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Minnesota National Guard
Camp Ripley receives national Natural Resources Conservation Award

Camp Ripley receives national Natural Resources Conservation Award Natural resource conservation staff from Camp Ripley, a Minnesota Army National Guard facility near Little Falls, received the Natural Resources Conservation Award at a Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards ceremony at the Pentagon recently

Camp Ripley receives national Natural Resources Conservation Award Natural resource conservation staff from Camp Ripley, a Minnesota Army National Guard facility near Little Falls, received the Natural Resources Conservation Award at a Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards ceremony at the Pentagon recently

Among those accepting the award were Nancy Dietz and Brian Dirks, animal survey staff, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

Camp Ripley natural conservation program partners include the Guard, the DNR, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, The Nature Conservancy, and St Cloud State University

Camp Ripley has been a protector of the Mississippi River and its ecosystem for many years, with 53,000 acres of land Lands devoted to conservation include about 28,000 acres of forest land, 8,800 acres of wetlands and 7,700 acres of grasslands

These areas support 565 plant species, 126 bird species, 41 species of fish, 107 types of aquatic invertebrates, 65 species of butterflies, 51 mammal species, 23 reptiles and amphibians, and 8 mussel species

Wildlife species of particular interest include the bald eagle, white-tailed deer, black bear, gray wolf, red-shouldered hawk and fisher

Wildlife studies show compatibility between military activities and wildlife For example, Dietz said a radio telemetry study found that the Camp Ripley gray wolves are adaptable and breed and raise their young relatively close to military activities Two wolf packs live within Ripley's borders, she said

A study of black bears was initiated at Camp Ripley in 1991 The study is part of a statewide research project conducted by the DNR The principal objectives of this study include monitoring of reproduction and cub survival and examination of habitat use and movements with GPS telemetry The study showed a population of 20-25 bears, of which 11 are currently radio-collared

The DNR began monitoring the deer population at Camp Ripley in 1954, the first year of the annual white-tail bow hunt Over 5,500 hunters visit Ripley every year during special hunts for deployed Soldiers, disabled American veterans and youth The hunts are administered in partnership with the DNR

The Blandings turtle is a species of special concern in Minnesota, and Camp Ripley's natural resources staff have worked to enhance turtle habitat and protect them from impacts, increasing their survival rates

The animal survey staff are also studying song birds, fisher and Red-shouldered hawks The study found 30 to 40 nesting pairs of these hawks at Ripley "These birds like big blocks of undisturbed land for hunting prey like small mammals, frogs and toads," said Dirks

Forest management is a big part of the natural resources conservation program All Ripley forestry activities are conducted in partnership with the DNR, including harvests, rehabilitation, replanting, nursery development, and invasive species control Special legislation returns state timber revenues to Camp Ripley for its reforestation and forest-management program

The DNR and TNC work with Camp Ripley personnel to conduct prescribed burns and combat wildland fires Prescribed fires reduce fuels, minimize the spread of invasive species, and encourage natural diversity on nearly 11,000 acres every year

The Camp Ripley Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program helps prevent encroachment and further fragmentation of lands, which can contribute to loss of habitat and subsequent decline in threatened or endangered species Since the program's inception in 2004, approximately 5,000 acres have been acquired through purchase or permanent easement

Tri-County News
August 20, 2009
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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



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Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
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Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



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