Outdoor News September 8, 2017 - Explore! Outdoor News September 8, 2017 - Explore!

Outdoor News September 8, 2017

National Park Fires

Empire FireYosemite NP: The Empire Fire is just east of the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area.  As of Wednesday night, it had burned 4,914 acres and was 55% contained.  The following trail and area closures are in place until further notice: Glacier Point Road, Bridalveil Campground, Ostrander Trail, Bridalveil Trail, Alder Creek Trail, Mono Meadow Trail and Turner Meadow Trail.  The South Fork Fire is burning just east of the community of Wawona.  As of Tuesday night it had burned 6,800 acres and was 47% contained.  The following trail and area closures are in place until further notice: The Swinging Bridge Trail on both the north and south sides of the South Fork of the Merced River, the Chilnualna Falls Trail from Wawona Trailhead to the top of Chilnualna Falls, the two mile connecting trail heading north from the top of Chilnualna Falls to the intersection of the Buena Vista Trail, the Chilnualna Creek Trail from the top of Chilnualna Falls east to the intersection of the Buena Vista and Buck Camp trails (Just east of Johnson Lake), Turner Meadow Trail, Turner Meadow intersection east to Buena Vista trail, off-trail areas in the vicinity of the South Fork Fire Area, including the swimming holes north of Chilnualna Creek and all climbing routes on and around Wawona Dome are closed.
Spruce Lake FireCrater Lake NP: There are many fires burning in Oregon and smoke is widespread across the state.  Check out the park’s webcams to see what the current situation looks like.  As of yesterday morning, the Blanket Creek Fire ( 29,154 acres) continued to burn in the park and is moving toward Mazama Village. Residents and visitors have been told to be ready to evacuate should the fire threaten the area.   The Spruce Lake Fire  (13,601 acres) is now moving northward.  The North Entrance Road and West Rim Drive are now closed.  Entry to the park is limited to the south entry station at Mazama Village.  The East Rim Drive is open, however vehicles will need to turn around at the junction with the North Entrance Road.  Closures include: the Watchman Peak Trail, the West Rim Trail, the Boundary Springs Trail, the Union Peak Trail, the Stuart Falls Trail, the Pumice Flat Trail, the Bert Creek Trail, the Lightning Springs Trail, the Bald Crater Loop, and the Pacific Crest Trail (except for the short segment between Highway 62 and the Dutton Creek Trail).  The Annie Creek Canyon Trail is also closed. The trail and its footbridges were damaged by snow last winter.
Sprague FireGlacier NP: The Sprague Fire is burning on the east side of Lake McDonald around the Gunsight Pass Trail.  As of last night,  the fire had burned over 13,343 acres and was 35% contained.  It is generating a lot of smoke that caused the Lake McDonald Lodge to close for the season.  The Adair Peak Fire is burning south of Logging Lake.  As of Wednesday night the fire had burned 1,375 acres and was 10% contained.  The North Fork Road is closed from the Polebridge Ranger Station to Camas Creek.  The Logging Creek and Quartz Creek Campgrounds are also closed.  The main Sperry Chalet building burned last week.
Norse Peak FireMount Rainier NP: On Tuesday, the northeast portion of the Park was closed due to the unpredictable fire behavior of the Norse Peak Fire. The fire is burning outside the east boundary of the park. As of last night,  it had burned 45,433 acres and was 8% contained.  Currently the Sunrise Road is closed between the junction with SR 410 near White River and Sunrise. SR 410 is closed from ST 123 to Bumping River Road.  Backcountry closures include all of the trails and cross country zones on the east side of the park including the area from Frozen Lake to Panhandle Gap, and all of the trails with trailheads along SR 410 and SR 123 north of Stevens Canyon Entrance. The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Chinook Pass to Snoqualmie Pass.
Updated Information: You can find current information on active wildfires at inciweb.nwcg.gov or the Parks’ websites.

Michigan Outdoor Recreation Plan

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has released its draft 2018-2022 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) and is seeking public input. 

Michigan ParkThe SCORP assesses Michigan’s existing outdoor recreation facilities and resources and growing demands for recreation activities and evaluates national and state trends. The plan establishes priority strategies for achieving outdoor recreation goals and provides guidance for the next five years for all levels of government in Michigan and their local outdoor recreation partners and stakeholders.

The plan also makes Michigan eligible to receive Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant dollars from the U.S. National Park Service for the renovation and development of state and local park facilities. This program has provided over $135 million in funds for outdoor recreation facilities in Michigan since 1965.

Public comments will be received through 9 a.m. Monday, October, 2, 2017.

Comments may be submitted by mail at:
     SCORP c/o Cheryl Nelson
     Michigan DNR
     525 W. Allegan St., P.O. Box 30028
     Lansing, MI 48909

Or via the SCORP website where you can read the plan and send comments electronically

The Trans Canada Trail

The Great Trail MapThe Great Trail (or the Trans Canada Trail) in Canada is now 100% connected from coast (Atlantic) to Coast (Pacific) to Coast (Arctic).  There will be a celebration of the connection on September 30 in Alberta.  It took 25 years from conception of the idea to the connection of the final links of the trail.  

The almost 15,000 mile trail combines many existing trails and some special connectors that include everything from paved urban bike trails to remote canoe trails.  You can read more about the trail on our blog and get all the details on the official trail website.


Grants for Rhode Island Recreation

As part of continued efforts to grow Rhode Island’s green economy and promote healthier communities, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has announced the availability of $3 million in matching grants to help local communities invest in recreational spaces. The grants will be funded by the $35 million Green Economy Bond, approved by voters last year. The grant application period is open through December 1, 2017. 

RI Open Space“Rhode Island abounds with beautiful outdoor spaces. And as Rhode Islanders, we know the value of these assets to our economy, health, and way of life,” said Governor Gina Raimondo. “It’s important we continue to invest. The Green Economy Bond is funding critical improvements to our state and local recreational facilities and allowing us to expand this vibrant part of our economy that attracts tourism and people and businesses to locate in Rhode Island. Our goal is to move swiftly to get this money into the community and get projects underway and completed, so we can continue to create jobs, support our families, and spur economic opportunities.” 

Last year, Governor Raimondo took executive action to create the Rhode Island Outdoor Recreation Council, with the goal of exploring and acting on opportunities to grow the state’s outdoor recreation economy. The Council issued its report in December, recommending further investments in recreational facilities across the state. Since 1988, DEM has awarded over 500 community recreation grants, investing $70 million across all 39 Rhode Island cities and towns. 

“The value and importance of community parks cannot be overstated,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “They beautify our neighborhoods, connect us to each other and with nature, and nurture our health and environment. The work we are doing, together with many partners, to improve these facilities and provide meaningful opportunities for families to be active and enjoy the outdoors matters. And we must keep going. I encourage cities and towns to take advantage of this grant funding made possible by the Green Economy Bond.” 

Community recreation grant funding – with a maximum of $100,000 for small grants and $300,000 for large grants – requires a 20 percent community match for development projects and a 50 percent match for acquisitions. Projects that promote healthy aging for older adults or include investments in green infrastructure and/or stormwater control are encouraged. Applications will be evaluated and scored by the Rhode Island Recreation Resources Review Committee, consisting of government and non-profit members, using the Open Project Selection Process (OPSP) developed under the 2009 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. Grant awards will be announced in spring 2018. For more information or to apply, visit www.dem.ri.gov/plangrants

For more information on DEM programs and divisions, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or via Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM).


Minnesota Bike Trail Maps

Minnesota Bike MapThe Minnesota Department of Transportation has released its 2017 state bicycle map.  The map is available free as a very large (24MB), downloadable PDF file.  You may also request a print version of the map by email to bicyclemap.dot@state.mn.us.  The statewide map shows which roads have wide, paved shoulders and their motor vehicle traffic counts so you can easily select enjoyable routes around the state.   The map also includes a list of bicycle friendly communities, an index of cities and countries and an index of state parks and historic sites.In addition, the state offers maps of its portion of U.S. Bicycle Routes 41 and 45 along with 125 county maps.   For details on these maps and links to download them, see www.dot.state.mn.us/bike/maps.html

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Video of the Week

Kakadu National Park is 150 miles east of Darwin, Australia. When the Park allowed the use of drones there recently,  Tourism Northern Territory took the opportunity to produce a short video.  This video, A Journey Through Kakadu, captures the highlights of the World Heritage site.  You may also be interested in a video titled Welcome to Kakadu.

This newsletter is compiled by Jerry Haugen and brought to you by
Global Creations EXPLORE!  The eMagazine for Adventure and Exploration

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