Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area protects a 72-mile and 54,000-acre corridor along the Mississippi River from the cities of Dayton and Ramsey, Minnesota to just downstream of Hastings, Minnesota. This includes the stretch of Mississippi River which flows through Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota; this stretch of the upper Mississippi River includes natural, recreational, scenic and economic resources of national significance. This is the only national park dedicated to the Mississippi River, it is located in parts of Anoka, Hennepin and Washington counties, all within the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area. The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area is a long name and therefore is referred to as MNRRA or MISS; the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area was established in 1988 as a new unique type of National Park known as a partnership park. Unlike traditional national parks, MISS is not a major land owner and therefore does not have control over land use.
MISS works with dozens of "partners" who own land along the river or who have an interest in the Mississippi River to achieve the National Park Service's mission to protect and preserve for future generations. Some of the most prominent attractions within the park include the St. Anthony Falls Historic District, the Historic Fort Snelling and the adjacent Fort Snelling State Park, Minnehaha Falls. There are many additional attractions and programs all within the Minneapolis–St. Paul metropolitan area; as of 2016 MNRRA has two visitor centers, one located inside the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, MN and the other at Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock & Dam in Minneapolis, both of which are staffed by National Park Rangers; the Minneapolis visitor center offers three free tours daily of the Upper St. Anthony Lock and surrounding area; each year, the rangers manage community activities, including interpretive sessions, bike rides, movies, that help to educate the local community about the natural and human history of the area.
The park's website lists the following features as partner sites. Mississippi National River and Recreation Area Mississippi River Fund The Mississippi River Fund supports stewardship and community engagement programs that support the park and its mission; these programs include water quality protection, habitat restoration, formal education, interpretive programs that share with the public the significant role our national park plays in American history and culture. Friends of the Mississippi River
The bald eagle is a bird of prey found in North America. A sea eagle, it forms a species pair with the white-tailed eagle, its range includes most of Canada and Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, northern Mexico. It is found near large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply and old-growth trees for nesting; the bald eagle is an opportunistic feeder which subsists on fish, which it swoops down and snatches from the water with its talons. It builds the largest nest of any North American bird and the largest tree nests recorded for any animal species, up to 4 m deep, 2.5 m wide, 1 metric ton in weight. Sexual maturity is attained at the age of four to five years. Bald eagles are not bald; the adult is brown with a white head and tail. The sexes are identical in plumage; the beak is hooked. The plumage of the immature is brown; the bald eagle is both the national bird and national animal of the United States of America. The bald eagle appears on its seal. In the late 20th century it was on the brink of extirpation in the contiguous United States.
Populations have since recovered and the species was removed from the U. S. government's list of endangered species on July 12, 1995 and transferred to the list of threatened species. It was removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in the Lower 48 States on June 28, 2007; the plumage of an adult bald eagle is evenly dark brown with a white tail. The tail is moderately long and wedge-shaped. Males and females are identical in plumage coloration, but sexual dimorphism is evident in the species, in that females are 25% larger than males; the beak and irises are bright yellow. The legs are feather-free, the toes are short and powerful with large talons; the developed talon of the hind toe is used to pierce the vital areas of prey while it is held immobile by the front toes. The beak is hooked, with a yellow cere; the adult bald eagle is unmistakable in its native range. The related African fish eagle has a brown body, white head and tail, but differs from the bald in having a white chest and black tip to the bill.
The plumage of the immature is a dark brown overlaid with messy white streaking until the fifth year, when it reaches sexual maturity. Immature bald eagles are distinguishable from the golden eagle, the only other large, non-vulturine raptorial bird in North America, in that the former has a larger, more protruding head with a larger beak, straighter edged wings which are held flat and with a stiffer wing beat and feathers which do not cover the legs; when seen well, the golden eagle is distinctive in plumage with a more solid warm brown color than an immature bald eagle, with a reddish-golden patch to its nape and a contrasting set of white squares on the wing. Another distinguishing feature of the immature bald eagle over the mature bird is its black, yellow-tipped beak; the bald eagle has sometimes been considered the largest true raptor in North America. The only larger species of raptor-like bird is the California condor, a New World vulture which today is not considered a taxonomic ally of true accipitrids.
However, the golden eagle, averaging 4.18 kg and 63 cm in wing chord length in its American race, is 455 g lighter in mean body mass and exceeds the bald eagle in mean wing chord length by around 3 cm. Additionally, the bald eagle's close cousins, the longer-winged but shorter-tailed white-tailed eagle and the overall larger Steller's sea eagle, may wander to coastal Alaska from Asia; the bald eagle has a body length of 70–102 cm. Typical wingspan is between 1.8 and 2.3 m and mass is between 3 and 6.3 kg. Females are about 25% larger than males, averaging as much as 5.6 kg, against the males' average weight of 4.1 kg. The size of the bird varies by location and corresponds with Bergmann's rule, since the species increases in size further away from the Equator and the tropics. For example, eagles from South Carolina average 3.27 kg in mass and 1.88 m in wingspan, smaller than their northern counterparts. One field guide in Florida listed small sizes for bald eagles there, at about 4.13 kg. Of intermediate size, 117 migrant bald eagles in Glacier National Park were found to average 4.22 kg but this was juvenile eagles, with 6 adults here averaging 4.3 kg.
Wintering eagles in Arizona were found to average 4.74 kg. The largest eagles are from Alaska, where large females may weigh more than 7 kg and span 2.44 m across the wings. A survey of adult weights in Alaska showed that females there weighed on average 5.35 kg and males weighed 4.23 kg against immatures which averaged 5.09 kg and 4.05 kg in the two sexes. An Alaskan adult female eagle, considered outsized we
Voyageurs National Park
Voyageurs National Park is an American national park in northern Minnesota near the town of International Falls established in 1975. The park's name commemorates the voyageurs—French-Canadian fur traders who were the first European settlers to travel through the area; the park is notable for its outstanding water resources and is popular with canoeists, other boaters, fishermen. The Kabetogama Peninsula, which lies within the park and makes up most of its land area, is accessible only by boat. To the east of the park lies the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness; the park has several boat ramps and visitor centers on its periphery, though the main body of the park is only accessible by boat or, in the winter, by snowmobile, ski, or snowshoe. In 2018, the park hosted 239,656 visitors. Voyageurs National Park is located on the Canadian Shield, with the rocks averaging between 1 and 3 billion years old. Formed during the early ages of the earth formation, the rocks of the park were compressed, folded under tremendous pressure.
Molten flows of lava intruded through the layers creating a mosaic of various gneiss and granites. Over time, additional layers of sedimentary rocks developed on top, to be stripped away by the continental glaciers of the Wisconsin Glacial epoch and earlier. Most of the rocks in the park belong to the Archeon Quetico Subprovince, of the Superior Physiographic province, associated with the Kenoran Orogeny; these consist of schists and gneisses in the west and central portion of the park, granitic rocks of the Vermillion Granitic Complex in the east and southeast. The Kabetogama-Kenora dike swarm follows a northwesterly trending Precambrian fault system; the northwest corner of the park contains metamorphosed rocks of the Wabigoon subprovince, which form a northeast trending greenstone belt. A lateral strike-slip fault separates the two subprovinces, referred to as the Rainy Lake-Seine River fault zone, it is this northwest area of the park, on the Kabetogama peninsula, which saw a gold rush from 1893 to 1898.
The Little American Mine, on Little American Island, is one of 13 abandoned mines within park boundaries. Terminal moraines are found in the southern portion of the park, while the northern portion contains glacially scoured lake basins, but accumulations of glacial outwash and glacial till less than 100 feet is the norm. Lake Agassiz deposits are evident within the park, while glacial striations and glacial erratics are common; the largest city near Voyageurs National Park is Minnesota. Unlike many other national parks, where the main access to the park is by motor vehicle, bicycle or foot, the primary access to Voyageurs is via water. Many visitors travel by canoes, while others rent houseboats or take a guided tour boat; the park has three visitor centers for obtaining information, viewing films, seeing exhibits about the park's geology, wildlife and history: Ash River – open seasonally, late May to late September. S. Route 53 on Saint Louis County Road 129. S. Route 53 on Saint Louis County Roads 122 and 123.
Visitor centers The park encompasses all or part of four major lakes: Rainy Lake - 60 miles long, 929 miles of shoreline, 227,604 acres, 161 feet max depth Kabetogama Lake - 15 miles long, 78 miles of shoreline, 25,760 acres, 80 feet max depth Namakan Lake - 16 miles long, 146 miles of shoreline, 25,130 acres, 150 feet max depth Sand Point Lake - 8 miles long, 92 miles of shoreline, 5,179 acres, 184 feet max depthOf these, Namakan and Sand Point lakes straddle the United States-Canada border. Lake Namakan and Sand Point Lake are accessible only by boat except in the winter; the southern boundary of the park is the northern shore of Crane Lake. The park has many smaller lakes on the Kabetogama peninsula; the most popular of these are on the Locator Lakes trail. Campsites are accessible only by water; the 282 sites are classified as houseboat, or day-use sites. Tenters may not camp in day-use sites. Maps showing the location of these sites are available at the visitor centers. Permits are required for overnight stays.
Permits can be obtained at any park visitor center or boat ramp. Public and private campgrounds, accessible by car, are located near the perimeter of the park; the major lakes in the park are home to Walleye, Northern pike, Smallmouth bass, Crappie. In the minor lakes that dot the park, Largemouth bass, Lake trout and other small sunfish and Yellow Perch are found, although not every lake has every species. For example, Lake Trout are found in Cruiser Lake north of Kettle Falls. Shoepack and Root lakes in the center of the park's peninsula are home to the Shoepack strain of Muskellunge, distinctly different from the Mississippi strain found throughout southern Minnesota and Wisconsin. Lake Whitefish are a popular quarry via sport netting in the fall when they move into shallow water to spawn. Visitors travel and explore the park's lakes and islands with canoes and motorboats; the park's interior peninsula is only acces
A wetland is a distinct ecosystem, inundated by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail. The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil. Wetlands play a number of functions, including water purification, water storage, processing of carbon and other nutrients, stabilization of shorelines, support of plants and animals. Wetlands are considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. Whether any individual wetland performs these functions, the degree to which it performs them, depends on characteristics of that wetland and the lands and waters near it. Methods for assessing these functions, wetland ecological health, general wetland condition have been developed in many regions and have contributed to wetland conservation by raising public awareness of the functions and the ecosystem services some wetlands provide.
Wetlands occur on every continent. The main wetland types are swamp, marsh and fen. Many peatlands are wetlands; the water in wetlands is either brackish, or saltwater. Wetlands can be non-tidal; the largest wetlands include the Amazon River basin, the West Siberian Plain, the Pantanal in South America, the Sundarbans in the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta. The UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment determined that environmental degradation is more prominent within wetland systems than any other ecosystem on Earth. Constructed wetlands are used to treat municipal and industrial wastewater as well as stormwater runoff, they may play a role in water-sensitive urban design. A patch of land that develops pools of water after a rain storm would not be considered a "wetland" though the land is wet. Wetlands have unique characteristics: they are distinguished from other water bodies or landforms based on their water level and on the types of plants that live within them. Wetlands are characterized as having a water table that stands at or near the land surface for a long enough period each year to support aquatic plants.
A more concise definition is a community composed of hydric soil and hydrophytes. Wetlands have been described as ecotones, providing a transition between dry land and water bodies. Mitsch and Gosselink write that wetlands exist "...at the interface between terrestrial ecosystems and aquatic systems, making them inherently different from each other, yet dependent on both."In environmental decision-making, there are subsets of definitions that are agreed upon to make regulatory and policy decisions. A wetland is "an ecosystem that arises when inundation by water produces soils dominated by anaerobic and aerobic processes, which, in turn, forces the biota rooted plants, to adapt to flooding." There are four main kinds of wetlands – marsh, swamp and fen. Some experts recognize wet meadows and aquatic ecosystems as additional wetland types; the largest wetlands in the world include the swamp forests of the Amazon and the peatlands of Siberia. Under the Ramsar international wetland conservation treaty, wetlands are defined as follows: Article 1.1: "...wetlands are areas of marsh, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water, static or flowing, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres."
Article 2.1: " may incorporate riparian and coastal zones adjacent to the wetlands, islands or bodies of marine water deeper than six metres at low tide lying within the wetlands." Although the general definition given above applies around the world, each county and region tends to have its own definition for legal purposes. In the United States, wetlands are defined as "those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands include swamps, marshes and similar areas"; this definition has been used in the enforcement of the Clean Water Act. Some US states, such as Massachusetts and New York, have separate definitions that may differ from the federal government's. In the United States Code, the term wetland is defined "as land that has a predominance of hydric soils, is inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation adapted for life in saturated soil conditions and under normal circumstances supports a prevalence of such vegetation."
Related to this legal definitions, the term "normal circumstances" are conditions expected to occur during the wet portion of the growing season under normal climatic conditions, in the absence of significant disturbance. It is not uncommon for a wetland to be dry for long portions of the growing season. Wetlands can be dry during the dry season and abnormally dry periods during the wet season, but under normal environmental conditions the soils in a wetland will be saturated to the surface or inundated such that the soils become anaerobic, those conditions will persist through the wet portion of the growing season; the most important factor producing wetlands is flooding. The duration of flooding or prolonged soil saturation by groundwater determines whether the resulting wetland has aquatic, marsh or swamp vegetation
The marsh wren is a small North American songbird of the wren family. It is sometimes called long-billed marsh wren to distinguish it from the sedge wren known as short-billed marsh wren; the marsh wren was described by the Scottish-American ornithologist Alexander Wilson in 1810 and given the binomial name Certhia palustris. The current genus Cistothorus was introduced by the German ornithologist Jean Cabanis in 1850. There are 15 recognised subspecies. Adults have flanks and a white throat and breast; the back is black with white stripes. They have a dark cap with a white line over a short thin bill; the male's song is a loud gurgle used to declare ownership of territory. This little bird is native to Canada and the United States, their breeding habitat is marshes with tall vegetation such as cattails across North America. In the western United States, some birds are permanent residents. Other birds migrate to marshes and salt marshes in Mexico, their non-breeding range is in the southern United States going into Mexico and their breeding range is in the northeastern United States going into Canada.
These birds forage in vegetation, sometimes flying up to catch insects in flight. They eat insects spiders and snails; the nest is an oval lump attached to marsh vegetation, entered from the side. The clutch is four to six eggs, though the number can range from three to ten; the male builds many unused nests in his territory. A hypothesis of the possible reason to why males build multiple "dummy" nests in their territory is that they are courting areas and that the females construct the "breeding nest", where she lays the eggs in, he may puncture the eggs and fatally peck the nestlings of other birds nesting nearby, including his own species and red-winged blackbirds, yellow-headed blackbirds, least bitterns. Marsh wren young can get infected by pathogenic larvae; the Blowfly larvae infect the young by subsequent sepsis. The larvae form a wound in the young by rasping and expanding a hole in their skin to create blood flow and feed on the blood of the hosts' body; this bird is still common, although its numbers have declined with the loss of suitable wetland habitat.
Wholesale draining of marshes will lead to local extinction. Still, this species is widespread enough not to qualify as threatened according to the IUCN. Henninger, W. F.: A preliminary list of the birds of Seneca County, Ohio. Wilson Bull. 18: 47-60. DjVu fulltext PDF fulltext Warren, Yvonne. “Protocalliphora Braueri Induced Pathogenesis in a Brood of Marsh Wren Young.” Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 17 Mar. 1993, www.jwildlifedis.org/doi/10.7589/0090-3558-30.1.107. Luttrell, Sarah A. M.. "Geographic variation in call structure and call-song associations across subspecies boundaries, migratory patterns, habitat types in the Marsh Wren". The Auk. 135: 127–151. Doi:10.1642/AUK-17-110.1. Identification tips - USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter "Marsh wren media". Internet Bird Collection. Marsh wren photo gallery at VIREO Interactive range map of Cistothorus palustris at IUCN Red List maps
Schizachyrium scoparium known as little bluestem or beard grass, is a North American prairie grass native to most of the United States, except California and Oregon, a small area north of the Canada–US border. It is most common in the Midwestern prairies. Little bluestem is a perennial bunchgrass and is prominent in tallgrass prairie, along with big bluestem and switchgrass, it is a warm-season species. Little bluestem grows to become an upright, roundish mound of soft, bluish-green or grayish-green blades in May and June, about two to three feet high. In July, it initiates flowering stalks. In fall, it displays a coppery or orange color with tints of red or purple. Sometimes it displays in some places, as in a redder fall color, it becomes a more orangish-bronze in winter until early spring. It is recommended for USDA zones 3 to 10; the plant grows best on well-drained soils. It can be dug up and divided in spring, as many other perennials, for propagation or to reduce the size of an old, big plant.
It can be burned in late winter or early spring in a prairie or meadow before new growth, like many American prairie grasses, which burn and cleanly. A number of cultivars have been developed.'Carousel' is a compact form with good fall color developed by Chicagoland Grows.'The Blues' is a selection that has bluer foliage.'Standing Ovation' is a tight, upright form with bluer and thicker blades and sturdier stems. One variety, var. littorale, is native to the eastern and southern coastal strip of the United States, as well as the shores of the Great Lakes. It is adapted to sand dune habitat, is sometimes considered a separate species, S. littorale. Little bluestem is the official state grass of Kansas. Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses Missouri Botanical Garden's Kemper Center for Home Gardening Little Bluestem on Kansas Native Plant Society
The marbled godwit is a large shorebird. On average, it is the largest of the 4 species of godwit; the total length is 40–50 cm, including a large bill of 8–13 cm, wingspan is 70–88 cm. Body mass can vary from 240 to 510 g. Adults have long blue-grey hairy legs and a long pink bill with a slight upward curve and dark at the tip; the long neck and belly are pale brown with dark bars on the breast and flanks. The back is dark, they show cinnamon wing linings in flight. Their breeding habitat is the northern prairies of western Canada-, the north central Great Plains, United States near marshes or ponds, they nest on the ground in short grass. In autumn, they migrate in flocks to the coasts of California, the Gulf of Mexico and South America; these birds forage in marshes, or at the beach. When the tide is out, they eat. In short grass, they may pick up insects by sight, they eat insects and crustaceans, but eat parts of aquatic plants. When the tide is in, they roost, they sleep by standing on one leg and tucking their bill into their body.
Their numbers were reduced by hunting at the end of the 19th century. Although they had recovered somewhat since that time, their population has declined in recent times as suitable habitat is used for farming. There are two subspecies of the marbled godwit: L. f. beringiae, breeds in the northern part of the Alaska Peninsula L. f. fedoa, breeds in Canada and the US Marbled Godwit Species Accounty - Cornell Lab of Ornithology Marbled Godwit - Limosa fedoa - USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter "Marbled Godwit media". Internet Bird Collection. Marbled Godwit photo gallery at VIREO