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Superior National Forest Update - May 18, 2018

  Superior National Forest Update – May 17, 2018.
 
Hi.  I’m Renee Frahm, Supervisory Administrative Support Assistant, with this week’s edition of the National Forest Update - information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts of the Forest. For the week of May 18th, here’s what’s going on in the Forest.

The old saying of “In Minnesota, if you don’t like the weather, wait an hour” has been very true this week.  Rain, 80 degree days, frozen bird baths at night, sun, calm, and wind:  we’ve had all but snow, and cross your fingers, we won’t be having any of that.  Winter, spring, and summer seem to be shifting as smoothly as a sixteen-year-old learning to drive a stick shift, but the progress, just like the young driver, is still always forward.  We had a lesson in how close winter still is when we dug into a gravel pit on the Forest and found the frost only 2 and a half inches below the surface.  Despite the frost in the ground, hummingbirds returned to the Forest in time for Mother’s Day.  It is always incredible that such a tiny animal can navigate across the entire country, fueled by nothing but tiny insects and flower nectar… and a lot of bird feeders.  If you are feeding hummers, make sure to use straight sugar water with no colors added.  The color of the feeder itself is good enough and dyes can be bad for the birds.  Change the liquid frequently, if it is getting cloudy before you change it, you need to change it more often.  Put the sugar water out when it is at outside temperature, not hot off the stove, or cold from the fridge, and the birds will love you for giving them some extra easy to find energy.

On the opposite end of the animal size scale from hummingbirds, moose are starting to calve.  Mom and baby moose have been spotted in several places on the Forest.  Be careful though, cow moose will not appreciate your getting close for a photo of their baby.  Stay well away, and stay on mom’s good side.

Outside of the animal world, we’ve been making progress on doing some spring prescribed burning.  Specifics of burns are posted on our website and on Boreal.com, so if you smell smoke, you can check to see if we are doing a burn.  If you end up near a burn, please respect all signage and don’t interfere with the fire crews.  It has been very dry the past week, so be very careful with fire, and keep an eye out for possible burn restrictions in the coming week. 

The dry conditions have also put us in the odd position of both having weight limits on roads due to soft areas, and also having the roads to hard and dry to grade in other areas.  The two together mean the roads are still in pretty poor condition, though they are a lot better than they were a week ago.  The weight restrictions mean that there is still limited logging traffic. On Tofte, logging traffic can be expected on the Trapper’s Lake Road and DMIR Grade (FR380).  On the Gunflint side, there are operations off of Greenwood Road and Firebox Road, but no hauling until road restrictions are lifted.

Going fishing?  You’ll be happy to hear that our docks are now all in at boat accesses!  Campgrounds will be entering fee status soon, possibly this weekend, but we are waiting for some water systems to come online.  Be prepared though to pay a fee for overnight camping in the fee campgrounds.

It’s a great time to get out in the woods this next week.  You can hunt for warblers with binoculars, or fish with a hook.  It’s just nice to get outside and watch as the trees change from bare to buds to leaves.  Spring in the north:  Don’t miss it!  Until next week, this has been Renee Frahm with the National Forest Update.
 

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