Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Changing rules for logging road runoff

Wed, 08/07/2013 - 1:06pm

Under a recent bill passed by the U.S. Senate, water runoff on logging roads will fall under the jurisdiction of the states, and not fall under the preview of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In May, A group of House and Senate members introduced a Silviculture Regulatory Consistency Act, reaffirming the EPA’s 37-year-old policy toward regulation of runoff from forest roads.
The bill was introduced to aid efforts to increase timber harvests and add forestry jobs by preventing unnecessary litigation on a question that the U.S. Supreme Court settled in the EPA’s favor in late 2012. The bill upholds the EPA’s existing policy, which does not require water discharge permits for forest roads.
The legislation was brought fourth because the EPA had added language to its original storm water regulation that said that storm water discharges are “associated with industrial activity,” and facilities considered industrial included: rock crushing, gravel washing, log-sorting, and log storage.
Under the new EPA standard, groups opposed to logging were using this (and the Ninth Court of Appeals ruling that favored the new language) to shut down loggers where they could, citing logging roads as “point sources” for runoff water.
The Supreme Court’s decision reversed a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, which would have required that logging roads obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits under the Clean Water Act. It did not say, however, that logging roads are not “point sources” for runoff water, so some groups have said they will continue to litigate logging sales where they can.
On July 9, U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) joined with a group of other senators in signing the Silviculture Regulatory Consistency Act.

Missing person search called off

Wed, 08/07/2013 - 7:58am

According to the Cook County Sheriff’s office, the search for 82 year old Paul Brandt has been suspended. Brandt was reported missing on the night of Thursday Aug. 1st. 

The search had involved the use of helicopter, fixed wing aircraft, four search dogs, 15 area agencies and departments.

Private and civilian searches may continue.
 

MidTrail Auction & Quilt Raffle at Fire Hall #1 on Thursday, Aug. 8

Tue, 08/06/2013 - 10:20am

The MidTrail Live Auction, Boutique, Flea Market and Quilt Raffle will be held this year on Thursday, Aug 8, 2013 at the Fire Hall #1 on the Gunflint Trail, 1 mile south of Trail Center Lodge.
Organizers say the doors will open at 1:00 p.m. with the Live Auction beginning at 1:30 p.m. The quilt raffle drawing will be held around 3:00 p.m.
One of the organizers, Lee Zopff encouraged everyone to make the trip to MidTrail to enjoy the event. “There will be something for everyone at every price range and all proceeds go to the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department. Come and have treats in our new Schaap Community Center. Do your Christmas shopping or find a treasure for your home.
Live auction and flea market items include a set of “Cabin in the Snow” dishes, a gift certificate for a sleigh ride, pine needle coiled baskets, a Panda Bear, two diamond willow tables, pictures of moose, table cloths, runners, pillows and “who knows what else!”
Zopff said, “Rain or shine, be there!”

Learn about Lake Superior at Sugarloaf Cove Interpretive Center on August 10

Tue, 08/06/2013 - 10:19am

Everyone loves the lake, but doesn't always understand or know much about it below the surface.
Learn more on Aug. 10 at 1 p.m. when Cindy Hagley from Minnesota Sea Grant presents fascinating and fun facts about Lake Superior. The presentation is part of Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardships Association's annual meeting and ice cream social.
The presentation – including the ice cream – is free.
Sugarloaf Cove Center is located lakeside off Highway 61 at mile 73.3 in Schroeder. For more information call 218-663-7679.

Brandt Search continues into day six

Tue, 08/06/2013 - 5:36am

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is still searching for Paul Brandt, who was reported missing on the night of Thursday Aug. 1st.  The search has involved the use of helicopter, fixed wing aircraft, four search dogs, and many many people.
 
Fifteen agencies have assisted with the search efforts including Cook, Lake, St. Louis and Sawyer counties Search and Rescue teams, State Patrol, DNR, Forest Service, Border Patrol, all the county volunteer fire departments.

There have also been a tremendous number of civilian volunteers who have assisted the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

As of 4:10 p.m. last night, Brandt had not been located.  According to Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk, there have been several items of personal property found in the search area, but no credible evidence indicating his location.

Massive search efforts under way to find missing Grand Marais man

Mon, 08/05/2013 - 2:59pm

The search continues for a missing Grand Marais man, Paul Brandt, 82. Brandt went blueberry picking up the Gunflint Trail on Thursday afternoon and did not return home. He was picking blueberries in the area south of the U.S. Forest Service Seagull Guard Station. His vehicle was found in that vicinity.

Several items of personal property in the search area, but no credible evidence indicating his location, said Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk. 

The search has involved the use of helicopter, fixed wing aircraft, four search dogs and according to Sheriff Falk, "Many, many people."

The following agencies have assisted with the search efforts: 

Cook County Search and Rescue
Lake County Search and Rescue
St. Louis County Search and Rescue
Sawyer County Wisconsin Search and Rescue
Central Lakes Search and Rescue
Minnesota State Patrol
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
United States Forest Service
United States Border Patrol
Gunflint Volunteer Fire Department
Hovland Volunteer Fire Department
Colvill Volunteer Fire Department
Maple Hill Volunteer Fire Department
Grand Marais Volunteer Fire Department
Lutsen Volunteer Fire Department

Sheriff Falk said there has also been a tremendous number of civilian volunteers who have assisted the Cook County Sheriff's Office with this effort.