Mid-November 2012 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance

Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

Mid-November 2012

Final Chapter Meeting of 2012 on Monday, Nov. 19

Our chapter will meet on Monday, Nov. 19 at 6 PM at the Chippewa Falls Library. All members were notified last week about a bylaw amendment that will be voted on by those members present. In brief, the amendment will change our annual meeting from January each year to November. Our first annual meeting under that scenario would be in November 2013. We will still have our annual meeting planned for January 2013 even if the amendment passes. The annual meeting is extremely important as the members choose officers, receive a number of financial and progress reports, and approve the calendar and budget. It's important that people come, and January has not been the easiest month to get folks out to a meeting!

But back to this November's meeting. In addition to the bylaw, this meeting is important for you to attend as we will evaluate the projects and events we undertook in 2012, and plan what and how we will do our work in 2013. We want to hear what you liked and thought needed improvement, and especially any new ideas for events, activities, or projects.

Reminder About Hiking During Hunting Seasons

Early winter can be a great time to hike and see glacial landforms in full reveal. But as anyone who's driven in the country can attest, the hunters are everywhere. Other than during the gun-deer season, most hunting co-exists peacefully with hiking as long as you are careful to be easily seen. When the gun deer season is in effect (Saturday, Nov. 17 - Sunday, Nov. 25), it's essential that if you are out you wear orange. There is only one small segment of the trail that is outright closed to hiking during the gun deer season, and that is the roughly ½ mile east from Hwy E. All other areas are open in Chippewa County, but they are all in deer hunting zones. If you wish to hike the Ice Age Trail during this week, your best bet is near the Chippewa Moraine Interpretive Center. If you don't have an orange vest, you can borrow one from the Center.

Over 1700 Volunteer Hours Contributed

We do our best to record how many hours our volunteers contribute each year to the trail and trail-related activity. It often seems like more trouble than it is worth. But here's the payoff: our chapter's total volunteer hours for the 2012 fiscal year totalled 1714.5.  That's a huge 34% increase over last year's total of 1273.75. Wow! A hearty cheer to our volunteers for both contributing their time, and doing the paperwork to document it. 

Read about why tracking volunteer hours is important for the trail and the volunteer on the IATA web site, in the Volunteer Center.

It's Thanksgiving!

All the volunteers of the Ice Age Trail Alliance are grateful at this time of year that we have such a beautiful segment of trail in our midst, for the considerate hikers who use and enjoy the trail, and for such great support from our trail partners such as landowners and partner agencies (DNR, NPS, Chippewa County). As chapter leaders, we are especially grateful for the volunteers who respond to the call for help at workdays, events, or come to meetings to help make decisions. We're also grateful for all our members, whether active volunteers or not, for providing the backbone of support for the Ice Age Trail Alliance. Without your membership support, our support staff would not exist, and the great dream of building the Ice Age Trail would gradually evaporate. 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and stay safe on the trail!