WTIP Outdoor News Podcast

Retirement And New Conservation Officer In Cook County

The Gunflint Mail Run sled dog race is the hot event this weekend on the Gunflint Trail. Among the mushers competing in the field this year is Mary Manning.

A Cook County resident, Manning has been mushing for about 25 years.

In addition to mushing, Mary uses her dogs for work as a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer patrolling the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, including many of the remote lakes along the Gunflint Trail.

The 55-year-old Manning joined the DNR conversation force in 2005. She has worked locally in Cook County throughout her entire career. And as of the first week in January, Manning can refer to her tenure with the DNR in the past tense. Just ahead of the Mail Run, Manning retired from the state agency.

The new conservation officer taking over for Manning is Hudson Ledeen. A fall 2022 from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Academy, Hudson will assume all the duties Manning had with the DNR.

WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins spoke with Ledeen for this week’s episode.

Also featured is Kalli and Joe Friedrichs ice fishing in the BWCA during the first few days of the lake trout opener.

Note: Lake trout were found in the making of this episode.