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Friday: Outdoors

‘Flat Smokey’ Character focuses on teaching fire safety

MARQUETTE — With warmer temperatures and increased fire danger, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is getting a little help from a familiar face — Smokey Bear — to boost the public’s fire safety acumen. But the department is sharing the 75-year-old icon in a new way through a ...

Outdoors North: Going down to the little river

“If you want to taste the water, gotta come to the river,” – Gary Louris In the far eastern reaches of the county, where the lines of demarcation commence, there lies what some might consider to be a river of little importance flowing sluggishly into Lake Superior. Despite the ...

Traditional cyclists, e-bikers clash over new trail rules

DENVER— After a couple days of hard hiking last fall, Tim Brass thought it was time to track down a motor. He was bowhunting in a trophy unit near Creede, and plenty of other hunters were using a motorized trail for swift access. His friend offered an e-bike. Brass got his elk. "Best ...

Changing times

The term wildlife might conjure up thoughts of large, exotic mammals in faraway places. Or perhaps some of the larger mammals we have in Michigan, such as a moose or a black bear, may come to mind. But wildlife isn’t just the big, iconic animals we tend to think of, it includes smaller ...

Outdoors North

“Can you cook and sew, make flowers grow, do you understand my pain?” — Bob Dylan When I walk or drive down the dusty streets of these old iron ore towns, it’s easy to view a dilapidated vacant building and see the shop or store there that no longer exists, except in old photographs, ...

Removal of old tires from lake no small undertaking

MARQUETTE — The Superior Watershed Partnership and the Great Lakes Conservation Corps are conducting a comprehensive tire clean-up assistance project for communities in the Upper Peninsula with grant assistance from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. Almost all ...

Regional trail temporarily closed

HANCOCK — The Lake Linden Trail, between the Portage Lift Bridge and Dollar Bay, in Houghton County has been closed temporarily based on a local public health and safety advisory. In reissuing its health advisory on May 7, the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department asked the public to ...

Outdoors North

“You fill up my senses like night in a forest.” — John Denver The dark red and orange coals of the dying campfire glowed in the blackness of an early May night. It was shivering cold tonight for this time of year. With an old, gnarled apple tree branch lying over the fire pit, ...

Fish tale: ‘Very good’ chance of Arctic grayling’s return

LASING — Arctic grayling died out in Michigan in the 1930s but could make a comeback. “The chances are very good,” said Todd Grischke, the assistant chief of the Fisheries Division in the Department of Natural Resources. “We are probably three to five years out from actually having ...

Area chicken marking milestone birthday

HARVEY — A “golden birthday” is a rare event; it happens during the year you turn the same age as your birthday. It can happen with chickens too. Stella, an Ameraucana hen who lives with 10 other chickens and her “human parents,’ Heather and Mike Mlsna of Harvey, is set to ...

Outdoors North

“I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round.” — John Lennon Dragging around the house, bogged down with them coronavirus quarantine pandemic blues, I knew I had to break out or at least try. I’ve been on a surreal rollercoaster ride of curvy ups and downs lately, ...

Rooting out impact of wild pigs

LANSING — A “pig bomb” went off at the turn of the century, flinging wild hogs north from their southern stronghold. Jack Mayer resorts to such pyroclastic porcine imagery when describing the transcontinental spread of wild pigs across the United States. He’s one of the foremost ...

NMU grad student earns award for wildlife project

MARQUETTE — Tru Hubbard, a biology master’s student at Northern Michigan University, is the recipient of NMU’s Technology Innovation Student Award for her research on how human recreation impacts carnivore habitat use and behavior across multi-use lands. Her Yooper Wildlife Watch ...

Outdoors North

“There’s a long-distance train, rolling through the rain, tears on the letter I write.” — Bob Dylan When the rain comes down, I want to be out in it. I love the smell of the damp, charged air. There’s an excitement out there beyond windows, walls and doors when it rains — either ...

New kind of carp in river is a big one!

LANSING — The first invasive grass carp capable of reproducing in Michigan was caught this spring during an annual fish survey by the Department of Natural Resources. The fish was in an area of the Tittabawassee River running through Midland County. The Tittabawassee flows into Saginaw ...

DNR updates changes for Silver Lake Basin

CHAMPION — Having gathered public input from boaters and anglers, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will not develop the Silver Lake Basin boating access site in Marquette County as a walk-in-only facility. Earlier this year, the department said it was considering installing a ...

Outdoors North

“That night I dreamed in peaceful sleep of shady summertime, of old dogs and children and watermelon wine.” — Tom T. Hall With the bony, white claws of the Wintermaker still clutched tightly around late April, I followed my footprints down the driveway toward the mailbox. I noticed my ...

Hunters, anglers fret over outdoor restrictions

LANSING — Hunters and anglers are struggling to understand and live under new state government regulations that limit recreational activities, especially a ban on motor boat use. The end of April marks the beginning of Michigan’s spring turkey season statewide, as well as walleye season ...

‘Paddling to persevere’

MARQUETTE — It’s one thing to travel down the Mississippi River on a large riverboat meant for inland water excursions, like something out of a Mark Twain novel. It’s another to take on this mightiest of American rivers by canoe, especially with physical challenges. No later than May ...

Outdoors North

“Cold days and ice nights only, hard times for sure.” — Steve Forbert Over the past few weeks, I have been taking brief nighttime trips outside the front door to take a good hard listen to the night. In these days of pestilence and quarantine, I have found these moments to be relaxing ...