could impact tourism.”

The three pillars of northeast Minnesota’s economy are tourism, tourism and tourism. With Minnesota’s economy struggling, people aren’t likely to vacation in the BWCA and Grand Marais. They’re far more likely to vacation in the Brainerd Lakes area or Alexandria or something closer to their homes.

By running this article, the DFL gets a two-fer: they talk about global warming and they get to highlight the ‘need’ for relief to northern Minnesota. It’s just a hunch but I’d say that, with DFL gubernatorial candidate Tom Bakk representing Grand Marais, I’d think that there’s a better than average shot that Sen. Bakk’s itch will get scratched.

During the DFL’s glory years of the Perpich administration, legislators kidded that Gov. Perpich changed the translation of the State seal “L’Etoile du nord” from “The Star of the North” to “the money goes north”, which it did in prodigious amounts.

In the end, I suspect that the Strib’s article has more with spending money in Minnesota’s Arrowhead than it has to do with moose herd population declines.

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3 Responses to “The Strib’s Hidden Agenda?”

  • Eldo says:

    Pathetic how the StarTrib chooses to ignore the obvious correlation between increasing wolf population and decreasing moose numbers.

  • walter hanson says:

    Gary:

    If you didn’t catch John was on Doctor Bennet’s show this morning. He came up with a theory. Wolfs! It seems like moose grow where there isn’t a large wolf population. Wolfs apparently love moose.

    I’m surpise they didn’t suggest that Sarah came down from Alaska and hunted all our moose.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • Gary Gross says:

    Walter, I listened to the entire interview. If it wasn’t for the interview being in the show’s final hour, I would’ve called in with my opinion.

    Don’t you know, Walter, that I’m everywhere & that I hear everything??? LOL

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