Friday, August 22, 2008

Growning Up on Youngs Island

Nancy Olmem-My family purchased our Poplar Lake Island cabin on Memorial weekend in 1952. Neighbors of ours in Minneapolis, Del and Mernie Kloek, had a cabin for sale on Poplar Lake and invited us to check out their cabin. It was not what my parents were looking for, but after looking at many properties they were shown the island. It was love at first sight and became our new summer residence. (read more)

Editors Note- This is just one of the many stories and articles you find at Gunflint Trail's Poplar Lake History.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Forest Servise Issues No Fires Order and Other BWCA News

Due to the recent lack of rain, starting today, no open fires will be allowed in the "Blowdown" area of Superior National Forest. Canoeist in the BWCA will have to use portable stoves for cooking. Unlike last year, at least this time they are issuing this order before any wild fire starts.

In other news from the Forest Service- Starting September 5 and running through September 9, a crew of volunteers will be replacing the steps at the Stairway Portage on Rose Lake. They hope to minimize delays by removing a few steps at a time as they work their way down both staircases. According to the Forest Service, "the goal is to minimize visitor inconvenience while the repairs take place."

The stairs were originally built by the CCC's in the 1930's. Then they were constructed of cedar trees cut on site. In the early 1980's a USFS crew replaced these old cedar stairs with creosote treated timbers. Wounder what materials they plan to use this time?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Recent Tribune Article on the Killing of Ken Petersen

A recent Minneapolis Star Tribune article by Larry Oaks provides a glimpse of what is or is not going on concerning the prosecution of Border Patrol agent Maranda Weber, for the killing of Gunflint Trail resident Ken Petersen. The Border Patrol's response to Petersen's death was to transfer Weber to Grand Forks, ND. You can view the article at

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Prom this Year's Citizen of the Year

The Grand Marais Lions Club selected Mike Prom, owner of Voyageur Canoe Outfitters on the end of the Gunflint Trail as the "2008 Cook Country Citizen of the Year." The award was present during this past week's Fishermen's Picnic. For more information go this week's Cook Country News Herald.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

B&B - Landscaping with Native Plants

“Since Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B was open in 2001 we have been mowing a lot of lawn, Barbara Young, the B&B’s inkeeper stated. “Now in an effort to cut-down on this mowing, we are experimenting with replacing some of this grass with native flowers and plants.”

Paul Hlina, who operates Leaning Pine - Native Landscapes, volunteered to assist in this effort. Paul has pioneered shoreline restoration and wildlife habitat enhancement project throughout northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. .

Armed with plants from Paul’s nursery, wheel borrows, shovels and power drills for digging planting hole, Paul and crew spent two days restoring approximately 150 square feet of the B&B’s 800 square feet of lawn to native plants and flowers. The crew first laid down a layer of newspapers to cover the grass, wet the newspaper, then covered the paper with a layer of screened dirt followed by straw. Finally the native plants were planted in six-inch intervals.

According Paul, “we should know by next summer how the project is going to work.”

“If successful” Young went on to state, “more of the lawn will be returned to native plants. Over the years we have burnt-up a lot of gasoline not to mention our labor in mowing the lawn, reducing what we have to mow by better then 15% is certainly a step in the right direction and just part of our continue effort to make our business more sustainable.

As an interesting side-note, Paul has hiked the entire Superior Hiking Trail, skied the entire Banadad and ran Grandma’s Half Marathon. While this might not seem unusual unless you consider the fact that Paul did it on crutches. You see he was injured many years ago in an automobile accident and now get around on crutches.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Gunflint Businesses Vote For New Lodging Tax with Conditions

Yesterday afternoon the Gunflint Trail Association members met to determine whether to participate in the new proposed County wide lodging tax. The 1% addition lodging tax if approved would be used to fund the Cook Country Events and Visitors Bureau (EVB). The meeting began with EVB officers Charles Skinner Jr, Nancy Burns from the Lutsen Tofte Tourism Association and Mike Prom from the Gunflint explaining the new proposed tax and the EVB.

After considerable discussion on the merits and disadvantages of passing the proposed tax. A motion was put forth to support the new tax, provide it contained a five year "sun set provision" and the Gunflint Trail Association would continue to receive a minimum of two members on the EVB Board

The Association then voted to approve the motion with by a vote of; 11 in favor, 4 apposed and one abstention.

The new lodging tax must still gain the support of members of the Lutsen Toffe and Grand Marais Area Tourism Associations before it can be brought to the County Board. The County Board would then make the final decision on whether to enacting the new 1% lodging tax.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Additional Lodging Tax Proposed in County.

The resorts and B&Bs on the Gunflint Trail along with lodging properties throughout Cook County are being asked to support a lodging tax increase of 1%. The tax would be used to fund the Cook Country Events and Visitors Bureau. Currently business throughout the county collect a 3% lodging tax and the new tax if approved would raise the lodging tax rate to 4%. Final determination of whether to enact this tax or not is at the discretion of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

Gunflint Trail businesses have called a special meeting for 12:00 noon on Wednesday to vote on whether they are willing to participate in this new taxing initiative. The Gunflint meeting was called after the Gunflint Trail Association Board of Directors received a lot of opposition from it members on this tax proposal. The Board is hoping all Association members will turn-out at this meeting to express their opinion on this new tax.

The new tax as presented by the Minnesota State Legislature to the Cook County Board reads as follows (sorry about the hard to read quality):