Use of the Forest

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

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Long-exposure photos

Although I don't have a tripod, I think that these long-exposure (15-second) photos from the north-side of Third Sister Lake are pretty good.

Night time long exposure

Night time long exposure

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rain in the forest

Rain has been falling on Saginaw Forest since about sundown. The grass that was seeded just prior to the campfire event -- one month ago now -- still has not fully filled in. This is due (to a large part) to the cold, lowered amount and incidence of light as well as the lack of rain (I don't irrigate the lawn, nor do I have the means to do so).

This should help. (And it should help the UM-OSEH guy that I ran into earlier today who was checking on the growth of the grass along the pathway.)

Additional No Parking sign at the front gate

Additional no parking sign

Before the Campfire event last month, I realized that visitors were parking in the front area of Saginaw Forest, staying away from absolutely blocking the access to the gate, but -- with their focus placed on the sign on the gate telling them not to block it -- fail completely to realize that they have just parked in front of the no parking signs located at the front gate area.

"I didn't see it," is the usual response when I point this out to them. It got me thinking that perhaps, yes, the signs are not immediately obvious to a driver whose attention is focused intently upon things in front of the car. Therefore, I came up with these signs, placed at roughly windshield-level, clearly emphasizing what the official signs say: that there is no parking in the area in which they have just pulled into.

I also provided a TinyURL link to the post I did about where people can park if they wish to visit Saginaw Forest.

In the month since I put the signs up, I have not (yet) seen a car parked at the front area.

Leash rule and Michigan leash law

I just walked outside and up came a dog, racing down the road, with a lycra-clad woman jogging up behind it.

"Why is your dog off its leash? Do you know that it's against the rules?" I asked.

"Yeah, I'll put it on a leash," was the response as she ran after her dog. It was almost closing time, so I decided to leave it at that.

But... that didn't actually answer either question, even though I did see her put her dog on a leash and continue her jog out the forest (I didn't encounter her again on my rounds). Sometimes, I wonder why certain dog owners don't feel that the leash rule of the forest, or the state of Michigan's leash law, applies to them.

Just as a refresher:

The leash rule in Saginaw Forest is simple: "All dogs must be on leashes."

This means that if you have a dog, and you want to bring that dog into Saginaw Forest, you must keep it on a leash.

The state of Michigan's leash law is less simple, but basically boils down to this: "It shall be unlawful ... for any owner to allow any dog, except working dogs such as leader dogs, guard dogs, farm dogs, hunting dogs, and other such dogs, ... while actively engaged in activities for which such dogs are trained, to stray unless held properly in leash." (Full text at link.)

Since a dog is considered a working dog only (as per the wording of the law) "while actively engaged in activities for which such dogs are trained", guard dogs and farm dogs cannot be working within Saginaw Forest. The former cannot be guarding the property, since no visitor is the owner of the property, and similarly, no dog can be working as a farm dog, since no one is the operator of the Saginaw Forest Forestry Farm, save (possibly) for the caretaker. Similarly, since there is no hunting allowed in Saginaw Forest, dogs trained for hunting cannot work in the forest. The "other such dogs" that might be allowed off-leash would be police dogs performing their duty. The only type of visitor's dog allowed to be working in the forest is a leader dog, otherwise known as a "seeing eye dog", which, due to its job requirements, needs to be in-hand in order to be working.

Therefore, the only dogs that are allowed by Michigan state law to be off leash in Saginaw Forest are guard dogs or farm dogs owned by the caretaker, or K9 Unit police dogs that are called to the forest.

Of course, the forest is a piece of private property of the University of Michigan (much like any research facility is a piece of private property; the public cannot just walk into one of the nuclear research lab on North Campus, for example), so the Michigan law is superseded by the property rules.

Taking out the trash -- on a bike

Piled up with recyclingThere was a lot of recycling that had been piling up inside and on the porch, so I decided to haul it up to the road. Of course, not owning a car was the main reason why so much of it accumulated at the house. However, today, I decided to pile up as much as I could on my bike, lashing down the recycling bin and filling my front and back panniers, and clattered and clanked up to the main gate, at a steady cycle of 4 mph.

Not all of my bottles have been returned -- I'll be bringing more to Kroger to get back the bottle deposit -- but there's a smaller amount of containers and paper in the house and porch.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hand rail on bridge

The bridge turned out to be higher off of the stream bed than originally thought, and so it was decided that a handrail would, indeed, be a necessary addition. Too, a longer footing was installed to help control erosion of the ramps that were built up to the bridge itself.

Handrail added

... oh, and the contractors' port-a-john was finally removed.