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Superior National Forest Update

Contributor(s): 
USDA Forest Service

The Superior National Forest Update helps you keep up to date with Forest activities that you might encounter while driving, boating, or hiking in the Superior National Forest’s Tofte and Gunflint Ranger Districts.  It includes road and fire conditions, logging and other truck activities, as well as naturalist programs and special events.  

The USDA Forest Service has more information on the Superior National Forest website.


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Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - September 4

North Shore Morning host, Mark Abrahamson talks with Steve Robertsen, education and interpretation specialist for this week's edition of the "Superior National Forest Update".

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Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - August 28

"Superior National Forest Update" with Steve Robertsen, education and interpretation specialist for the USDA Forest Service-Superior National Forest.
August 28, 2020

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Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - August 21

Listen below for the latest Superior National Forest Update with Steve Robertsen, education and interpretation specialist with the USDA Forest Service, Superior National Forest.

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Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - July 31

"Superior National Forest Update" with Steve Robertsen, education and interpretation specialist with the USDA Forest Service, Superior National Forest.

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Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - July 10

Superior National Forest Update with Education and Interpretation Specialist, Steve Robertsen.
July 10, 2020

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Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - June 19

Superior National Forest Update - June 19, 2020
 

Steve Robertsen is an education and interpretation specialist with the USDA Forest Service, Superior National Forest.

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Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - June 5

National Forest Update
June 4, 2020

Hi.  This is Steve Robertsen with the first June version of the National Forest Update.  It’s been lovely outside, so I hope you’ve been able to spend some time in the woods this past two weeks watching spring change to summer.

June, not surprisingly, means that the Juneberries are in bloom, along with choke cherries and more.  I’ve always felt that our Juneberry or serviceberry trees get a raw deal.  People travel for miles to see the cherry blossoms in Washington DC, and I think our Juneberries are just as pretty.  Later, these trees will have berries that are very edible, but not too many people actually seem to harvest them.  The flavor does vary between trees though, so you may need to sample several to find the best.  While we have to wait for the fruit, pollinators are enjoying the nectar right now.  Watching a flowering tree in our yard earlier this week, it was easy to spot at least three species of bee, several Painted Lady butterflies, a clear wing hummingbird moth, and a real hummingbird.  We’ve all learned the importance of pollinators recently, and all these flowering trees and shrubs provide lots of food for these important insects and birds.  Plus, the fruit later will not only feed us, but also plenty of wildlife.

One of the less popular nectar eating insects is the black fly.  If they would stick to nectar, no one would have a problem, but unfortunately for us, the females need a blood meal before laying eggs and people are the involuntary blood donors.  Black flies have been awful this year all the way down to the Cities.  Unlike mosquitoes whose larvae are found in stagnant water, black fly larvae are in nice clean running water.  They provide food for fish, and so are an important link in the food chain, and it is just too bad that in this case the food chain also includes us.  DEET based repellents are usually not very effective, and while there are lots of other repellents you can try, I usually end up just using a head net and long sleeves.

Another sign of the times, deer are dropping their fawns.  I haven’t seen a fawn yet myself, but I have seen some local deer that suspiciously went from fat to thin overnight.  If you do see a fawn, remember that they are ‘latchkey’ children.  The doe will leave them alone while she goes off to forage.  Too often, well-meaning people pick up “abandoned” fawns which are actually only temporarily left alone.  That same advice applies to other animals.  Hares do the same thing, and baby birds too big to fit in the nest are often found on the ground or in a bush waiting for the parents to return.  All these baby animals need to be left alone.

Ravens nest early, so their young have already graduated from the nest to the air.  You can see flights of raven families with the young calling after the parents – most likely asking for food, but I’m suspicious that they might be whining “Are we there yet?” as well.

On June 1, 2020, the Superior National Forest opened overnight camping in a limited number of developed campgrounds. This is in alignment with Minnesota Governor’s announcement on May 20, 2020 which allowed campgrounds to re-open starting June 1 under the Stay Safe Phase for Reopening Society Plan. Note that water and outhouse facilities are not available at campgrounds which are still closed.  We are also re-opening outhouse facilities at some trailheads including Britton Peak, Oberg Mountain, Pincushion Mountain, and Eagle Mountain.  Other outhouses remain closed, so plan accordingly. For a full list of open areas and up-to-date information on campground re-openings, visit our website. 

Spring road restrictions have been lifted across the Forest, so timber hauling is back.  You may encounter truck traffic on the 4 Mile Grade, The Grade, Cook County 27, Cook County 8, the Sunfish Lake Road and the Greenwood Road. 

Despite our sprinkling of rain, we are going back into high fire danger.  The woods continue to green up, which is good, but winds are fairly high making it easy for an unattended fire to get out of control.  There were a number of such unattended campfires found this past week…so we have to repeat what seems obvious:  please put your fire out when you leave.

I mentioned young ravens leaving the nest, but ravens aren’t the only graduates out there this spring.  We’d like to congratulate all Northwoods class of 2020 as you spread your wings and take off.  May you have the opportunity to explore many other national forests, parks, and wilderness areas in your lives.  The Forest Service uses the catchphrase “Get Out There”, and we’d like to encourage you all to do just that.  Until next time, this is Steve Robertsen with the National Forest Update.
 

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Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - May 22

Superior National Forest Update with Steve Robertsen, Education and Interpretation specialist with the USDA Forest Service-Superior National Forest.
May 22, 2020

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SNF Update

Superior National Forest Update - April 24

Superior National Forest Update with Steve Robertsen.
April 24, 2020

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Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - April 10

Superior National Forest Update with Information and Education Specialist, Steve Robertsen.
April 10, 2020

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