Use of the Forest

Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for the public's use include (but are not limited to):

Thursday, December 31, 2009

A gift to Saginaw Forest preservation

There is a story from The University of Michigan's Philanthropy Network about a gift to preserve Saginaw Forest:

More than 100 years ago, lumberman and Michigan Regent Arthur Hill and his wife, Louise, made a gift of dirt, trees and water to the U-M in the form of a rural, 80-acre tract five miles west of the Ann Arbor campus. Named Saginaw Forest after the Hills’ hometown, it has long served as a living classroom and research resource for the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE).

The M. Jerome Rieger Saginaw Forest Enrichment Fund, created through a $250,000 gift from Bedford, New York’s Richard O. Rieger (AB ’79) to honor his father (AB ’40, MBA ’41), will bolster the impact of the Hills’ early philanthropy by helping implement a new SNRE stewardship plan for the Forest. Supported by Ann Arbor’s Debby McMullen, the study examines the Forest’s continued use for graduate education and research as well as new possibilities for K-12 environmental education programs and nature-based recreation for the public. Saginaw Forest features 55 acres of woodlands planted between 1904 and 1937, Third Sister Lake and surrounding wetlands.

Richard Rieger said his gift reflects his father’s passion for the woods. An ardent student of trees, the elder Rieger possessed an uncanny ability to identify an enormous range of species, even in Latin.

“He’d walk down the street and tell you the names of every tree,” his son said. “Even though he was told (forestry) was not a good professional pursuit, he pursued it in his leisure. It was a lifelong love.

“He had so many interests, and the University of Michigan really nurtured them. His Michigan experience really opened his eyes.”

A reference

In a blurb at the Ann Arbor Chronicle, one of the staff writers points readers to my previous post about parking near Saginaw Forest. Only a blurb, but it's something.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Small blizzard

A ten-minute blizzard fell on Saginaw Forest. I went outside to video some of it:

The view to Third Sister Lake was almost obscured at times:
Blizzard obscuring the view of the lake

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Parking at Saginaw Forest

UPDATE: The short version.

There is no legal parking at Saginaw Forest. Parking anywhere in the front gate area is not permitted (which is why there are "NO PARKING" signs there), even if it isn't directly in front of the gate. (Do read the signs -- they indicate a total lack of legal parking at the main entrance to the forest.) If a vehicle is found to be parking there, DPS will be called, a ticket will be issued, and the vehicle may be towed. Additionally, parking anywhere along Liberty Road is also not permitted, and if a vehicle is found there, the University of Michigan Department of Public Safety will be called, and the vehicle will be ticketed, and likely towed.

Where should a person park?
Street parking is permitted on Westview Way, which is 400 feet west of the main entrance to Saginaw Forest. This is the closest legal place to park. Some people do use parking at the Liberty Business Plaza, located immediately east of Saginaw Forest, but since the parking in these lots is for users of those businesses, any vehicles parked there may be towed. Furthermore, parking at the PALL parking lots is strictly enforced by a security team for that property. After one warning, your vehicle will be towed (their security team keeps a log of license plates).

Saginaw Forest is not a public park and is not maintained as one. It is a research facility, and access to this facility is maintained for classes, researchers, public safety officers, and the caretaker. Although public use of the facility is welcome from 6am - 6pm, all non-official users must find other legal means of entering the facility, or be prepared to accept the consequences of not doing so. If you wish to use a forested park, Dolph Park is located nearby, and is 57 acres of trails, hills, and water all managed by the city of Ann Arbor for the public. There is even a conveniently located parking area for this nature park on Wagner Road as well as street parking on the east side of the park near Parklake and Lakewood.

UPDATE: New signs have been posted (at windshield level) indicating that all of the main entrance is a no-parking zone. If you are reading this because you saw the sign, thank you for being considerate of the proper use of this research facility.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Water flowing over frozen lake

The downpour and snowmelt over the night and this morning have led to a lot of runoff flowing into the creek ... and over the top of the ice-over Third Sister Lake.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ice fishing

Found two people fishing through the ice when I walked outside this morning. No research permit, so I asked them to pack it up, which they did with a minimum of fuss. DPS says to just give them a call next time. I suppose the ice is thick enough to walk on now...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Another dog off leash -- why are owners like that?

As I was leaving the forest today, I noticed a doberman off-leash. Two men were walking, and I told them that they had to put their dog on its leash. ... the owner grumbled about it, and I told him that this wasn't a dog park, and they can't let their dog run off its leash. "No one lives here anyway," the guy yells at me.

"What? Are you calling me no one?"

"Fuck you!"

Alright, I got a little ticked off at that, and stormed over to him, and then decided to just call the DPS. I reported the two of them and went off on my morning. However, that got me wondering again why dog owners feel that they are entitled to flout the rules and then get annoyed when they are told that they have to actually follow the rules. I mean, where do they think they get off? Most of them know the rules of Saginaw Forest, one of which includes dogs must be kept on leash. I don't know who you are. I don't know your dog. If your dog is in the forest, it must be on its leash. If you aren't holding it, then it's not "on-leash."

Most people will just pick up the leash or immediately put the dog on its leash. However, there are some owners who just hold on to their dog and wait until you pass, as if that's somehow following the rules. Nope. Sorry. You're still breaking the rules.

If I were to come to your property, then I would be expected to follow your rules - so long as they are legal - or decide not to go there. If you tell me to follow the rules, or yell at me for following a rule that I knew about and decided not to follow, then it's my fault, and I have no right to get angry with you. Similarly, when you are in Saginaw Forest and aren't following the rules, don't get angry at those who tell you to shape up and follow the rules that everyone else has to follow. They aren't the assholes and fuckers for telling you to get back in line.

Solstice Winter

Snow-covered barn
Solstice! And we got a little more snow overnight.

Happy Solstice everyone!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Power still on in cabin, even though it's out across the west end of Ann Arbor

I arrived home to find the power still on. (Yay!) However, that isn't the case presently on the far western side of Ann Arbor. No trees downed on my ride in, either. However, since I came in from the side of the forest -- because I didn't want to continue cycling into heavy gusts of wind along Liberty Road -- I can't say that this is the case along the main road down to the cabin. I'll be checking that out tomorrow morning.

Wet snow in the morning

At some point last night, snow began to fall, but as the night progressed, the temperature slowly climbed and at about 1AM, I heard several dull thuds on the roof of the cabin as slush sloughed off the trees, hitting the roof. At first I thought it was squirrels running across the roof, but then realized that it wasn't so rhythmic as would be expected by squirrels, turned over, and went to sleep.

This morning, I awoke to a scene of a thin layer of wet snow covering the area. However, due to its consistency, the trees had returned to their uncovered state.

Cabin with snow

Friday, December 4, 2009

Gas delivery

Gas deliveryThe gas delivery truck came this morning and delivered a top-up on the gas for the cabin. Thanks to the mild October and November, I hadn't had to turn on the furnace until a few weeks ago. So... not as much of an input as last year's was likely to have been.

A while back, I had a good idea of constructing some window inserts to fake double-glaze them for insulation purposes. I'm thinking two panes of plexiglass sandwiched between plys of a frame. Hopefully with that construction, I will be able to minimize the amount of heat-loss through the windows. Presently, the single-pane windows don't have too much in the way of caulking... And the weatherstripping around some of them haven't been replaced since I moved in.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

First snow

The first snow of the season fell today -- a mere dusting, and quite late in the season...

Dusting of snow