Sign welcoming campers on the Big Island in Whitefish Lake.
Wood is hauled over the ice in winter for campers to use in the summer.
The wood is for use on the island by campers.
Wood at the Ideal Transfer Station about to be loadied into trailers for transport over land and ice to the Big Island.
This is the 2nd pile of wood prepared for the Islands.
The first pile caught fire this fall and all the work of cutting and splitting the wood had to be redone.
The road plowed across the ice.
Care had to be taken due to the poor ice conditions at time this winter.
The wood is divided among the 3 islands.
On the 2 smaller islands it is placed in one pile.
On the largest island it is placed in multiple sites so that it is more accessible to the campers.
Using local wood protects the island against the importation of insects which would attack trees on the islands.
The Rollie Johnson Natural and Recreational Area is supervised by a Joint Powers Board with members representing Ideal Township, Crow Wing County, the Department of Natural Resources, and the public.
Day-to-day work on the 3 islands is done by a group of very active volunteers. Not only do they bring wood to the the islands in the winter, but also maintain the island campsites and trails in the summer.
There are 11 camping sites, free to the public on a first come first serve basis. Free firewood for use on the islands is provided.
The volunteers are also in the process of restoring more than 1000 yards of severely eroded shoreline.
This should increase water quality in the adjacent lake by reducing the amount of algae-promoting phosphorus carried by eroding sediment into the lake.
Ideal Supervisor Jim Brandt is current chair of the Joint Power Board.
Photos courtesty the Davidges.
We started at 08:30 AM on Tuesday 1/31/12, and worked until 3:30 pm. We hauled from the Ideal Transfer Station and went on the ice off of Old Whiskey Road. We had seven trucks and trailers and about fifteen people. Each truck made 8-9 round trips and hauled about a half cord of wood each time. We hauled the entire 30 cords of wood we had prepared at the transfer station to the three islands without an incident. We did take time out for a good lunch prepared by some of the wives at the Ideal town Hall.
We had tested the ice and there was a total of 16 -18 inches in the areas we traveled. Jens Bach had plowed a road on Monday and removed the snow and ice pushes at all three islands so we could drive onto each island to unload the wood. Earlier in the winter an ATV went through an ice heave west of where we haul. We had no issues where we drove on Tuesday.
Overall everything went exceptionally well and we appreciate all the good help we had!
If you need more information let me know.
by Jim Brandt photos by Davidges