MARQUETTE - Northern Michigan University Nordic ski coach Sten Fjeldheim received a Partner in Conservation Award from the Natural Resources Commission at its monthly meeting on Oct. 10 in Escanaba. Doug Barry, a supervisor with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources nominated Fjeldheim for the award.
For the past 25 years, Fjeldheim has volunteered his time to the DNR while coaching at NMU. He's played an instrumental role in the development of Nordic ski trails across the region and was nominated after his latest focus on improving the Blueberry Ridge Ski Pathway on County Road 553.
"We had one hill system, for instance, where you had to go down a hill, and then make a 90 degree turn to go straight up a hill," Barry said. "It's difficult because some people kept going off at the bottom of the hill. I was new to the trail system last year, and he kind of stepped in. I would have fallen flat on my face without his help there. I just thought he deserves this. The NRC, the Natural Resources Commission, Award goes to a select few. It doesn't go to many people at all. It's a great honor that Sten was selected."
The Blueberry Ridge Pathway is a popular cross country ski trail in the Marquette area. This trail is managed by the DNR and consists of 12 miles of regularly groomed trails. There are seven loops of varying difficulty. Some of the loops are groomed for diagonal and/or skate stride. This trail also features a 1.7 mile lighted loop.