Mar 24-18

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2018: March: Mar 24-18
2004: Springtime on the Big Lake    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Paul Roberts
2007: Lone Traveler    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by E. Neil Harri
2015: Ontonagon Township Park    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Helen Wenzel
2018: Holy Transfiguration Monastic Park    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Melanie Hakala Rossi
Isle Royale Wolf Population Plan to play video
previous 20 years of the Pasty Cam on this day, 1998-2017
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2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
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Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 07:28 am:

It’s another Spring day in the archives, showing the various degrees of Springtime here UP North. Starting in 2004, with a look at Lake Superior, courtesy of Paul Roberts. Well, at least I think that’s the Big Lake somewhere under the ice and check out that crack going down the middle of the photo...YIKES. Stay clear of that, it could split apart and you’d be floating on an ice floe to who knows where!

E. Neil Harri was out flying somewhere “south of the Keweenaw” in 2007, when he snapped this shot of a lone, unsuspecting wolf below. The airplane didn’t seem to phase the wolf at all, perhaps because it was too busy making sure to stay clear of the edge of that open water, since you can see that it’s breaking away near the water’s edge.

Back in 2015, we had a report from Helen Wenzel as to the progress of the snow melting at the Ontonagon Township Park. It was still closed, but the snow was receding more and more each day. Anxious campers were waiting for camping season to begin, now that Spring had finally arrived...on the calendar at least.

When Melanie Hakala Rossi recently took a snowshoe hike on the Holy Transfiguration Monastic Park trail in the Keweenaw, she saw signs of Spring with an open pond there on the trail. She said they were surprised it was thawed out, since different spots on the river were still frozen. One of the ladies in the group even saw trout swimming around in the pond. Spring is just around the corner, I hope!

The wolf in Neil’s photo today, reminded me about the wolf/moose study on Isle Royale. I found a TV6 report from back in December about the NPS (National Park Service) proposal that has been in the news this past week, to possibly introduce 20 – 30 wolves to the Island over a three year period. For more information, watch the video and you can also read about it here: Fading Wolf Population on Isle Royale. There’s a 30 day waiting period before the NPS makes their decision, so that they can get the public’s opinions, too.

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 12:50 pm:

Nice to see the care and management of the dollars well spent.

By Duane P. (Islandman43) on Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 01:31 pm:

I always thought that the National Park Service was a proponent of the hands off policy. Like the old song, "Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way.". As soon as something comes up that isn't to their liking, they abandon the hands off policy for one that suits them. It seems they lack the courage of their convictions.
They say they are worried about maintaining the ecology of the island without the wolves. It seems egotistical to me that a small band of people believe that they, and not Mother Nature should decide what the ecology of the island should be.
The island has been there for ages and the wolves have been their for 70 years at most. That is not even a blip on the radar screen of time. The island went through ecological changes through the ages and managed to survive without the wolves.
I could go on but I'll just end by saying that there are two reasons for bringing in more wolves that go unmentioned. One is so the much ballyhooed wolf research can continue. Secondly, I would say that an overwhelming majority of the visitors to the island go there with the hopes of seeing a wolf. The amount of visitors would no doubt drop if there were no wolves. That is my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

By jbuck (Jbuck) on Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 06:19 pm:

Beautiful shot of the pond in the park!

Congratulations to the Stamp Champs in boy's

By D. A. (Midwested) on Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 06:41 pm:

I’ve watched the various government bureaucracies and academic interests and the public debate the Isle Royale declining wolf issue beginning about 7 or 8 years ago. The foundation of the “hands off” policies rest primarily upon the 1976 National Wilderness Act, and on one of its phrases “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain”, and most specifically on that word “untrammeled”.

There are exceptions allowed in the Wilderness Act that allow for man to take corrective action if humans created a problem with a good example being a man made forest fire. There are two prominent acts that could be seen as man affecting the wolf population.
1) Several years ago, a pet dog owner introduced the canine parvovirus that infected the wolves and
2) The existence of man-made global warming/climate change has prevented more frequent ice migration. (One’s acceptance of “man-made global warming” is a bit beside the point as most everyone involved in the debates accept it).
Both of these things have presumably contributed to the downfall of the wolf population, therefore it is legal for man to take corrective action.

There are almost 800 locations in the U.S. designated as National Wilderness areas. Of those only about 60 are in National Parks. The others are administered by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Fish & Wildlife Service. There are all sorts of examples where man-made corrective actions have been taken across the many areas but there are 2 other things make Isle Royale’s situation somewhat unique. The wilderness area takes up almost the entire national park area, only Rock Harbor, Windigo and Mott Island are excluded. In the other 60 National Parks with wilderness areas, typically a smaller portion of the whole is wilderness. Lastly, the entire island was declared International Biosphere Reserve in 1980. There are about 30 other, much smaller international biospheres in the U.S.

I agree with Duane that seemingly illogical bureaucratic power and money make these decisions. The National Park Service has been fighting against this for 3 years but in this case I think maintaining the wolf population is probably the wisest course of action.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 08:01 pm:


1. This from the Detroit Free Press, Dec 4, 2017:
(click →) "Isle Royale likely down to 1 wolf — here's why it's a big problem".

It wasn't that long ago when the Isle Royale moose population was declining due to a severe tick infestation.

2. This from MTU,
(click →) "Ticks Reduce Isle Royale Moose Population"¹.

(¹ The article appears to be dated "3/5/02", yet it refers to the 2003 survey. (?)
D. A. (Midwested) on Sunday, March 25, 2018 - 01:14 pm:


Your first article gets to the crux of the concerns which only starts with a dramatic increase in the moose population. Wolves are normally the highest reason for moose mortality. Now it will be starvation as the next negative aspect kicks in which is the decimation of most of the young Balsam Fir and Cedar, which is the favorite Winter diet of moose.

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