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Tag Archive | "Upper Peninsula"

Fall colors nearing prime


By Judy Reed

 

Now is the time to take a drive and take in all the beautiful fall colors Michigan has to offer in our area.

Color is filling in fast in our area, and some leaves have already dropped. Trees are expected to peak in the next couple of weeks.

Most of the Upper Peninsula is nearing peak. According to Pure Michigan’s fall color update, this week, traveling I-75 north of St. Ignace, you’ll find brilliant reds, greens and yellows covering a variety of trees. In the northern lower peninsula, The Grand Traverse Bay region is showing brilliant crimson color, especially at the edge of the forests, while sugar maples are starting to glow with reds, oranges and gold. There’s dusky purple in the ash trees and warm gold in the walnuts, while the cottonwood trees near the Sleeping Bear Dunes on the Leelanau Peninsula are turning a bright buttery yellow now, and the honey locusts are a warm gold. Full peak color is still at least a week away in most parts of the Grand Traverse Bay region.

A drive around our community shows an array of bright, beautiful leaves, as shown in the photos on this page. These photos were taken in areas just in townships surrounding Cedar Springs. Take a walk along the White Pine Trail, or a drive through our surrounding townships—Solon, Nelson, Courtland, Oakfield, Spencer, and Algoma—and you are sure to be delighted with the colors in this fall’s fashion show!

 

 

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Duck Lake fire contained


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported yesterday, June 13, that roughly three weeks after it started with a lightning strike in the eastern Upper Peninsula’s Luce County, the Duck Lake Fire is now 100 percent contained. Recent GPS data show the fire stands at 21,069 acres.

The south end of the fire is 14 miles north of Newberry and 7 miles west of Tahquamenon Falls State Park campgrounds. The lighting-strike caused fire, which was first detected on Thursday, May 24, is long and narrow and stretches 11 miles north to the Lake Superior shoreline. In all, fire crews constructed more than 42.6 miles of contained fireline.

wildfire

Over 100 structures were lost in the Duck Lake Fire in the Upper Peninsula.
Photo courtesy Michigan DNR

DNR officials expect the on-scene incident commander will return to his home unit today, and the Duck Lake Fire incident team will go into “patrol” status, meaning the fire will be monitored daily with local equipment.

“Wildfire season is tough, no question. We continually prepare for this time of year, but also hope the need for firefighting resources will be low,” said Bill O’Neill, acting chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division. “With the Duck Lake Fire, that just wasn’t the case. Weather conditions helped turn this into an unpredictable, fast-growing fire. However, we’re grateful that we’ve achieved containment without loss of life or injury to any firefighters or citizens.”

O’Neill praised the many agencies and organizations that provided tremendous help in battling the blaze or supporting fire crews. These include the Michigan National Guard, Michigan State Police, Michigan State Police Emergency Management, Luce County Sheriff’s Department, Red Cross, Luce County Emergency Management, Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Wisconsin DNR, Minnesota DNR, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Beartown and UPCAP (211).

In all, there were 141 properties within the perimeter of the fire. Of those, a total of 136 structures were lost (with a breakdown as follows):

49 homes/cabins (including a store and a motel)
23 garages
38 sheds/outbuildings
26 campers
A total of 57 personnel (of which 19 are overhead personnel) remain on the Duck Lake Fire.

Today, crews plan to:
Grid for hot spots and mop up 200 feet inside the fireline;
Prepare for timber salvage; and
Assess ORV trails for damage and mitigation.
The DNR reported that although all roads in the fire area are now open to the public, the Two-Hearted ORV trail is closed indefinitely east of County Road 414 due to fire damage to trails and safety signs.

Area residents lined the streets of Newberry on May 27 to welcome home returning firefighters–a wonderful sight for the hard-working crews!

A special note about area tourism and businesses: The DNR reminds the public that the Tahquamenon Falls/Paradise Area is open for business. With 100-percent containment on the Duck Lake Fire, campgrounds, state parks, resorts and other businesses throughout the region and the Upper Peninsula are open and eager to welcome tourists. While visitors are asked to stay clear of ongoing fire-monitoring efforts, the rest of the U.P. stands ready to offer up Pure Michigan vacation memories.
The DNR strongly encourages all residents and visitors in all parts of the state to exercise caution with open burning and use of fireworks during this high fire-danger season to minimize the possibility of more wildfires. For wildfire prevention tips, visit www.michigan.gov/preventwildfires.

For more information on the Duck Lake Fire situation, visit www.michigan.gov/dnr (where you can sign up for wildfire incident updates via email or text message) or follow www.twitter.com/michiganDNR, www.twitter.com/michiganDNR_UP or www.facebook.com/miDNR.

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DNR confirms cougar in UP


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed last week the presence of a cougar in Ontonagon County, on the far western side of the Upper Peninsula. The animal was captured on a trail camera on private property on Sept. 8, walking directly toward the front of the camera and clearly showing it has an ear tag and a radio collar.
DNR Wildlife Division staff visited the property Sept. 12 where the trail cam is mounted and verified the location of the camera.
“We are pleased that the individuals that caught this animal on video reported it promptly to the DNR and allowed us to verify the location of the camera,” said Adam Bump, a wildlife biologist with the DNR’s Cougar Team. “It is a very interesting sighting given the fact that the cougar has been radio-collared and ear-tagged.”
The DNR is in the process of tracking down where the cougar is from, and is contacting other states with known cougar populations. Only western states currently have cougars collared for research projects, so it is possible that the animal traveled a great distance to reach the Upper Peninsula.
The Department will inform the public as soon as more details are known about this cougar.
Cougars, also known as mountain lions, originally were native to Michigan but were thought to have been extirpated around the turn of the last century.The last known wild cougar taken in Michigan was killed near Newberry in 1906. However, sightings are regularly reported and although verification is often difficult, the DNR has verified two sets of cougar tracks and confirmed the location of a cougar photo in the eastern Upper Peninsula in 2009 and several sets of cougar tracks in Marquette and Delta counties in 2008.
Established cougar populations are found as close to Michigan as North and South Dakota, and transient cougars dispersing from these areas have been known to travel hundreds of miles in search of new territory. Characteristic evidence of cougars include tracks, which are about three inches long by three and a half inches wide and typically show no claw marks, or suspicious kill sites, such as deer carcasses that are largely intact and have been buried with sticks and debris.
Reports of cougar tracks and other evidence should be made to a local DNR office or by calling the department’s 24-hour Report All Poaching line at 800-292-7800. If a citizen comes into contact with a cougar, the following behavior is recommended:
- Stop, stand tall, pick up small children and do not run. A cougar’s instinct is to chase.
- Do not approach the animal.
- Try to appear larger than the cougar. Never take your eyes off the animal or turn your back. Do not crouch down or try to hide.
- If the animal displays aggressive behavior, shout, wave your arms and throw rocks. The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey, but a potential danger.
- If a cougar attacks, fight back aggressively and try to stay on your feet. Do not play dead. Cougars have been driven away by people who have fought back.
Cougars are classified as an endangered species in Michigan. It is unlawful to kill, harass or otherwise harm a cougar except in the immediate defense of human life. To learn more about cougars and how to identify their tracks, go www.michigan.gov/cougars.

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