Mar 042013
 
moose swimming on isle royal

On March 3, 1931, Isle Royale in Michigan joined the National Park System and became one of America’s Treasures. Congress authorized protection of the land, and President Herbert Hoover signed it into law in order to “conserve a prime example of North Woods Wilderness. The name given to the island by Native American inhabitants of the area was “Minong,” or “A good place.” The island, 46 miles in length by 9 miles in width, is the second largest in the Great Lakes. 99% of the land on the island are designated to be wilderness. The island can only be reached by a floatplane or boat, but there are 165 miles of trails to travel on by foot. Although there is a lodge and 36 camp grounds, access to the island is prohibited from November 1 through mid-April. The number of visitors to the island in one year is less the number of travels who pass through Yellowstone in one day. Because of the limited access to the island by animals from the mainland, the ecosystems on Isle Royale are abundant but simple. You can observe red foxes, wolves, beavers, and moose on the island, as well as an abundance of plants and wildflowers. Moose were not present on the island less than 100 years ago. It is thought that they may have accessed the land by swimming to it from the northern end of Lake Superior.

You can learn more about Isle Royale by visiting:http://www.nps.gov/isro/index.htm

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