Around Cook County
Each week the WTIP news staff puts together a roundup of the news over the past five days. A Boundary Waters death, a rare bear attack, more completed bike trails, mining samples start and a lot of salt and discovery of a mysterious wreck…all in this week’s news.
This year only, museum visitors can enjoy a special exhibit about the Boostrom family of Clearwater Lake, the first pioneer family of the Gunflint Trail. Charlie Boostrom first came to northern Minnesota in 1909 and started Clearwater Lodge in 1915 with his wife, Petra. The exhibit features stories from Charlie and Petra’s 10 children and a number of family artifacts. The exhibit runs through Oct. 20.
Chik-Wauk and the Gunflint Trail Historical Society will present a number of special events and a series of naturalist programs during the summer months. A schedule for the full season calendar of events is available at www.chikwauk.com or call (218) 388-9915.
Housed in the former Chik-Wauk Lodge, Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center opened in 2010. The museum presents the cultural and natural history of the Gunflint Trail through dioramas, video displays, and family friendly interactive exhibits. Seven nature trails, including two ADA accessible paths, crisscross the museum’s 50 acres. Grounds are dog-friendly and feature several picnicking spots.
Open daily, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., until Sunday, Oct. 20 during the 2013 season. Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center is located 55 miles up the Gunflint Trail (Cook County Highway 12). The Gunflint Trail Historical Society oversees operations at Chik-Wauk.
This summer, North House Folk School launches a new wooden boat adoption program specifically designed for local summer residents.
The school is looking for water-loving folks who want to lavish some TLC on a small wooden boat this spring, summer and fall. The reward? Countless placid evenings, halcyon mornings, and the occasional calm afternoon spent rowing around the Grand Marais harbor during the fleeting summer months. Consider this a summer fling; your commitment doesn't extend past the first snowflakes of fall. You'll be left with only sweet harbor memories of your boat, and none of the winter boat blues.
Boat Friends (BFs) agree to do some maintenance on a wooden boat in the spring and fall, and in return, are welcome to use the boat in the harbor throughout the summer (in accordance with water safety practices).
Call 387-9762 for more information, or stop by North House to fill out an application.
Cities and developers that need to control urban stormwater to prevent pollution of lakes and streams have a new tool available: the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has launched a wiki version of the Minnesota Stormwater Manual.
The previous manual – at 850 pages and 25 megabytes online – offered a wealth of information, but was cumbersome to use. Thanks to Clean Water Legacy Act funding and a design team from public agencies and private firms, the manual is now available in a web-based format that can be rapidly updated with new developments.
The newly reformatted manual, which is built with the same software as Wikipedia, allows users to collaborate with each other and quickly locate the most recent stormwater information, offering a powerful tool for those who need to comply with stormwater regulations.
The new wiki manual can be accessed by visiting www.pca.state.mn.us and searching for “Minnesota Stormwater Manual.”
Volunteers can help Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists discover the major cause of death of the common loon by collecting dead loon specimens for testing. This statewide study to find answers about loon mortality is being conducted by the DNR’s nongame wildlife program.
“Small studies have been conducted in the past, but they were limited to looking for high mercury concentrations,” said Kevin Woizschke, DNR nongame wildlife specialist and loon watcher coordinator. “This new statewide effort will help answer the big question of what kills our loons. Minnesota’s loon population is about 12,000 birds and the numbers appear stable, but there are still questions about loon mortality.”
The nongame program is asking for help in collecting loons that recently died with no signs of decomposition or obvious predator trauma. Visibly rotten loons should not be collected. To collect a specimen for testing, use disposable gloves to put the dead loon in a plastic bag. To reduce disease risk, try to avoid bare-handed contact when handling dead animals. If gloves are not available, turn a plastic shopping bag inside out and scoop up the specimen with the bag. Place the specimen in a freezer as soon as possible. If a freezer is not available place the specimen in a cooler, surrounded by ice. It is important to deliver the specimen as soon as possible to a local DNR office. All loons need to be labeled with the name of the county, lake, nearest town where it was found, along with person’s name, address and telephone number.
For more information or to locate the nearest DNR officer, call DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free at 888-646-6367.
The Cook County Historical Society is offering two guided walking tours of Grand Marais harbor through the summer.
The tours were created by Harbor Friends, with funding from Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Program, and adapted with permission by the Cook County Historical Society for use in their present programming.
Two tours will be offered - a Lighthouse Point Guided Tour at 11:30 a.m., followed by a West Beach Guided Tour at 1:00 p.m. More information from the Historical Society at 387-2883.
(Click on AM Community Calendar link below to hear an interview with tour guide Molly Hoffman)