Sunday, July 28, 2013

New Rock Dam at inlet Blocking Canoe Traffic




On July 8, 2013 Ted Young was informed by Doug Graham that someone had re-damned up the inlet between Poplar and Little Ollie Lake.  This work was done on or about July 6. According to Doug the person that put-in the new dam had been give permission to do so from Cliff Bentley Minnesota DNR Hydrologist stationed in Duluth.
Measuring inlet's depth



Jim Ross, his son-in-law and Ted inspected the new rock dam the next day and noted that it appears to be higher then set by the DNR and re- agreed upon following the remove of the illegal dam constructed across the inlets  in 2006. It was also clear that this new dam was a barrier to navigation between the two lakes.

Next Ted called Bentley to inform him of the new rock dam.  In response Bentley state that no one had talked to him recently about adding more rocks to the inlet and if rocks were added it was not authorized and those rocks could be removed.

Ted and Bob Peterson were contacted by Bentley that he would meet with representatives of both lakes at the inlet at 11:00 am on July 19. Bentley also noted that he thought that Bob was involved in the construction of this new dam.

Attending this meeting with Bentley from Little Ollie Lake was: Ted Young, Steve and Joanne Nickols; and from Poplar Lake were Bob Peterson, Jim Kloek and Doug Herron, along with several other public employees. At the meeting Bentley recalled that Bob Peterson did call about a year ago and was given permission to replace some rocks.

The water depth over the newly constructed rock dam at the inlet was measured, by a USFS employee, at one foot intervals from one side to the other. The only section that was within the previously agreed upon  lake level was the a few feet on the south side of the inlet where Ted had two days earlier removed rocks from the dam to create  a navigation channel.

It was agree by all attending the meeting and approved by Bentley that a navigation channel could be maintained on the south side of the inlet. The size of this navigation channel beginning at the south shore of the inlet  could not exceed six (6) feet on the top slopping down to four feet at the bottom. The bottom of this navigation channel was not to exceed the previously agreed upon level.  It was further agreed that before anyone from Poplar Lake added any rocks to the inlet someone from Little Ollie Lake would be notified.

During the meeting Bentley displayed  a lake level chart for Poplar Lake showing the annual water level fluctuation and he stated that the  water level of Poplar Lake normal fluctuation was between one and two feet annual.

The ordinary high water level for Poplar Lake set by the Minnesota DNR is 1854.2 feet above sea level.  Poplar Lake’s lowest recorded level was reached in September of 1998 at 1851.42. (see http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/showlevel.html?id=16023900)

Poplar Lake water level monitoring station was first maintained by Fred Dell on Voyager Point beginning in August of 1968. The monitor station is now maintained at Rockwood Lodge.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Wildfires Continue in BWCA forces Closurs

Duluth News Tribune: Persistent but small fires in the northern part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness have forced the closure of some new areas.The U.S. Forest Service reported Thursday that two wildfires detected Wednesday — the Parley Lake fire and the Hoist Lake fire — prompted many of the new closures.

The Parley Lake fire, estimated at 75 acres, is burning about 20 miles north of Ely east of the Beartrap River and north of Sunday Lake. Aircraft continued to drop water on the fire Thursday, and a ground crew was on the scene. The Hoist Bay fire, near Basswood Lake about 12 miles northeast of Ely, is estimated at 2½ acres and was attacked from the air. Because of those fires and one more on the Canadian side of the border — estimated at 300 acres, between Knife and Emerald lakes — the Forest Service announced the closing of the following lakes, portages and campsites: 

 HOIST BAY FIRE AREA
Four Mile portage; Ella Hall, Mud lakes; Slumber, and Muskeg lakes and campsites; the waters and campsites of Hoist and Back Bays of Basswood Lake; the portages from Pipestone to Back Bay, Back Bay toward Half Dog Island (Frog portage), and from Hoist Bay to Good Lake.

PARLEY LAKE FIRE AREA
Sunday and Saturday Bay campsites in Crooked Lake; zones 5, 1, and 2 of the Sundial Primitive Management Area and all the lakes and waterways within that area including: the Beartrap River from Beartrap Lake north to Iron Lake, Parley, Sunday, Sundial, Bunggee, Sinneeg, and Ritual lakes; travel will be allowed through the bays of Crooked Lake but camping will not be allowed on Sunday and Saturday bays; travel will not be allowed on the Beartrap River.

EMERALD LAKE FIRE (ON CANADA SIDE OF BORDER)
From the border on Knife Lake to the end of Ottertrack Lake, south arm of Knife Lake, Little Knife Lake, Amoeber Lake, Topaz Lake, Cherry Lake, Hanson Lake, Lunar Lake, Lake of the Clouds, Rivalry Lake, Gijikiki Lake, Ester Lake, Ottertrack Lake, Rabbit Lake, Ashdick Lake. This includes area from the border heading south along the section lines of T 65 N, R 7 W, sections 21 and 28, including all campsites on islands and peninsula on adjacent lands, the following lakes, portages, and campsites.

OLDER CLOSURES
The Forest Service reported Thursday that closures previously in effect for the Ensign Lake area have been lifted because the fire that prompted them has been extinguished.
Closures are subject to change as conditions change. For updates, visit the Superior National Forest website: www.fs.usda.gov/superior
Fire restrictions remain in place for the BWCAW; campfires are allowed only between 7 p.m. and midnight. Gas stoves can be used at any time.
Crews reported Thursday that the line around the 50-acre Cummings Lake fire northwest of Ely, which prompted some concerns earlier this month, is holding well, but the fire cannot be extinguished without significant rain or snowfall.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pagami Creek Fire Countines to Build

The Paguami Creek fire was first discovered  fourteen miles east of  Ely on August  18. The cause of the fire appears to be a lighting strike. With extremely dry conditions in the area and buffed by high winds the fire has now grown to over 100,000 acres. According to the fire command website, yesterday the fire made an " unprecedented 16 mile run to the east, reaching the edge of Polly Lake. The fire became a plume-driven event." 


USFS officials yesterday took the unprecedented action of closing most of the BWCA entry points west of the Gunflint Trail as a precautionary measure. Many entry points in the Ely area had previously been shut down.   For the latest on this fire go to http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2534 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Small Wildfire Confirmed West of Poplar Lake

Yesterday afternoon the USFS's Beaver airplane was spotted circling west of Poplar Lake. A check with the sheriff's office confirmed there was a small fire on Skipper Lake. Firefighters were on the scene. Stay tuned on this one!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Brule Lake Fire-2


Date of Detection:  The Brule Lake Fire was discovered by visitors on Brule Lake on August 8, at approximately 2:30 PM.

Location:  T63N R2W Sect. 8 and 9; Very east side of Brule Lake on the north side of Brule Bay.

Fire appears to be human caused and located near the fire grate.

Current Size:  Approximately ¼ acre, it is being suppressed.

Agency: USDA Forest Service Tofte Ranger District

Status: Low activity smoldering in the duff.

Resources:  A two person wilderness crew and a two person fire crew are in the area at this time suppressing and mopping up.  Crews are staying through the evening for observation.

Fire Information:  (218) 663-8060 Tofte Ranger District Office
                                 (218) 663-8063 Nichole Borson

Small Wildfire Reported on Brule Lake


August 8, 2011

Date of Detection:  The Brule Lake Fire was discovered by visitors on Brule Lake on August 8, at approximately 2:30 PM.                                                                                                                                                                                 
Fire Information:  (218) 663-8060 Tofte Ranger District Office
                                 (218) 663-8063 Nichole Borson
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Byway' Timber Management Plan from USFS

Dennis Neitzke, Gunflint Ranger, layout a forest timber management plan for about six miles along the Gunflint Scenic Byways- from near the South Brule River to just below Swamper Lake. To view the Forest Services management plans go to http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/fs-usda-pop.php/?project=34282 .

The following is a letter from Neitzke announcing the program-Date: July 11, 2011-
Dear Interested Public:
I am writing to let you know about an opportunity to comment on our proposal for forest
vegetation management in the Lima Green Project Area and to invite anyone interested to attend a field trip to discuss the proposal. The location where these activities are proposed is about 12 miles north of Grand Marais, Minnesota and is displayed on the enclosed vicinity map. The proposed actions are intended to accomplish multiple objectives which are explained in the scoping report, but I’ll highlight a few of these objectives here.
One of the objectives of this project is to improve moose habitat. The Lima Green Project Area has a relatively high population of moose, even though the moose population in northeastern Minnesota is declining. Although habitat alone is not likely limiting moose numbers, providing a constant supply of shrub and small tree forage near stands of conifer trees may encourage moose survival.
Another objective of this project is to restore red and white pine. As red and white pines grow
larger, they add scenic beauty to roads and trails, offer habitat for many wildlife species and
provide timber products for the local economy. The Lima Green Project Area has some of the
highest percentages of red and white pine forest types on the Gunflint District. However, young pine rarely becomes established in the understory of these stands therefore it is important we establish young pine regeneration.
Enhancement of the long-term scenic quality of the Gunflint Trail is a third important objective of the project. Some of the tree species along the Gunflint Trail are short lived species and need some kind of disturbance to regenerate. District personnel have been working with the Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway Committee to develop actions that would improve the scenic quality, improve ecosystem health or reduce fuel hazards.
To accomplish these and other objectives, proposed activities would include intermediate and regeneration harvests, reforestation activities, prescribed burning and understory fuels reduction. Additional proposed actions include constructing and obliterating temporary roads to access units and the decommissioning of roads no longer needed.
All project objectives and proposed actions are explained in more detail in the Lima Green
Scoping Report. The report includes: the purpose and need for the project, summaries of the
proposed activities, a map of proposed activity locations, and other project information. The
Lima Green Scoping Report can be found on the Superior National Forest website at
www.fs.usda.gov/goto/superior/projects or you may request a copy from the Gunflint Ranger
District.I will be accepting your comments until August 12, 2011. You may submit your comments by writing, faxing, emailing, or calling. All comments received (including names and addresses) will become part of the project file and are public information. Please be sure to include your name, address, and the Lima Green Project name, regardless of how you submit comments. Written comments sent via mail, FAX (218-387-3246), or email must be addressed to:
Dennis Neitzke, District Ranger
ATTN: Lima Green Project
Gunflint Ranger District
2020 West Highway 61
Grand Marais, MN 55604

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wildfire Reported on Gaskin Lake


BWCA - It is believed that the fire started Monday, June 13 in the evening. It is located  on the peninsula near the western end of Gaskin. There is a campsite on the south side of this peninsula.   South Easterly wind of up to 15 mph have resulted in some "spotting" on the north westerly shoreline. From what I am hearing the fire has burnt about three acres. Currently the USFS is only monitoring the fire. The fire is locate 3 miles south and a bit west of the westend of  Poplar Lake and just north of Winchell. For addition information go to  WTIP radio.