Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Lyme Carrying Ticks Headed Northward

Black-legged Ticks, formerly called Deer Ticks, found as far north as Sleeping Bear Dunes

Black-legged, or Deer Tick

Black-legged ticks, the primary vector for spreading Lyme Disease were found at Ludington State Park on small mammals as early as 2004. However, at that time, none of this species was found in Manistee at Orchard Beach State Park.

Now, however, the ticks have not only been found in Manisteee, but as far north as Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Sarah Hamer, of Michigan State University, conducts research and monitors the ticks spread. Their research has revealed that not only are the ticks advancing northward, but that there are more ticks per animal checked. Where there once were single ticks on animals, there now are many more with multiple ticks.

Deer and birds are being looked at as vectors for spreading the ticks up the west coast of Michigan. The small mammals do not travel very far, and the ticks by themselves travel very little.

These ticks are very small, and people should check more carefully for them than for the easily seen Wood Ticks or Dog Ticks

from the Ludington Daily News, June 26, 2007
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pentwater River to Have Lampricide Treatment

July 1st treatment will affect 120th Avenue to Pentwater Lake, both North and South Branches

Sea lamprey larvae live in certain Great Lakes tributaries and transform to parasitic adults that migrate to the Great Lakes and kill fish. Failure to kill the larvae in the rivers would result in significant damage. Infested tributaries must be treated every three to five years.

The US Environmental Protection Agency and Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency have reviewed human health and environmental safety data for lampricides and have concluded that the lampricides Lampricid and Bayluscide pose no unreasonable risk to the general population and the environment.

However, as with any pesticide, the public is advised to use discretion and minimize unnecessary exposure. Lampricides will be metered into the stream for approximately 12 hours, and continually analyzed at predetermined sites to assure that proper concentrations are maintained.

excerpted from the Ludington Daily News, June 21, 2007- see FAIR USE notice.
See Great Lakes Fishery Commission
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Great American Backyard Campout!

Have you registered your campout for the 3rd annual Great American Backyard Campout (GABC) scheduled for Saturday, June 23?

If not, now's the time to show your support by joining this national celebration of the active, outdoor lifestyle. You can register your personal or community campout by visiting

"The Great American Backyard Campout is a fun, meaningful event that every American can participate in," said Michelle Barnes of the Outdoor Industry Foundation. "As an industry, we are promoting Great American Backyard Campout because we want to remind people that opportunities for outdoor recreation are everywhere. It can be as easy as stepping out your own back door."

The Great American Backyard Campout (GABC) is a program of National Wildlife Federation in partnership with Outdoor Industry Foundation. GABC is designed to encourage individuals, families, friends, neighbors, youth and community groups to join together across the nation for a fun night in the great outdoors. Campers can visit the GABC website at to register their campsite and join the nationwide community of backyard campers. They can also share ideas, download fun activities, camping tips, recipes and more.

Great American Backyard Campout
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Fish Survey of Pere Marquette Lake

DNR surveys Pere Marquette Lake to determine fish populations

Pere Marquette Lake is undergoing a fish survey this week thanks to a crew from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Tuesday's netting with gill and Fwyke nets revealed a few surprises - nine walleye between 28 and 31 inches, and a brown trout near the 15-pound mark.

"We want to look at the whole fish community of Pere Marquette Lake," Fisheries Biologist Mark Tonello said. "Game species, non-game species, the whole nine yards. We want to see what kind of forage we've got in there. We want to look at growth rates."

Fisheries technicians release most of the fish alive, taking just a small sample.

Other highlights of Tuesday's netting were a 20-inch gizzard shad, some pumpkinseeds, a handful of keeper-size pike and some perch.

from the Ludington Daily News- see FAIR USE notice.
See Michigan DNR, Fishing
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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Scottville Riverside Park Plans Improvements

DEQ still accepting comments on the project

Tuesday's Michigan Department of Environmental Quality public hearing on plans for construction at the Riverside Park campground drew about 12 people.

Scottville plans to remodel the north section of the campground, adding and relocating sites, and pave the road in the area. In addition, two handicap accessible piers will be added and a new playground installed in the park.

Susan Conradson and Rick Henderson represented the DEQ at the hearing and recorded all of the comments made by citizens. Those comments will be reviewed later by the DEQ as the department decides whether to grant a permit for the work.

Additional comments on the planned Riverside Park construction project may be mailed through June 22 to Barry Peterman (see below).

from the Ludington Daily News, June 14, 2007 - see FAIR USE notice.
Contact Barry Peterman
DEQ Cadillac
120 W. Chapin
Cadillac, MI 49601

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See Scottville Riverside Park

Friday, June 15, 2007

Lifeguards at Stearns Beach this Summer

Ludington has hired six full-time and four part-time lifeguards for Stearns Park beach and plans to have them on duty from noon to 6 pm daily starting Saturday, June 16.

The question of whether to have lifeguards at the city beach have been debated for several years, and the question arose again at Monday night’s council meeting, with councilors taking a stand on both sides of the issue.

The city has budgeted about $30,000 toward lifeguards. Mayor John Henderson said the city did not have lifeguards last year because it did not have the money. But this year the city’s fund balance has risen, leaving some additional money for the council to consider spending.

"We can afford to have [lifeguards] and we should put that in place," Henderson said. "We don’t want to have a tragic event to prove that value."

excerpted from the Ludington Daily News, June 15, 2007- see FAIR USE notice.
City of Ludington
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ludington Lakestride Half-Marathon

2007- 27th year for races

The Ludington Lakestride Half-Marathon is in its 27th year of taking runners along a course over dunes and along the Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake shoreline.

The races begin at 8:30 am Saturday, June 16, on Lakeshore Drive, in front of Nader's Lakeshore Motor Lodge.

The cost is $24 with a beach towel for those who register by Thursday. Sign up by picking up a brochure at the chamber office or visitors center or by visiting You may also register during a pre-race spaghetti dinner at the west end of Ludington Avenue for 5 to 8 pm Friday night. Or register the morning of the race at the entrance to Stearns Park.

A one-mile fun run is scheduled for 6 pm Friday at the west end of Ludington Avenue. The Lakestride also offers a 5k run through the city's Cartier Park on Saturday.

from the Ludington Daily News- see FAIR USE notice.
Those looking for information on the 2009 Race, see Ludington Lakestride Sets 2009 Race Agenda
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See Events to Help You Get Off The Couch

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Newaygo Birch Grove Loop Trail Dedicated

Nine-mile trail loop offers scenic detour

The new Birch Grove trail is a nine-mile loop off the North Country Trail that allows hikers to enjoy the freedom to walk without having to backtrack or spot a second car. A shorter five- to six-mile loop also can be hiked.

The Birch Grove loop provides hikers with access to area attractions such as Loda Lake Wildflower Sanctuary, the NCTA Schoolhouse, which through-hikers can use as a shelter and Diamond Lake County Park. Day hikers can set out from any of a number of trailheads and return to their car. The Birch Grove route is marked with white blazes on trees. Blue blazes mark official sections of the North Country Trail. Where two blazes are found, the trail will take a turn.

The northern part of the route is scenic. The southern end of the loop runs through a former 1,017-acre Steelcase executive retreat known as Camp Swampy, which has since been acquired by The Nature Conservancy. Half of those have since been transferred to the Manistee National Forest, which expected to take possession of the rest this summer. Camping is permitted on any of the national forest lands.

"We tried to connect things of interest," said Paul Haan, of Grand Rapids, the volunteer trails manager for the Western Michigan Chapter of the North Country Trail Association. "The best features include Loda Lake Wildflower Sanctuary, a really nice bog on the south end of the trail, and Diamond Lake which has a public beach and people can camp there, too.

"Our intent was to create a loop big enough that people could make a short backpack of it and if it lent itself to a day hike then great."

This loop can be accessed from the Birch Grove NCTA School House. Turn west on 5 Mile Road off M-37 just north of White Cloud. Go to Felch and turn south. The schoolhouse is 0.1 mile on the left.

by Howard Meyerson
read the entire article at see FAIR USE notice
more about the Western Michigan Chapter NCTA
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Saturday, June 9, 2007

Cooler Water Below Dams Will Improve Fishing

If all goes as planned, the water flowing out of several Michigan hydroelectric dams will be cooler and better suited for fish habitat, according to plans released Wedneday by Consumers Energy.

Consumers studied how much cold water pooled up at the bottom of Hodenpyl Pond, the theory being that the cool water, although lacking in oxygen, could be used to alleviate some of the warming experienced on the Manistee River during the height of summer. Releasing it in the river could help mitigate the warming effect the ams have on the rivers.

The DNR and steelhead and trout anglers are hoping the upwelling cools the Hodenpyl outflow enough that the Tippy [Dam] outflow will also be affected.

Past University of Michigan studies have shown that although the stretch below Tippy produces many young steelhead, many of them die before getting a chance to go to Lake Michigan. Scientists have theorized warm water is a factor in that mortality.

Marty Holtgran, a fisheries biologist with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, was hopeful the temperature improvements would help stave off fish diseases and return some natural order to the lower Manistee watershed.

"Certainly an improvement in water temperature - something that mimics natural conditions - would be a benefit to the fish community, including trout, salmon and sturgeon," Holtgren said. "It's a step in the right direction."

This is part of an extensive article in the June 9, 2007 edition of the Ludington Daily News- see FAIR USE notice.
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Friday, June 8, 2007

Adventure Race is New Pentwater Summer Event

Summer Groove is a 15-hour endurance event being held on July 28 in Pentwater

The endurance race will run from 3 am to 6 pm and includes orienteering, mountain biking, canoeing, trekking and rope use. There will be solo, two-person, co-ed, male, female and four-person co-ed divisions.

"This is going to be a big event drawing lots of new visitors into the community. There will be 250 entrants, plus their families," Shaw [Pentwater Chamber of Commerce Executive Director] said.

Matt VanderSys of Endurance Sports in Muskegon began talking to Shaw two years ago.

"He thought Pentwater was a lovely town and would be a great place to have a triathlon," Shaw said. "I proposed it to the chamber board but they didn't want to do that. Matt came back to me with the endurance thing, the board approved that, and I jumped right on it.

"The area has a lot of natural wilderness," VanderSys said. "It has waterways, elevation changes, trails and two-tracks, which are all the things we look for."

from the Ludington Daily News
See The Groove
Contact Matt VanderSys 231-843-4993
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See Oceana County

Thursday, June 7, 2007

JJ Bike Path Plan Still on Hold

County wants more time on Double JJ grant decision

Two deadline extensions are being requested by the Oceana County Board of Commissioners so the county can decide whether to pull the Double JJ Resort bike path project from a state and federal grant project.

The county originally was to make a decision on the bike path by June 1, but now wants until Jan. 1. It also will ask that the grant project deadline be changed from Aug. 31, 2007 to Aug. 31 2008.

At issue is $312,000 used to build a public bicycle path through the resort. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) put a hold on construction late last summer because the resort allegedly filled a wetland. Over the winter, Double JJ submitted a wetland mitigation plan to the DEQ, but the plan was rejected.

The county applied for the grant money for Double JJ. It came from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and then through the county to Double JJ.

County Administrator Paul Inglis said HUD has offered to change the grant, allowing the bicycle trail to be removed from the project, but would require repayment of the $312,000.

In October 2004 the county applied for and received a $1.07 million grant for the bike trail, high speed Internet and other improvements for expansion at Double JJ. That grant was amended in 2005 to include water system improvements. Inglis said Double JJ has created over 200 jobs as required.

"I want to give a little positive spin to this," Inglis said. "This is not a failed project. There is one component of the project that is in question."

He also said officials need to determine if all or just part of the grant is in jeopardy.

from the Oceana Herald-Journal article- see FAIR USE notice.
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Ludington Holds Groundbreaking for Stearns Skateboard Park

Skatepark concept
The Ludington Skate Plaza is the next cool project for the City of Ludington, Michigan. Ludington is home to a myriad of cultural and recreational opportunities including a nationally recognized sculpture park, large dowtown murals depicting the area's rich history, the Historic White Pine Village, and of course all Lake Michigan has to offer, including beautiful white sand beaches, impressive sand dunes and Michigan's No. 1 fishing port.

The City of Ludington is anxious to take the Skate Plaza from an impressive design to a reality. The plaza will be located in Stearns Park, a hub of recreational activity along the Lake Michigan shore. The design calls for a 100-foot by 130-foot plaza, every inch of which is available for use by rollerbladers and skateboarders of all ages. The plaza is also designed for multiple uses and may feature concerts, ceremonies and other public events.

Construction costs are estimated at $229,000. Matching grants are being sought to offset local expenses, but your financial assistance is needed to make this project happen. So strap on your helmet, take a virtual tour of the Ludington Skate Plaza and please consider making a donation. All donations are tax deductible.

from the Ludington Daily News- see FAIR USE notice.
See Skate Park Virtual Tour
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