Hiking: good conditions, fall colors are increasing daily. During wet weather, avoid two areas - 1)trails near the warming house that have been bulldozed to prepare for logging; 2)the West Side trails between intersections A-B-C-D-E (last fall those trails were bulldozed and used to haul logs from a timber sale - grass seed was recently spread there).
Grasses: mowed trails have short grasses. Elsewhere the grasses are knee high, waist high, and chest high. Be sure to look at the map in the mowing report (below).
Biking: most trails are firm - although the East Side trails are always damp and soft if you venture to the Far East. When biking this summer, please tread gently on the south half of the West Side of the trail system - grass seed was spread in July on the many bare trails involved in last summer's logging operation.
Insects: not very bothersome.
Loggers are currently working on the East Side in the vicinity of the Otter Slide and Far East trails. The 'Red Pine' timber sale (north of the warming house) will be logged later this fall.
Look at the 'Mowing Report' and the map of mowed trails to find the trails the loggers will be using.
April 25: wet flurries
We started mowing the East Side trails in late June. West Side trails haven't been mowed yet - the Forestry Department usually mows the West Side but probably won't have an available mower this year. If time allows, our organization will mow the West Side later this fall.
Meeting called to order
by Dick Pebler, president, at 6:35 p.m. at the warming house at the Blue Hills Trail
Officers: Dave Olsen, Tom Paulsen, Dick Pebler
Members: Jan Paulsen, Jonathan Stanley
Non-members: Dan Bartels
Motion by Dave Olsen, second by Jan Paulsen, to dispense with reading of the prior minutes and to accept the June 2011 minutes. Unanimously carried.
The fiscal year runs September 1 to August 31 inclusive. An interim budget report was presented by Tom Paulsen. Revenue ($19,052.98) exceeded expenses ($11,564.61) by $7488.37. Overall expenses were below budget due to the mild, dry winter (reduced grooming). Revenue was above budget thanks to successful fundraising, our many donors, and steady support from our members. Our bottom line shows a positive balance at this time (available cash) of $22,419.72. Discussion was held. Motion was made by Jonathan Stanley to approve the Treasurer's report as presented, and seconded by Dave Olsen. Unanimously carried.
Election of Officers
Jan Paulsen nominated Dick Pebler for president, Dave Olsen for vice president, and Tom Paulsen for secretary/treasurer. Nominations were closed, and these individuals were elected unanimously.
Fall banquet: held at Burdy's in Weyerhaeuser. Tom Paulsen reported that attendance was low, but the attendees were enthusiastic and enjoyed the evening. The banquet was financially successful (showing a net profit of $1700). The method used for prize distribution worked well (primarily silent auctions).
Blue Hills Ascent: Frank Lowry canceled the anticipated fun day (first Saturday in January) due to poor snow conditions. There were no costs incurred.
Website: those in attendance agreed the website remains very functional. The December 2011 blog included a video slide show of past years that was well received. 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: overall good results despite the ongoing major economic recession. Business donations decreased by about $1000, individual donations were relatively stable, and despite one of the warmest driest winters in memory, the number of memberships decreased by only 11%. This winter (2011-12) we had snow when other ski areas were bare, and we set a record at the donation pole ($2800+).
Equipment: we spent a total of $2500 on our equipment, mostly on maintenance/repair. We purchased a track renovator for $300, but never had a deep enough base to use it. The biggest repair item was a malfunctioning speedometer on the 2008 Skandic snowmobile ($300). Various other repairs generated not atypical labor costs that were split between Dan Bartels (BHTA mechanic), and Stodola's Precision Performance (Rice Lake).
Grooming and trail maintenance:
Snowshoe trail: John Kann (assisted by Jerry Schneider) created a well enjoyed snowshoe trail that began at the warming house. He brushed, signed and flagged the trail as well. This is a great addition to the trail system - and John plans on expanding the snowshoe trail in the near future.
Signage: Rusk County printed and laminated the necessary replacement maps. Dick Pebler and Jonathan Stanley replaced the WestSide maps/signage, Tom Paulsen 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 gas leak near the pilot mechanism in the furnace was repaired (May 2012) at a cost of $165.
After discussion, those in attendance agreed the membership fees ($35 for individuals, $55 for families) and trailhead fees ($5 daily donation) should remain unchanged (motion by Dave Olsen, second by Jonathan Stanley, passed unanimously). By not raising fees, this 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 2012 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 has agreed to head the banquet committee. Perhaps Burdy's (Weyerhaeuser) would again be a suitable location for the fund raising banquet; other options include the Blue Hills Inn, Lehman's (Rice Lake), and the warming house at our trail head.
Blue Hills Ascent: due to recent low turnouts, Frank Lowry recommended we not hold a race in January 2012. Those in attendance agreed unanimously. We'll ask Frank Lowry 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 Gest will share the bulk of the grooming, with expected frequent assistance from Jesse Wimer, Adam Brockman, Jay Howard, Frank Lowry, Tom Paulsen, and Jonathan Stanley will be available for backup grooming. Our goal remains quality grooming of the entire trail system with major emphasis on the core loop. The usual fall meeting between officers and groomers is anticipated.
Warming house: hopefully this summer, exterior staining can be accomplished. Tom Paulsen will look for volunteer labor for washing the exterior and staining (perhaps Bruce fire department could wash the exterior, and Boy Scouts could apply the stain). Exterior caulking also needs to be considered. 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: John Kann plans extension of the snowshoe trail.
Warming house propane heat: we switched to Sheldon Coop as the provider June 2010, they are delivering a good service. We plan on filling the tank this summer (June) when rates are the lowest.
Website: Tom Paulsen reported that no significant changes are anticipated.
To be carried over with additions as highlighted in bold
Motion to adjourn by Tom Paulsen, second by Dave Olsen. Adjourned at 8:25 p.m.
Taken by Tom Paulsen, Secretary
A Listing of Active Committees