January 2012 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

January 2012

Chapter Annual Member Meeting: Monday, January 16

Our January Chapter meeting is our Annual Membership Meeting, and we will be joined by IATA Executive Director Mike Wollmer. He'll give us a look at what's happening in Cross Plains and along the trail, as well as a look forward into the new year. 

The annual meeting is our annual "check-up" on how the chapter is doing, with a look at our finances, equipment, and results of the past year. It's also a time for members to make decisions on our budget and spending for 2012, our officers, and our goals for the new year.

We meet at 6 PM on Monday, Jan.16, at the Chippewa Falls Public Library. Come and elect, approve, and welcome Mike Wollmer.

First Aid/CPR Refresher Training Coming in March

We've scheduled our bi-annual American Red Cross First Aid/CPR refresher class for Saturday, March 10, beginning at 9:30 AM. This training is required for any of our members who will be handling a chain saw, but we feel it is important for as many of our members as possible who may work at events or work days to have this training as well. And who knows, you may be glad you have it when you are out on your own! The instructor will tailor the training to our special need of often working away from the trailhead.

The class is a refresher class, which shortens it a bit for those who are in need of recertification. We have a special arrangement for anyone who has not had the initial class to take the refresher class at no extra charge, however, by doing some online reading beforehand. The bottom line is that this class is open to all, regardless of whether you have had prior training or not.

We will finalize the cost to each participant at the meeting on Monday, but we've previously determined that the cost will be split between the chapter (for members) and the participant. Non-members may join us at the full $70 cost, but if you do the math, this may be the reason for a non-member to join. We hope to have a scholarship fund for serious volunteers for whom the fee might prevent attendance. 

If you want to reserve a spot, or want more info, please email chapter@iatchippewa.org or call 715-967-2164.

Geology of Ice Age Trail Program with Author David Mickelson

An outstanding new guidebook to the geological features along the IAT has been published by UW Press. Geology of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, by Professor David Mickelson, not only describes the various ice age formations all along the route, but includes maps of the route and photos of the features. In addition there are overview articles that explain some of the concepts more fully.

Professor Mickelson will give a presentation on the geology of the trail and sell and sign his book at an event sponsored by the Superior Lobe Chapter at 6:30 PM Friday, January 20, at UW-Barron County in Rice Lake. 

We expect to have several going from our chapter, so if you'd like to car-pool, please email chapter@iatchippewa.org or call 715-967-2164. At least one group will be going early and having dinner at an area restaurant.

The book will be sold at the member price of $28.49 at the event, and you can have yours autographed by the author as well. There is no charge to attend.

Volunteer Hours

Whenever we do IATA volunteer work, whether it be working on the trail, attending training or planning meetings, or working in the background on planning and organizing our work, our volunteer time spent is recorded. This information results in personal recognition by the National Park Service in various ways as the time donated accumulates, and is used to inform budget decisions on our needs for equipment and support, as well as to convey to elected officials measurable data showing how much support the trail receives. 

In the 2011 reporting year, the Ice Age Trail Alliance coordinated the work of 2,003 volunteers, who performed 65,894 hours of service to the trail and its users. Our chapter contributed 1,273 hours toward that total. In worker-years, the total hours was the equivalent of 32 full time staff members.

We record hours on a sign-in sheet that we ask all volunteers to use (it's also important for insurance purposes). Many volunteers work independently (doing chapter officer functions or trail work, for example), so there is an individual log sheet members keep. This form can be downloaded at any time from the Ice Age Trail Alliance web site. Please use this form, and submit it each quarter for reporting purposes! (Get the form at www.iceagetrail.org, click on "Volunteer Center" in the left margin, then on Volunteer Hours Tracking, and Method for Tracking Hours.) Here's a direct link.

If you have any unreported individual hours for October-December, 2010, please submit them as soon as possible so we can complete our chapter report.

Camp Nawakwa Reroute Project

We've been doing quite a bit of preliminary work on a significant trail reroute at Camp Nawakwa. You'll be hearing more about the project over the next couple of years as it moves from planning to a full MSC trail building project, possibly in 2013. 

In November and December, volunteers Jerry Sazama and Tony Schuster spent considerable time and many visits to the site to survey trail reroute options and identify property lines. Earlier, IATA staff had done some preliminary work as well as talking with landowners. We've had preliminary meetings with IATA staff to lay out the options, and the next step is to further refine the alternate routes in the spring.

This section of trail is one of only a few areas in the county where we use private land, under very informal agreements with landowners established years ago. The trail has had several reroutes over its lifetime in this area to respond to landowner concerns. The present route is extremely interesting and scenic, but it continues to generate landowner friction. However usage patterns at Camp Nawakwa have changed in recent years, and they are willing to give us more options to use camp property than existed in the past. 

So we're entering an exciting phase in the ebb and flow of IATA activity. We look forward to the ride, and hope you'll be along as well.

2012 Trail Calendar

While the definitive place to find out about trail events, hikes, workdays, meetings, etc. is our online events calendar, many members appreciate a printed calendar with the year mapped out. It's a great addition to your favorite refrigerator door or for taping next to the family wall calendar. Our regular members receive this invaluable planning tool in the mail, but you can get one at our meetings or at the Obey Interpretive Center at the Chippewa Moraine if you aren't yet a member. You can download a version here.

Where To Find Information

Here's where to look for IAT and IATA information:

IATA Information: http://iceagetrail.org/home

Chippewa Moraine Chapter Information: www.iatchippewa.org AND http://chippewamoraine.iceagetrail.org/home AND www.twitter.com/iatachippewa (subscribe!)

Calendar of Chapter and Alliance Events: http://chippewamoraine.iceagetrail.org/chapter-events

Chippewa Mammoth Trackers (informal hike announcements): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MammothTracker

Hiking the trail: www.iceagetrail.org (check the options under the "Hike the IAT" tab). For Chippewa County: http://chippewamoraine.iceagetrail.org/hike-the-chapter

National Park Service Information about the Ice Age Trail: www.nps.gov/iatr/index.htm