Sunday, May 31, 2009

Michigan Free Fishing Weekend June 13-14

a news release of Michigan DNR

The Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone that Summer Free Fishing Weekend is scheduled for June 13-14. On that weekend, everyone -- residents and nonresidents alike -- can fish without a license, though all other fishing regulations apply. Michigan has celebrated Free Fishing Weekend annually since 1986 as a way to promote natural resources awareness. With more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, 36,000 miles of river and 11,000 inland lakes, Michigan and fishing are a natural match. "Fishing is a great way to connect with our natural resources," said DNR Director Rebecca Humphries. "It's a perfect way for families to spend time together while celebrating the bounty of Michigan's wonderfully diverse outdoor heritage." Dozens of activities at state parks and state fish hatcheries have been scheduled to coincide with the weekend, while clubs and conservation organizations stage events, too. Free Fishing Weekend offers experienced anglers an excellent opportunity to introduce novices to the joys of fishing.

See alist of free fishing events
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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tom Funke- NCT Hiker- To Talk About UP Hikes

50 Hikes in Michigan's UP
based on a news article submitted to various news services

Tom Funke is no stranger in North Country Trail circles. He has hiked over 1500 miles of the NCT, including all of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. He will present a program based on his book, "50 Hikes in Michigan's Upper Peninsula," on June 10, 2009.

Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek will welcome Funke, who is currently director of conservation of the Michigan Audubon Society, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 10. The program will focus on selected hikes from Funke’s book, featuring commentary on the natural history of each area to go along with the topography, elevation, and hike difficulty.

Funke has spent most of his life exploring the outdoors. He grew up in Bangor, Michigan, roaming the fields, forests, and swamps on his parent’s rural 25-acre hobby farm. “I basically spent my entire childhood chasing frogs, climbing trees and exploring streams,” said Funke. He went on to study biology and environmental studies at Western Michigan University.

From Western, he was employed by the Binder Park Zoo as an education intern. He progressed to become director of conservation education, before taking his current position with Michigan Audubon.

See the Battle Creek Enquirer
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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Gone Hiking!

The owner of this blog has gone hiking, and won't return till near the end of May. To follow the hike, in the Arrowhead of Minnesota, on the North Country Trail, go to My Quality Day.

Thanks to all my readers. See you in a few weeks!
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Monday, May 4, 2009

Manistee County Says No to ORVs on Roads

based on news articles in the Ludington Daily News, April 28, 29, 2009

In a 5-2 vote the Manistee County Board of Commissioners defeated the proposal to allow ORVs on road shoulders in the county. If counties do not make a decision on this issue before July 17, 2009 then townships will be able to make their own decisions on the question.

Ed Haik, Public Safety Committee chairman said that the state ordinance has some troubling inclusions. For example, in places where there is no road shoulder the slower, smaller ORVs will be mixed with regular vehicular traffic. He pointed out that it would even allow for hovercraft to use the shoulders.

The two Manistee Commissioners voting for allowing ORVs were Carl Rutski (SE city of Manistee) and Ken Hilliard (Onekama and northern townships). The meeting was crowded with spectators, but only about six members of the audience spoke. Five favored allowing ORVs, and one opposed.

Even in counties where the measure passes, up to 30% of roads can be excluded for safety or environmental reasons. However, such roads must be signed. Of course, signs cost money.

In follow-up to this issue in Mason County, a vote has not yet been made. Pere Marquette Township is urging the Commissioners to vote yes

See County ORV Ordinances
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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Kenneth Knight Found Alive

No details were at first available, but a very welcome email from the rescue party received at about 5:30 pm carried the welcome news. "Ken is alive and mobile."

The experienced, but legally blind, hiker had not been seen since last Sunday, and failed to meet his hiking group Tuesday. On Wednesday he missed his flight back to Michigan, and searching began on Thursday. Knight is from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is an editor for "Backpacking Light."

New report at 6:30 pm. Knight walked out under his own power with firefighters who were putting out a fire, not members of the search party. He has been taken to the hospital to be checked out. His parents will meet him there. His condition is not known, but seems to be fairly good.

Also at 6:30 pm the Chicago Tribune released a story saying that the fire was actually set by Ken to signal for help. And at 7:45 a member of the search party has emailed that he is currently in a parking lot telling his story. Apart from some hunger and mild dehydration he is just fine.

More information will follow as it becomes available.

See Michigan Hiker Missing on Appalachian Trail
See Missing AT Hiker Found Safe, Take a Lesson
See Rescuers Find Hiker Who Vanished from VA Trail

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Michigan Hiker Missing on the Appalachian Trail

Ken Knight
Ken Knight (photo from Backpacking Light)
based on news articles from and information from the greatlakeshikes egroup

A massive search is being launched for an Ann Arbor man who has not been seen since Sunday morning, April 26, on the Appalachian Trail. Kenneth R. Knight, 41, was last seen between 9 and 10 a.m. Sunday at Punchbowl Mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway, mile 51.7, near Buchanan and Bedford, Virginia. Knight is an editor at Backpacking Light, and they received this last report from him.

Knight is an experienced hiker, but has low vision. He regularly keeps in touch via iPhone, and his last check-in was about 6:30 Sunday morning. At that time he reported not feeling well and said that he might go off the trail. This may mean that he planned to head for a town to find a motel. However, he then failed to rendezvous with hikers on Tuesday night and missed his flight back to Michigan on Wednesday.

Ken is a well-known figure in Ann Arbor where he volunteers at the Ark, and the Hands-On Museum. He is also popular with hikers for his podcasts which he publishes at "Wandering Knight, A Low-Vision View of the World."

Members of the large Yahoo egroup, greatlakeshikes, have been scurrying to put together a team of seven men to assist with the search, and a group is leaving today to join the official Virginia Search-and-Rescue teams (VA SAR). With the aid of Knight's parents the group was able to enter Knight's residence and package various items of worn clothing which will be taken to Virginia and used to orient the search dogs. About 14 groups so far have volunteered to assist with the search.

Ken's hiking experience raises hopes that he is holed up somewhere awaiting help. He had several days worth of food with him when he was last heard from. However, everyone is very concerned at the length of time since he was known to be all right. The weather has been mild, which is another hopeful sign. The Park Service and local volunteers did an immediate search to try to eliminate obvious solutions to the question of where Knight might be. No trace of him was found.

Anyone who saw Knight or knows of his whereabouts after Sunday morning is asked to call Amherst County Police at 434-946-9300.

Backpacking Light President, Ryan Jordan, made a statement: "It's really important at this point to let VA SAR take the reigns and do what they are trained to do. VA SAR is somewhat unique in that it's one of the few states in the nation where statewide SAR teams can be mobilized quickly and consistently. They have good infrastructure, good support, and a lot of people."

See Ann Arbor hiker missing on Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Virginia
See About 14 groups begin massive search for Ann Arbor hiker missing on the Appalachian Trail
See Backpacking Light
Join Great Lakes Hikes egroup
See The Wandering Knight
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