2012 RV Shows

JANUARY
Ohio RV Supershow
January 4-8
I-X Center
Cleveland, OH

South Texas RV Super Sale
January 5-8
Joe Freeman Coliseum
San Antonio, TX

North Carolina RV & Camping Show
January 6- 8
Greensboro Coliseum
Greensboro, NC

New Mexico RV, Boat & Travel Show
January 6-8
Albuquerque Convention Center
Albuquerque, NM

Knoxville RV Super Show
January 6-8
Sevierville Event Center
Sevierville, TN

International Boat, Sport & Travel Show
January 6-15
Reliant Center
Houston, TX

Manufacturers RV Show & Sale
January 6-16
Alameda County Fairgrounds
Pleasanton, CA

'Insiders Guide to Buying an RV' ebook
By Mark Polk of RV Education 101 (108 pages; $14.95) When you're finally ready to go shopping for the perfect RV, the "Insiders Guide to Buying an RV" is the perfect companion. You need to slow down the RV buying process and make some educated, well-informed decisions. Owning an RV is meant to be fun. But making the wrong buying decisions can make it miserable. If you follow the steps in this RV buying guide you will be on your way to an enjoyable RV ownership experience for years to come. This is the best $14.95 you'll ever spend when you realize how much it can possibly save you in time and research. Click here to purchase an 'Insider's Guide to Buying an RV' for only $14.95. (Instant PDF download)

Ohio RV and Boat Show
January 7-15
Ohio Expo Center
Columbus, OH

Colorado RV Adventure Travel Show
January 11-14
Colorado Convention Center
Denver, CO

Chicago Boat, Sports, & RV Show
January 11-15
McCormick Place - North
Chicago, IL

Florida RV SuperShow (Public Days)
January 11-15
Florida State Fairgrounds
Tampa, FL

Minnesota Sportsmen's Boat, Camping, & Vacation Show
January 12-15
St. Paul River Centre
St. Paul, MN

St. Louis Vacation & Travel Show
January 13-15,
America's Center
St. Louis, MO

RV & Campgrounds Show
January 13-15
Allentown Fairgrounds - AG Hall
Allentown, PA

Southern Louisiana Boat, Sport & RV Show
January 13-15
Houma Terrebonne Civic Center
Houma, LA

Washington Camping RV Expo
January 13-15
Dulles Expo Center
Chantilly, VA

Cincinnati-Dayton RV Super Show
January 13-16 & 20-22
Airport Expo Center
Vandalia, OH

The Original Pittsburgh RV Show
January 14-22
The Pittsburgh Convention Center
Pittsburgh, PA

'RV Buyers Survival Guide' ebook
By: Bob Randall / Published and Edited by RV Education 101 (100 pages; $16.95) Before you take that critical first step in buying any RV, you must read this guide. Written by someone who has worked in the RV industry, you’ll learn how to make the perfect selection and tips on how to save money. Anyone about to buy an RV armed with the information in this book stands to garner information to make their RV decisions easier. Bob Randall was the sales manager for a big RV dealer. He also is the former head of sales for one of America’s largest RV manufacturers. In this tell-all ebook, he reveals how a dealer makes his money, and how low an offer a buyer can make off list price and still get the rig, plus what can you expect from a trade-in. Randall offers secret step-by-step instructions that only an RV insider could provide! The perfect guide for RV buyers. Click here to purchase 'RV Buyers Survival Guide' now for only $16.95. (Instant PDF download)

Family RV Show
January 19-22
MSU Agricultural Pavilion
East Lansing, MI

WBAY RV & Camping Show
January 19-22
Brown County Arena and Shopko Hall
Green Bay, WI

Inland Northwest Show and Sale
January 19-22
Spokane Country Fair and Expo Center
Spokane, WA

Kansas City Boat & Sportshow
January 19-22
Bartle Hall
Kansas City, MO

Ft. Myers RV Show
January 19-22
Lee Civic Center
Fort Myers, FL

Toronto RV Show
January 19-22
Toronto Congress Centre
Toronto, ON (Canada)

Central Gulf Coast Boat, Sport & RV Show
January 20-22
Lake Charles Civic Center
Lake Charles, LA

North Carolina's RV Show at Raleigh
January 20-22
Raleigh Convention Center
Raleigh, NC

New Jersey RV & Camping Show
January 20-22
New Jersey Convention Center
Edison, NJ

Northeast RV and Camping Show
January 20-22
Connecticut Convention Center
Hartford, CT

Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show
January 21-29
Show Grounds
Quartzsite, AZ

Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow
January 25-29
Kentucky Exposition Center
Louisville, KY

Ocala RV Show
January 26-29
Florida Horse Park
Ocala, FL

'Insiders Guide to Buying an RV' ebook
By Mark Polk of RV Education 101 (108 pages; $14.95) When you're finally ready to go shopping for the perfect RV, the "Insiders Guide to Buying an RV" is the perfect companion. You need to slow down the RV buying process and make some educated, well-informed decisions. Owning an RV is meant to be fun. But making the wrong buying decisions can make it miserable. If you follow the steps in this RV buying guide you will be on your way to an enjoyable RV ownership experience for years to come. This is the best $14.95 you'll ever spend when you realize how much it can possibly save you in time and research. Click here to purchase an 'Insider's Guide to Buying an RV' for only $14.95. (Instant PDF download)

Mid-America RV Show
January 26-29
Kansas City Convention Center- Bartle Hall
Kansas City, MO

Calgary RV Show & Sale
January 26-29
Stampede Park and BMO Centre
Calgary, AB (Canada)

MARVAC Battle Creek Camper & RV Show
January 26-29
Kellogg Arena
Battle Creek, MI

Halifax RV Show
January 26-29
Exhibition Park
Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada)

Atlanta Camping & RV Show
January 27-29
Atlanta Exposition Center South
Atlanta, GA

Kalahari RV & Camper Show
January 27-29
Kalahari RV & Camper Show
Sandusky, OH

Saskatoon Indoor RV Sale
January 27-February 5
Prairieland Park Exhibition Centre
Saskatoon, ON (Canada)

FEBRUARY
Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show
February 2-5
DeVos Place
Grand Rapids, MI

New England/Boston RV & Camping Expo
February 2-5
Seaport World trade Center (200 Seaport Blvd.)
Boston, MA

Earlybird RV Show & Sale
February 2-5
Tradix Building
Abbotsford, B.C. (Canada)

Fort Wayne RV & Camping Show
February 2-5
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Ft. Wayne, IN

Hamilton RV & Family Camping Show
February 3-5
The Careport Centre
Hamilton, ON (Canada)

Houston RV Show
February 8-12
Reliant Center
Houston, TX

'RV Buyers Survival Guide' ebook
By: Bob Randall / Published and Edited by RV Education 101 (100 pages; $16.95) Before you take that critical first step in buying any RV, you must read this guide. Written by someone who has worked in the RV industry, you’ll learn how to make the perfect selection and tips on how to save money. Anyone about to buy an RV armed with the information in this book stands to garner information to make their RV decisions easier. Bob Randall was the sales manager for a big RV dealer. He also is the former head of sales for one of America’s largest RV manufacturers. In this tell-all ebook, he reveals how a dealer makes his money, and how low an offer a buyer can make off list price and still get the rig, plus what can you expect from a trade-in. Randall offers secret step-by-step instructions that only an RV insider could provide! The perfect guide for RV buyers. Click here to purchase 'RV Buyers Survival Guide' now for only $16.95. (Instant PDF download)

Detroit Camper & RV Show
February 8-12
Suburban Collection Showplace
Novi, MI

Minneapolis St. Paul RV, Vacation & Camping Show
February 9-12
Minneapolis Convention Center
Minneapolis, MN

Jacksonville RV Show
February 9-12
Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Jacksonville, FL

Seattle RV Show
February 9-12
CenturyLink Field
Seattle, WA

Edmonton RV Expo & Sale
February 9-12
Northland Expo Center
Edmonton, AB (Canada)

Camp & Travel Regional RV Show
February 10-12
Seagate Convention Centre
Toledo, OH

St. Cloud Sportsmen's Show
February 10-12
St. Cloud Civic Center
St. Cloud, MN

Richmond Camping RV Expo
February 10-12
Richmond Raceway Complex
Richmond, VA

Chicago RV & Camping Show
February 15-19
Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, IL

Central Florida RV Show
February 15-19
Volusia County Fairgrounds
DeLand, FL

Kansas Sports, Boat & Travel Show
February 16-19
Kansas Pavilion
Valley Center, KS

'Insiders Guide to Buying an RV' ebook
By Mark Polk of RV Education 101 (108 pages; $14.95) When you're finally ready to go shopping for the perfect RV, the "Insiders Guide to Buying an RV" is the perfect companion. You need to slow down the RV buying process and make some educated, well-informed decisions. Owning an RV is meant to be fun. But making the wrong buying decisions can make it miserable. If you follow the steps in this RV buying guide you will be on your way to an enjoyable RV ownership experience for years to come. This is the best $14.95 you'll ever spend when you realize how much it can possibly save you in time and research. Click here to purchase an 'Insider's Guide to Buying an RV' for only $14.95. (Instant PDF download)

Atlantic City RV Show
February 17-19
Atlantic City Convention Center
Atlantic City, NJ

16th Annual North Carolina's RV Show at Charlotte
February 17-19
The Park
Charlotte, NC

22nd Annual North Carolina RV & Camping Show- Charlotte
February 17-19
Charlotte Convention Center
Charlotte, NC

Arkansas RV Show
February 17-19
Statehouse Convention Center
Little Rock, AR

Rockford Fishing and Vacation Expo
February 17-19
Indoor Sports Center
Rockford, IL

Northeast RV Show
February 17-20
Rockland Community College Field House
Suffern, NY

The London & St. Thomas RV Show
February 17-20
Western Fairgrounds
London, ON (Canada)

New Orleans Spring RV & Camping Show
February 24-26
Pontchartrain Center
Kenner, LA

Germain RV Show
February 24-26
Germain Arena
Estero, FL

South Carolina RV & Camping Show - Greenville
February 24-26
TD Convention Center
Greenville, SC

Fredericksburg RV & Camping Expo
February 24-26
Fredericksburg Expo Center
Fredericksburg, VA

MARCH
Colorado RV, Boat, Sports & Travel Show
March 1-4
National Western Complex
Denver, CO

Red River Valley Sportsmen's Boat, Camping & Vacation Show
March 1-4
Fargodome
Fargo, ND

'RV Buyers Survival Guide' ebook
By: Bob Randall / Published and Edited by RV Education 101 (100 pages; $16.95) Before you take that critical first step in buying any RV, you must read this guide. Written by someone who has worked in the RV industry, you’ll learn how to make the perfect selection and tips on how to save money. Anyone about to buy an RV armed with the information in this book stands to garner information to make their RV decisions easier. Bob Randall was the sales manager for a big RV dealer. He also is the former head of sales for one of America’s largest RV manufacturers. In this tell-all ebook, he reveals how a dealer makes his money, and how low an offer a buyer can make off list price and still get the rig, plus what can you expect from a trade-in. Randall offers secret step-by-step instructions that only an RV insider could provide! The perfect guide for RV buyers. Click here to purchase 'RV Buyers Survival Guide' now for only $16.95. (Instant PDF download)

Greater Philadelphia RV Show
March 1-4
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
Oaks, PA

Destin Spring RV Show
March 1-4
Destin Commons
Destin, FL

Toronto International Centre-RV Show
March 1-4
Toronto International Centre
Toronto, ON (Canada)

Red Deer RV Show
March 2-4
Westerner Park
Red Deer, AB (Canada)

Moncton RV Show
March 2-4
Moncton Coliseum Complex
Moncton, NB (Canada)

Rhode Island RV & Camping Show & Sale
March 2-4
Rhode Island Convention Center
Providence, RI

Ottawa Spring RV Show
March 2-4
Ottawa Civic Centre Lansdowne Park
Ottawa, ON (Canada)

West Palm Beach RV Show
March 8-11
South Florida Fairgrounds
West Palm Beach, FL

The Real RV Show
March 8-11
Cal Expo
Sacramento, CA

Central Alberta RV Show & Sale
March 8-11
Westerner Park
Red Deer, AB (Canada)

Manitoba RV Show and Sale
March 8-11
Winnipeg Convention Centre
Winnipeg, MB (Canada)

Montreal RV Show
March 8-11
Olympic Stadium
Montreal, QC (Canada)

Sioux Empire Sportsmen's Boat, Camping & Vacation Show
March 8-11
Sioux Fall Convention Center & Arena
Sioux Falls, SD

'Insiders Guide to Buying an RV' ebook
By Mark Polk of RV Education 101 (108 pages; $14.95) When you're finally ready to go shopping for the perfect RV, the "Insiders Guide to Buying an RV" is the perfect companion. You need to slow down the RV buying process and make some educated, well-informed decisions. Owning an RV is meant to be fun. But making the wrong buying decisions can make it miserable. If you follow the steps in this RV buying guide you will be on your way to an enjoyable RV ownership experience for years to come. This is the best $14.95 you'll ever spend when you realize how much it can possibly save you in time and research. Click here to purchase an 'Insider's Guide to Buying an RV' for only $14.95. (Instant PDF download)

Tacoma RV Show
March 8-11
Tacoma Dome
Tacoma, WA

Manitoba RV Show & Sale
March 8-11
Winnipeg Convention Centre
Winnipeg, MB (Canada)

North Carolina's RV Show at Greensboro
March 9-11
Greensboro Coliseum
Greensboro, NC

Columbus RV Super Show
March 9-11
Ohio Expo Center
Columbus, OH

Virginia RV Show
March 9-11
Hampton Rhodes Convention Center
Hampton, VA

Atlantic Outdoor Sports & RV Show
March 9-11
Exhibition Park
Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada)

Ultimate Sport Show
March 15-18
DeVos Place
Grand Rapids, MI

Tampa Bay Spring RV Show
March 15-18
Florida State Fairgrounds
Tampa, FL

South Carolina RV Super Show
March 16-18
Columbia Metro Convention Center
Columbia, SC

Acadiana RV & Camping Show
March 16-18
Cajun Field
Lafayette, LA

North Carolina RV & Camping Show - Raleigh
March 16-18
North Carolina State Fairgrounds
Raleigh, NC

Flint Camper & RV Show
March 16-18
Perani Arena & Event Center
Flint, MI

The Good Sam Rally 2012
March 22-25
Phoenix International Speedway
Phoenix, AZ

Rockford RV Show
March 23-25
Indoor Sports Center
Rockford, IL

Northwest Sportshow
March 28-April 1
Minneapolis Convention Center
Minneapolis, MN

Quebec City RV Show
March 29-April 1
Centre de Foires
Quebec, QC (Canada)

Kitchener RV Show
March 30-April 1
Kitchener Memorial Auditorium
Kitchener, ON (Canada)

Northwest Michigan Camper & RV Show
March 30-April 1
Grand Traverse County Civic Center
Traverse City, MI

'RV Buyers Survival Guide' ebook
By: Bob Randall / Published and Edited by RV Education 101 (100 pages; $16.95) Before you take that critical first step in buying any RV, you must read this guide. Written by someone who has worked in the RV industry, you’ll learn how to make the perfect selection and tips on how to save money. Anyone about to buy an RV armed with the information in this book stands to garner information to make their RV decisions easier. Bob Randall was the sales manager for a big RV dealer. He also is the former head of sales for one of America’s largest RV manufacturers. In this tell-all ebook, he reveals how a dealer makes his money, and how low an offer a buyer can make off list price and still get the rig, plus what can you expect from a trade-in. Randall offers secret step-by-step instructions that only an RV insider could provide! The perfect guide for RV buyers. Click here to purchase 'RV Buyers Survival Guide' now for only $16.95. (Instant PDF download)

APRIL
Chilliwack Humdinger RV Show & Sale
April 19-22
Cilliwack Heritage Park Facility
Chilliwack, B.C. (Canada)

RV Super Saver Show
April 20-22
Lee County Sports Complex
Fort Myers, FL

Rendezvous Recreational Lifestyles Sale & Show
April 20-22
Cowichan Exhibition Park
North of Duncan, B.C. (Canada)

RV Expo at Bass Pro Shops
April 27-29
Bass Pro Shops
Rossford, OH

MAY
Puyallup RV Show
May 3-6
Puyallup Fair & Events Center
Puyallup, WA

The Good Sam Rally 2012
June 21-24
Kentucky Expo Center
Louisville, KY

Kids Under 17 Ski and Ride Free at The Homestead in Michigan

The Homestead Resort, located in Glen Arbor, Michigan, recently announced that it is taking strong steps to encourage families to ski and ride – kids 17 and under will ski and ride free.

There are only three restrictions and there’s no fine print. The restrictions are:
  • The family must be registered guests at The Homestead.
  • At least one parent must have purchased a same day, all day lift ticket.
  • Proof of relationship must be presented.
This offer is available every day of the season, including holidays, as there are
no blackout dates.

Call 231-334-5100 for reservations or visit The Homestead Resort's website for more information..

“Industry research showed that younger people are not pursuing outdoor winter recreation opportunities that lead to healthy, lifetime skills. This goal of this offering was to make those outdoor opportunities accessible to families with the next generation of skiers and riders,” said Jamie Jewell of The Homestead.

Those first time visitors who pursue this opportunity will discover a place that’s luxurious yet relaxed, nearby yet far away. They’ll also discover the beauty of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the place the viewers of ABC’s Good Morning America chose as “America’s Most Beautiful Place.”

Repeat visitors will be welcomed back with a gift commemorating ABC’s recognition. While here, they will see and enjoy new facilities and services made possible with $1.5 million in improvements that were made to the property this year.

Winter Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Program Set for Upper Peninsula Feb. 24-26

Editor's note: My wife has been bugging me to send her to this for several years now. One of these days she just might find it under the Christmas tree!

Women seeking the opportunity to improve their outdoor skills are invited to register for the 12th annual Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) winter program in the Upper Peninsula. The program will be held in Big Bay on Feb. 24-26.

Sponsored by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, this program offers instruction in more than a dozen kinds of indoor and outdoor activities, including cross-country skiing, dog sledding, ice fishing, fly tying, wilderness first aid, wood burning and more. Instructors provide basic and advanced instruction that is tailored to each participant's individual ability.

The program takes place at Bay Cliff Health Camp, a universally accessible facility, located in a picturesque wooded setting overlooking Lake Superior approximately 30 miles north of Marquette.

The $180 registration fee includes all food and lodging, as well as most equipment and supplies, except as noted in the registration materials. Participants will be housed in a dorm-style facility with amenities including a sauna and hiking trails with access to Lake Superior.

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops are for women, 18 and older, who wish to learn outdoor skills in a relaxed, noncompetitive atmosphere. The winter BOW program also includes special evening programs during the weekend event.

Early registration is recommended as the program fills quickly each year. Class information and registration materials are available online at www.michigan.gov/bow, and payments may now be made online as well. For more information, contact Sharon Pitz at the DNR office in Marquette at 906-228-6561 or e-mail pitzs@michigan.gov.

Many other outdoors programs for women are scheduled across Michigan. To learn more about these additional opportunities, check the BOW website or contact Sue Tabor at 517-241-2225; e-mail: DNR-Outdoors-Woman@michigan.gov.

Michigan DNR awards $67,000 in Community Forestry Grants

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently announced the awarding of 12 grants totaling $67,148 for urban forestry projects statewide. This competitive grant program, a cooperative effort between the DNR and the USDA Forest Service, funds projects that help create and sustain local urban forestry programs. A list of the grantees is attached.

Grants are awarded for tree planting, community tree inventories, management plans and education/training projects which enhance and promote urban forestry in Michigan.  A list of this year’s award recipients is attached.
The grants are federally funded through the USDA Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry Program.  Cost-share funds are available to local units of government, schools, tribal governments, and nonprofit entities [501(c)3)].  Grants require 1:1 matching funds toward projects performed on non-federal, public lands or lands open to the public.  Grant awards will be distributed in November for projects to be completed by Sept. 1, 2012.


Organization (County) Project: - Amount
  • Arboriculture Society of MI (Ingham) Education and Training - $9,978
  • Berrien County Parks Commission (Berrien) Tree Planting - $1,000
  • Chippewa/East Mackinac Conservation Dist. (Chippewa) Tree Planting - $1,000
    City of Birmingham (Oakland) Street Tree Inventory - $20,000
    City of East Lansing - Parks & Recreation (Ingham) Park Assessment and Management Plan - $6,400
  • City of Rochester (Oakland) Street Tree Inventory - $14,700
  • Friends of the Shiawassee River (Shiawassee) Tree Planting - $2,000
  • Mecosta County Parks Commission (Mecosta) Tree Planting - $2,000
  • Shepherd High School (Isabella) Tree Planting - $300
  • Trout Lake Township (Chippewa) Tree Planting - $1,000
  • Village of Fairgrove (Tuscola) Tree Planting - $2,000
  • Village of Suttons Bay (Leelanau) Street Tree Inventory - $6,770

Camp Tosebo celebrates 100th anniversary in 2012

Camp Tosebo, on Portage Lake in Manistee, Michigan, will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2012.

Founded by Noble Hill, Camp Tosebo was established in 1912 as a private summer camp for the Todd Seminary for Boys in Woodstock, Illinois. The camp attracted boys from all over the country, and even though the Todd School was closed in 1953, the summer camp carried on with its eight-week summer program for another twenty-four years.

The current owners continue to preserve the rich historical tradition of this camp by maintaining its original buildings and conserving the natural beauty of its surroundings.


Former campers are encouraged to visit the Camp Tosebo website, where they can find out how to get in touch with other former campers.

Just by exploring the Camp Tosebo website, it looks like a beautiful setting for a family vacation.

Taken from their website, here's a description of Camp Tosebo:

Experience the simplicity of life at Camp Tosebo, surrounded by beauty, rich in history and full of amenities. Tosebo offers rental accommodations in every season. You will enjoy the outdoor splendor and indoor relaxation of Camp Tosebo. Nestled on the southern shores of pristine Portage Lake and surrounded by 50 acres of protected forest step right out your door for an abundance of activity; swimming, boating, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, biking, tennis, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and more. The Welcome House-built in 1910 is a two-story cottage that comfortably sleeps 6-8 people. This charming cottage is equipped with a fully stocked kitchen, living room with a brick fireplace, dining room, two bedrooms and more. The Clubhouse-Originally built as a dance pavilion is an 1893 Victorian landmark that easily accommodates 17 guests, with 9 bedrooms, 7 l/2 bathrooms, a fully stocked kitchen, a large living room, library, game room, dining hall and many more amenities. The Trunk House (named after it's original role storing the campers' clothing) is a large, one room studio with vaulted ceilings, living and dining areas, queen size and twin bed, claw foot tub, shower and kitchenette.




Camp Tosebo Inn
7228 Miller Road
Manistee, MI 49660
Phone: (269)561-2420
reservations@tosebo.com
www.tosebo.com

Wisconsin DNR Outdoor Report Summary for December 22, 2011

Winter outdoor recreation enthusiasts have colder weather and snow on their holiday wish lists, as most of Wisconsin is free of snow, and many lakes and rivers in the southern half of the state are open or have only unsafe ice. While the astronomical winter began this week with the Winter Solstice on Wednesday, there has been no significant snowfall in the last week. This has left just far north central Wisconsin, mostly Iron, Vilas and Oneida counties, with any snow cover, and that ranges from just a couple to at most 5 to 6 inches.

Snowmobile trails are open in parts of those counties, but are generally in poor condition, and any trails that cross lakes still closed. No cross-country ski trails are being groomed, but some trails in those areas can be skied.

Colder night temperatures in the north has made some more ice, after last week’s near 50 degree weather had melted much ice. Ice depths in the north now range up to 7 to 10 inches, but there are still many areas that have thinner ice, especially near inlets, outlets and springs or other moving water. Ice is forming again on Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Bay, but is unsafe for travel. Ice depths drop quickly through central Wisconsin, and many lakes in southern Wisconsin remain open or have only unsafe ice. Conservation wardens are urging people to use extreme caution and check ice depths often. There were reports of two deaths in the last week from people falling through weak ice.

Ice anglers venturing out in the north reported some good early action for northern pike and walleye, mostly on suckers and shiners. There was also some good action for bluegills and crappies. With the mild weather, some open water anglers have returned, with some very good brown trout action reported in the Milwaukee harbor on Lake Michigan. Walleye fishing has been good on Lakes Monona and Mendota in Dane County and musky anglers have been having some success on Lake Monona. Walleye fishing was also good in on the Wisconsin River below the Wisconsin Dells dam.

Deer hunters still have ample opportunity to get out and do some more hunting. The Holiday Hunt starts Saturday, Dec 24 and ends on Jan. 8 in the chronic wasting disease management zone in south central Wisconsin. It is the same regulations as the nine-day rifle season in November, with one buck plus unlimited earn-a-buck there after. The late season archery hunt also remains open through Jan. 8 and some archery hunters reported this week that deer seemed to have just finished a second rutting period and have been seen feeding heavily, even during daylight hours. Hunters also report that bucks have begun shedding antlers and sheds are being found.

With open water remaining along Lake Michigan and southern Wisconsin, many waterfowl are still being seen, including Canada geese, goldeneyes, mallards, scaup, common mergansers and even an occasional wood duck.

There will be no Wisconsin DNR Outdoor Report between the Christmas and New Years holidays. The next Outdoor Report will be January 5, 2011. Should snow arrive before then, check the Department of Tourism’s Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR) for updates. Have a safe and happy holiday season.

54th Annual Detroit Boat Show – Get off the Dock

Boat show offers great deals on boats and boating equipment, entertainment for kids, and education

With the Detroit Boat Show still more than seven weeks away (Feb. 11-19), bulk space at the event is sold out. With more boats and more brands, the Detroit Boat Show continues its growth pattern for a second year in a row.

“Space sales and sponsorships are all trending in the right direction,” said Show Manager John Ropp. “And it is going to be a packed and exciting show this year.

The Detroit Boat Show features hundreds of boats for fishing, skiing, wakeboarding and cruising – also paddle boats, kayaks, paddleboards and inflatables. It is the best place to shop for a boat as it would take weeks to see as many boats at dealerships. Show prices are also extremely competitive and buying a boat in February assures boats will be ready for an early summer launch.

More than 60,000 consumers are expected to attend to see and buy hundreds of new 2012, 2011, and 2010 model boats of all types and sizes. Many dealers say they can attribute up to 50-percent of their annual sales to sales and leads generated at this show. More than 1,500 boats, worth an estimated $50 million, traditionally sell during the Boat Show’s nine-day run, and shortly after to leads generated at the show.

For those not interested in buying a boat, the show also offers exhibits selling boating accessories and services including motors, dockage, water toys, skiing and wakeboarding gear, boating and fishing accessories, electronics, boat gear, nautical gifts, artwork and much more.

Special features also make this event fun for those just looking to get a taste of summer in the middle of Michigan’s winter.

Special features include headliner Jeremy Van Shoonhoven, a 5 time National Champion Bike Trials rider, and a finalist on NBC's hit reality TV Show America's Got Talent!, a series of hands-on interactive exhibits around the show designed to entertain and educate boaters of all ages, a Discover Boating Track, promotions, give-aways and a Free Boater Safety Course.

The 54th annual Detroit Boat Show, held at Cobo Center in Detroit, is known as the premier boating event in the State of Michigan. Admission to the boat show is $12 for adults; children 12 and under are free with an adult.

Special admission days include:
  • Monday, February 13: Senior Day - seniors over 62 receive free admission 
  • Tuesday, February 14: Ladies Day & Valentine’s Day – Ladies get in free 
  • Wednesday, February 15: A Boat Load of Food – Bring in 5 cans of food for Gleaners Food Bank between 3 p.m. & 6 p.m. to get in free 
  • Thursday, February 16: Half price tickets – get your tickets for only $6 between 3 p.m. & 6 p.m.

Discount tickets and discount hotel accommodations are available at www.detroitboatshow.net. HOURS: Saturdays and Friday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sundays: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. Parking is available at Cobo Center and surrounding lots. The Detroit Boat Show is owned and produced by the Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA), the voice of boating in Michigan. Revenue generated from this event is returned back to fund boater’s interests via MBIA’s programs and services.

FOR MORE INFORMATION visit www.detroitboatshow.net, or call 1.800.932.2628.

The Detroit Boat Show is sponsored by RAM Trucks, Official Truck of the Detroit Boat Show. 

Kick Off the New Year With a "First Day" Hike in Shawnee State Park

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) invites families and friends to celebrate the New Year with a free “First Day” hike on New Year’s Day at Shawnee State Park near Portsmouth.

The hike is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 1 at the Shawnee State Park Lodge. Participants are urged to arrive half an hour early to register. Cookies and hot drinks will be served after the hike in the lodge.

The family friendly guided hike along the Lampblack Trail will last approximately two hours. The scenic one-mile loop is moderate in difficulty, with one hill climb.

First Day hikers can enjoy the quiet beauty of nature in winter, with views and vistas unimpeded by foliage. The park manager will be on hand to discuss the ecology of the forest, and point out the birds and wildlife that frequent the forest in winter.

As an added incentive, the Shawnee State Park Lodge is offering a special reduced rate of $89 for a standard double room the evening of Sunday, January 1. For reservations, call 1-800-282-7275 or reserve on-line at www.ohiostateparks.org.

Hikers are advised to dress warmly with layers of clothing, in addition to hats and gloves. Sturdy hiking boots or waterproof shoes are also recommended, as the trails may not be cleared if there is snow.

The Shawnee hike is part of the America’s State Parks First Day Hikes offered at state parks around the country to encourage families and children to connect with the outdoors and adopt healthy lifestyles.

For more outdoor recreation ideas and events this winter, please go to www.ohiodnr.com and click on Ohio's Winter Escape button.

The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

44 Campgrounds & RV Resorts make the 'A' Grade in Guestrated.com's 4th Annual Consumer Satisfaction Survey

More than 30,000 consumers submitted online reviews of campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across the United States

Four-four campgrounds, RV parks and resorts earned all around “A” grades in the fourth annual consumer satisfaction survey of campgrounds, RV parks and resorts.

The top parks were announced recently during the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds’ annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo, which took place at the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort & Spa and Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.

More than 30,000 camping and RV enthusiasts participated in the online survey, which evaluated guest experiences at campgrounds, RV parks and resorts that are affiliated with the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.

“Consistently earning an overall ‘A’ grade from guests is difficult, and our 44 winners this year represent less than 2 percent of all of the nation’s campgrounds. But what is even more impressive is that 12 of this year’s winners have also received this award four years in a row,” said Bob MacKinnon, president and CEO of GuestRated.com, the Murrieta, Calif.-based company that conducted the online survey.

“Consumers should take the time to check out the ratings that are posted for each campground on GoCampingAmerica.com because that’s the quickest way to tell which parks are best meeting – and exceeding – guest expectations,” said Paul Bambei, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.

The 44 parks earning “A” grades this year are listed below. They include:

Acres of Wildlife Campground in Steep Falls, Maine, a three-time “A” grade winner, www.acresofwildlife.com

Anaheim Resort RV Park, Anaheim, Calif., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.anaheimresortrvpark.com

Ashland Resort, Northfork, W.V., a two-time “A” grade winner, www.atvresort.com

AtRivers Edge RV Resort, Brookings, Ore., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.atriversedge.com

Brookdale Family Campground, Meadville, Penn., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.brookdalecampground.com

Buffalo Lake Camping Resort
Buffalo Lake Camping Resort, Montello, Wis., a two-time “A” grade winner, www.buffalolakecamping.com

Buttonwood Campground, Mexico, Penn., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.buttonwoodcamp.com

Camp A Way, Lincoln, Neb., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.campaway.com

Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park, Nathrop, Colo. a three-time “A” grade winner, www.chalkcreek-campground.com

Cherry Hill Park, College Park, Md., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.cherryhillpark.com

Cross Creek Camping Resort, Delaware, Ohio, a first-time “A” grade winner, www.alumcreek.com

D&W Lake Camping & RV Park
D & W Lake Camping and RV Park, Champaign, Ill., a two-time “A” grade winner, www.dwlake.com

Dogwood Acres Campground, Newville, Penn., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.dogwoodcamping.com

Emerald Coast RV Beach Resort, Panama City, Fla., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.rvresort.com

Gettysburg Campground, Gettysburg, Penn., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.gettysburgcampground.com

Gold Country Campground Resort, Pine Grove, Calif., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.goldcountrycampground.com

Hidden Valley RV Park, Von Ormy, Texas, a first-time “A” grade winner, www.hiddenvalleyrv.net

High Plains Camping, Oakley, Kan., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.highplainscamping.com

Kalyumet Camping & Cabins, Lucinda, Penn., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.kalyumet.com

Keen Lake Camping & Cottage Resort, Waymart, Penn., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.keenlake.com

Kozy Rest Kampground, Harrisville, Penn., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.kozyrestcampground.com

Lake George RV Park
Lake George RV Park, Lake George, N.Y., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.lakegeorgervpark.com

Las Vegas RV Resort, Las Vegas, Nev., a two-time “A” grade winner, www.lasvegasrvresort.com

Magnolia RV Park & Campground, Kinards, S.C., a two-time “A” grade winner, www.magnoliarvparksc.com

Meadowcliff Lodge & RV Resort, Coleville, Calif., a three-time “A” grade www.meadowcliff.com

Mill Creek Ranch RV & Cottage Resort, Canton, Texas, a four-time “A” grade winner, www.millcreekranchresort.com

Misty River Cabins & RV Resort
Misty River Cabins & RV Resort, Walland, Tenn., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.mistyriverrv.com

Moose River Campground, Saint Johnsbury, Vt., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.mooserivercampground.com

Mountain Vista Campground, East Stroudsburg, Penn., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.mtnvistacampground.com

Myrtle Beach Travel Park, Myrtle Beach, S.C., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.myrtlebeachtravelpark.com

Ocean Lakes Family Campground, Myrtle Beach, S.C., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.oceanlakes.com

Pecan Park Campground, San Marcos, Texas, a first-time “A” grade winner, www.pecanpark.com

Pioneer Campground, Laporte, Penn., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.pioneercampground.com

Pismo Coast Village RV Resort, Pismo Beach, Calif., a two-time “A” grade winner, www.pismocoastvillage.com

Pontchartrain Landing, New Orleans, La., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.pontchartrainlanding.com

Red Apple Campground, Kennebunkport, Me., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.redapplecampground.com

Rose Point Park, New Castle, Penn., a first-time “A” grade winner, https://rosepointpark.com

Sunny Brook RV Resort
Sunny Brook RV Resort, South Haven, Mich., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.sunnybrookrvresort.com

The Springs at Borrego RV Resort and Golf Course, Borrego Springs, Calif., a two-time “A” grade winner, www.springsatborrego.com

The Vineyards Campground & Cabins, Grapevine, Texas, a four-time “A” grade winner, www.vineyardscampground.com

West Canada Creek Campsites
West Canada Creek Campsites, Poland, N.Y., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.westcanadacreekcampsites.com

Willow Tree Resort, Longs, S.C., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.willowtreerv.com

Yellowstone Holiday Campground, West Yellowstone, Mont., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.yellowstoneholiday.com

The GuestRated.com national online survey program was launched in 2008 in collaboration with ARVC.

Consumers are invited to submit their own reviews of private campgrounds and RV resorts they have recently visited by logging on to www.GoCampingAmerica.com and clicking on the “Review a Park” tab. Survey results will eventually be posted on the GoCampingAmerica website.

'Taste the Passion' wine tour coming early Febraury to Leelanau wineries

Share the love of Leelanau (and Leelanau wine) at the "Taste the Passion" wine tour, held Feb. 4 & 5, 2012. This special weekend celebrates wine, chocolate and love at the wineries of the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail in Northern Michigan.

Your ticket allows you to chart your own course, enjoying food and wine pairings at 17 wineries along with a optional winter and Valentine-themed activities at many of the wineries.

"Taste the Passion is definitely our most intimate event," says winemaker Larry Mawby. "Our tasting rooms are cozy refuges in wintertime, and with less people on the trail, it's a great opportunity to talk directly with winemakers and vineyard owners. To top it all off, Leelanau County is a winter paradise, offering everything from cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, to enjoying great meals at our restaurants, and evenings by the fireplace. This is a perfect chance to hit a Christmas gift or Valentine's Day home run!"

Tickets are just $30, and quantities are limited. Secure yours as soon as possible, as most of our trail events do sell out. There are also lodging packages that include tickets!

Come early for a Friday night reception at the Homestead Resort. Visit www.lpwines.com for complete details!


Taste the Passion Food Pairings:

Bel Lago will feature their Pinot Noir paired with a slice of Decadent Chocolate Cake.

Black Star Farms presents a molten chocolate cake with vanilla bean infused crème anglaise and pistachio cranberry white chocolate bark paired with their Sirius Cherry dessert wine.

Brengman Brothers will pair Runaway Hen Syrah and a bittersweet chocolate truffle with Parmesan cheese, coarse sea salt, and bacon.

Chateau de Leelanau is serving up Cherry Chipotle Mole Chicken Wings paired with their Riesling Harvest Select.

Chateau Fontaine offers Greek-inspired Chocolate Chili Dogs, topped with Cheddar Cheese and optional onions paired with their Big Paw Red.

Cherry Republic will be serving a chocolate coffee cake truffle with their Shook Dessert Wine.

Forty-Five North will have red wine marinated figs wrapped in bacon with mascarpone cheese and drizzled with a red wine chocolate sauce paired with 45 Red, a blend of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, & Merlot.

Gills Pier will be serving mini chocolate/honey mousse cups with sea salt and cocoa nibs, paired with their Whitewater, a semi-sweet white wine made with Vignole grapes.

Good Harbor offers Chicken Jalapeno Soup paired with their Fishtown White.

L. Mawby will give you one piece each of chocolate/bacon and maple/bacon fudge from 45 Parallel Candy World along with their sparkling JADORE.

Silver Leaf entices you with chocolate almond & cherry clusters, paired with two-time gold medal awarded, "Chafia Cherry" wine featuring their new label.

Tandem is serving crepes with chocolate cream cheese filling topped with a Bardenhagen Farms strawberry sauce and paired with cider, of course!

Verterra is serving Vol au Vent Baked French Brie with Verterra Jam (preserves made from wine grapes) and Granny Smith matchstick apples paired with their award-winning Pinot Gris.

About the Leelanau Peninsula Vintner's Association
The Leelanau Peninsula Vintner's Association is a 501c3. The LPVA was formed in 2000 with a goal to help spread the word about all the wonderful things the Leelanau Peninsula has to offer including a growing number of award-winning wineries, excellent restaurants and a rich agricultural history. Today, it is the largest and strongest of the four organized wine trails in Michigan which promote the state's nearly $790 million grape/wine industry.

Geomate.jr encourages family time, outdoor play; Great gift idea anytime of year

The Internet and television may be dominating leisure activities and zapping outdoor time for kids, but that won’t slow down the fast growing trend millions enjoy: GPS treasure hunting called, geocaching. Thanks to Apisphere, Inc., the company behind Geomate.jr, children, their families and adventure seekers from all walks of life can get hip with the increasingly popular and fun geocaching phenomenon, a great group activity for scouting, summer camps and schools. Geomate.jr, the first and only device of its kind, combines technology and outdoor play while providing hours of geocaching entertainment; it is preloaded with 250,000 geocache locations.

Sadly, according to the Outdoor Foundation, outdoor activity among children ages 6 to 17 declined 11 percent in 2008.

“Geomate.jr offers a way to reconnect our children with family time and nature while encouraging them to be active, get outdoors and explore the environment,” says Warren Hewerdine, co-inventor of Geomate.jr and Apisphere’s vice president of marketing. “Savvy kids will get their technology fix from the easy-to-use device, and it eliminates the traditional fuss of Internet connections, downloads, coordinates and preplanning to provide a spontaneous geocaching experience families can enjoy anytime, anywhere.”

Geomate.jr acts as an electronic compass, guiding you to within yards of a geocache.

People all over the world have enjoyed geocaching but up until now, the GPS receivers required were expensive and difficult to use.

“Geomate.jr is about the size of a granola bar and built tough so it can take a beating. The contoured grip fits comfortably in the hands of kids and adults,” says Hewerdine. “Then all you have to do is head out to a local park, the backcountry or just down the street to get started on creating lifelong memories and a newfound appreciation for the outdoors.”

The Geomate.jr makes a great gift idea any time of year. Products available include:

Geomate.jr - Geocaching GPS (Retail: $69.95) Pre-loaded with 250,000 geocaches covering all 50 U.S. states, just switch it on and be directed to your closest geocache. European, Canadian, Australian & New Zealand versions are also available.

Geomate.jr - Update Kit (Retail: $24.95) The key to update any Geomate.Jr with the latest and greatest geocaches for the U.S. or for around the world. Other features such as being able to create a private geocache list and Pocket Query support are also accessible with an Update Kit.

Geomate.jr - Combo Pack (Retail: $94.95) Everything you will ever need in one box including a Geomate.jr, an Update Kit, a Geomate.jr Travel Tag, batteries, lanyard, and documentation. Geomate.jr is available for purchase at major outdoor retailers including REI, L.L. Bean, Gander Mountain and Eastern Mountain Sports. It is also available through Target, Amazon.com and Geocaching.com.

For more information about the Geomate.jr, including demo videos, please visit www.mygeomate.com. Follow on Twitter: @geomatejr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/geomatejr.

Michigan municipal parks split $550,000 in grants

Michigan DNR awards more than $550,000 in Land and Water Conservation Fund Grants to support local communities’ park improvements

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced that seven community parks and recreation facilities across the state would share more than $550,000 in Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grants. The federal LWCF program, administered in Michigan by the DNR, supports cities, counties and townships in their efforts to provide better public outdoor recreation opportunities for their residents.

Land and Water Conservation Fund grants have been awarded to Crawford County, Laketown Township (Allegan County), the city of Leslie (Ingham County), Lincoln Township (Berrien County), Plymouth Township (Wayne County), Richland Township (Saginaw County) and Traverse City (Grand Traverse County).

The full list of award recipients, grant amounts and descriptions of their projects is available at www.michigan.gov/dnr-grants.

“This year’s grant recipients will build and renovate a broad range of public recreation facilities, everything from pavilions, bathrooms and baseball fields to boardwalks, fishing platforms and a community pool,” said Steve DeBrabander, DNR Grants Management section supervisor.

“Improvements like these will help local communities meet the recreation needs of their residents and keep people going outdoors,” DeBrabander said. “The DNR is committed to working with local officials over the long term to ensure these projects become successful, valuable community assets.”

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a federal program administered in Michigan by the Department of Natural Resources on behalf of the National Park Service (NPS). The DNR uses LWCF funding to help develop public outdoor recreation facilities and to provide matching grants for local governments to do the same.

The LWCF is supported by revenues from federal gas and oil development from the outer continental shelf. Following congressional appropriation, LWCF monies are apportioned to the states by the Secretary of the Interior each fiscal year in accordance with the apportionment formula contained in the LWCF Act.

Application materials for future Land and Water Conservation Fund grants are available at www.michigan.gov/dnr-grants, by calling 517-373-9125, or writing to Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Grants Management, P.O. Box 30425, Lansing, MI 48909-7925.

Cougar existence confirmed in Michigan's Houghton and Keweenaw counties

Editor's note: I thought the following information would especially be of use for the many snowmobilers who like to head to the Keweenaw Peninsula during the winter. I lived in Calumet and Houghton quite a long time ago and absolutely loved the rugged beauty of the area. There are many groomed trails for both snowmobilers and cross country skiers. I'm sure there's probably even hikers decked out in snowshoes, too, and they especially would want to know about the information below...

 The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed the presence of a radio-collared cougar just north of the city of Hancock in northern Houghton County. The animal was captured on a trail camera on Nov. 13, walking directly in front of the camera, with the noticeable presence of a radio collar.

DNR Wildlife Division staff visited the property on Nov. 17 where the trail camera is mounted and verified the location of the camera. Property owner Jesse Chynoweth submitted the pictures to the DNR for confirmation.

“This is the third time this animal has been captured on trail cameras in the Upper Peninsula.” said Adam Bump, a wildlife biologist with the DNR’s Cougar Team “The Wisconsin DNR earlier verified two trail camera pictures of this cat as it passed through Wisconsin on its way to the UP.”

The Department has also verified a set of tracks from a cougar in southern Keweenaw County on Nov. 20. The cougar passed about 30 feet from a deer hunter who later returned to the area with a friend to snap pictures of the cougar’s tracks. The animal is almost certainly the same, radio-collared cougar that was photographed about 15 miles south near Hancock a week earlier.

The DNR is still in the process of tracking down where the cougar is from and has been checking frequencies from collars of cats from South Dakota, Utah and Montana. Only western states currently have cougars collared for research projects, so the animal likely traveled a great distance to reach the Upper Peninsula.

The Department will inform the public if more details are discovered about this cougar.

Cougars, also known as mountain lions, were once found throughout North America, including Michigan. Habitat loss and heavy persecution led to cougars being eliminated from Michigan in the early 1900s. The last known wild cougar taken in Michigan was killed near Newberry in 1906. Although sightings have increased and are regularly reported in the Upper Peninsula, verification is often difficult. Cougar tracks and a cougar photo from in the eastern Upper Peninsula were verified in 2009. Additionally, the DNR was able to verify several sets of cougar tracks in Marquette and Delta counties in 2008. The radio collared cougar has been photographed in Houghton and Ontonagon counties in 2011.

Established cougar populations are found as close to Michigan as North and South Dakota, and transient cougars dispersing from these areas have been known to travel hundreds of miles in search of new territory. Characteristic evidence of cougars include tracks, which are about three inches long by three and a half inches wide and typically show no claw marks, or suspicious kill sites, such as deer carcasses that are largely intact and have been buried with sticks and debris.

Reports of cougar tracks and other evidence should be made to a local DNR office or by calling the department's 24-hour Report All Poaching line at 800-292-7800.

Cougars are classified as an endangered species in Michigan. It is unlawful to kill, harass or otherwise harm a cougar except in the immediate defense of human life. For more information about the recent cougar tracks and photo, call your local DNR office to report it or report it on our website. To learn more about cougars and how to identify their tracks, go www.michigan.gov/cougars.

National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds recognizes top parks in its annual awards competition

Judges rated the nation’s private parks on customer service, marketing, eco-friendly practices and involvement in their local communities

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) recognized the achievements of private parks in seven states during its annual industry awards competition.
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Camp-Resort at Kozy Rest

The highest honors, called the “Park of the Year” awards, sponsored by Good Sam, were given to campgrounds, RV parks and resorts based on several criteria, including customer service, employee training, operational excellence, national directory ratings and community service. Winners included:

Buttonwood Campground

The parks that made exemplary efforts to become environmentally friendly received the association's "Plan it Green Award." The winners in this category were:


On the marketing front, awards were presented to state campground associations that produced the best statewide campground directories. Award recipients in this category included:


Top performing state campground association executives were also recognized for
their efforts, including:


Mark Anderson, Steve Albrecht, Jo Ann Mickelson, and Karl Littman were all recognized for exemplary service as outgoing members of the ARVC Board of Directors , while Tom Kilmer of Suburban Propane was recognized as, “Supplier of the Year” for going the extra mile on behalf of its customers and the campground industry.

The winners were announced during an awards ceremony Friday at ARVC's annual
Outdoor Hospitality Convention & Expo, which took place at the Westin Savannah Golf Resort & Spa in Savannah, Ga.

Based in Denver, Colo., the National Association of the RV Parks and Campgrounds is the voice of the outdoor hospitality industry. More information about the association and its affiliated campgrounds, RV parks and resorts is available at www.arvc.org and www.GoCampingAmerica.com.

Battelle identifies solutions for Ohio's Grand Lake St. Marys lake algae

Interim report analyzed nearly 75 proposals, found promising solutions to fight toxic cyanobacteria blooms at Ohio's largest inland lake

Battelle, the world's largest independent research and development organization and home of some of the world's foremost environmental remediation experts, has identified about 10 solutions for mitigating the harmful blooms of algae and toxic cyanobacteria in Grand Lake St. Marys State Park (GLSM) from a group of about 75 ideas. While none of these proposals provided a complete answer to solve the problems at the lake, Battelle is recommending further evaluation of these identified solutions.

For a third consecutive summer, excessive blooms threatened the 12,700-acre lake in western Ohio. The forced closure of the lake to all recreational activities resulted in the loss of an appreciable portion of the $150 million in annual tourism revenue for the area each of those three years.Camping discounts of 50 percent off did little to convince campers to stay at GLSM, since water activities were strictly forbidden.

State officials hired Battelle to try and find a remedy to the situation, and the company issued its findings in a report earlier this month. The lengthy press release about the report follows, but in a nutshell what Battelle found was the tributaries leading into the lake, as well as the lake itself, need to be screened for phosphorus, and the lake also needs better aeration.

I have several posts about Grand Lake St. Marys, but the most pertinent one is the official advisory about the toxic algae.

Here's the rather lengthy report...

The Battelle report summarizes the environmental support services provided by Battelle under a contract with the Western Ohio Educational Foundation (WOEF) funded by grants from the Grand Lake St. Marys Restoration Commission (GLSMRC) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The WOEF is located at the Wright State University, Lake Campus, which also provided research support.

Under this contract, Battelle completed three tasks:
  • Task 1: Perform Suitability Evaluations for Lake Restoration Proposals
  • Task 2: Provide Status/Feedback to GLSMRC and Stakeholder Groups
  • Task 3: Assess/Site Aeration Technologies in Select GLSM Sheltered Areas

Under Task 1, Battelle reviewed more than 70 vendor-proposed solutions for the state's largest inland lake. Battelle worked closely with GLSMRC and ODNR to design a systematic screening process to rank these proposals. Four configurations emerged that reflect distinct lake improvement strategies arising from the vendor-proposed solutions:
  • Reduction of external phosphorus loading by source reduction or treatment, including treatment of tributaries
  • Reduction of internal loading by removal or inactivation of phosphorus inventory in lake sediments
  • Aeration/circulation
  • Algaecidal agents

"Battelle's analysis of the proposed technical solutions provides a comprehensive guideline for addressing the environmental problems at Grand Lake St. Marys," said Marty Toomajian, President of Battelle's Energy, Environment and Material Sciences Global Business. "We appreciate this opportunity to be a trusted technical resource for Ohio."

Thomas Knapke, WOEF Development Officer, said, "Battelle worked closely with GLSM stakeholders to reach consensus on the preferred criteria to classify and rank proposed solutions. This exercise identified highest priority solutions and allowed us to start working with selected vendors for follow-up analysis and demonstrations of their proposed solutions in both the lake and its surrounding watershed."

Task 2 provided a summary of various perspectives on the environmental issues and contributing factors stressing GLSM. Conceptual models were used to describe the ecosystem functions of the lake. This task provided a framework to support the assessment of the proposed vendor solutions.

Task 3 reviewed various options and made specific recommendations for aerating closed areas of the lake.

About Battelle
As the world's largest independent research and development organization, Battelle provides innovative solutions to the world's most pressing needs through its four global businesses: Laboratory Management; National Security; Health and Life Sciences; and Energy, Environment and Material Sciences. It advances scientific discovery and application by conducting $6.5 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide, including seven national laboratories which Battelle manages or co-manages for the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a nuclear energy lab in the United Kingdom.

Michigan's Bay City State Recreation Area gearing up for winter fun

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is planning several new winter GO-Get Outdoors recreational activities for the users of Bay City State Recreation Area in Bay County.

DNR staff will begin grooming and track-setting five miles of trails inside the park, located at 3582 State Park Dr. in Bay City, as soon as adequate snow exists. Grooming will primarily involve the Andersen Trail as well as many of the park’s trails at the Tobico Marsh. One side of the trails will be track-set for cross-country skiers while the other side will be smoothed for hikers and snowshoers.

Novice and experienced hikers and snowshoers are reminded that trail etiquette dictates that non-skiers use the opposite side of the groomed trails to avoid stepping in the set tracks.

“When people leave footprints in the ski tracks, it greatly diminishes the effectiveness of the tracks for skiers,” said DNR Park Manager George Lauinger. “If each type of user stays to his or her side of the trails, Bay City State Recreation Area will be able to accommodate many new types of trail users this year.”

Park staff will also be plowing a one-mile outer loop of the heavily wooded campground for walkers seeking easier terrain than the groomed trails. This is the first year this section of the park will be plowed for those looking for new winter hiking opportunities in the Bay City area.

The DNR is also constructing an access path from the park’s day use parking lot to the Saginaw Bay. This would allow icefishers using snowmobiles or ATVs to legally access the bay from the parking lot. The access path will be located east of Shelter #3 in the day use area. Construction is expected to be completed by mid-December.

Bay City is one of 16 parks that will be participating in Michigan state parks’ “Shoe” Years Day special events on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. These events are opportunities for those who resolve to get fit in 2012 to take their first step in that direction. Park rangers will be on hand to lead a two-mile hike from the Visitors Center starting at 11 a.m.

For details, contact George Lauinger, 989-684-3020 or e-mail lauingerg@michigan.gov.