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Superior National Forest Update: July 18

USDA_SNForest_update_20140718.mp33.18 MB

Hi.  I’m Steve Robertsen with the Superior National Forest Update  -  information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts of the Forest. 
For the week of July 18th, here’s what’s going on around the Forest.
Much of the Forest is still pretty wet.  This is really helping lower fire danger, as well as making it a very green spring so far.  When you’re hiking or boating though, you’ll probably encounter signs of high water.  Familiar water routes may be a bit different than in other years with lower water level.  While driving, you should watch for soft shoulders and water on the road after rains as there isn’t a lot of space for quick drainage.  You may also run into logging traffic near Harriet Lake, the Four Mile Grade, and the Sawbill Trail on the Tofte District, and near Shoe Lake, Greenwood Lake, and Devil Track Lake on the Gunflint.  Gravel trucks are hauling gravel for construction along the Caribou.  There are crews out grading Forest roads over the next few weeks, and other crews brushing ditches in the Tofte District.
Fire crews are still working on fuel reduction at East Bearskin Campground, so there will be people there cutting and removing undergrowth.  This operation will move to Baker Lake Campground later this week.  All of this work will help to reduce the amount of fuel available for wild fires and to help create a more natural forest structure.  Two fire crews from our Forest are headed out west to help with wildfires in Washington, so we will wish them luck!
We are working with seasonal crews from the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa.  These hard working young people are working on lots of different projects on the Forest from trail maintenance to timber marking and gaining hands on experience that could help them in careers in resource management.
This next week, they may be finding plenty of blueberries as they work as well.  Blueberries seem to be abundant and on the edge of ripeness this week.  We’ll see what the weather is and if the crop lives up to its promise.  Remember if you are picking berries, stay away from any areas that might have been sprayed for weed control or insects.  Wildlife biologists conducted the last of the spring frog surveys as our amphibians wind down their spring chorus.  Birds still are singing though with our cool weather and lengthened spring.
For up to the minute information on topics such as fire restrictions, be sure to check our website or at a Ranger Station. 
Hope you enjoy another week in the Forest and on the water.  Until next week, this has been Steve Robertsen with the National Forest Update.