The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Question of the Wolves

Clock tower in Chelsea, MI

 The National Park Service is holding public meetings around the Great Lakes to get input about what -- if anything -- should be done to save the population of wolves on Isle Royale.

I attended one of these meetings in Chelsea, Michigan. 

The ranger talks about Isle Royale

There is one pack of wolves currently on Isle Royale with 11 adults. 
This year they had at least 2 pups.

 The pack has lost genetic diversity over time, and there is a genetic skeletal deformation that has become prevalent in the wolves there. 

 These are three alternatives the NPS is considering:

1. No action
2. Bring a new pack to the island once current pack dies out
3. Bringing a few individual wolves to the island to increase genetic diversity and health of pack 

The Lansing State Journal did an amazing special report with gorgeous photos on this topic. It can be found HERE.

I have applied to assist with the moose-wolf study in May of 2014 as part of my current adventure exploring many of the islands of the Great Lakes. Isle Royale is a special place in the lakes, a jewel of a park and home to the longest predator-prey study ever done. Data for The Moose-Wolf Project has now been collected for over 50 years.

Input from the public is welcome. E-mail your comments to:

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Last Loop on my Book Tour

The South Haven Lighthouse

I had a wonderful time touring this year with my book:


November found me traveling to South Haven for the "Women's Only Weekend" where I gave a presentation at the Michigan Maritime Museum.

Books and Boots at the Michigan Maritime Museum, South Haven

A packed house at the Michigan Maritime Museum

I also gave a talk in Plainfield, Michigan, just NE of Grand Rapids. There were nearly 100 seniors and other citizens from that community who came out to hear about my adventure!

The Senior Center in Plainfield, MI

My last appearance for 2013 was out in Saugatuck, Michigan. I took some time to get to the edge of Lake Michigan and to feel the power of 
the waves and wind!

Wild weather at Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan!

My book tour is taking shape for next year. I will have a limited touring schedule since I will be on my Great Lakes ISLAND Adventure most of the year, but I am currently booking engagements for April and May, 2014.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Problem of Invasive Species

I'm often asked what is the most pressing problem 
for our Great Lakes. 
My answer:
Invasive species.

When a new species is dropped into an ecosystem in which it has never existed, it often has a huge survival advantage and can toss the entire system out of balance for a time. 

As I've walked the shorelines of our vast inland seas, I've often seen evidence of the destructive power of invasives.

While vigilance and legislation (e.g. strict ballast water treatment laws) can help prevent transport of new species into the Great Lakes Basin, what can be done to control them once they have established a hold in the lakes?

INVASIVEORE.ORG has some ideas...
and recipes!

From their website:  
Our mission here at Invasivore is to be your one-stop guide for devouring Invasive Species, those organisms which have been moved around the world, damaging their new surroundings.  Think of it as reasonable revenge for the harm these species cause.  The word “invasivore” comes from combining “Invasive Species” with the latin for “devour” as in “carnivore”.  Thus invasivore = one who eats invasive species.
From prehistoric times, humans have had an amazing track-record of severely reducing the populations of species we eat.  Indeed, it seems that much of the time we can’t stop ourselves.  Can we tap that hunger to reduce the impacts of harmful invasive species?  We think the answer is Yes!

Alewife, an invasive species native to the Atlantic Ocean long established in the Great Lakes

Check out all the recipes on their site, including one for