On the maps, the creek in Saginaw Forest shows up as "Honey Creek"; waaaay above the Honey Creek with which I am familiar (out on Dexter Road, and further downstream on Miller Road), but I suppose that it can well be called Honey Creek, since it is upstream of the creek, after the creek bifurcates south of Jackson Road. Anyway, now that I know its name, I don't have to keep referring to it as, "the creek behind the cabin" or "the ephemeral creek" or "the outwash creek" or similar.
Today, as part of the management plan, there is a surveyor out on the property, making measurements of the toography fifty feet on either side of the creek's center line. If the school can get the data afterwords, this would be an awesome means by which to create a high-definition topography layer for this section of Honey Creek. However, it only stretches 280 feet from the Third Sister Lake, so Prof. Cotel's class wouldn't be able to use it for much of their analysis (i.e., it ends roughly 100 feet downstream of the lowest broken weir). However, it might be useful for looking at the effect of the still-intact weir on flood management.
There was a bit of confusion initially with the surveyor when he couldn't find the official benchmark in the region of the cabin. It was listed as being on a nail on the electric pole. However, the electric pole he found didn't have a tagged nail on it. Thus, he went through and started doing his own measurements, picking up GPS satellites and triangulating his position. Only after he went through and walked the course of the stream did we notice the other electric pole, standing right along the old survey transect (which is now completely filled in with trees, and thus camouflaging the wooden pole quite effectively). Sure enough, there was the tagged nail. (Of course, with all the trees grown in around the pole, he can't use the GPS from that point, but at least all measurements will now be tied to the official point.)
I also learned from the surveyor that GPS satellites aren't geosynchronous. I suppose that I should have remembered this from when I took my GIS courses, but it seems to have slipped my mind. Still, I wrote about it on my personal blog, linking to two websites that will (hopefully) help with future timing of GPS activities.
They survey is important for the boardwalk project, because in order to actually get to and from the future boardwalk, it is necessary to cross Honey Creek, and apart from a fallen tree that goes most of the way across (necessitating one to jump the last bit when there's water in the creek), there is currently no bridge or similar structure in place. Of course, due to the erosion of the area, I personally think that some additional measures will need to be put into place to ensure that the large trees in the area -- some of which are having their roots exposed by the flood erosion events -- don't fall on top of the eventual bridge. Although I don't like the idea of creating more of clearing (thus increasing not only the chance of invasive-plant colonization, but also more wind-felled trees), it might have to be done in the area around the bridge. But that will likely be a future consideration.
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.