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Superior National Forest Update: September 9

Hi. This is Tom McCann, resource information specialist, with this week’s National Forest Update - information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the east end of the Forest. For the week of September, here’s what’s going on in the Forest.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of a certain television show which promoted the idea of ‘boldly going where no one has gone before’. While we can’t all go trekking off into space, we can follow the spirit behind these words by exploring new parts of our Forest in canoes or by car, and discovering new adventures. Take your time, look under rocks for salamanders, scope out the birds, or take a magnifying glass to that weird looking lichen. Who knows? Maybe you will discover new life and new civilizations.

As you explore, you may find yourself traveling down some new routes this week to avoid construction. There is culvert work being done that has closed the Richey Lake Road at a point about a half mile south of The Grade. This work should be completed in a week, but meanwhile, you’ll have to find alternative routes. Culverts are also being replaced on The Grade between the Sawbill Trail and Crescent Lake Campground. The road may be closed for periods of between half an hour to a full day for the next two weeks.

Logging traffic can be found on The Grade between the Sawbill Trail and Baker Lake, on the Sawbill Landing road near Silver Island and Sawbill Landing, and on County Rd 7 near Harriett Lake. On the Gunflint Distict, harvest is taking place off the Greenwood Road, Firebox Road, and Powers Lake Road, so expect truck traffic in those areas.

We have a lot of people helping us this week, and we’d like to thank them all. A crew has been doing restoration work on the CCC-built log buildings at the Tofte Ranger Station. Rotten logs have been replaced, windows re-glazed, and chinking between logs restored. In another area, eight members of the Blackwell Job Corps will be carrying on the tradition of the CCC’s themselves by clearing the Border Route Trail in the wilderness for ten days.

We’re inviting people to join us for an open house at the Gunflint Ranger Station on Thursday, September 15 from 4 to 6 pm to learn more about the prescription burns planned for this fall. There will be maps and people on hand to answer questions.

 So, as the reality of fall hits, and the kids go back to school, and you recall that the snowblower wasn’t actually working right last spring, and that you really still need three days of hot weather to put the sealant you bought in March on the driveway, and that the two bushels of apples from the tree won’t turn into applesauce just by sitting on the table…take the time to escape into the Forest and boldly go where no one has gone before. After all, it is your five year mission.

Until next week, this has been Tom McCann with the Superior National Forest Update.