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Superior National Forest Update: October 2

Hi.  I’m Mary Ann Atwood, administrative support assistant on the Gunflint Ranger District, with this week’s edition of the National Forest Update - information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the Gunflint and Tofte Districts of the Forest.  For the week of October 2nd, here’s what’s going on in the Forest.

Fall Colors
Looks like this will be a fabulous fall color weekend on the forest. Those who predict such things believe we are at or near peak color…perfect timing to get outdoors and drive, hike or paddle your way through the forest.
While leaf-peeping, be aware of slow moving or stopped vehicles and choose safe spots to pull over with plenty of room for other vehicles to pass.
Autumn brings fall color, shorter days and various hunting seasons.  If you are spending time in the forest, wear an orange vest or hat.  This time of year, orange is definitely the new black. 

Logging Operations
Timber operations have somewhat slowed on the Tofte District.  There will be log trucks on The Grade and Sawbill Landing, (otherwise known as Trappers Lake Road), but there are no other operations. 
On the Gunflint district, there is much more activity.  You may encounter trucks on the following roads: Murmur Creek, Caribou Trail, Bally Creek, Greenwood, Old Greenwood, Firebox, Shoebox Lake, South Brule River, Lima Grade, and the Gunflint Trail. 

Fire News
Fire danger in the woods is currently low to moderate.  Taking advantage of this fact, our fire crews are burning slash piles.  Don’t be surprised to see some smoke as piles are burned.  You can call district offices for details. 
If you are planning to burn a brush pile, be sure to get a burn permit.  Permits can be acquired at the district offices or on the DNRs web site.

Additional Autumnal Alterations
As of October 1st, district office hours have changed.  We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30 pm, closed on weekends.
Also as of October 1st  free self-issue permits are all that is needed for day or overnight visits to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  Self-issue permits are available at all entrée points and district offices.
The water systems on Superior’s campgrounds get shut down sometime this month – the timing is weather dependent. Garbage service also comes to an end.  Our campgrounds are open year round, visitors just need to plan a little differently…bring water and pack out your trash.   Campground updates will be posted on until November, that’s  With this comes good news and bad news.  The bad news is: once the water is shut off, you can no longer reserve a campsite.   The good news is you don’t have to pay a camping fee. 
Keep in mind; while the Chicago Bears can’t win a game, the Superior’s bears are still awake.   Follow the “Leave No Trace” guidelines paying close attention to food and garbage storage.

To quote Lauren DeStefano author of Wither, "Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale."   Savor the Superior this season.
Until next week, this has been Mary Ann Atwood with the Superior National Forest Update.