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.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Dug a hole and filled a hole.
Upon closer examination, the majority of the bottles turned out to be Smirnoff Ice, with a few Mike's Hard Lemonades thrown in, too. No beer, indicating that it might have been highschool students. Underneath the booze-bottle sunburst, a few ashes of paper, leaves, and small branches were in evidence; not a large fire, which is good, because such a fire could have easily caused a much more massive impact on the forest (i.e., a wild conflagration).
Okay... what to do, what to do? Well, I should try (at least) to make the site look undisturbed. However, if I only removed the bottles, the campfire ring would remain. The sandy soil had been scattered about, meaning that if I tried to fill in the hole using the surrounding soil, it would be obvious that something was done in the area. Ah, but there was a lot of sand that got eroded out along the main road. Maybe if I dug some of that up, moved it to this campfire ring, and used it here, there would be less evidence.That was the plan, then: shift sand from one place (the road) to another (the sneaky campfire ring).
I headed back the barn to get my cart in which to collect the bottles, and after collecting the 23 bottles and scattering the stones lining the edge of the ring, went back to fetch a wheelbarrow and shovel.
Digging out a wheelbarrow-full of sand is not too difficult, especially when the sand is erosional deposits, and not tamped down. However, pushing a wheelbarrow fully laden with damp sand up a hill is quite hard work. However, I was determined that I would only do it in one trip. Therefore, I collected possibly more sand than necessary before trudging step by slow Sisyphean step toward the campfire ring.
As I dumped out the sand, I noticed that it was just about enough to actually fill in the ring, and I went about shoveling the sand around to make it more evenly covered. There: first step done. Now the area just looked like a trampled-down area with a scattering of wet sand (which would -- I hoped) dry out quickly. However, I wanted to make the place look "undisturbed". Therefore, I started to collect leaves and other ground litter from around the area. A little pile here of maples, another few handfulls of oak, some decomposing carbon from somewhere else; never too much from one area so as to minimize the appearance of human activity. Then I scattered the leaves, both on the freshly laid sand, as well as around the clearing. I threw in a few long poles of rotting wood to make the area blend in with the rest of the dying and rejuvenating forest.