Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.



Meet Minnesota’s most prolific environmental writer

John Helland may be Minnesota’s most prolific environmental writer — yet you may have not read a single sentence of his.Helland retired recently from the Minnesota Legislature, where he had a hand in writing every major (and most of the minor) piec

Are ethanol plants draining the state’s water resources?

The insatiable thirst of corn ethanol plants springing up in Minnesota’s countryside has state officials and a few key legislators wondering about the effects on ground water supplies in areas where there’s scant information about the resource.

Grow your own tomatoes, carrots and … fiber optic cable

This is not your grandmother’s garden: A scientist at the University of Minnesota, working with a multi-national team, has discovered a more environmentally friendly way to grow filaments for electronic devices.

Lack of snow can actually contribute to traffic problems

Every year, it seems that when a little bit of snow falls, Minnesota drivers forget how to drive. But there’s quite a bit more to it than that — when the temperatures are just right, it almost always leads to a traffic mess.

Red Stag goes green

The average customer might not notice, but there is something different about the newly opened Red Stag Supper Club in Minneapolis, and it’s not the broiled ling cod with roasted grape and caramelized fennel porridge.

Some new — and old — ideas to protect Minnesota’s resources

Coming off a remarkably successful 2007 legislative session, the Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP) is raising the ante with a new lineup of legislative proposals that would go far in restoring Minnesota’s traditional leadership in resources

Your kitty and bullfrogs: deadly predators

According to recent news reports, Twin Cities’ cat lovers are objecting to local rules requiring cats to be leashed or otherwise controlled when outside, citing what they say is tabby’s natural desire to be free of household confinement.

But the o

Another worry: vinyl PVC plastics in children’s toys

Following a report that vinyl PVC plastics in children’s products posed a health risk, Sears Holdings has announced that it will join other retail giants Target, WalMart and Microsoft in phasing out the plastic that’s widely used in toys and packagi

Eating + Ecology = Locavore

The word “locavore,” which at first listen sounds like the name of a prescription drug, is the New Oxford American Dictionary 2007 word of the year.

Life just got better for Canada lynx in Minnesota

Canada lynx living in Minnesota — or at least paying a visit from time to time — got some good news this week.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reversed a controversial ruling on habitat protection for the cat.