Monthly Archives: May 2014

Invasive Species Study

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According to The Lake County Star, Two local organizations are assisting the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service in mapping and eventually treating invasive plant species on the Pere Marquette River. In conjunction with the Baldwin/White Cloud Ranger District, the Lake County Riverside Property Owners Association and Pere Marquette Watershed Council have co-funded a scholarship for a college intern to inventory and map non-native invasive plant species on the river from the forks south of Baldwin to the Upper Branch Bridge.

Invasive species can be hard to define or accept, have you ever had the experience of trying to retrieve a partridge from a tangle of autumn olive?, or landed a nice brown trout? (not a plant but still an invasive species)  There are 45 non-native invasive plant species in the Manistee National Forest, but the three you most likely notice are Purple Loosestrife, Autumn Olive, and Phragmites. These love wetlands and riverbanks and crowd out native plants.

Once the survey is complete the Forest Service will develop a plan to treat invasives on their land and homeowners who participated will receive information on how to treat their own land, if interested.

Invasive plants and their control is a subject we will try to cover often.

 

New Pere Marquette River Conservation Easements

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The May 2014 newsletter from the Land Conservancy of West Michigan announced two new easements on the Pere Marquette, one near Bowman lake/Bowman bridge on the main Branch, and One here on the Big South branch

Jan Potter’s 11 acre property in Mason County lies along
2,000 feet of the Big South Branch (the biggest of the four
tributaries) of the PM. Located on a large bend of the river,
the property is nearly a peninsula, with water surrounding
it on all but the west side. Hemlock, cedar, and beech trees
line the river here.

Protection of this property was made possible with the help
of a grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental
Quality intended to address non-point source pollution as
prioritized by the federal Clean Waters Act. Conservation
easements help to prevent pollution by protecting land
in its current state and allowing limited or no additional
development on the land. This protects the river from
additional sediment and thermal pollution in perpetuity.

(From the newsletter)

Easement does not mean the property is open for public use. It means that stretch will remain pretty much the way it is when you or your children pass through kayaking or fishing. More information at the Land Conservancy’s website, www,naturenearby.org

2014 ORV Stickers

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A new riding season has begun and if you plan on taking your ORV off of private property and unto a public road or trail, you should be aware of the new sticker rules this year. Gone is the single $16 sticker that allowed you to ride the side of the road and go onto designated trails.

This year there are two stickers to consider. The first is the ORV sticker, $26.25. This allows you to ride your two wheel, or four wheel, or six wheel, or hovercraft along the far right of designated county roads at 25 mph or less. If your ORV is street legal and you have it registered you don’t need this sticker, unless you want to go off road on designated trails. Then you need the ORV Trail sticker, $10.

However, the ORV Trail sticker by itself isn’t good for anything, regardless if your ORV is licensed or not, you must buy both stickers to be able to ride designated trails.

Unless you want to ride trails in the National Forest, then you must be state licensed and registered to ride any two track or the Michigan Cross Country Cycle Trail. The Forest Service has an excellent and free map that shows what is open and what is required to ride where. They have the power to impound your vehicle so it’s worth the time to get the map.

If you’re still not confused keep in mind that if your ORV is licensed you are free to ride any road at the posted speed with out a helmet.  If you’re going by stickers alone you must where a helmet and stay below 25 mph. But always ride safe and be considerate, how people treat you is a reflection on the last rider to pass that way.

Dumpster Day

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On May 3rd we held our annual dumpster day, a joint venture with Logan township who shares half the cost. Turn out was disappointing to say the least. It may have been the weather, it still didn’t feel like time for spring clean up, or word didn’t get around that the dumpster would be there, or people may have misinterpreted the sign asking for donations.

Dumpsters are expensive, the charge this year for a single dumpster was close to $600. Other townships such as Branch, with a much larger population and tax base, pay out $6000 for a spring clean up day. RCCRC doesn’t view dumpster day as a fund raiser, it’s more important to keep the trash out of the ditches, streams and forests, but we hope the service is appreciated and used, and hopefully comes close to a break even situation. Let us know if this is a service you use and wish to continue.

The Creek is Rising

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Recent heavy rains and snowmelt from this remarkable winter caused several cabins and homes along the Pere Marquette to flood, and several propane tanks, docks and lawn furniture migrated downstream. Watch out for new hazards while kayaking this summer.