Newsletter

Vol. 12, No.2 September 22, 2014

FLG Issues A Call for Jammers for Annual LogJam Bee.

Give us your strong backs, your waders, your chainsaws and ropes...and we'll give you a healthier, safer Looking Glass River.   

Volunteer loggers & helpers are needed for FLG’s 15th annual LogJam Bee, scheduled for this Sat. Sept 27.  We’re asking everyone who lives on the river, in the watershed or who enjoys the Looking Glass River to consider helping out, and get some great exercise as well.

Meet at the McGuire Park pavilion on the west side of DeWitt, on W. Main St., (on the west side of the fire station) @ 8:30am sharp - rain or shine - for an orientation & safety meeting, when you’ll be assigned to a crew and be in action soon after.

We move the course each year to try to keep up with the problem areas, from Babcock Landing (straight north of East Lansing), to Portland.  Given the new kayak/canoe launches that the City of DeWitt and DeWitt Twp. have installed recently, we’d like to clear the dozen and a half jams between the two launches, which will give paddlers an hour-long float from downtown DeWitt’s Riverside Park (@ Bridge Street) to Looking Glass Riverfront Park, located on Herbison Road, just east of Airport Road, in DeWitt Twp.  The LogJam Bee volunteers will also clear jams from Old 27 to downtown DeWitt, if enough people show up.  If that stretch is cleared of its eight jams, paddlers will have an unimpeded hour and a half float from Old 27 to the Heribson Rd. park, for the first time in five years. 

All logjams have been GPS-ed and access to them has been arranged with property owners. We’ll drive to the sites. 

What to bring:  sharp, well-maintained chainsaws & supplies, 20' – 30’ long thick ropes (ski ropes are too thin),  come-alongs, winches, chest waders for in-stream workers, work boots for bank crews.   Wear rubber-tactile gloves, safety gear (goggles, ear protection for those in the stream), jeans (no shorts), long-sleeved shirts.  There is some poison ivy so be aware, but there are no bugs.  The water is waist-deep in most places - higher and cooler than usual - due to the rainy weather this summer.  Each crew should have a person on the bank with a cell phone in a Ziploc freezer bag.   Each crew chainsawer will be assigned an in-stream helper or two, with 2-4 on-bank workers, who will haul the limbs & chunks back into the wetland to prevent their reentry during flooding.  Men, women and teens are asked to give us a hand. 

Volunteers should plan to cleanup @ 12:30 - 12:45pm to return to McGuire Park at 1pm for a hearty, homemade Loggers' Lunch and log jam story swapping.  

The FLG board asks that you please commit to making a difference in your watershed this Sat., rain or shine.  Logjammin' is a water sport, so expect to get a little wet and dirty.

In case of lightning, Sat. Oct 4 is the make-up date.  Same place and time.


NOTES: 

  • Log jams are dangerous for paddlers, cause heavy bank erosion and sedimentation to the river bottom (substrate), ruining the ecosystem for fish, invertebrates and aquatic insects (fish food).  Sedimentation also is ideally suited for unwanted macrophytic growth (thick weeds) that choke the stream.

  • Last year we put 31 volunteer on the river and removed over 20 tons of log jams & debris, with your assistance. http://www.lookingglassriverfriends.org/pdf/dbr-logjam-10042013.pdf

  • The Christmas ice storm and a half-dozen high wind events since, have gifted us with much more of the same.

  • This will be my 15th and last year of organizing this event.  It’s been a long, sometimes frustrating but always satisfying endeavor for me and FLG.  We’ll need someone to take over, if this event is to have lasting value to the 64-mile-long Looking Glass river watershed community.

Thank you again for your assistance along the way.  If you’ve not yet been on the FLG LogJam Bee team, consider this your printed invitation.

Bob Bishop
LogJamBee Organizer
517.881.1758
rjb60@comcast.net