Aug 17 2011
Aug 17 2011
The Department of the Interior has removed the Lake Erie watersnake from the federal endangerd species act. New York Times excerpt and link:
From dangerously low numbers in the late 1990’s, the population of Lake Erie watersnakes rebounded to more than 10,000 in 2009. The snake is generally a muddy gray color and eats small fish and amphibians.
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons
Aug 14 2011
The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports that the Michigan State Police and a variety of local law enforcement agencies busted a marijuana growing operation that used a portion of the Waterloo State Recreation Area.
Aug 14 2011
Until recently, the only place in Michigan where it was possible to see the American Lotus was along the western shores of Lake Erie. The Livingston Daily reports that Kent Lake in Livingston/Oakland County’s Kensington Metropark now boasts a thriving bed of American Lotus.
Aug 03 2011
One of my favorite movies of all time is the Shawshank Redemption. The movie starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman is a cinematic classic about the triumph of hope in the most hopeless of places – prison. The main character in the film, Andy DuFresne (Robbins), pulls off a harrowing escape from the prison and leaves directions for his friend, Red (Freeman). The directions lead to a large oak tree where a small stash of cash allows Red to join Andy at a coastal village in Mexico.
The movie has an adoring fan base. And our region’s hikers have special reason to appreciate the movie. Most scenes from the film were taped in and around Mansfield, OH. Among these were the dramatic scenes under the oak as Red digs up the cash and directions to Mexico. These were filmed at Malabar Farms State Park in Ohio.
I have always told myself that I would find that spot. Has it happened? Not yet. And it appears that the clock is ticking on that experience because a recent storm damaged the oak. Its future is in question. For the first time ever on this blog, I link to TMZ:
Apr 25 2011
A bill in the Ohio Legislature would allow for oil and gas drilling within the Ohio State Parks – and in other state lands not previously open to drilling. This is a complicated issue. Michigan has a program that allows drilling on some public lands. The royalties are placed into a trust fund for parks. Michigan’s program is good. However, the Ohio proposal seems tilted much more heavily to the resource extraction side. Read more at the link below:
Apr 24 2011
The Milan Public Library is hosting a program about Isle Royale National Park on May 4 at 7:30PM. The program will feature Jim DuFresne, the author of the definitive guidebook about hiking and paddling the island. More from the SOLAR group list:
The Milan Public LIbrary is sponsoring a free program with Jim Dufresne on
Wednesday, May 4 from 7:30-9:00 pm featuring a virtual tour of Isle Royale and
its abundant natural beauty and outdoor adventure possibities. It will be held
at the Milan Community House, 47 Neckels Dr., Milan, MI. More information is
available at 734-439-1240 or at www.milanlibrary.org.
Milan Public Library
Apr 17 2011
Through a lifetime of hiking, I have come to realize that there are probably more hiking opportunities in SE Michigan per square mile than any area of the state. Millions of people live here, so there has been enough tax base to purchase and maintain parks. These millions have wielded enough political power through the years to guarantee the creation of dozens of state and metroparks in the area. And volunteer trail crews are more likely to be found in populated areas rather than rural places.
And some of the best hiking in SE Michigan can be found in Oakland County. Heralding these great trails is a fantastic writer for the Oakland Press, Jonathan Schechter. Each Sunday, the Press publishes one of Schechter’s great reviews. Together, his articles are a great repository of hiking knowledge about SE Michigan.
Today’s editions include a report from the Davis Lake Overlook. Check it out at the following link:
Apr 17 2011
For much of the last decade, state Department of Natural Resources officials have worked on a land trade with a local gravel mining operation. Waterloo would trade 70 acres of land to the mining operation. In exchange, the park would gain more than four times that amount of territory – a combination of previously-mined land and natural acreage. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund would gain funding via future mine leases.
Some nearby landowners do not like the deal. Some state lawmakers question expansion of state-owned land. However, the trade has always had the support of DNR officials. Personally, I think that it’s a good idea. Several hundred acres of new land to explore is pretty nice.
More from the Detroit News:
Apr 13 2011
For years, mountain bike enthusiasts in Northwest Ohio have bemoaned the lack of trails in and around Toledo. There are many reasons for the relative paucity of bike trails. The state border means that the very active Michigan Mountain Biking Association is not formally active there. The main park agency in the region - Toledo Metroparks – is generally not friendly to mountain biking.
This lack of trails, however, is beginning to be remedied. Last Fall, the City of Toledo and a variety of volunteers opened a 3.3 mile trail system at Jermain Park near the University of Toledo. At 3.3 miles, the trail system is just long enough to give a mountain biker a nice after-work ride. The trail is multi-use, so hikers can also get an hour or so of hiking fun right in the middle of the city.
WTOL/Ch. 11 Story: http://www.wtol.com/Global/story.asp?S=13253608