The temperatures today were into the 80s, and although things cooled off at night, it was still nicely in the 60s - and just a hint of the stickiness that is yet to come. When I walked outside at about 10pm, and heard a raucous gathering on the far side of TSL. Taking up my flashlight and putting on a shirt, I headed off in the dark, around the lake. After walking around the lake, what do I find? Perhaps eight highschoolers (roughly half boys and half girls) drinking and chatting well past sundown... without a flashlight between them. (Slight scent of alcohol, though.) If it was to be a make-out session in the woods, they had either been finished with it for some time, or had not (yet!) gotten around to lip-locking. (I'll give the possibility that it was an innocent get-together to chat in the woods, but that seems a little unlikely to me...)
They were very polite, and walked them up to the gate. They also didn't park in front of the gate, meaning that they were unlikely to be ticketed. Of course, they could also be from one of the suburban subdivisions just up the road.
One question from a girl as we walked up to the gate, "How can a forest close? I mean, what's up with that?" made me smile. I don't know what sort of answer I would have given her if she had directed the question to me, but none of her friends had much of an answer for her, and she moved on to other topics. I wonder if they knew that I followed them all the way to the gate, as I kept the flashlight off and walked a slight distance apart from them. They complained that they couldn't see, but none of them strayed from the path; there was enough light to basically navigate back to the road.
I was tempted to tell them where they went wrong with their not-too-late night escapades... but decided that if I did, I would only be making my job more difficult.
Use of the Forest
Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for the public's use include (but are not limited to):
- No parking in front of the access gate.
- Public use hours are from 6am to 6pm only; no camping on the site!
- No vehicles or bicycles are permitted on the site except those for approved research and teaching use (bike parking available at the main gate).
- Dogs with owners are welcome to visit, but they must be on a leash. (Also see here.)
- Dog owners must carry out all pet waste; please bring your own doggie bag to do so.
- No cutting or collecting of plant material; no hunting or harming vertebrates (this includes no fishing).
- No smoking.