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Superior National Forest Update: October 17

USDA_SNForest_update_Riederer_20141017.mp34.32 MB

Hi again; this is Matt Riederer, Timber Sale Administrator for the Tofte Ranger District, with the Superior National Forest Update.  For the week of October 17th, here is what’s going on that may affect travel and recreation on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts of the Forest. 
The road construction on Highway 61 is finally starting to come to an end, with more and more pavement daily.  But - for a while longer, be patient and plan a little extra time when coming up from the south.  Once you have arrived on the Forest, you can expect logging traffic in the same areas as last week.  On the Gunflint District:  the Bally Creek Road, Devil Track Road, Ball Club Road, Shoe Lake Road, Greenwood Road, Pine Mountain Road, The Grade, Gunflint Trail, Swamp Lake Road, Cascade River Road, Cook County 7 and Cook County 45 are all being used for hauling.  The Tofte District is currently less busy, with truck traffic on the Mark Lake Road, Caribou Trail, Cook County 3, The Grade, and the 4 Mile Grade.  There are still people stopping to look at the fall colors, as well as people pulled over for hunting, so watch out for vehicles parked along the side of the road. 
If you smell some smoke in the air, and you are not near a campfire, it might be from one of our Forest Service fire crews burning a slash pile.  Burning slash piles is an important part of reducing hazardous fuels, and it also helps to prepare harvested areas for reforestation.  The temperatures are getting pretty cool at night and the threat of a wildfire is low; but if you are planning on burning brush yourself, be sure to get the appropriate permit, and choose a day with good burning weather.  Remember it is illegal to burn trash in a fire in Minnesota - and generally frowned upon to burn your marshmallows.
The Tofte and Gunflint campgrounds are preparing for winter.  That means that water is being turned off, docks are being removed from boat landings, and trash pick-up is ending.  This is not the end of the camping season, though.  Campgrounds are still open to use; and fall can be a great, bug free time to be outdoors.  Just remember to please pack out what you pack in.  Fall can also be a great time to camp in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  Again, please remember that even though you do not have to pay for a permit after October 1st, you still need to fill out a self-issued permit before you go.  This helps us keep track of how many people are using the wilderness.  Self-issued permits are available at the Tofte and Gunflint Ranger Stations or at the Boundary Waters entry points.
Have a great week in the Forest.  Maybe try something different, go on one last canoe trip; or take advantage of our moonlit and longer nights, and go for a night hike.  And if you have any questions about where to go or what to do, stop by the Ranger Station.  We’re open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and we’ll be happy to help you enjoy your time on the Superior.  Until next week, this has been Matt Riederer with the Superior National Forest Update.