Bemidji Pioneer: Higher education notebook: BSU opens new on-campus weapon storage facility

BEMIDJI—More Bemidji State University students will be able to keep their guns on campus, thanks to an expanded weapon storage facility for residents, school officials say.

The new facility includes 123 custom-built lockers, a special air ventilation system and two gun-cleaning tables. It doubles the university’s previous weapons storage capacity.

Located in Walnut Hall’s lower level, the facility will be monitored 24 hours a day by surveillance equipment, according to a news release. Students will have keys to their individual lockers, but access to the facility will be controlled by security staff.

Weapons are not allowed inside residence halls.

“We needed more space for as many students to store their weapons as we can,” said Randy Ludemen, the university’s director of housing and residential life, in the press release.

“We do not allow weapons in our residence halls, and what we had in place was old and outdated. So to encourage use, we decided to double the size of the room and make the lockers bigger.”

The lockers are big enough for rifles in soft cases, deep enough to hold bows in hard-shell cases and include a storage shelf for handguns, knives, small weapons and ammunition. Students can have individual lockers, or share.

The room officially became open to students Friday.

The university also has a nearby wild game cleaning room, which includes all facilities a hunter or angler would need to clean his or her game, the release said.

BSU research work on North Shore

BEMIDJI—A Bemidji State University graduate student recently completed the first portion of a two-year research project exploring the relationship between beaver habitats and brook trout in the North Shore region.

Kathryn Renik, along with BSU senior Kylie St. Peter, analyzed 30 streams and 10 beaver habitats in a 150-mile stretch of land between Miller Creek near Duluth and a spot about five miles from the Canadian border. Renik will return to Lake Superior’s North Shore to complete the project next summer.

The project, a collaboration between BSU and the University of Minnesota Duluth was funded by a $225,000 grant from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.

According to a news release, little research has been done on the topic along the North Shore. The project will help the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources make sure its beaver management programs will be used only in situations that also help trout.