April 2008 UNS Newsletter


April Showers


April showers bring May flowers!  Not only do they bring May flowers, with them comes a cleansing of the land from the long drawn-out winter.  This also means lots of work for the club.  With spring comes placing fire rings, placing picnic tables, docks (when the water is high enough), picking up garbage and just plain general cleaning.  This is why we start our work parties prior to every meeting in the month of April.  If you can make it to the Retreat at about 1:00 PM on either, or both, of the first two Wednesdays of the month your help would be greatly appreciated.  And it's not all work either!  To reward you for your work you're invited to stay around for our Pot Luck dinner just prior to our meeting.  So, bring your gloves, boots and a hot-dish/casserole and we hope to see you there.  REMEMBER - the first two Wednesdays of each month.


Annual Awards Banquet


It's not too late to get your Banquet tickets and the more members and guests we have at our banquet the merrier!  Call Bert at 525-5547 or Sandy at 722-2711 for tickets.  The cost  is $25/person.  This will increase to $35 on April 7th and $50 at the door.  This is due to regulations at the Castle and their reservation requirements.  The fun will begin with viewing at 5:00PM, festivities starting at 5:30PM and dinner at 6:30 PM.  REMEMBER: THIS IS OUR LARGEST FUND-RAISER AND WE HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL THERE FOR THE FUN!




Club Calendar


April 1...........April fools day


April 2...........UNS Board Meeting
  Sportsmen's Retreat
  6:00 PM Pot Luck
  7:00 PM Meeting
  1:00 PM Work party


April 9.......... UNS Membership Meeting
  Sportsmen's Retreat
  6:00 PM Pot Luck
  7:00 PM Meeting
  Work party prior to


April 11..........UNS Banquet


April 16..........Spring wild turkey (1st                                     season)


May 7.............UNS Board Meeting
  Sportsmen's Retreat
  6:00PM Pot Luck
  7:00PM Meeting
  Work party prior to


May 10............MN Fishing opener
  12:01 AM


May 11...........HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!


Notes from the Stovepipe by Ken Norenberg © 2008


No April Fool Here


Sad note to start off with: KEN HAYES, your former longtime Membership Secretary and original founding member of UNS, has passed on at age 93.  Active for almost all those years, he was a good guy to talk with and listen to while hanging out at the Retreat.  Fish stories. Tales of wooden boats, game wardens with wooden legs, runaway trains on the Mesabi, depression-era luxuries like tailor-made smokes (instead of having to roll-your-own with a sack of Bull Durham) - all stuff like that.  And he not only talked it, he lived it.  Ahhh, time marches on.  RIP, young fella.
 I'm wondering if there are any founding members yet living? If you know of one, how about giving me a call whether they are current members or not and, with their permission of course, the Stovepipe will puff a little smoke their way.
 Those who missed last months meeting here (exactly 98.5% of you) missed, in my opinion, the single best session of at least the past decade.  Judge Eric Hylden's message (on the Heller vs D.C. Supreme Court case) precipitated the most interesting and informative discussion since probably the heady early days at UNS, when Ken Hayes really was a young man and when UNS was THE place for conservationists to gather.  (UNS is older than the Nature Conservancy - Did you know that?)  Hopefully we can get the Judge to return later on after SCOTUS has reached its decision and present his thoughts on it, because whatever SCOTUS rules, it will not put the gun controversy to rest.  Wanna bet on that?  The local Anti's have lately been pretty quiet alright but we'll see what happens around June or July after the SCOTUS term is finished.
 The Northwestern Gun Club will host a service rifle clinic and CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) Qualification Match at their range at Hunter Lake on May 8th and 10th.  There will be several High Master, and Master, and Distinguished Riflemen available for individual instruction.  Here's your chance, and an unusual opportunity, to enhance your riflery.  Fees are $50 total for both sessions, $30 for seniors and juniors.  Contact Eric Hartley at 218-349-3582 for complete information.
 Ah, here we go again.  The decline of hunting and fishing in the U.S. is a lot worse than we thought.  Research by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) shows that fewer and fewer Americans are heading outdoors for anything.  How bad is it?  Pretty bad, and not only in the U.S. - I went online to the NAS study and learned that after 50 years of steady increases, per capita visits to U.S. National Parks have declined since 1987.  To evaluate whether we are seeing a fundamental shift away from peoples overall interest in nature, NAS time-series tested for participation in four classes of "Nature Participation Variables": 1) visits to various U.S. public lands plus National Parks in Japan and Spain, 2) numbers of various U.S. game licenses issued, 3) time spent camping, 4) time spent backpacking and hiking.  All four time-series are in decline, corroborating the general downtrend in nature recreation.  Conclusion: all major lines of evidence point to an ONGOING FUNDAMENTAL and PERVASIVE SHIFT away from nature-based recreation.  So it's not only hunting and fishing, it's across-the-board proof that our great American outdoor traditions are in trouble.  NAS folks think it's simply due to TV, sitting at computers playing games, etc, but a Nature Conservancy scientist thinks it's much deeper.  He believes the country is in the midst of a vast social change and if he's right, we are in for a very bleak future.  You can be sure that the Anti's will be taking due note of what NAS has concluded, and the challenge is, will we?  And when fewer than
2% of us ever attend meetings......well, you do the math and draw your own conclusions.  Fundamental, pervasive, and grim, ain't it?
 What is definitely not grim is your Annual Banquet and Awards night.  Why not come out to the Castle on the 11th and see what Bert, Chuck and Sandy have cooked up along with the rest of your Banquet Committee?  It's always fundamentally fun.


Next Month: Walleyes Rule!


Speaker for April 9th meeting


Kevin Stern has lined up a speaker for our April monthly membership meeting.  Al Thomas, head of Minnesota TIP (Turn In Poachers) program has agreed  to come and speak and has set aside time for a question and answer period.   I'm sure we will find this a very informative meeting and coffee will be served along with desert.




May 14th speaker


Mark your calendars.  Eric Hansen has lined up Doug Jensen from Minnesota Sea Grant College Program to speak on MN Aquatic Invasive Species Threats and what YOU can do.  Mr. Jensen if the Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator and it sounds like it will be a very informative speech.




DNR Question of the week


Q: Many landowners use ATV's strictly for agricultural-related purposes, where the machines never leave their property.  Do they need to purchase a three-year license for their ATV's?


A: Regardless of where they're operated, all ATV's must be registered in Minnesota.  However, landowners using ATV's solely for agricultural activities or harvesting wood – or exclusively on private property – can purchase a permanent registration sticker for their machine instead of the public use license, which is renewed every three years.  The one-time fee for a permanent license is $14.50 and is valid until the ownership of the ATV is transferred.  The private use registration license is not transferable.  Additional licensing requirements for ATV's and other off-highway vehicles can be found in the 2007-08 Off-Highway Vehicle Regulations handbook, or on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us/regulations/ohv/index.html.


Club Notes - Continued from Page 4
Rudd reported that the Friends of the NRA received  donation requests for $168,000, and had $82,000 in funds to distribute.  A formal approval notification to follow.
Welcome of all members who attended tonight's meeting.  We had a great turn out for our guest speaker.
Old Business
   Greg Brisky – Spirit Valley Insurance – Joe Roberts is working with Mr. Brisky on this and will share more at next meeting.
  Youth Day – Ken Norenberg had discussed the option of making our Youth Day event more of a "Nature Day" event and partnering with other organizations.  No new discussion on this at this time.
  Conservation Camp – UNS has agreed to send up to four youths to conservation camp in 2008.  Please encourage any interested kids to write a letter of desire and why they'd like to attend and get it turned into the Board. This is a great experience for kids and we'd strongly encourage participation.
New Business
   Work Parties – Pot Luck Dinners – Reminder that starting again as of our April 2nd meeting we will be having work parties at the retreat before the meeting (starting about 1pm) and pot luck dinners at 6pm, with the meetings at 7pm.
   How to Earn a UNS Jacket – We reviewed volunteer hours and keeping track of these hours and turning them in to Sandy Roberts.  UNS work time is applied as follows:
    1st hundred hours – volunteer receives a UNS jacket and their name on the 100 hr plaque 2nd hundred hours – Honorary Member Status - volunteer has the option to choose from one of the following three- second UNS jacket, or a gift certificate to any local business equal to the price of a jacket and name on honorary member plaque
3 years of free membership dues and name on honorary plaque, six additional days of camping between memorial day and labor day weekends and 1 year free membership dues and name on honorary plaque
    3rd hundred hours – Elite Member Status – volunteer has the option to choose from one of the following four
third UNS jacket or a $100 gift certificate to any local business and name on the elite member plaque -lifetime membership free dues and name on the elite member plaque, unlimited camping and a $40 gift certificate to any local business and their name on the elite member, plaque, three years paid banquet tickets for member and guest and name on the elite member plaque
   Web Page Classifieds –  Kevin Stern had presented the idea to Eric Hansen about listing items for sale on our UNS web page – thus offering them to other UNS members first.  Tabled this discussion til next board meeting.  Eric also mentioned he could put links on our web page to other UNS members' web sites.
   Security Badges – Checking status on picture i.d. badges.  Jim Kurtz took all the photos of board members, believed that Vicki Thompson was making the badges.
   Hats Ordered – The original twelve camouflage UNS hats are almost all sold ($11.75 each) so Bob Curtis order 24 more.
Sick/Distressed – Harry Davidson fell and broke his arm. 
Attendance Drawing - $20 Bob Curtis
Progressive Drawing - $90 Robert Gundstrom, not in attendance to win.
















Club Notes


Meeting called to Order by acting Secretary Cindy Craig who appointed Eric Hansen to chair this meeting, due to both Pres. Joe Roberts and Vice Pres. Jim Lemmerman's absence.  Eric led us in the conservation pledge.
Board Members Present: Cindy Craig, Kevin Stern, Eric Hansen, Bob Curtis, Chuck Cieluch, Ken Norenberg, Howard Tullgren, Mark Wiarda, Mike Drager, Mike Foy, Jim Jensen
Regular order of business was suspended to welcome our guest speaker of the evening: Judge Eric Hylden who led a discussion on the 2nd Amendment and the current lawsuit being heard by the Supreme Court, District of Columbia vs. Heller
Second Amendment - US Constitution
Amendment II   A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
This is the first time in 69 years that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving the 2nd Amendment.  The actual question being decided in this case is: Whether the following provisions – D.C. Code 7-2502.02(a)(4),22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02-violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms to private use in their homes.
More specific details of this case can be viewed on line at www.supremecourtus.gov, including submitted briefs, oral arguments, etc.
Judge Hylden's presentation was very interesting and we'd like to thank him for coming and sharing this information with us all.
The meeting was called back to order.
Secretary's Report:  Motion was made by Ted Johnson to accept the Sec. Report, 2nd by Mike Foy, carried.
Treasurer's Report:  Checkbook balance is $ 18,111.52, Money Market acct balance $10,206.69, Reg Savings acct balance $9.85, total available funds $28,328.05.  Motion was made by Mike Drager to accept the treasurer's report and pay the bills, 2nd by Mike Foy, carried. 
Membership Secretary: Current membership total is 1584.
Committee Reports:
   Retreat Improvements –Nothing new to report
   Spring Banquet – Date is set for Friday April 11th at Lakeview Castle.  Contact Bert for tickets. Prizes are starting to come in.  Please collect donations and get them to Bert by the Monday before banquet (April 7th) to get organized. 
Reservations are starting to come in.  Bert has more donation letters for anyone who is searching for donations.             
   Summer Fishing Contest – Dates are set for June 14th-15th.  Still looking for a volunteer to chair this event.
   Grant Committee -  Kevin Stern and Mike Dragger shared that they needed to adjust some wording on their original request letter.  Friends of the NRA State Grant Meeting, unofficially approved a grant for $6220.00 to UNS for capitol improvements.  Lowell
(Cont. on page 3)