Hiking: hiking conditions are good. We started summer trail mowing in late June, and 99% of the trails have been mowed at least once. Grasses are short where mowed, often waist high (or higher) if not mowed.
Biking: the West Side trails offer the best biking, that area tends to be the driest (but BE SURE TO READ 'Important Updates' below). The East Side trails are surprisingly dry this summer, and more 'bike-able' than usual. On the East Side, after rainy weather avoid the trails far to the east, they usually are damp and soft.
Bugs: mosquitoes currently are a bit bothersome.
A 50-100 meter segment of West Side trail adjacent to a beaver dam is soggy between intersections H-I; you can walk your bike through this spot - but anticipate wet shoes.
Due to recent logging, on the East Side, avoid Rut Road between intersections 20-21-22. Click here for details
Due to active logging, on the West Side, avoid the loop between intersections D-E-D, and watch for logging traffic from A-B-C-D.
April 24, 2021: snow showers
Summertime mowing began in late June on the East Side trails. East Side mowing was completed on July 25th. The West Side was mowed in the last half of July. Click here for a map showing East Side mowing details.
Meeting called to order
by Dick Pebler, president, at 7:05 p.m. at the warming house at the Blue Hills Trail
Officers: Dave Olsen, Tom Paulsen, Dick Pebler
Members: Dan Bale, Nels Curnow, Steve Gest, Frank Lowry, Jonathan Stanley, Jerry Wilkes
Motion by Jerry Wilkes, second by Dan Bale, to dispense with reading of the prior minutes and to accept the May 2010 minutes. Unanimously carried.
The fiscal year runs September 1 to August 31 inclusive. An interim budget report was presented by Tom Paulsen. Revenue ($26,998.89) exceeded expenses ($26,770.68) by $228.21. We incurred major expenses this fiscal year (big items included replacement of the transmission in the 2007 snowmobile, purchase of a new Skandic SWT snowmobile to replace the 2007 model, furnace repair of the pilot mechanism, purchase of a leveling tube and snow scratchers for the grooming implements, and various equipment repairs). Fortunately, multiple fundraising appeals produced generous donations, and we were able to sell the repaired 2007 Skandic snowmobile for $5000. Our bottom line shows a positive balance at this time (available cash) of $14,931.35. Discussion was held. Motion was made by Jerry Wilkes to approve the Treasurer's report as presented, and seconded by Dave Olsen. Unanimously carried.
Election of Officers
Dick Pebler was nominated by Jerry Wilkes for president, seconded by Frank Lowry, elected unanimously. Dave Olsen was nominated by Jerry Wilkes for vice president, seconded by Frank Lowry, elected unanimously. Tom Paulsen was nominated by Jerry Wilkes for secretary/treasurer, seconded by Frank Lowry, elected unanimously.
Fall banquet: held at the warming house. Tom Paulsen reported that attendance was low, but the attendees were enthusiastic and enjoyed the evening. The banquet was more financially successful than many past years (showing a net profit of $1500). The method used for prize distribution worked well (primarily silent auctions).
Blue Hills Ascent: Frank Lowry reported that the race was canceled because active logging disrupted the race course. There were no costs incurred.
Website: those in attendance agreed the website remains very functional. With the extensive assistance of his daughter's professional web design skills, Tom Paulsen upgraded the website to a more modern design. We continue to provide business links (free of charge) to local donors in the business of ski/bike sales, and lodging. Suggestions for further improvement are always welcome.
Fundraising: very good results despite the ongoing major economic recession. Thanks to several $1000 donations, business donations increased significantly (29%). Individual donations decreased mildly (7%), and despite logging disruption of the trail system, the number of memberships increased (6%).
Equipment: the transmission in the 2007 Skandic SWT snowmobile failed during a December blizzard and was replaced at a cost of $2600+. We then purchased a new (2012) Skandic SWT snowmobile from Hayward Power Sports at the discounted price of $10,000, and the 2007 snowmobile was sold for $5000. As part of the annual snowmobile service work in the future, we plan on draining the transmission fluid and looking for excessive metal filings that would indicate the need to check the idle gear bearing. Major purchases for the Tidd Tech grooming implements included a leveler bar ($202), and a set of snow scratchers ($474). For emergencies our groomers might encounter, we purchased a rescue device ($100 SPOT messenger) that uses satellite communication. As usual, equipment repairs were a moderate expense. Fortunately, Dan Bartels continues to handle a significant portion of the equipment repair work. Storage of the grooming implements and our mower is done off site as a donated item.
Grooming and trail maintenance:
Snowshoe trail: no action on this the past year.
Signage: Rusk County printed and laminated the necessary replacement maps. Dick Pebler replaced the WestSide maps/signage, Dan Bale and Jerry Wilkes replaced the EastSide maps/signage.
Warming house: to save money, caulking was deferred this past year. In November 2009, Kevin Westlund placed fiberglass insulation in the interior to seal visible gaps. A rusty pilot mechanism in the furnace was repaired at a cost of $182. Since that repair, we've decided to operate the pilot throughout the year.
After fairly lengthy discussion, those in attendance agreed the membership fees ($35 for individuals, $55 for families) and trail head fees ($5 daily donation) should remain unchanged. We hope to attract those skiers that skied elsewhere during this past winter's logging disruption. By not raising fees, this also will allow many diverse individuals to access the trail system despite the sluggish economy. It's our hope that businesses and individuals doing well financially will continue to provide generous donations.
Fall Banquet: the approach for the 2010 fall fundraiser was discussed. We again will focus on a limited number of major prizes and silent auction items, and one or two major raffles. Jerry Wilkes volunteered to head the banquet committee. Perhaps Burdy's (Weyerhaeuser) would again be a suitable location for the fundraising banquet.
Blue Hills Ascent: due to recent low turnouts, Frank Lowry recommended we not hold a race in January 2012. Those in attendance agreed unanimously. Frank Lowry volunteered to explore options of 'fun days' on the trail to replace the race option.
Website: Tom Paulsen's goal is to keep it functional, straight forward, and to update frequently during ski season.
Fundraising: Tom and Jan Paulsen will again spearhead the fall fundraising with help from Dick Pebler representing the Rice Lake area. As in the past, their appeals will focus on supportive individuals and businesses, and BHTA members.
Grooming team: Dan Bartels and Steve Brockman will share the bulk of the grooming, with expected frequent assistance from Steve Gest and Jay Howard. Frank Lowry, Tom Paulsen, and Jonathan Stanley will remain available for backup grooming. Our goal remains quality grooming of the entire trail system with major emphasis on the core loop. A fall meeting between officers and groomers is anticipated.
Warming house: exterior caulking needs to be accomplished some time in the next few years. Officers will work out the details by speaking with Kevin Westlund and Bjorn Hanson (with Bjorn discussing purchase versus donation of materials and labor).
Work Day: to be selected this fall.
Ski Clinic: Tom Paulsen will check with Mark Bittner to see if he is interested in working on this. We certainly continue to welcome the ski clinics conducted by Steve and Jyneen Thatcher.
Signage: three individuals (Dan Bale, Dick Pebler, and Jerry Wilkes) were selected to handle the fall replacement of maps and trail signs.
Snowshoe trail: no discussion.
Warming house propane heat: we switched to Sheldon Coop as the provider June 2010, they are delivering a good service.
Website: Tom Paulsen reported that no significant changes are anticipated.
To be carried over with additions as highlighted in bold
Motion to adjourn by Dave Olsen, second by Tom Paulsen. Adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
Taken by Tom Paulsen, Secretary
A Listing of Active Committees