Should wolves be brought to Isle Royale?

It’s a question that is currently being debated. There is a contingency of people who want to continue to study the relationship of moose and wolves on the island. The study has been ongoing since 1958 and researchers would like to see it continue. They fear the moose will over browse on the island.  And why is that a problem?

The moose population is around 1300 animals and if there isn’t another predator on the island the population will increase. The population has reached almost 2500 moose in the past.  When the moose run out of food to eat some will starve and their numbers will decline until the population reaches a sustainable number.

Wolves haven’t always been on Isle Royale and their population has varied over the years. Climate hasn’t been the only reason the wolf population has suffered in the past as disease and inbreeding are to blame for some of the decline. There have been recent winters when an ice bridge has formed from the mainland but no wolves took advantage of it so the population has been reduced to 1 or 2 wolves.

What happens if wolves are brought to the island and their population explodes because of fresh genes and big litters of pups? Will the wolves decimate the population like they did the caribou on other island in Lake Superior?

It’s a unique situation and you can read more about the study at this website.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in wildlife

Washing clothes in a ringer washing machine

When we first bought Voyageur Canoe Outfitters in 1993 the previous owner only had a ringer washing machine. He had three trailers that he rented out and those required linens for the guests. To make matters worse, at least in my mind, was the fact the washing machine was across the river and up a hill located in a shed. When it was time for laundry to be done I had to load up a Duluth Pack with dirty laundry, hop in a boat, zip across the river and walk up the hill.

Hauling the dirty laundry up the hill was much easier than hauling the wet laundry back down the hill. Sometimes I’d hang it out on a line across the river but that required another trip back to take the laundry off of the line. If I hauled the wet laundry back across then there was a dryer I could use.

Today I don’t think too much about doing laundry. It’s an easy task to wash and dry things because I have the two machines right next to each other. When I was little I had school clothes and after-school clothes that I had to change into when I got home from school. My nice clothes didn’t have to get washed as often that way. I know my kids pretty much throw their stuff into the wash even if they only wear an outfit for a minute or two.

It would be nice to build a house with direct access outside from the laundry room to a big clothesline in the yard. Until then I’ll have to try some of the energy saving ideas from the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Don’t lose your shirt to high utility bills: Some energy-saving laundry tips

The typical U.S. household cleans and dries about 300 loads of laundry in a year, consuming a lot of energy in the process.

Washers and dryers, along with refrigerators, are the biggest energy users among household appliances. Dryers use about 769 kilowatt hours (kWh) a year on average, while washers use 590 kWh and refrigerators average 596 kWh, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

That means there is plenty of opportunity to reduce energy consumption, and save money, when doing your laundry.

If your washer or dryer is 12-14 years old (the expected lifetime for those appliances) and starting to show its age, consider shopping for an energy-efficient ENERGY STAR replacement washer or dryer that will save you money over the long term.

The Minnesota Commerce Department and U.S. Department of Energy also offer these energy-saving laundry tips:

Wash with cold water. Using warm water instead of hot can cut a load’s energy use in half, while using cold water will save even more.

Wash full loads. Your washer will use about the same amount of energy no matter the size of the load, so fill it up.

Dry right-sized loads for your machine. If the dryer is too full, it will take longer for the clothes to dry.

Air dry when you can. Hang laundry outside to avoid using the dryer altogether.

Clean the lint filter on your dryer. The dryer will run more efficiently and safely.

Use lower heat settings in the dryer. Even if the drying cycle is longer, you will use less energy and be less likely to over-dry your clothes.

Use the moisture sensor option if your dryer has one. Many new dryers come with a moisture sensor that automatically shuts off the machine when clothes are dry. This will save energy and reduce wear and tear on your clothes.

View more energy-saving laundry tips from the U.S. Department of Energy, or check out the Appliances section (pages 56-58) of the Minnesota Commerce Department’s Home Energy Guide (

* * * * * *

Tagged with:
Posted in News

Spring equinox on the Gunflint Trail

It’s that time of the year again for the equinox. Today is when the hours of day and night are equal in length. After today the days get longer and longer. The longer days  bring warmer temperatures to the Gunflint Trail but we don’t see flowers popping up or butterflies flittering about. In fact, we can’t see the ground at all because it is still covered in snow.  Cross-country skiiers love this time of the year for the spring snow conditions.

The sun rises due east and sets due west today because it is on the celestial equator. The sun’s arc will shift toward the north each day and the place where the sun rises and sets will change as well.

While some people are seeing their trees begin to bud and are getting out their rakes we’re still looking at a white ground and keeping our shovels handy for at least another month.

Tagged with:
Posted in Gunflint Trail

Voyageur Crew 2011

Voyageur Crew 2011 front row from left to right- Jessica Montgomery, Elsa Karczewski, Jennifer Thomas and Katie Vandenboomer

Middle row from left to right- Jake Bendek John Westphall, Kristi Ostrowski and Eric Wanless

Back row from left to right- Victor Bohnen, Tessa Olson, Chad Goodale, Sheri Prom and Ron Karczewski

Jacob Schwartz helped out for a month and is not pictured.

Tagged with:
Posted in News

Voyageur Crew 2012

Front row left to right- Dana Gilbertson, Jennifer Thomas, Liam Bonk

Middle row left to right- Ron Karczewski, Elsa Karczewski, Ashley Cruz, Tessa Olson, Tessa Johnson, John Westphall

Back row left to right- Mike Drilling, Michael Henderson, Mark Ceminsky, Charlie Drilling and JD Rowlan

Not pictured above is Chad Goodale who also helped us out that summer.

Tagged with:
Posted in News

Voyageur Crew 2013

Voyageur Canoe Outfitter Crew from 2013 included the following awesome individuals.

Front left to right- Jake Bendel, Grace Hilbert, Elsa Karczewski, Tessa Johnson, Dana Gilbertson and Elizabeth Miller

Back Row left to right- Evan Gates, Matt Ritter, Ron Karczewski, Charlie Drilling and Mark Ceminsky

Other folks who were there but aren’t pictured are Mike Drilling, Ashley Cruz and Erick Johnson.

Tagged with:
Posted in News

Voyageur Crew 2014

Front row left to right-

Meg Biondi, Luke Yaeger, Matt Ritter 2nd year, Paul Swenson, Kira Miller, Hannah Koivu

Middle row left to right-

Jacob Davies, Elsa Karczewski 5th year, Abigail Dickinson

Back row left to right-

Tony Krusenbaum, Ron Karczewski, Evan Gates 2nd year, Mark Ceminsky

Not pictured here is Ryan Ritter who came to work for a month or so at the end of the summer.

Posted in News

Young bucks and new pups

This photo is from a while back. It was taken at the end of our first summer at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters in 1993. Travis Lay is on the left with our dog Jasper and Mike Prom is on the right with our dog Ambri. Jasper was a boy and Ambri was a girl, who would have guessed we would have two kids later in life and name our girl Abigail and our boy Joshua? Total coincidence.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in News

Voyageur Crew 2015

We love getting to know our new crew each summer. It’s fun to look back at a group and think about where they are now.  It’s nice knowing four of our crew from this summer are living near each other in Jackson, Wyoming. Tony, Hannah, JR. and Rose are all enjoying the woods, waters and wild places of that beautiful state.  Now if we could just get a chance to go our and visit them…

BWCA canoe outfitters

Front row from left to right-

Sarah Webb, Elsa Karczewski 6th year, Rose Wenck, Anna Frankowski

Back row from left to right-

Jonathan Nelson(Jay), Joseph Rothing(JR), Joe Lacore, Maddie Frawley, Evan Gates 3rd year, Tony Krusenbaum 2nd year, Hannah Koivu 2nd year

Not pictured above is Jessica Berg-Coleman on the far right in the photo below. Cory Woodford is not pictured and he helped out for about a month during the summer.

Gunflint Trail Dining

Loon Lake Lodge

Tagged with:
Posted in News

Voyageur Crew 2016

Every year we have a great bunch of individuals and 2016 was no different.

Voyageur Canoe Outfitters Crew

Voyageur Canoe Crew 2016

Front row left to right-

Elsa Karczewski 7th year, Matt Ritter 3rd year, Cassidy Bechtold, Rachel Prosek, Sarah Webb 2nd year

Back row left to right-

Brad Muckenhirn, Tony Krusenbaum 3rd year, Alex Larkin, Maddie Frawley 2nd year, Joe Lacore 2nd year

Not pictured- Kaneka Peach who was with us for a brief stay.

Tagged with:
Posted in News
  • What do you think about bringing wolves to Isle Royale to keep the moose population in check? It's not the same...

Follow @bwcabloglady on twitter.

Pin It   

Receive this Blog via Email

Sign up for our online newsletter: