Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Wisconsin Develops Statewide Brochure

segment of Wisconsin NCT brochure

from Todd McMahon

Last year at Canoecopia we handed out around 2500 National Park Service North Country Trail Brochures. Those brochures are nice, but they really don't have very much information on getting people involved with the local chapters of the NCT

What we really needed was a brochure that featured the all three of the Wisconsin Chapters of the NCT. After I met with Bill Menke on Tuesday, I started working on such a brochure. It is an 8.5 x 11 Tri-fold brochure.

The Brochure is designed to help recruit people to work on the trail and it highlights the 110 mile continuous section in Wisconsin.

This segment is on NCTA maps WI-01, 02, 03

See the Wisconsin Brochure (a pdf)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ham Lake Fire Took More than Trees

hikers on burned trail
trail area burned by Ham Lake fire in 2007(photo by JHY)

by jhy with an excerpt from the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine

The Ham Lake Fire of May 2007 burned over 75,000 acres in both Canada and the United States in the Boundary Waters region of Minnesota. I burned across two sections of the Kekekabic Trail, part of the NCT.

The fire was accidentally started by life-long camper Steve Posniak. He escaped the fire itself, but became a victim when the Forest Service decided to prosecute him for causing the blaze. He eventually committed suicide, thus becoming the one life lost as a result of the Ham Lake Fire.

An article in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine tells his poignant story. It begins:

"In preparation for his beloved annual spring canoe trip to northern Minnesota, all winter long Steve Posniak could be seen walking through the alleys of his Washington, D.C., neighborhood carrying 50-pound weights. As a stocky man in his 60s, Posniak wanted to be sure he was strong enough to portage alone, carrying gear on his back and a canoe overhead across miles of trails that connect more than a thousand lakes sprinkled throughout the Superior National Forest. "

Read the rest of the excellent article at the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Contact Your Senator to Save Transportation Enhancement Money!

US capitol

from American Trails and other sources

Although the North Country Trail seeks to be mostly single-track woods trail, there are many places where our uses overlap with trails which are aided by these funds. One critical area is adding pedestrian walkways to bridges.

If you care about the NCT, please contact your Senator today! Voting could occur as early as Monday.

Last week, the House of Representatives dealt non-motorized transportation a serious blow by passing a bill that would eliminate Transportation Enhancements. This funding helps pay for things like multi-use trails, and the Safe Routes to School program.

Highway proponents have always complained about the requirement to cover other forms of transportation, other than powered vehicles. Media coverage of projects that seem frivolous hasn't helped.

Now, it's the Senate's turn. If you care about getting around for transportation and/or recreation without burning gas, please send an email today! Links below should make it as easy as possible.

The Senate's version of the transportation bill (MAP-21) does NOT include dedicated funding for the Recreational Trails Program. However, Senator Klobuchar (D-MN) will present an amendment to restore dedicated funding to RTP at the appropriate time. (The amendment could be offered as early as next week.) This would restore RTP authorization as a stand-alone program, as well as fund it at 2009 levels.

ACTION NEEDED: PLEASE CALL and ask your Senators to support Senator Klobuchar's amendment to restore dedicated funding for the Recreational Trails Program in the Senate transportation bill (MAP-21).


As a user-pay/user-benefit program, dedicated funding for the RTP should be included in the Senate transportation bill (MAP-21). Will you support the Klobuchar amendment to MAP-21, which restores dedicated funding for the Recreational Trails Program? This amendment makes the Senate bill consistent with language that is already in the House bill.

There is a similar campaign to support an amendment to protect Enhancements and Safe Routes to School sponsored by Senator Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Cochran (R-MS) in the Senate transportation bill

See Talking Points
See Find Your Senator
See read more at American Hiking