Making Decisions about Wolves on Isle Royale

 

3 Isle Royale wolves 2015

Three Wolves, photo by Vucetich & Peterson

With only a handful of wolves left in Isle Royale National Park, the National Park Service is currently taking public comment on the management of wolves at Isle Royale. They write:

The NPS began this planning process by considering a broad range of potential management actions as part of determining how to manage the moose and wolf populations for at least the next 20 years. However, based on the public comments we received and additional internal deliberations, the NPS has determined that it will revise and narrow the scope of this EIS to focus on the question of whether to bring wolves to Isle Royale National Park in the near term, and if so, how to do so.

Although wolves have not always been part of the Isle Royale ecosystem, they have been present for more than 65 years, and have played a key role in the ecosystem, affecting the moose population and other species during that time. The average wolf population on the island over the past 65 years has been about 22, but there have been as many as 50 wolves on the island and as few as three. Over the past five years the population has declined steeply, which has given rise to the need to determine whether the NPS should bring additional wolves to the island. There were three wolves documented on the island as of March 2015 and only two wolves have been confirmed as of February 2016. At this time, natural recovery of the population is unlikely.

The potential absence of wolves raises concerns about possible effects to Isle Royale’s current ecosystem, including effects to both the moose population and Isle Royale’s forest/vegetation communities. The revised purpose of the plan, therefore, is to determine whether and how to bring wolves to Isle Royale National Park to function as the apex predator in the near term within a changing and dynamic island ecosystem.

The photo above from the 2014-2015 Annual Report from the Vucetich & Peterson Ecological Studies of Wolves on Isle Royale shows three wolves observed at winter study 2015. More on their website at isleroyalewolf.org and definitely follow Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale on Facebook for updates!

More wolves on Michigan in Pictures.

Waterfall Wednesday: Behind Scott Falls

Behind Scott Falls

What I See-3176, photo by Mike Hainstock

Here’s a nice feature on Scott Falls from Live the UP:

Scott Falls is one of the easiest waterfalls to access in the Upper Peninsula. It is just east of the Au Train river and right on highway M28. Just across the highway is a roadside park complete with vaulted toilets, water, charcoal grills, picnic tables, and beach access. Scott Falls couldn’t’ be in a more convenient location.

I believe that many of us in the Upper Peninsula have found childhood memories of Scott Falls. Personally, I remember those warm summer days when my mother would take us for a swim at the roadside park. Of course we would be covered in sand from walking up the beach afterward, so mom would take us across the road and make us rinse off in Scott Falls. We would play in the water and have an adventure in the cave behind the falls. As a kid, sitting in that cave when the train comes through is amazing! I’m sure that many of us have shared similar experiences.

Click through for more! Regarding the photo, Mike writes:

This is how I prefer to see my world. A magical place, begging to be explored and enjoyed. I’m so lucky to have a partner that not only lets me, but comes along and enjoys it as I do.

View his photo bigger, see more in his slideshow, and view and purchase his work at mikehainstock.com.

Many more Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

Breaking Free at Tahquamenon Falls

Tahquamenon Falls aerial view

Aerial View, photo by Julie

Julie got this cool shot of the Tahquamenon Falls throwing off winter’s grip at the beginning of the month. Now it looks like winter is going to strike back. Via the Detroit news and Sara Schultz, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in White Lake, a winter storm is arriving today:

“We’re looking at the heaviest snowfall north of Saginaw, in the Thumb area and then to the north and west of that, and then of course the lower northern Michigan areas, where they could see six-plus inches of snow.”

A winter storm watch will be in effect Wednesday morning through early Thursday evening for areas north of Interstate 69, Schultz said.

“We’re looking at areas south of I-69 as mostly rain,” she said. “Between Flint and Saginaw, we’re looking at accumulation of snow and ice; just some light accumulation.”

Schultz cautioned that the forecast remains flexible as the storm enters the state. “That rain/snow line along I-69, if it shifts just a little it could throw off everything,” she said.

View Julie’s photo bigger and see more in her 366/2016 slideshow.

More Tahquamenon Falls on Michigan in Pictures.

Five Things you need to know about Michigan: March Meltdown Edition

Grove

Grove, photo by Liz Glass

On my Absolute Michigan website, I have a favorite feature called Five Things you need to know about Michigan.  

1Please go out and vote in the Michigan primaries today. I am going to vote for Bernie Sanders because I feel that in Michigan and elsewhere working folks, retirees, students, and many more who have ended up on the short end of a globalizing, transforming world are hurting. It seems to me that many of those we have elected to represent us have forgotten that government can be a powerful force for the betterment of society and that when profits come at the expense of others, we all suffer. Please vote for whoever you want to, and I’d love it if you took some time today to remember that you are a part of your government.

2Wow. I had the chance to drive across Michigan yesterday, windows down, basking in near 60 degree temperatures and knowing that spring is on the way. Here’s hoping that the mercury stays moderate and our farmers, orchardists & vintners have a great growing season.

 

3Liz Glass took today’s photo. You can visit her at the Lake Street Market in Boyne City.  She shared today’s photo back in 2012 in the Absolute Michigan pool (where I get most of the photos for Michigan in Pictures). Liz wrote:

I’ve been saving some ice shots to sprinkle in during the warmer months. This is from March 15, when the ice on Lake Charlevoix had melted into a pack of splinters that could then be pushed into piles by the moving water. The color here is real. The low sun is bouncing the golden brown of the sandy lake bottom up through the ice mound, and the looser shards on top are picking up the shimmering silvers and blues of the water and sky.

View her photo bigger and see more in her crazy-awesome Ice slideshow.

4If you have a problem with me being myself, please consider not telling me to “stick to the photos” and instead follow another blog/person/path that doesn’t bother you. I love Michigan, I love Michigan in Pictures, but I am an actual person who believes as I believe and does what I do. I will continue to do this, and telling me not to will just upset us both.

5Congratulations! By making it to here, you can send me an idea for something about Michigan to feature. I can’t promise that I will be able to, but I can promise you that I will try and reply in any case. Just email me or post a comment below.

support Michigan in Pictures

Must be a Monday

Fox Squirrel Falls in the River

FOX SQUIRREL, photo by John E Heintz Jr

“If one place is as good as any other, it’s high time we decided. Otherwise when we get there, we won’t know we’ve arrived.”
~Dr. Doolittle

I swear that John Heintz is a direct descendent of Dr. Doolittle – gets the best nature photos! View his photo bigger and definitely watch his slideshow for the whole story.

More from the animal kingdom and more funny photos on Michigan in Pictures.

A year ago on Grand Island

Ice Pillars on Grand Island

unbelievable colors in the ice pillars, Grand Island, photo by Lake Superior Photo

On March 1st, Shawn shared this shot from last March on Grand Island. We’ve had nowhere near the ice buildup this year – a year can really make a difference.

Also, I’d like to congratulate her on having (as far as I know) the most popular Facebook page for a Michigan photographer – 201,000+ fans for Lake Superior Photo! If you’re not one of those, I urge you to change that right now.

View the photo bigger and view & purchase her photos at LakeSuperiorPhoto.com.

PS: Just in case you missed it, Michigan in Pictures has a good explanation of what gives ice difference colors.

Blue Ice at Mackinac

Blue Ice at Mackinac

Michigan Winter, photo by Jeff Caverly

I featured this photo yesterday in Five Things you need to know about Michigan on Absolute Michigan. Check the link out for more interesting things including some new revelations about when Gov. Snyder’s senior staff raised concerns about Flint’s water (October 2014) and a look at an innovative approach to tackling urban blight. 

mLive recently reported on blue ice at the Mackinac Bridge. The other day’s post on Michigan in Pictures explained why ice is blue or green. In case you didn’t read it, here’s a bit of that:

As with water, this color is caused by the absorption of both red and yellow light (leaving light at the blue end of the visible light spectrum). The absorption spectrum of ice is similar to that of water, except that hydrogen bonding causes all peaks to shift to lower energy – making the color greener.

…In simplest of terms, think of the ice or snow layer as a filter. If it is only a centimeter thick, all the light makes it through; if it is a meter thick, mostly blue light makes it through. This is similar to the way coffee often appears light when poured, but much darker when it is in a cup.

You can view Jeff’s photo background bigilicious and see more photos of the ice at Mackinac & also Tahquamenon Falls in his slideshow.

More winter wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.