Friday, December 28, 2007

Gunflint Green-up: Restoring the Forest

Sue Mcdonnell, Grand Marais- The Gunflint Green Up event scheduled for May 2 & 3, 2008 now has a web site: . You may make tax deductible donations on this site, and register for the event.

If you prefer to mail your donation, contributions may be sent to the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department treasurer, c/o Dave Clutter,60 Voyageur's Point, Grand Marais, MN 55604. Please be sure to indicate the contribution is for the "Gunflint Green Up".

The Gunflint Green Up committee is working in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, Gunflint District. A special volunteer agreement has been arranged to allow citizen planters on Forest Service lands. Approximately 400 acres will be planted by volunteers. A total of 75,000 local seed source White and Red Pine seedlings have been reserved.

Your contributions will be used toward the purchase of tree seedlings, meals and a small gift for the volunteers, and equipment rental.The Gunflint Green Up is a Minnesota Sesquicentennial event.

For Green-up lodging Special at the Poplar Creek Guesthouse go to "Event Specials"

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Season's First Skiers Through the Banadad

Four members of the Haley family from Fayetteville Georgia were the first to ski the entire Banadad this ski season. Starting at the Banadad’s western trailhead on January 21 the family skied the 12 kilometers to the Croft Yurt where they spent the night. The next day the family skied the trail’s eastern end to the Tall Pine Yurt. The trail grooming was only marginal at best due limited snow conditions- but according to the Haley’s, “the trail was ski able” and they did have a great time.

Two other parties of skiers, one from Aitkin Minnesota and the other from Colorado, followed the Haley family on the trail over the past two days.

For additional information on the Banadad including current trail conditions go to Banadad.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Ham Lake Fire – Good News on the Banadad

It was known that last spring’s Ham Lake Fire had burned over a portion of the Banadad Ski Trail but it was not known how much of the forest surrounding the trail was burned. From the fire maps it appeared the fire had burned through the red pine plantation located approximately eight miles west of the eastern trail head near Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B. This plantation was planted sometime in the 1960’s following the completion of the Moon Lake Timber Sale.

When the season’s first trail crew reached the burned over area the other day they found that the fire had passed over a half mile of the trail. And sure enough the fire had burned through that red pine plantation but the good new was that about three-quarters of the red pines survived and the forest floor had been cleared of competing vegetation. Now if, and only if, the surviving red pines should just happen to produce and release seed cones in the next few year the forest floor should be clear enough to regenerate a new red pine forest.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Home Land Security aka Border Patrol Does it Again

Ted Young Gunflint Trail - A couple of days ago a Border Patrol officer's speeding vehicle skidded off the road and turned over on the first hill along the Clearwater road. To our knowledge no one was hurt this time. However it was just a few weeks ago when a nameless Border Patrol officer drove into and killed Seagull Lake resident Ken Petersen. Then it was not too long ago when another speeding Border Patrol officer ran down two baby moose in the reduced speed zone near Trail Center. Don’t these boys and girls know how to drive?

With more Border Patrol officers expected in the County in the near future will any of us be safe? A suggestion to the Border Patrol- instead of adding more officers to antagonize area residents more, why not try getting to know the people on the Gunflint Trail and work with us as the County Sheriff and Minnesota DNR officers do. Residents along the Trail could be a better source of what is going on along our Border with Canada then adding more agents with bad driving skills.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Boundary Country Trekking on List of Top Eco-Friendly Nordic Ski Businesses in North America

The Gunflint’s Boundary Country Trekking, was one of ten cross-country ski businesses featured for their commitment to the environment at MSNBC.

The article - “Cross-Country Ski Resorts Go Green-Top Eco-active operations committed to environmental programs,” written by Roger Lohr cites Boundary Country’s plan to offsets the carbon produced on the Banadad Ski Trail. The company plans to determined the cubic tons of carbon emissions associated with the trail maintenance volunteers transportation to the site, grooming and other mechanical equipment used on the trail. . The carbon produced will then be offset by investing in the Gunflint Trails reforestation program -“Gunflint Green-up.”

Lohr also stated that, Boundary Country Trekking’s Statement of Sustainability and comprehensive Implementation Plan,“ sets the standard in the XC ski world.”

Of the ten cross-country ski businesses featured in the article two were from Minnesota. Maplelag Resort, in Callaway, was the other Minnesota business listed.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Gunflint Scenic Byways Awarded Two Grants

The Federal Highway Administration announced grant awards under the National Scenic Byways Program to two Gunflint Trail projects. The Chik-wauk Museum and Nature Center is to receive $180,000.

The second grant awarded was for $12,000 to research and write a "Vegetation Management Plan" for the Gunflint Scenic Byways. For this project the Gunflint Trail Association is contributing an addition $3000 in matching funds. The project is expected to be coordinated by the Byway's Forestry Committee.

In total 276 projects in 41 States were awarded grants. For a complete list of projects by state go to:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

More Snow on the Gunflint

Mid-Gunflint Trail at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B eleven inches of new snow; sixteen to seventeen inches on th ground and counting. Just outside Grand Marais twenty inches. Snow expected to continue for several more days.