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Partnership helps raise funds for moose research

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The state is partnering with a private conservation organization to raise funds to study why Minnesota's moose population has dramatically declined in recent years and how that trend could be reversed.

A portion of proceeds from sales or sponsorships of one of Minnesota's most recognized wildlife artists, Les Kouba, will be directed to moose research. Kouba was a devoted conservationist who died in 1998 and donated original works and prints to conservation groups to raise money

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has also released a new "critical habitat'' license plate designed to provide funds to conservation efforts statewide. Sales of the new moose plate started Aug. 1. A Kouba painting is featured on the new plate. The revenue from the license plates goes to the state's program which funds land acquisition and nongame research.

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