Hello Clam Lake!
Well, we had one day of summer this past week amidst several chilly Fall days. Temps in the evenings were plunging to the freezing mark with highs in the 50’s. I heard through the grapevine that this coming week’s temps will be back up into the 70’s. Probably, by the time you are reading this they will be. Will this be our Indian Summer? Are we allowed more than one?? Let’s hope!
A THANK YOU goes out to Kevin Wallenfang for all the time over the last nine years he has devoted to our elk and deer. Kevin worked as the DNR’s statewide big game (deer and elk) ecologist from 2011 to the present. He has left that position to begin a new career path as supervisor of the DNR’s new CWD processing center. Ralph Fritsch, whom spent many years as the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation’s big game committee chair, had this to say about Wallenfang,” Kevin took a thankless job and turned it into an informative position to all deer hunters in the state. He always cared about your ideas and respected them. Many, many thanks to his adoption of our current elk program and elk gotten from Kentucky.” We wish him well in his new endeavor! (As a side note: When I spoke with Bob Nack, Big Game Section Chief, he noted that at the present time they are actively seeking a replacement. Big shoes to fill!)
ELK RESEARCH UPDATE: I recently had a chance to speak with Anna Brose, whom is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Her field is Wildlife Biology. As part of her graduate work Anna will be working on elk research targeting Elk Habitat Selection as her main focus. She spent the month of June in Clam Lake (with a colleague) and will return next summer to complete her two year study. The aim is to study elk habitat preferences regarding managed forest openings as opposed to aspen clear cuts. Elk are known to enjoy browsing in both environments. To determine which they frequent more often Anna spent weeks counting plants at the various locations, feeding some hungry mosquitoes and ticks in the process. Why count plants? To determine how many plants of various types are in each location. This will show how much and what type of food is out there in the different habitats and which the elk prefer. By following the elk’s movements via their GPS collars it can be seen which places they prefer over others. This data will assist the DNR and Forestry in making more informed decisions regarding timber sales that may provide preferred foraging and also tell whether it would be advisable to add more managed forest openings or less. As always, making our forest a sustainable place for our elk is a top priority. Anna said she enjoyed being in Clam Lake where the people are so friendly and value their elk. Thank you Anna!
FORTUNATE: After last week’s fire on 195, I was reminded how fortunate we are to have our own Firehouse right in Clam Lake which houses a fire truck and tanker. I stopped and chatted with Tom Biasi, local member of both the Glidden and Namakagon volunteer fire departments, while he was at the Firehouse checking equipment. He said the tanker, holding 1,500 gallons of water, was especially helpful. The fire could have been a lot worse without. We have to count our blessings!
HISTORY MOMENT: An excerpt from a September 1919 edition of the Glidden Enterprise: “Mrs. H.A. Scotford and children were in (to Glidden) from Clam Lake for a short visit during the week.” At this time, Howard and Hazel Scotford, of Camp Fire Island Resort, would have had two daughters. Eileen aged 3 and baby Loraine whom was born in 1919. They would have traveled via horse and wagon to and from Clam Lake. Hazel’s family resided in Glidden so she would often come in for a visit.
Until next week….enjoy the forest and it’s beauty!
Pictured is Anna Brose in a managed forest opening and a photo she took of one of her subjects enjoying a meal.