BWCA Campsite Mess

What can a person conclude after coming across a BWCA campsite that looks like the one in the video does?  The video shows a campsite on Tuscarora Lake which is normally accessed via the Missing Link entry point into the Boundary Waters. It isn’t an easy BWCA lake to get to with the first portage from Round Lake being around 140 rods and the second portage into Tuscarora about 370 rods.

Tuscarora isn’t an easy BWCA lake to get to with the first portage from Round Lake around 140 rods and the second portage into Tuscarora about 370 rods. Yet a group of canoe campers made the effort to get into the wilderness lake to set up a campsite. This group must enjoy the solitude of the Boundary Waters or they wouldn’t go to that much trouble to get into a lake just to catch some small lake trout.

I haven’t examined the video too closely but it looks like they tried to build a significant shelter with all of the trees they cut down and piled up. The big tarp left behind along with what looks like a ridgepole would create quite a windbreak. Was a person hunkering down for a long winter? What is with two additional fire rings at the campsite? A bunch of garbage was left behind too.

The USFS has been informed about the campsite so hopefully they will investigate and determine who is responsible for the mess left behind.

 

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Posted in BWCA

Another Reason to Love the Boundary Waters

We know the Boundary Waters are a magical place. We long for the solitude and serenity found on a wilderness campsite. In the BWCA we know we are relatively “safe.” There are numerous examples of what I mean and one look at a newspaper or online news only reinforces my love for the woods and waters of the Boundary Waters.

What prompted this blog post? A recent article about a 16 year old boy killed by a black bear during an adventure race in Alaska.

Thoughts on loving the BWCA-

  • no poisonous snakes
  • no crocodiles, alligators or other creatures in the water who consider humans lunch
  • no polar bears, grizzlies or other animals on land looking to kill humans
  • no poisonous dart frogs or killer spiders
  • no deadly pathogens in the water
  • no riptide, surf swells or tsunamis

I imagine I could come up with many more reasons I love the BWCA and consider it safe but I’ll leave that until another day.

 

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Posted in BWCA

What is Wrong With People?

I realize there are a number of things wrong with people but today’s blog is about the ones who can’t follow rules/regulations/laws regarding our natural resources. Some people can plead ignorance about fishing regulations but it’s astonishing to me how so many people disregard rules.

The Conservation Officer weekly reports only offer a glimpse into the lack of compliance. Their contact with individuals compared to the total population out in the woods or on the lake is minimal. What other rules are people disregarding? These people are most likely responsible for the spread of invasive species, garbage floating in the lake and other offenses that impact our environment. It’s a sad situation and one where you just have to shake your head and wonder, “What is wrong with people?”

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked angling, boating, and ATV enforcement throughout the week. One evening while patrolling on Birch Lake activity levels were surprisingly low, but the violation rate was 100%. The mosquito annoyance level at dark was also very high. Violations encountered throughout the week included several instances of fishing without licenses, trout stamps, angling with extra lines, as well as no PFD in a boat.

Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, no trout stamp, and failure to activate a burn permit.

The officer also patrolled campgrounds and cleaned up trash left by irresponsible campers.

Violations included angling without a license in possession, and no lifesaving device onboard a watercraft.

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Posted in environment

Pigeon River High Falls and Middle Falls

We took a drive to Canada the other day and stopped to see what the High Falls of the Pigeon River looked like from the Canadian side. We weren’t suprised to see the falls look quite similar to what we see from Grand Portage State Park in Minnesota. We were even able to drive to the Middle Falls of the Pigeon River which is something we had never seen. The High Falls are the highest waterfalls in Minnesota and are definitely worth a road trip to see them.

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Posted in News

Moccasin Flowers on the Gunflint Trail

These beautiful flowers can be found in abundance in the woods of the Gunflint Trail. It’s always a treat to spot these very close relatives of the Minnesota Sate Wildflower.

 

Cypripedium acaule – Pink Ladyslipper, Moccasin Flower . This member of the orchid family has a solitary blossom on a hairy stem arising from two or sometimes three elliptical glossy, dark green, ribbed, hairy basal leaves. The “acaule” species epithet refers to the fact that there are no stem leaves – all other Ladyslipper species have stem – cauline – leaves.

Cypripedium reginae- The Showy Lady’s-slipper, also known as the Pink-and-white Lady’s-slipper or the Queen’s Lady’s-slipper, is a rare, terrestrial, temperate, lady’s-slipper orchid native to northern North America.

Image result for Cypripedium

 

 

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Posted in environment

Happy Summer Solstice

It’s a wonderful time of the year when the nights are short and the days are long. The sun is high in the sky and stays out longer than any other day of the year. It’s the start of summer in the northern hemisphere and up here we love the hours of never-ending daylight. How will you celebrate this annual event? There’s no better place to be than in the Boundary Waters on the longest day of the year.

summer solstice in the BWCA

Information from the Farmer’s Almanac

When is the Summer Solstice 2017?

In 2017, the summer solstice falls on Wednesday, June 21, at 12:24 A.M. EDT.

Due to time zones, this means the solstice falls on Tuesday, June 20 in CDT, MDT, and PDT as below:

  • Wednesday, June 21, 12:24 A.M. EDT
  • Tuesday, June 20, 11:24 P.M. CDT
  • Tuesday, June 20, 10:24 P.M. MDT
  • Tuesday, June 20, 9:24 P.M. PDT

What is the Summer Solstice?

The timing of the solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the equator.

The word solstice is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time (and again at the winter solstice).

In temperate regions, we notice that the Sun is higher in the sky throughout the day, and its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, causing the efficient warming we call summer.

This summer solstice is the day with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year. See our handy sunrise and sunset calculator for how many hours of sunlight you get in your location.

At the winter solstice, just the opposite occurs: The Sun is at its southernmost point and is low in the sky. Its rays hit the Northern Hemisphere at an oblique angle, creating the feeble winter sunlight.

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Posted in BWCA

Have You Seen These Bugs?

While out on a walk the other day we noticed tiny holes in the leaves of brush alongside of the road. Farther along on our walk we noticed these strikingly blue bugs on the leaves of a different bush. Has anyone seen these before or know what they are?

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Posted in Gunflint Trail

Devil’s Kettle Waterfall

The waterfalls of the North Shore have plenty of water going over them. With recent rains the flow hasn’t slowed at all.

 

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Posted in News

Boundary Waters Mishaps

What’s going on with people in the Boundary Waters these days? Getting lost, shooting yourself in the butt and shooting rapids are the latest happenings in the BWCA.

Sheriff: Camper Accidentally Shoots Himself In Buttocks Near BWCA

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Maplewood man is recovering after shooting himself in the buttocks while camping Thursday near the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness.

The St. Louis County Sheriff’s office says the 29-year-old was about to take a nap in his tent by Angleworm Lake at about 3 p.m.

He went to remove a loaded 9mm handgun out of a holster on the back of his pants when he shot himself.

Two hikers helped the man to his vehicle, and he was eventually taken to Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital.

The sheriff’s office says the man’s injuries are non-life threatening.

6/16/17 Another Rescue in the BWCA Ely Echo

Rescuers were again sent into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
On Tuesday evening a group of three young males from Duluth called for help after attempting to run rapids in the Lake One and Lake Two area.
Some guests staying at Kawishiwi Lodge heard the calls for help, called 911 and then paddled over to the area where Lake Two flows into Lake One.
They located three young males in the water. The boys did not have personal floatation devices on and their gear was noticed floating in the lake. The people got the boys to shore.
According to Kurt Erickson with the St. Louis County Rescue Squad, the three young men had been trying to paddle/walk a canoe up a set of rapids when one of them slipped and washed downstream.
“This one apparently reported after, that his leg briefly became entangled in a tree and rocks in the rapids. He felt luck to have not drowned,” according to Erickson.
The three were not wearing life jackets, having strapped them into the canoe.
“The other two had been trying to hold onto the canoe but lost control of it and it too washed downstream,” said Erickson. “As of that night the canoe had not been found. It is reported to be white in color and of unknown make. The St. Louis County Rescue Squad picked up what gear could be found floating and brought that out with the boys.”
The Rescue Squad used a boat and motor to access the area where the three young males were located.
Also responding to the call at the end of the Fernberg were Morse-Fall Lake fire department and first responders, Ely Area Ambulance Service and Lake County Sheriff’s Department.

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Posted in BWCA

Conservation Comedian

I like to read the Conservation Officer reports each week and lately I love to read Darin’s reports because of the comedic aspect of them! How about you?

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports he found a map floating in an area lake. The map had secret fishing spots circled. The CO tried to look away but couldn’t help himself. The CO will return the map to the rightful owner, but the circled spots will remain in his mind. Please secure your paper and litter from blowing out of your boat as you never know what you may be giving up.

 

Posted in Gunflint Trail
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