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A Year in the Boundary Waters Ends

Boundary Waters Blog - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 1:51pm

They’re Back! Dave and Amy Freeman completed their 365 days in the wilderness and have returned to the “real world.” Is it the real world?  They now question which is which. I can’t imagine coming back from 365 days in the Boundary Waters. I didn’t paddle out to greet them but I did give Amy a big welcome back hug.

Their festive return party took place at beautiful River Point on the Kawishiwi near Ely, Minnesota. People paddled out in canoes to greet them and welcomed them ashore as they completed their year long trip in the BWCA. What a year to remember for them.  Read More.

Freeman’s Return from Year in the BWCA

 

From Dave Freeman-

This morning we packed up camp for the last time and loaded the canoe. In a few hours we will exit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and re-enter as some call it “the real world.” I would like to set the record straight on this concept. It is the other way around. We are re-entering a civilized world, a fast-paced world filled with cars, cell phones, air planes and indoor plumbing. But don’t for one second think that is what’s real. We are leaving the real world for a little while– the world where Mother Nature rules, where wolf packs roam freely, where wild rice grows, where mosquitos hatch, where loon chicks ride on their parents’ backs, where the sun rises and sets over the forest and lakes that are untrammeled– where no sign of this civilized world exists (except for latrines and fire grates). Your actions, support and steady resolve to protect the Boundary Waters have made us laugh and cry; we are humbled by the thousands of actions you have taken to help protect this very special place. We leave the Wilderness, after 367 days, confident that if we all continue speaking loudly for this quiet place our goal of permanently protecting the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mining will be achieved.

There is still a lot of work to do. Please keep the wilderness in your hearts, minds and voices no matter where your path takes you.
Learn more, sign the petition and take action today at http://ift.tt/1x2erSX (link in bio)! #wilderness #savetheBWCA #BoundaryWaters #BWCA #canoe #ourwild

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Oktoberfest Fun at Voyageur Brewing

Voyageur Brewing - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 10:33am

Enjoy Oktoberfest at Voyageur Brewing Company

Grab your friends, put on your best German Duds and get ready for some Oktoberfest Fun at Voyageur Brewing Company.

Voyageur Brewing Company along with the Cook County Community Fund present Oktoberfest. The weekend will be filled with German music, food, games and of course our beer all weekend long.

On Thursday we’ll roll out our Oktoberfest brew and tap the keg at 4:30pm to kick off the celebration. We’ll have games and  live polka music from 6-9pm by Richie Yurkovich.

The Oktoberfest fun will continue on Friday with more live polka music beginning at noon when we open. We’ll have special German fare available, more games, our delicious Bearpaw Dunkelweisen and our flagship beers. Timmy Haus will be on site to entertain all from 4-7pm.

Saturday will be filled with fun events all day long including a couple of rounds of the popular Oktoberfest stein hoisting competition, a chicken dance off, weiner toss, weiner eating competition, pretzel toss, stein relay and best dressed competition for male, female and canine. There will be special music by Billy Johnson from 4-7pm and Harbor Side Hook-Up from 7-10pm.

We’ll have more games on Sunday and the fun won’t end until the lights are turned off. We hope you’ll join us and the Cook County Community Fund as we present Oktoberfest September 29-October 2nd at Voyageur Brewing Company.

The post Oktoberfest Fun at Voyageur Brewing appeared first on Voyageur Brewing Company.

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9/24/16 - If you've been within earshot of Sawbill crew member, Brian Henry, you've probably heard him talk about "Da Binky.

Sawbill Newsletter - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 10:24am

9/24/16 - If you've been within earshot of Sawbill crew member, Brian Henry, you've probably heard him talk about "Da Binky." His granddaughter, known to the rest of the world as Maddy, was up visiting last week and landed this lunker at an undisclosed location on Sawbill Lake.


Da Binky outfishes her grandpa again.

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Fond du Lac Band Holds Moose Hunt

Boundary Waters Blog - Fri, 09/23/2016 - 1:21pm

The Minnesota DNR can object but they can’t do anything about the Fond du Lac Band hunting moose this year. They have special Treaty rights that allow them to do a number of things in their ceded territory. Moose numbers have plummeted but their hunt will go on.

Read More Here

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<p>9/23/16 - More than 25 years ago, we

Sawbill Newsletter - Fri, 09/23/2016 - 10:55am

9/23/16 - More than 25 years ago, we had a visit from Carol Winter and Kirk Dornfeld, along with their 3 year old daughter, Tess. Carol was a former Sawbill crew member. We took Tess and our 3 year old daughter, Clare, for a walk. We used the cute picture we snapped in a picture frame display in the store. The sample frame, with the cute girls, sits on top of the cash register in the Sawbill Store to this day.

Tess recently returned to Sawbill to help us out by working for a couple of weeks. Brian Henry caught the two young women sitting together right behind their childhood picture. Tess was even wearing the same model of Sawbill sweatshirt! - Bill


Cute then and cute now!

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Quetico Shoeless Man Strikes Again

Boundary Waters Blog - Thu, 09/22/2016 - 4:31pm

Remember the man they found wandering the Quetico Park last year without shoes on? This year he was seen in the Boundary Waters with a fawn. Apparently he planned to eat it but he was too full.  Then he decided to keep it as a pet but after it became weak he decided to just leave it.

Aaron King, 27 is homeless and lives in and around Ely, MN.  I’m guessing a stay in jail might be a nice treat for him.

See the full article.

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Top 10

Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center Blog - Thu, 09/22/2016 - 11:48am

The charming Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center near the end of the Gunflint Trail offers multiple trails to explore, interpretive and interactive exhibits and naturalists programs. The museum itself includes information on everything from local animals and weather to the history on logging and the types of birds you’ll find nearby. My favorite part of our Chik-Wauk visit was watching numerous short videos about the folks who were instrumental in molding the Gunflint Trail’s history.

This article was recently published by Amy Carlson Gustafson of the Pioneer Press. Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center was listed as 1 of the 10 things to do while up visiting the North Shore for the fall colors.

Thank you very much Amy.

Saturday, September 24 if you have a chance to drive up to Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center we have a special presentation given by geologist John Green on “Ancient Rocks of the Arrowhead and the Plants that Love Them”.

This presentation will take place from 2 – 3:30 in the Chik-Wauk Nature Center. All presentations are free to the public. John will start with a short video then head out on the Chik-Wauk nature trails to give a more in depth presentation on what you are seeing on the Gunflint Trail.

Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center is open until October 23, still plenty of time to come up and explore the cultural and natural history of the Gunflint Trail. Admission is $4/adult, $2/child (5-18), under 5 is free, if you are a member of the Gunflint Trail Historical Society your admission is free.

Chik-Wauk Museum is open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Chik-Wauk Nature Center is open from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily, located 55 miles from Grand Marais off the Gunflint Trail at 28 Moose Pond Drive. 

Besides the Museum and Nature Center we have a network of nature trails crisscross Chik-Wauk’s 50-acre grounds.

Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center is a partnership of the Gunflint Trail Historical Society and Superior National Forest, Gunflint Ranger District.

 

 

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A Cornucopia of Art: Crossing Borders & Other Studio Tours

North Shore Arts Scene - Thu, 09/22/2016 - 6:41am

“A Nice Little Wave Before Sunset on the Big Pond” by Michael Thompson.

This is a big weekend for studio tours along the North Shore. The Crossing Borders Studio Tour & Sale celebrates its 20th anniversary starting this Friday, Sept. 23 at 10 a.m.,and fans are anticipating a great show. The six host studios in Lake and Cook counties will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Oct. 2.

Here is just a tiny sampling of the artwork that you will see.

The Crossing Borders Studio Tour & Sale starts on Friday at 10 a.m. and runs through Oct. 2. This is the last year of the popular art tour.

The studio tour started 20 years ago when potters Dick Cooter and Fritz Lehmberg began talking about creating a studio tour that would allow art lovers to learn about the experience of making art within the environment the creative work takes place. They thought the tour would also help build community among North Shore artists. Their idea was greeted with enthusiasm by area artists and the first tour was held in the fall of 1996.

Basket pot by Fritz Lehmberg.

Vessel by Dick Cooter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six studios and nine individual artists participated, and sales managed to just cover expenses. Cooter claimed he was surprised anyone came. But Crossing Borders has continued to grow every year and has become a staple for art lovers to enjoy in the fall.

The host studios are Blue Skies Glassworks and Cooter Pottery and Handweaving in Lake County and Last Chance Fabricating, Betsy Bowen Studio, Lee and Dan Ross and Marcie McIntire in Cook County.

Bird-Turtle-1, Lee and Dan Ross. The artists will exhibit a number of new monoprints.

This is the last year for the Crossing Borders Tour, so there will be lots to see. All the artists are onsite, and refreshments are served each day.

For more information about the artists and the tour, as well as maps, see www.crossingbordersstudiotour.com.

There’s another studio tour this weekend, too. The Lake Superior 20/20 Studio Tour features open studios from Two Harbors to Gooseberry Falls. It features glass, ceramics, woodwork, painting, printmaking, jewelry, sculpture, and photography for three days, Sept. 23-25. Artists include by John Gregor, David Gilsvik, Sandi Pillsbury-Gredzens, Gail Rosenquist and Paul Zoldahn, to name a few. For maps and more info, see www.lakesuperior2020.com

“Painting in the M,” photo by David Gilsvik.

And  printmaker Jerry Raich will hold an open studio at his home/studio at 6452 Hwy. 61 from Sept. 23 through Oct. 2.

“Tranquility” by Jerry Riach.

The studio will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. He will be available for printmaking demos as well. All invited.

Another fun event this weekend is “Behold the Mug!” an exhibit of mugs crafted by local and regional potters in the Midwest to be held concurrently at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais and Siivis in Duluth on Saturday and Sunday.

Behold the Mug! will be held at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais and Siivis in Duluth this weekend.

The handcrafted mugs come in every variety of style and, of course, coffee and treats will be served.

And for another great visual feast, visit the Johnson Heritage Post to see the more than 200 landscapes created by artists during Grand Marais Art Colony‘s Plein Air 2016. The show opened last Friday, and the crowds were lined up outside the door to see it. It’s a pretty amazing show and highly recommended.

Carl Bretzke won Best of Show with his “Behind the Fish Dock.”

Bob Upton won the People’s Choice Award with his painting, “Rugged and Serene.”

Plein Air 2016 continues through Nov. 13. The Heritage Post is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Also this weekend, author Peter Geye will give a presentation at the Grand Marais Public Library on Friday at 6 p.m. about his latest book, “Wintering.”

Peter Geye will speak at the Grand Marais Public Library on Friday.

Geye’s third novel is set on the shores of Lake Superior and follow a father and son’s epic journey into the wilds of the Boundary Waters.  The presentation will include slides of the sources that inspired and informed the writing of this novel, including images of the maps that play a central role in the story, and in the exploration of BWCA. The presentation is free. All welcome.

The Cross River Heritage Center will host Charlotte Durie, who is exhibiting work there, for a demonstration on printmaking and a talk about her family history in Schroeder.

Painting by Charlotte Durie.

Durie will give her presentation at 11 a.m. All invited.

Also on Saturday, singer/songwriter Ann Reed will be in concert at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m.

Ann Reed will perform at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

The beloved Minnesota performer has toured Canada and the U.S. from coast to coast, performing at theaters, clubs, and music festivals. She’s appeared on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” ABC’s “Good Morning America,” NPR’s “Morning Edition,” and countless radio stations across the U.S.

In 2007 she wrote and performed “Heroes: A Celebration of Women Who Changed History and Changed Our Lives,” a theatrical presentation produced by Minnesota Public Radio. In a departure from her usual repertoire, she has developed a musical tribute (with Denise Tabet) called “Nothing but Class: The Songs of Dorothy Fields,” honoring the first woman to be inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.

Tickets are $18 adults, $5 youth (18 & under) and are for sale in advance (no fees) at www.tix.com and at the door. The box office opens at 6:30 p.m.

And on Monday, Dave Simonett, the frontman for Trampled by Turtles and Dead Man Winter, will be the featured songwriter at Papa Charlie’s at 8:30 p.m.

Dave Simonett will perform at Papa Charlie’s on Monday at 8:30 p.m.

Simonett, who has become recognized as one of the Midwest’s most popular musicians, will sing and talk about his music. Free. All invited.

In Thunder Bay, this is the final weekend for the exhibit, “Arthur Shilling: The Final Works” at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

This is the last weekend for the exhibit, “Arthur Schilling: The Final Works” at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

The gallery also features the Thunder Bay Potters’ Guild 40th Anniversary Juried Exhibition with 38 works by 17 of the area’s best potters.

In Duluth, the Duluth Art Institute opens three new exhibitions with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23. The exhibits include: “Rust & Flow: David Asher Everett,” “Fragments/Memory: Adam McCauley,” and “From the Basement: Brent Kustermann.

Upcoming

 Plein air painter Neil Sherman will exhibit recent and new work outdoors ON his house next weekend. Entitled “Art On the House: An Outdoor Exhibit of Landscape” the paintings will literally be hung on his house at  4194 North Road — unless it rains. Then it will held indoors.

Painting by Neil Sherman.

The exhibition will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 6-9 p.m. and Sunday Oct. 2, from 12-3 p.m. All welcome.

Drury Lane Books will hold a Writer’s Salon with author Paul Gilk at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. Gilk will talk about his book, “Get Poor Now, Avoid the Rush.” Open to the public.

In Thunder Bay, Definitely Superior Art Gallery will have a gala opening for two new exhibitions from 7-10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30. The exhibit features work by Sarah Link and Riaz Mehmood.

Installation begins for a new exhibit at Definitely Superior Art Gallery in Thunder Bay. The opening is set for Friday, Sept. 30.

In Other Art News:

Great news! The mural designed by Mila Horak and painted by community members has been installed! Look for it on the alley wall of Birchbark Books & Gifts.

The paint-by-number community mural designed by Mila Horak is up! You can find it on the alley wall at Birchbark Books & Gifts.

 

 

The Blue Moose has just received new work by the Levandowski Pottery of Dassel, Minn., and birchbark wall-hanging baskets by Dennis Turnquist of Finland.

Ann Patchett’s latest book, “Commonwealth” is at Drury Lane Books. Patchett also wrote Belconto,  and State of Wonder.

Kah Nee Tah Gallery in Lutsen has a new artist. Shaina Ruder of Bovey crafts beach glass copper necklaces and ear rings. She also uses rough-cut amethyst in her pieces.

Kah Nee Tah has beach glass work by Shaina Ruder.

There will be bronze pour at Last Chance Gallery at 4 p.m. on Saturday. It is open to the public. All invited.

Hand-turned bowls by Jim Sannerud. He is one of the artists participating in the Crossing Borders Studio Tour. His work is at Betsy Bowen Studio & Galleries.

And finally, the Cook County Farm & Craft Market is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Senior Center’s parking lot. The market traditionally runs through MEA weekend. (Unless it snows.) MEA weekend this year is Oct. 22.

There’s lots of great live music this weekend. Here’s the schedule:

 Thursday, Sept. 22:

  • Frozen Britches, Cascade Lodge Pub, 6 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 23:

  • Jim McGowan, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
  • Portage, Grandma Ray’s, 6 p.m.
  • Mysterious Ways, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.
  • Brothers in Arms, Grandma Ray’s, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 24:

  • Pete K, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
  • Michael Monroe, Log Cabin Concert, rural Grand Marais, 7 p.m., reservations at www.michaelmonroemusic.com
  • Eric Frost, Lusten Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Ann Reed, Arrowhead Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m.
  • Blueberry JAAM, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
  • Mysterious Ways, Grandma Ray’s, 8 p.m.
  • Common Ground, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 25:

  • Gene LaFond & Amy Grillo, Gunflint Tavern, 8 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 26:

  • Dave Simonett, Monday Songwriter Series, Papa Charlie’s, 8:30 p.m.
  • Bug Dope, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 28

  • Timmy Haus, Moguls Grille, 5 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne & Bob Bingham, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.

Here is a selection of landscapes from the North Shore.

Nace Hagemann caught these aurora dancers the other night.

 

Solar winds activated the northern lights this week. Here’s Steve Ortman’s catch of the night.

Sunsets have been pretty nice, too.

“Sunrise Lake Current” by David Johnson.

 

Here’s a David Johnson sunset from last year.

On the opposite spectrum, here are two great monochromes.

“Misty Morning in the Northwoods” by Mary Amerman.

 

“Waves” by Jeff Rennicke.

 

Here are some waves in vibrant technicolor.

Photo by Sierra Parsons.

Here’s a beauty by Kjersti Vick.

“Somewhere under the rainbow I call home” by Kjersti Vick.

Late afternoon peace…

“Out along the Temperance this evening” by Thomas Spence.

And then there are moose:

“Eye to Eye” by Nace Hagemann.

And last, but not least this one by Kathleen Gray-Anderson. She calls it “Anticipate Problems.”

“Anticipate Problems” by Kathleen Gray-Anderson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Talking helps

Unorganized Territory - Wed, 09/21/2016 - 9:23pm

I recently received a heartbreaking news release from the Minnesota Department of Health. The email was full of statistics about suicide deaths in Minnesota in 2015.

It’s painful to read. The Department of Health reports that there were 726 suicide deaths in Minnesota in 2015, up from 686 in 2014. That equals 13 deaths per 100,000 Minnesotans.

And that means that all of us have likely been touched by the tragedy of suicide.

As Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper said, “Let us never forget that this is not about statistics; each and every one of these 726 deaths is someone’s friend, relative and neighbor. We need to work together by focusing on prevention.”

I’m extremely fortunate that I have never been that low. I had a bit of postpartum depression when I had my first child, but I went for counseling. Talking to a caring professional helped me figure out that my sadness could be attributed to exhaustion and the loneliness of living far away from friends and family. Talking helped.

But I have been an observer of the challenges a person with mental illness faces. I’ve watched family and friends struggle with social situations and normal day-to-day living. I’ve seen people I care about become so depressed that they have considered suicide as a way to escape their emotional pain.

I’ve also seen the difference that community support, medication and counseling can make. Talking helps.

The Department of Health news seems to bear that out. There is a bit of good in the report. The number of suicides went down for Minnesota residents under 25 (from 119 in 2014 to 114 in 2015). Most prevention efforts have focused on this age group in recent years.

So it appears that the old belief that talking about suicide will cause someone to harm him or herself is not true. The state and national efforts reaching out to teens and young people—talking and listening— to them is working.

We need to expand those efforts, which Minnesota Department of Health officials have pledged to do. The 2015 Legislature invested $47 million in new spending for mental health services. This additional funding is the largest investment in state history, which is great, but we as individuals need to do our part.

It’s not just up to mental health care practitioners and law enforcement. All of us can help those who face mental illness by being there, by talking and listening. By asking, “Are you okay today?” and really listening for the answer.

And for those that face the challenge of mental health issues, if you reach the point of wanting to hurt yourself, please reach out for help.

A loved one, a suicide survivor, received some excellent advice during treatment and counseling. A behavioral health practitioner gave some tips on what to do if my friend reached that critical point again.

She said to make a list. Write down the names and phone numbers of trusted friends or family members. Not just one person, make it a list of 10 or a dozen. Before contemplating taking your life, call the first person on the list. If you get voice mail, call the next. If you text the next person and they are unable to reply right away, contact the next person… and the next and the next until you find someone to talk to.

I love this advice. It is gut wrenching to receive such a call. But it is horrifying to think that you may not be available to answer that call or text. So as part of a support network, it is reassuring to me to know that there are other options.

The tattered list remains in my friend’s billfold. Thankfully, because of medication and counseling, it hasn’t been needed. But it is a lifeline that needs to be there.

If you face depression that could lead to death by suicide, please make a list. Please, please, please talk to someone.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your
perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in
everything. That’s how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen


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Saturday Drive to Chik-Wauk

Boundary Waters Blog - Wed, 09/21/2016 - 3:37pm

If you’re looking for something to do this Saturday then head up to Chik-Wauk.  Geologist John Green is presenting about late summer flowers on ancient rocks from 2-3:30pm. If you haven’t seen the new Nature Center then this is a perfect opportunity to do so. Take advantage of John’s expertise and join him on a hike on the trails at Chik-Wauk. Sounds like a perfect Saturday drive to me.

And if you’re in the cities and heading North then take a look at this list that includes Chik-Wauk. Make it 11 and be sure to stop in at Voyageur Brewing Company too!

Going up north for fall color? 10 things to eat and do while there

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Duncan Lake Prescribed Burn

Boundary Waters Blog - Tue, 09/20/2016 - 10:23pm

Here’s the scoop on the prescribed burn scheduled for this fall in the Duncan Lake area.

Description:

DUNCAN LAKE PRESCRIBED BURN

Anticipated Dates of Burn: September – October of 2016

Location and Sizes:  Duncan Lake Prescribed Fire includes three units totaling 4659 acres located inside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) approximately 22 miles north of Grand Marais on the Gunflint Ranger District on the Superior National Forest in Cook County, MN. This prescribed fire is within two miles of the Canadian border.

LEGAL LOCATION: Unit 1 (451 Acres) in Township 65N, Range 2W, Sections 25, 26 and 36; and Township 65N, Range 1W, Sections 29, 30 and 31. Unit 2 (1,914 Acres) in Township 65N, Range 1W, Sections 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 32. Unit 3 (2,295 Acres) in Township 65N, Range 1W, Sections 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 34.

Purpose:  Superior National Forest managers plan to conduct the Duncan Lake Prescribed Fire within the BWCAW to reduce the risk of wildfires that could threaten people, homes, cabins, camps, businesses and other resources outside of the Wilderness and across the international boundary into Canada. This extreme wildfire risk resulted from the 1999 massive windstorm that affected nearly 500,000 acres on the Superior National Forest, including approximately 367,000 acres in the BWCAW. The storm caused thousands of acres of trees to be blown-down, creating the potential for large, difficult-to-control wildfires.

The Forest Service has been working to break up continuous areas of blowdown in the Wilderness with a series of strategically-located prescribed fires that include the Duncan Lake Prescribed Fire. The Forest Service has demonstrated over the past fifteen years, the use of prescribed fire under favorable conditions reduces the concentrations of hazardous fuels created by the storm. This improves public safety by creating conditions that will decrease fire intensities and the rate of fire spread in the event of a wildfire, providing firefighters time to implement suppression and containment activities as well as evacuations if needed.

Description: The Duncan Lake Prescribed Fire plan delineates three ignition units which were identified as wildland fuels hazards by the BWCAW Fuel Treatments Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision completed in May 2001. All three units were impacted by the 1999 blowdown storm and now contain high concentrations of balsam fir regeneration along with dead, blown-down trees. Many residences, camps, and businesses immediately outside the Wilderness boundary are within close proximity of the blowdown fuels in the three planned prescribe fire units.

Based on monitoring and observed fire behavior, Forest managers have determined that fire behavior predictions outlined in the original FEIS are still valid for areas of untreated blowdown fuel. A recent example of this behavior was documented during the 2011 Pagami Creek Wildfire and again during an August 2013 wildfire near Knife Lake within the BWCAW.  Post-wildfire monitoring and evaluation indicates that treatment of units containing blowdown has successfully reduced intensity and spread rate of wildfires.

The Father’s Day blowdown storm in June of 2016 created an additional 5,000 acres of large-diameter down woody debris within and outside of the planned Duncan Lake prescribed fire units. Recently felled vegetation of this size takes time to cure and will resist consumption at this time.   Therefore, the Duncan Lake burn unit perimeters were adjusted to exclude most of the new blowdown. Resource managers are concerned about the risk these new blowdown areas pose to resources outside of the BWCAW and plan to begin the process to analyze these areas for fuel hazard impacts.

Managers will conduct the Duncan Lake Prescribed Fire, under conditions specified (prescribed) in the burn plan and guided by the FEIS, the Supplemental Information Report completed in April 2016, Wilderness Management direction and management objectives stated in the Superior National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan.  To minimized impacts to wilderness character, implementation of the prescribed fire will follow recommendations in the Minimum Requirement and Minimum Tool Determination completed as part of the FEIS analysis and included in the Record of Decision.

Fall is the time of year expected to provide the most favorable weather conditions to meet defined management objectives and hold the fire within the planned project area boundaries.  The burn plan identifies potential natural and human-created breaks in fuel that will help to hold the prescribed fire within the planned area. Lakes including Daniels, Duncan, Rose, Partridge and East Otter will be the primary holding boundaries used to keep fire within the project area.

During ignition operations,    people in the vicinity of Mid-Gunflint Trail can expect to see helicopters, airplanes and smoke.  Many firefighters will also be visible in the area during ignition, as well as several days after burning is completed while they continue to monitor the prescribed fire area. Depending on wind direction, residents and visitors in Cook and Lake Counties may see and smell smoke from the prescribed fire.
Closure Information:

  • For public safety, certain canoe travel ways, entry points, hiking trails and campsites will be closed one to two days prior to burning and will remain closed until it is safe for the public to be in the prescribed fire area. Areas closed to public use during prescribed fire operations include Duncan, Daniels,Partridge, East Otter, Dunn and Hoat lakes. Additional closure areas include all hikingtrails entering the prescribed fire area and the campsites located along the south shore of RoseLake.
  • If the burn occurs before the end of the wilderness quota permit season on October 1st, the Forest Service will notify BWCAW quota permit holders approximately one week prior to the anticipated project start date.
  • If conditions are favorable to allow safe public travel, the internationalboundary paddle route from South to Rove Lake will be kept open to travelers. Tocoordinate safe public travel, Forest Service personnel will be posted at the Rose to Rove and Rat toSouth Lake portages. Fire behavior and smoke may present hazards for short durations,and travelers should be aware that short delays in traveling through the project area may occur when prescribed fire is burning near the international boundary.
  • The Border Route Trail and all associated spur trails between Topper Lake and Rove Lake may be closed depending on weather and smoke conditions.

 

Fire Management Resources:

  • Since heavy blowdown and conifer/brush regeneration makes foot travel unsafe for ignition on the ground by firefighters, helicopters equipped with ignition devices will be used to conduct ignition from the air.
  • Holding crews of firefighters using hand tools, fire hose, portable pumps, boats and canoes will be working around the perimeter of the prescribed fire units.
  • Water delivery aircraft will also be on standby during the burn to support holding operations if required.

Management Objectives: 

The objectives of the prescribed fire is to improve public safety by reducing the potential for high-intensity wildland fires to spread from the BWCAW into areas of intermingled ownership, which include areas containing homes, cabins, resorts, other improvements and areas across the international border into Canada.  This will be done by using low to high intensity fire to reduce the pre-burn fuel loading in the 0-3 inch size class dead fuels by 60-100%.  Low intensity fire is targeted for areas where there is an overstory canopy with and understory of blowdown fuels.

For more information on these burns, contact the USDA, Forest Service, Gunflint Ranger District at 218-387-1750.

Additional SNF info at: www.usda.gov/superior

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International Day of Peace, September 21st, 2016

Grand Marais Mayor Blog - Tue, 09/20/2016 - 10:00pm





Proclamation
WHEREAS, in 1981 the United Nations proclaimed the International Day of Peace be "devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples"; and
WHEREAS, the United Nations expanded the observance of the International Day ofPeace in 2001 to include the call for a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, and invited all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day; and
WHEREAS, the issue of peace retains a relevant and universal role in all relationships, be them between neighbors or nations; and
WHEREAS, the City of Grand Marais seeks to promote the observance of theInternational Day of Peace, which affirms a vision of our world at peace, and fosters cooperation between individuals, organizations and nations; and
WHEREAS, peoples of all nations in our modern world are faced with a lack of peace that denies them many of the basic rights of humanity, 
NOW, THEREFORE, JAY ARROWSMITH DECOUX, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF GRAND MARAIS,           does hereby proclaim September 21st 2016 THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE and I encourage the residents of Grand Marais to work for the propagation of peace in our community and wider world through actions of peace and respect to one another.

Proclaimed this 21th day of September, 2016

Jay Arrowsmith DeCouxp.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 13.0px} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-align: center; font: 19.0px Impact; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Impact; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 16.0px} p.p4 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Arial; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} p.p5 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Arial; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 15.0px} p.p6 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-align: center; font: 13.0px Arial; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} p.p7 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Impact; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} p.p8 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-align: center; font: 13.0px Impact; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 16.0px} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} span.s2 {font: 13.0px Impact; font-kerning: none}
Mayor of Grand Marais
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Shorter Days and Longer Nights

Boundary Waters Blog - Mon, 09/19/2016 - 9:08pm

The days are getting noticeably shorter with the sun setting earlier and earlier. You may have noticed that but have you noticed the sun setting faster as well?

Year’s fastest sunsets around equinoxes By in Tonight | September 19, 2016

Tonight – at sunset – here’s a natural phenomenon you might never have imagined. That is, the sun actually sets faster around the time of an equinox. The fastest sunsets (and sunrises) occur at or near the equinoxes. And the slowest sunsets (and sunrises) occur at or near the solstices. This is true whether you live in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere.

And, by the way, when we say sunset here, we’re talking about the actual number of minutes it takes for the body of the sun to sink below the western horizon. Follow the links below to learn more:

Why does the sun set so quickly around the equinoxes? At every equinox, the sun rises due east and sets due west. That means – on the day of an equinox – the setting sun hits the horizon at its steepest possible angle. In other words, the sun is dropping almost straight down from above.

Meanwhile, at a solstice, the sun is setting farthest north or farthest south of due west. The farther the sun sets from due west along the horizon, the shallower the angle of the setting sun. That means a longer duration for sunset at the solstices.

The sunset duration varies by latitude, but let’s just consider one latitude, 40o North, the latitude Denver or Philadelphia in the United States, or Beijing in China. At that latitude, on the day of equinox, the sun sets in about 2 and 3/4 minutes.

Meanwhile, at 40o latitude, the solstice sun sets in roughly 3 and 1/4 minutes.

 

When is the next equinox? The September equinox will arrive on September 22, 2016 at 1421 UTC. Although the equinox happens at the same moment worldwide, your clock times will depend on your time zone. For time zones in the continental U.S., this equinox comes at 10:21 a.m. EDT, 9:21 a.m. CDT, 8:21 a.m. MDT or 7:21 a.m. PDT. Translate to your time zone.

Bottom line: The fastest sunsets of the year are happening now, around the time of the September equinox.

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Week of 9/19: Meter exchange schedule

Arrowhead Electric - Mon, 09/19/2016 - 10:14am

Last week workers changed out approximately 350 meters. Just 5,000 more to go!

This week they’ll finish up on the Lutsen Resort properties and start working their way into Tofte.

Questions about the project? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.

or contact us directly: 218-663-7239  newsletter@aecimn.com

 

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Invasive Earth Worms

Boundary Waters Blog - Sun, 09/18/2016 - 11:18am

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about earthworms but I haven’t forgotten about the destruction they can cause in a forest. Most people don’t realize the impact they can have but it’s super important, especially on the Gunflint Trail and in the Boundary Waters, that earthworms are disposed of properly. I’ve seen dead crawlers on a BWCA campsite and cringed hoping no live ones were dumped with it.  All crawlers are invasive to Minnesota Forests so be sure to dispose of them in the garbage and help protect the forests.

Earthworm invaders alter northern forests By in Earth | September 13, 2016

Native plant diversity in forests of northern North America is declining due to an invasion by earthworms introduced hundreds of years ago from Europe.

Earthworms are welcomed in gardens around the world; they aerate the soil and consume dead vegetation to form worm castings that enrich the soil and help plants grow. But it’s a different story in the forests of northern North America where a non-native species of earthworm from Europe, brought by early settlers, are creating conditions that decrease the diversity of native plants, according to a new study published September 3, 2016 in the journal Global Change Biology.

The impact of non-native earthworms has been previously documented on a site-by-site basis. The study led by Dylan Craven of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research takes a broader view. He said, in a statement:

The earthworm invasion has altered the biodiversity and possibly functioning of the forest ecosystems, because it affects the entire food web as well as water and nutrient cycles.

During the last ice age, northern United States and Canada were blanketed in an ice sheet. Glaciers severely eroded the land, destroying almost all native earthworms. When the glaciers began their retreat, about 12,000 years ago, the land was gradually recolonized by a forest ecosystem that did not include earthworms.

Settlers from Europe introduced earthworms back into to these northern areas. The earthworms have since been disrupting forest ecosystems.

Craven and his team looked for a generalized pattern of how forest plant species diversity changed with the presence of European earthworms. They used previously-published data from 14 sites in the Upper Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic, and an area between Indiana and Alberta.

They found that the diversity of understory forest plants decreased significantly, not just with increasing density of the introduced earthworms, but also with a larger variety of earthworm species occupying different soil layers.

A forest understory with a high diversity of native plants, the result when there are no earthworms in the soil. Image courtesy of Paul Ojanen.

Forest soil with an abundance of non-native earthworms can result in a bare understory. Image courtesy of Scott L Loss.

How are earthworms affecting forest ecosystems that evolved without them?

At the top soil layer, earthworms convert fallen leaves to humus. That’s a good thing if you’re growing a garden, but, in a natural forest, it causes a fast-tracking of the release of nutrients instead of allowing the leaf litter to break down more slowly, as it would without the earthworms.

Also, as they burrow through the ground, earthworms disrupt the mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship between fungi and plants. Some deep-burrowing worm species change the pH of upper soil layers by mixing in alkaline soil from deeper in the ground.

Burrows carved out by earthworms also speed up the drainage of rainwater, drying the soil faster.

Earthworms munching on forest leaf litter. Image courtesy of Olga Ferlian.

All of these changes adversely affect native plants that did not evolve in such conditions. For instance, the goblin fern is rarely found in areas with high earthworm density. Other native plants facing threats include largeflower bellwort, trillium and Solomon’s seal.

Earthworms also consume the seeds and seedlings of some plant species, influencing what grows in the forest understory.

In some locations, grasses, with their fine root systems that quickly absorb nutrients, dominate the forest floor. Non-native invasive plants that evolved in soils containing earthworms gain an even stronger foothold in these forests.

Nutrient absorbing grasses carpet the understory of a forest with large populations of European earthworms. Image courtesy of Scott L Loss.

Bottom line: European earthworms, introduced by early settlers, are changing the physical and chemical characteristics of soil in northern North American forests, creating a decreased diversity in native plants.

Shireen Gonzaga is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about natural history. She is also a technical editor at an astronomical observatory where she works on documentation for astronomers. Shireen has many interests and hobbies related to the natural world. She lives in Cockeysville, Maryland.

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Did You See the Harvest Moon?

Boundary Waters Blog - Sat, 09/17/2016 - 11:00am

Last night I made an announcement the harvest moon was rising. Then someone else said, “That’s not the harvest moon.”  I thought I remembered reading something about it so today I had to look into it.  Here’s what I found.

On September 16, the Harvest Moon By in Tonight | September 16, 2016

Tonight – September 16, 2016 – that full moon you’ll see ascending in the east after sunset is the Northern Hemisphere’s Harvest Moon.

Over the years, we’ve seen lots of informal uses of the term Harvest Moon. Some people (in the Northern Hemisphere) call the full moons of September and October by that name. And that’s fine. For the few months around the autumn equinox, the time of moonrise is close to the time of sunset for several evenings in a row, around the time of full moon. It’s as if there are several full moons during each autumn month.

So for example the moon you might have seen last night, September 15, looked very full and round in the sky. Did you call it a full moon? Did someone say it was the Harvest Moon? It probably looked like one!

Astronomers are scientists, though, and it’s no surprise that, to them, the term full moon or the name Harvest Moon means something very specific. To astronomers, the Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the September equinox, and full moon comes at the instant when the moon is 180o from the sun in ecliptic – or celestial – longitude.

In 2016, this equinox takes place on September 22.

The closest full moon to the autumn equinox reaches the crest of its full phase on September 16 at 19:05 UTC. For us in the continental U.S., the moon turns precisely full during the daytime hours on Friday, September 16. By U.S. clocks, that full moon instant comes at 3:05 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 2:05 p.m. Central Daylight Time, 1:05 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time or 12:05 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

But don’t worry too much about the instant of full moon, or the time on your clock, or even where you are on the globe. No matter where you live worldwide, you’ll see a full-looking moon shining from dusk until dawn on September 16.

The September 16 full moon will rise in the east around sunset, climb highest up around midnight and will set in the west around sunrise. At the vicinity of full moon, the moon – as always – stays out all night long.

Is tonight’s moon the Harvest Moon? It sure is!

Day and night sides of Earth at the instant of full moon (2016 September 19 at 19:05 Universal Time) via Earth and Moon Viewer.

What’s the big deal about the Harvest Moon? Why are the full moons special in autumn? Around the time of the autumn equinox, the ecliptic – or the path of the sun, moon, and planets – makes a narrow angle with the horizon at sunset.

Every full moon rises around the time of sunset, and on average each successive moonrise comes about 50 minutes later daily. But, on September and October evenings – because of the narrow angle of the ecliptic to the horizon – the moon rises much sooner than the average.

So, instead of rising 50 minutes later in the days after full moon, the waning moon might rise only 35 minutes later, or thereabouts, for several days in a row (at mid-northern latitudes). At far northern latitudes – like at Fairbanks, Alaska – the moon rises about 15 minutes later for days on end.

That fact was important to people in earlier times. For farmers bringing in the harvest, before the days of tractor lights, it meant there was no long period of darkness between sunset and moonrise for several days after full moon. And that meant farmers could work on in the fields, bringing in the crops by moonlight. Hence the name Harvest Moon.

At our mid-northern latitudes, watch for the Harvest Moon to shine from dusk until dawn for the next few to several days, starting on September 16.

Bottom line: Enjoy the 2016 Harvest Moon!

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DNR Hunting Dates and Information

Boundary Waters Blog - Fri, 09/16/2016 - 12:46pm

If you’re going for a walk in the woods then it’s a good idea to know if there are hunters out in those woods too.  Find out what type of hunting is open when and learn about our Minnesota wolf population.

Minnesota’s wolf population remains stable
Results from the latest wolf population survey show no significant change in Minnesota’s wolf population during the past four winters.
The latest survey results estimate that within Minnesota’s wolf range there were 439 wolf packs and 2,278 wolves last winter, compared to 374 packs and 2,221 wolves the year before. There has been no biologically or statistically significant change in the size of the statewide mid-winter wolf population over the past four years. Find more about the survey, with a copy of the report and more about wolf management on the DNR website.

 
Saturday, Sept. 17: Archery deer season opens; small game season opens including for ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, spruce grouse, Hungarian partridge, rabbits and squirrels
Saturday, Sept. 24: Waterfowl season opens; hunting seasons open for woodcock and prairie chicken
Saturday, Sept. 24-Sunday, Sept. 25: Take a Kid Hunting Weekend
Saturday, Oct. 1: Fall turkey season opens
Saturday, Oct. 15: Pheasant season opens; hunting and trapping in north zone opens for raccoon, red fox, gray fox, badger and opossum
Thursday, Oct. 20-Friday, Oct. 21: First Camp Ripley archery deer hunt
Saturday, Oct. 22: Hunting and trapping in south zone opens for raccoon, red fox, gray fox, badger and opossum
Thursday, Oct. 20-Sunday, Oct. 23: Youth deer season
Saturday, Oct. 29-Sunday, Oct. 30: Second Camp Ripley archery hunt
Saturday, Oct. 29: Trapping seasons open for beaver, otter, mink and muskrat
Saturday, Nov. 5: Firearms deer opener

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Calming Waters

Boundary Waters Blog - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 11:40pm

Take time out of your busy schedule to spend time on a lake or near a body of water. According to an article on Take Me Fishing just being near the water helps lower anxiety. I know I always feel more relaxed by a river or a lake. We’ve got plenty of them for you to choose from on the Gunflint Trail so come on up and relax.

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Unplug Yourself

Voyageur Brewing - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 10:35pm

Maybe September is the truly the most beautiful time to be in northern Minnesota. The temperatures and the scenery are stunning, and there is still so much to enjoy culturally and communally. This weekend in Grand Marais is the 15th annual Unplugged Festival at the North House Folk School, and we are excited to serve beer there this weekend and continue our association with the venerable North House Folk School, homegrown Fulton Brewery and new neighbors North Shore Winery. The weekend should be ideal for music, conversations and beverages next to the big blue lake.

Across the street at Voyageur Brewing we will be offering the musical stylings of one of our very favorite and most popular acts, Tim Haus, on Friday night. On Saturday we are lucky to host the duo LaFond and Grillo, whose talents are unique and unforgettable. Come watch the Vikings game with us on Sunday evening, before another beautiful week begins.

You only have a few more weeks before you can bust out your dirndls and leiderhosen for Octoberfest.

The post Unplug Yourself appeared first on Voyageur Brewing Company.

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Demolition and new steel columns

This week was another heavy week of demolition on parts of the old Care Center and future remodeling areas for the existing hospital.  Crews are selectively placing new steel columns in the existing hospital where they will be remodeling in the future.  Rough in continues in the hospital patient wing addition and new kitchen.

New steel column installed

New steel column installed

Rough in for new kitchen area

Demolition at the Care Center

Demolition at the Care Center

Demolition

Roof progress view

Roof progress

Entry way progress

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