To some, it’s paradise. So, how would you like to volunteer to help keep paradise beautiful?
The Boundary Waters Advisory Committee is seeking volunteers to help maintain trails in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness this year.
Trips of varied skill levels are planned for the Brule Lake/Eagle Mountain, Snowbank, Kekekabic, and Sioux Hustler trails. The committee hopes to receive U.S. Forest Service approval to work on the Pow Wow Trail, which was significantly impacted in the Pagami Creek fire in 2011.
The BWAC was founded in 2002 to preserve the historic and beautiful trails in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of the Superior National Forest. In 2012, BWAC volunteers worked with the U.S. Forest Service to survey and maintain the Kekekabic, Eagle Mountain, Brule Lake, Sioux Hustler, and Pow Wow trails.
On Sunday, News Tribune outdoors writer Sam Cook told you about Duluthians Charlie Farrow and Jason Buffington, who finished the Iditarod Trail Invitational, a 350-mile fat-tire bike race in Alaska.
What we failed to mention was that a former Duluthian, Tim Berntson, finished second in the race.
Berntson lives in Anchorage now. His parents, Russell and Bev Berntson, reside at Island Lake.
Q. Where is the second-best adventure travel hub in the world?
A. Duluth, according to Outside magazine’s April Outside Travel Awards issue.
The magazine credits the trails, Spirit Mountain, Lake Superior, and its proximity to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It calls the city a “magnet for aerobic fiends who train year-round” and recommends taking a room at Fitger’s Inn.
Outside’s Best Adventure Hub in the whole world, by the way, is Kununurra, Australia. But no one beats us in the Northern Hemisphere.
As we’ve reported several times, the Northland is seeing an influx of owls from Canada this winter. They’ve moved south in search of food, such as mice and voles.
While many owls are finding good pickings in our area, some owls, inevitably, will perish here. But some good may come of that. The Duluth Audubon Society reports the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is collecting dead boreal or saw-whet owls this winter for use in research.
If you find a dead owl, place it in a plastic bag with the date and general location where it was found, and take it to the nearest Minnesota DNR wildlife office — in Duluth, Cloquet, Two Harbors, Tower or wherever you may be.
Looking for another chance to ice fish this winter?
The Kiwanis Club of Cloquet hosts the 11th annual Last Chance ice fishing contest from noon to 3 p.m. today at Hi-Banks Resort on Fish Lake.
No luck catching fish? No problem. There’ll be a raffle and a chance to win prizes, too.
All proceeds go to the Salvation Army, area food shelves and the Special Olympics.
Call (218) 390-7556 for more information.
Perhaps you remember golden eagle No. 53, the bird that was banded Nov. 12 at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. The eagle, dubbed “Jack” by researchers at Audubon Minnesota, now is spending its time in southern Missouri near the Arkansas border. The bird was fitted with a GPS-satellite collar that transmits updates by sending e-mails to a satellite then back to researchers.
Jack has been in that part of Missouri since Christmas, said Mark Martell, director of bird conservation at Audubon Minnesota. The eagle, a male thought to be at least 5 years old, was trapped by Frank Nicoletti, director of banding at Hawk Ridge.
The eagle’s locations are noted each hour during daylight hours and stored in the small transmitter he carries on his back. Every three days, the locations are sent to a satellite, which e-mails the data to Martell.
Golden eagles that migrate through northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin often spend their winters in southeastern Minnesota or western Wisconsin, but Jack decided to go farther south.
Follow updates on eagle No. 53.
Smokey Bear warned against wildfires, but he never said anything about theft.
Wisconsin Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward to find Smokey Bear — or at least a 6-foot-tall reflective aluminum sign of the iconic “Only you can prevent wildfires” bruin.
The bear-nappers stole the sign in the Town of Caledonia in Columbia County (north of Madison) during the past two to three weeks. The landowner and the local emergency fire warden are hoping to get this valuable public information sign back in service.
Anyone with information on the missing sign is asked to contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office at (608) 742-4166, Crime Stoppers at (800) 293-8477 or their local Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources conservation warden. Callers are eligible for a reward for up to $1,000 for leading to the recovery of the stolen sign along with prosecution of the thief.
The city of Duluth reports that with the recent snowfall its cross-country ski trails are in excellent condition.
The city trails include:
- Hartley, with a double-looped 5-kilometer trail groomed for traditional cross-country skiing at beginning and intermediate levels.
- Piedmont, with a 5K double-tracked loop that is appropriate for traditional skiers of all levels.
- Lester/Amity, with 18K of trails groomed for both traditional and skate-style skiing.
- Spirit Mountain, with 22 kilometers of double-tracked trails with skating lanes and 1K, 5K and 11K loops.
Hikers and dogs are not allowed on groomed trails. Skiers older than 15 require a Minnesota ski pass on all Grants-in-Aid trails.
Information on trail conditions can be found on the ski hot line at (218) 730-4321 or by searching for “duluthparksmn” on Facebook.
Attention, outdoor adventurers. This Eh? desker will be holed up in a rec room somewhere playing PlayStation 3 this weekend, but that doesn’t mean someone else shouldn’t enjoy the weather.
The Winter Walk on the River is 1-3 p.m. Saturday and begins at the Boy Scout Landing parking lot in New Duluth.
Walk the St. Louis River and catch some views of the shoreline, the former saw mills in Radio Tower Bay and the factory ruins.
But make sure you’re prepared. Bring skis or snowshoes, if you want, and dress in layers.
The event is free, plus there’ll be hot chocolate and tea available.
Call (218) 733-9520 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The new blanket of snow we were forecast to receive overnight should set up some great conditions for Saturday’s free candlelight ski on the Afterhours Trail in Northwestern Wisconsin’s Brule Rive State Forest.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reports that the event, held from 5-9 p.m., will include a bonfire, hot apple cider, a gas grill for cooking and a warming shelter — and two miles of candle-lit ski trails, of course.
The Afterhours Trail is located off U.S. Highway 2 just west of Brule, or about 30 miles east of Superior.
Whether you hit the trails in Brule or get outdoors at some other spot in the Northland, this weekend should feel like a heat wave after our recent cold weather. Highs on Saturday are forecast to reach the teens — above zero — and on Sunday we may see highs in the mid- to upper 20s.