West End News April 7

Fishing in the BWCAW
Fishing in the BWCAW

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The tax helpers will be at Birch Grove just one more Wednesday, April 14, which is just a day before the deadline for turning in your income tax returns. Thanks to all of the volunteers who have helped the folks in the West End with their returns this year. Thanks also to Birch Grove for hosting this program each year.

The official date for submitting your census forms was April 1. I have heard that the census bureau is allowing a grace period until April 15 for mailing in the census forms. After that date the census bureau will start sending out people to make visits to those addresses that have not yet sent in the form by mail.

The census bureau says that it costs less than a dollar to process a form that is mailed in. It costs close to fifty dollars if a census worker has to make a physical visit to get the information. So I encourage folks to mail in the form. If you have misplaced the form, contact the census folks. You can get a duplicate. If you never got a form in the mail by all means contact the census office. This does happen.

By now everyone must know that funding for many government projects depends on census counts, from representation in Congress to road projects. It is in our best interest to get as complete a count as possible. Cook County has been delinquent in returning census forms in previous census counts. Not this time, please.

There is an interesting statistic in the current issue of Range View, the publication of the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission. The statistic is that 90 percent of the businesses in Cook County have four or fewer employees. The number of businesses in our county was not given in the article. What is defined as a business was not given either.

The Minnesota Department of Resources put an embargo on fire permits on Monday, April 5. The US Forest Service adopted the same policy. Until there is significant rain the fire danger needs to be kept in mind all the time. I cannot imagine starting a fire anywhere outdoors as long as these dry conditions persist.

There already has been a wild fire at Isabella which destroyed a residence.

The date of ice out on the inland lakes will be the earliest in recent history. This presents an opportunity for canoeing without bugs, and without crowds. One little glitch is that fishing season is not open, so if you do take advantage of the open lakes, don't be tempted to jump the season.

I remember an incident that happened in our store many years ago. Much the same situation existed, the ice was out a week or so before fishing season started. An out of state customer was purchasing a fishing license. After the license was issued I gave him the book of regulations and mentioned that the season would not be open for another week. He inquired about the number of game wardens in the area. I told him that there was just one. He took a deep breath and then guessed that in the huge BWCAW the odds were very small of ever meeting a game warden.

I agreed with him and then introduced him to Dan Ross, the local warden, who had been standing right next to him the whole time. Dan was not in uniform. He had just come off the lake where he had arrested a beaver poacher. After his conversation with Dan the aspiring fisherman had no doubt that he had met a game warden.

Airdate: April 9, 2010

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