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Estivant Pines. In 1974 I helped install the first. Then in 1978 we
rebuilt with cedar. Thirty years later the old boards were just about
out of spring. Nails have eroded the wood and some boards were turning
into spring boards. We are replacing the old with a new plank walkway
that will be easier and safer. A lot of the old boards are being
recycled as decking. With over a 1,000 ft. to build it will take a lot
of material and a few work days. Ted and Alice Soldan are the stewards
and are excited about getting it all done early next summer.
Visitation in the Estivant Pines this summer was over 8,000. With
this steady increase we had to provide more parking spaces at the
entrance. Ten more angle spots were put in along the Burma Rd.
Additional trail re-routes and improvements are planned for next summer
as we protect and preserve this unique place.
Keweenaw. I have the finest group of volunteer stewards,(several are
resource managers) who keep me busy finding ways to facilitate their
suggestions as they protect and improve their sanctuaries. We have 9
other conservancies in the region who often quiz me about how I get so
much done. I give the credit to my volunteers.
The following photos illustrate my point. Black Creek N.S.was ravaged by
ORVs. It took a major 2 yr.effort to inform, educate and enforce, these
trespassers. We were successful only because the stewards kept a 24/7
vigil. Our next task was to help nature repair the damage to the
habitat. We re-routed over a mile of our hiking trail to take all the
pressure off the damaged areas. Then came the bridges, plantings (3,000
total)and other erosion control measures. Three years later we are on
our way with a restoration plan and education of the hikers, skiers, and
snowshoer's who visit.
We have accomplished these kinds of projects at a low cost. Truck loads
of native cedar logs were purchased, milled and installed as board
walks, bridges, signs, and benches. All this, including the milling by
volunteers! It is a story I have to tell as the snow flies and I look
back over this past year. It is a tribute to all my stewards and
volunteers, I only buy the nails and haul the lumber.
The bridge beams were floated the mile to the site.
Beams in place
Vista from new trail bench
2006 ORV damage
Tree planters filling in trail
Grinnell Mem. at Bare Bluff
the last couple years. This increase traffic makes us as stewards look
at the increased impact. At Bare Bluff our trail is one of the most
difficult and the increased use and steep elevation changes, caused us
to look at how we could make the trail easier, safer, and eliminate
potential erosion. In August and October work days were held to design
and build two big improvements. On the lower trail we now have a 365 ft.
re-route which includes 3 switchbacks and traverses a talus slope
greatly improving the footing. On the NW portion of the 3 mile loop we
designed and built 700 ft. of sustainable, low maintence trail with
grades of no more than 15%. The old trail was over 30%. These two
re-routes are major improvements to the visitors comfort and safety as
well as lessning the impact.
Trail Builders School Comes to Keweenaw
school was well attended with over 40 people at the lectures on Saturday
and work session Sunday. Building sustainable, low maintence trails to
national standards was the emphasis.
Sunday morning the group put its newly attained knowledge to practice by
building a badly needed 1,200 foot re-route in the James D. Rooks
Memorial N.S. at Garden Brook, one mile south of Copper Harbor. It was a
great learning experience and the knowledge will certainly be applied in
Nature is the Winner
the public to enter and enjoy our sanctuaries, yet protect and preserve
what is special about that particular place requires a plan. Many of you
helped me write management plans for your sanctuary back in 03 / 04. It
was a detailed process that organized our thoughts and put you as the
steward and I as the manager on the same page. This year we saw the real
value of those management plans. They have sure helped us set
priorities, focus activities and on occasion brought us back to the long
range outlook. The mapping of habitats, plant communities, and
documentation of these has been valuable when it came time to design
that trail re-route to buffer a delicate area. Please read your
Management Plan at least once a year so we can talk when the conditions
and need for updates arise.
Bare Bluff-Grinnell outing Postponed
The slow spring is hurting us as the road conditions are not improving
very fast at Bare Bluff. So I have postponed the work days and LNT
campout which was scheduled for this weekend May 16-17. I will be out of
town the following week so I will reschedule when I return. Stay tuned.
The Black Creek restoration work progressed well. We planted 1,500
White and Red Pine, 1,000 Red Osier Dogwood and 500 White Cedar. Photos
of all the progress are forth coming. Phase II will happen this fall
after we access our spring success rate. Jim and Joy Ziemnick, Black
Creek Stewards are proud of the new trail complete with sitting spots to
slow the hiker down and help us appreciate the beauty of Black and Hill
Creeks. I invite you to hike the trail soon.
Bare Bluff / Grinnell Rescheduled
We are rescheduling the LNT campout and work days at Bare Bluff
/Grinnell for Friday May 16 and Sat. May 17. See details on the Keepers
Blog from earlier announcements. The slow spring is the reason for the
reschedule as the road into the sanctuary is impassable now.
Please consider helping plant trees at Black Creek next Mon. May 5, and
Wed.May 7, and Thurs. May 8.