(Published Tuesday, May 30 in the Warroad Pioneer)
Last week was a busy one at The Angle before the holiday weekend even started.
The Angle Ladies Adventure Society, with leaders Bre Gjovik and Sara Magoon, finished painting the new northernmost point landmark, a project sponsored by Lake of the Woods County Commissioners and organized by the NW Angle Edge Riders. The icon is similar to the southernmost landmark in the Florida Keys but for color. The ladies chose the colors yellow, blue and green to represent the sun, water and land of the NW Angle, as well as the elusive muskie that brings so many visitors to our area. The landmark is currently located at the end of Young’s Bay Drive on Lake of the Woods and awaits your photos!
The Angle Inlet School hosted year-end field trips for both the 4th graders from Greenbush Middle River and Mr. Edman’s 6th grade Warroad class. The Warroad students also visited Fort St. Charles thanks to boat captains Deb Butler, Sue Lemm and Mary Leach.
The visitors, as well as the local community, were also treated to some fine theater last week. The Angle’s ten K-6 students performed their annual spring play—this year, it was “The Silver-Tongued Slicker of Sassafrass Flat”—a total of four times to packed houses.
The little school also recently hosted long-distance runner and author Dane Rauschenberg, who ran 52 marathons in 52 weeks, one each weekend in 2006. Touring schools as a volunteer motivational speaker, Dane met The Angle kids and told stories of his different feats, including running a 202-mile race, which is usually a 12-person relay, by himself in just over 50 hours.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau helped connect area resorts and businesses with the applicable regulatory and governing agencies for an informational meeting last Wednesday at Angle Outpost Resort. Largely positive, the annual meeting covered updates to policies, environment health, border crossing procedures and other regulations that impact NW Angle businesses and their visitors.
The US Customs and Border Protection, along with representatives from the offices of Collin Peterson and Amy Klobuchar, provided further details on the pilot program the Lake of the Woods area will participate in. The program will test safer and smarter remote check-in methods after day-trips into Canada. Visitors will be able to return directly to their resort and use a hand-held tablet to report back into the US, instead of making the trip back to the mainland to use the antiquated Outlying Area Reporting System telephones which were set-up in the 1990’s. This is highly significant when you take into consideration the dangers present in our extreme and ever-changing ice, wind and water conditions.
The Canadian Border Services Agency was also present and optimistic about participation in the new remote check-in methods once the trial is complete and the technology and processes have been fully vetted.
The Department of Natural Resources’ fisheries report was also very positive, highlighting in particular the increase in the sturgeon and small mouth bass populations. With regard to other popular species such as walleye/sauger and muskellunge, the agency is comfortable with the current fishing pressure and take.
The DNR also discussed the health of the deer, bear and wolf population in the area. Hunters Choice (harvesting either buck or doe) will continue for the 2017 season, but it sounds likely that the number of bear permits will decrease due to high success-to-permit ratios in the past few seasons. It’s estimated that natural food shortages have left bear more attracted to the hunters’ bait. Wolf will remain on the endangered species list.
The US Coast Guard discussed the possibility of a local testing site for the week-long Captain’s License course due to the hardships inherent in traveling to and staying in Duluth. They also discussed potentially reinstating a restrictive license specifically for inland lakes. This would help lesson some of the unnecessary rigor of the existing testing which currently encompasses knowledge of the Great Lakes and sea-fairing vessels.
Other law enforcement agencies were also in attendance but had no new notable regulations to report.
All in all, the regulatory agencies appeared very supportive of the local economy, as well as committed to improving their impact on the ways and means we all survive and thrive in this remote location. On behalf of the NW Angle community, Thank You to all the representatives for making the trip to The Angle, as well as for the work you do to protect us, our state, and our environment.