Problems threaten to thwart club's annual ride

For the past couple of years, the annual club ride for the Ely Igloo Snowmobile Club has been to trailer up to Crane Lake, ride up to Lac La Croix to the pictographs, have lunch and come back. <BR><BR>It sounds like a simple trip and usually goes off without a hitch, but there’s always some last minute problem and/or disaster to make it interesting. <BR><BR>My group decided to head up Friday night, stay in Orr and then get to Crane Lake at a leisurely pace. <BR><BR>This might have happened except for two problems. The first was trying to get a seven wire vehicle plug to talk to a six wire trailer plug. The second was the Canadian government.<BR><BR>The first problem seemed like a simple one to solve but turned into a disaster. There is a special adapter that allows the two sets of wires to talk to each other but, of course, that adapter could not be found in Ely at 10 minutes before five o’clock on Friday night.


Hook and Bullet Club

The death of a horse between Ely and Winton due to an attack by a mountain lion (cougar) is strange enough. But finding out that the cougar was probably raised as pet and released in the wild is stranger yet. <BR><BR>There have been reported cougar sightings around this area for a number of years now. That is not new. But finding out there are probably two dozen cougars being raised as pets in St. Louis County was new and shocking. <BR><BR>So, we have a horse that was attacked and had to be put down and we have people raising mountain lions as pets and then “setting them free” in the woods. <BR><BR>There are some who argue that mountain lions have always been here. Sorry. That one doesn’t hold water. Dumb people raising them as pets and dropping them off at the end of a road, that I can believe.


DNR to pursue forest land certification

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced that it has begun the process to secure certification of its forest lands by the end of 2005. <BR><BR>Forest certification, little known five years ago, has become the "gold standard" for private and public organizations that manage forest lands. <BR><BR>While there are several different certifications systems in effect, each require forest managers to plan, implement and document its management goals, strategies and activities to meet an extensive and demanding array of ecological and social criteria. <BR><BR>"To achieve certification, a forest land management organization must be a leader in the best science, the most transparent management system and processes and consistently deliver the specified results," said Gene Merriam, DNR Commissioner.


Hook and bullet club

For 37 years now snowmobile race fans have gathered on the north side of the Twin Cities to watch machines tear up the grass in the beginning of the fall season. <BR><BR>The Sno Barons Hay Days Grass Drags, “The Official Start of Winter,” is now the largest snowmobile event held in North America. It is held in a wide-open field in Columbus Township south of Forest Lake. <BR><BR>We attended again this year on the first weekend of September and found that racing snowmobiles on grass may have been the original draw of the event, but that times are changing.<BR><BR>Four years ago we participated in the “swap meet” at Hay Days. Here you bring down whatever it is you would like to sell, from snowmobiles to ATVs to motorcycles to chainsaws to sunglasses to parts to just-about-anything-you-can-imagine. <BR><BR>We set up on the north side of the race track and unloaded the snowmobiles.


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