DNR to Limit Number of Backcountry Campsites at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

March 14, 2018

Changes to protect park resources, improve backcountry camping experience
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is known for its remote backcountry experience.

Upper Peninsula, Michigan – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will limit the number of designated backcountry campsites at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, to better protect park resources and help ensure a quality backcountry camping experience.

At roughly 60,000 acres, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is Michigan’s largest state park, home to towering old-growth hemlock-hardwood stands, roaring waterfalls and spectacular sweeping vistas.

Annual visitation to the park is estimated to have grown to over 300,000 people.

In past years, backcountry campsites were available on a first-come, first-served basis, park rangers did not need to limit camping and campers could camp off-trail in a dispersed fashion away from designated campsites.

Over the past few years, park resources have been used heavily and the solitude of a wilderness experience backcountry campers are seeking has been compromised by overcrowding.
An intricate network of trails provides the backbone of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

“In recent years, we have had several nights that exceeded our capacity. We are now requiring campers to stay at designated campsites and we are limiting the number of registered campsites to 63 per night to protect the backcountry experience for all,” said Michael Knack, park supervisor. “Campers can now make a reservation for campsites and all backcountry campers will be required to camp on the specific backcountry campsite or campsites they have registered for.”

Backcountry campsites are numbered and have a metal fire ring.

“Reservations are strongly encouraged given popularity of the park’s backcountry and the number of available campsites,” said Bob Wild, a park interpreter at the state park. “We will most likely fill-up several nights this season.”

The backcountry camping limit of 63 permits nightly is equal to the number of campsites. The cost to camp for one night is $15 for 1-6 people. The maximum number of campers per site is six.

Backcountry camping reservations are available six months in advance for May 15 through Oct. 15 at www.midnrreservations.com or by calling 1-800-44PARKS. The remainder of the year is local sale only at the park.
Hemlocks and northern hardwood forests are among the prized attractions at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

An online reservation is not a backcountry camping permit.

Backcountry campers will need to visit one of three check stations when they arrive at the park to be issued their backcountry camping permit.Self-registration at the park is no longer offered.

Check-in is required at the park year-round to obtain a camping permit. After hours arrival requires next day check-in prior to entering the backcountry.

Check-in hours and locations include (all times listed are Eastern Time Zone):

  • May 15 through Oct. 15: Park Visitor Center, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Union Bay Campground Office 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 16 through May 14: Park headquarters, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

View the park’s backcountry camping map and information at www.michigan.gov/porkiesvc.

For general information on camping in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/camping.

A Recreation Passport grants vehicle access to any Michigan state park, boat launch, state forest campground or non-motorized state trailhead parking. Residents can purchase the Passport for just $11 ($5 for motorcycles) at the time of Michigan license plate renewal through the Secretary of State’s office.

Forgot to check “YES” during renewal? Residents and nonresidents can purchase a Recreation Passport window sticker during regular business hours at state parks.

Learn more about how the Recreation Passport supports state parks and local outdoor recreation opportunities at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.

Free Family Literary Night at Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum Thursday, March 15

March 14, 2018

Marquette, Mich.– Thursday, March 15 5:30-7:30 Literacy Night “Springboard into reading” Free family night for preschool and early elementary age children.

Free books and prizes to take home, snacks and activities. Sponsored by the Literacy Legacy Fund of Michigan and AmeriCorps through MARESA.

Call the UP Children’s Museum for more information at 906-226-3911.

SAYT Presents Broadway’s Timeless Musical: Peter Pan. March 15-18

March 14, 2018

Join SAYT on a trip to Neverland! March 15-18, 2018 All performances take place at Forest Roberts Theatre, NMU. Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 7:00pm Friday, March 16, 2018 at 7:00pm Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 1:00pm and 7:00pm Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 1:00pm

Buy Tickets Based on the play by SIR J.M. BARRIE Lyrics by CAROLYN LEIGH Additional lyrics by BETTY COMDEN and ADOLPH GREEN

Music by MORRIS (MOOSE) CHARLAP Additional music by JULE STYNE Originally directed, choreographed and adapted by JEROME ROBBINS The story begins when Peter and Tinkerbell visit the nursery of the Darling children late one night and, with a sprinkle of pixie dust, begin an unforgettable journey across the stars. In the adventure of a lifetime, the travelers come face to face with a ticking crocodile, the Lost Boys, a band of bungling pirates and, of course, the villainous Captain Hook.

SAYT’s production features a cast of 81 youth performers ages 5-18 years old from the Marquette area, a live orchestra and exciting special effects, including puppetry and performance flight!

This beloved family favorite features the iconic songs “I’m Flying,” “I’ve Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” and “Never Never Land.”

SAYT’s production is directed by Jalina McClain, with music direction by Jeff Bruning, and choreography by Jill Grundstrom.

Tickets $15 per adult or senior $9 per child or student. All seats are reserved. Additional $2 at the door.

In person: NMU EZ Ticket Outlets
Phone: (906) 227-1032
Online: tickets.nmu.edu

NCLL Tours Beth Millner Jewelry March 15

March 14, 2018

Marquette – The Northern Center for Lifelong Learning will host a tour of Beth Millner Jewelry from 12:45-2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15. Millner creates hand-made, nature-inspired jewelry. She graduated from NMU with a BFA in metals in 2008 and launched her business in the corner of her kitchen before opening a downtown storefront in 2012.

Millner will share her background and work. Attendees will see her latest creations and visit her workshop, which is located on the jewelry shop’s second floor by way of a freestanding spiral staircase.

Attendees will carpool to the jewelry shop by meeting at the Berry Events Center East parking lot at 12:45 p.m. The jewelry shop is located at 521 W. Washington Street in Marquette. The cost is $3 for NCLL members and $8 for non-members. Register before Tuesday, March 6, by calling 227-2979. Call Marie Watanen at 226-3186 for more information.

Millner at work

Millner at work

Calendar – Music – Traditional Music Jam – Mar. 17

March 14, 2018

Marquette – A Traditional Music Jam will be held on Saturday, March 17 from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Community Room of the Peter White Public Library.

Bring your acoustic instruments to play those great traditional folk songs in an informal gathering. Listeners are always welcome.

For more information, call 226-4318 or visit www.pwpl.info.

Calendar – Community – Repair Cafe Open – Mar. 17

March 14, 2018

Marquette – The Transition Marquette County Repair Cafe will be open Saturday, March 17 from noon to 4 p.m. in the Marquette Arts and Culture Center in the lower level of Peter White Public Library.

The public is invited to bring small and medium sized items in need of repair or adjustment, such as toasters, sewing machines, clothing, lamps, electronics, and other households items. (Please no gas motors!) “Repair talent” with their tools will be available to help fix and demonstrate how the different items work. There is no charge for this service, though a $5 donation to help with expenses is encouraged.

The purpose of the Repair Cafe is to teach people how to repair their own things so they can save money and resources while diverting items out of the waste stream destined for dumps.

For more information, call George at 906-250-5349 or email ggirod@gmail.com

Calendar – Benefits/Fundraisers – All-You-Can-Eat BBQ in Gwinn – Mar. 17

March 14, 2018

Gwinn – An All-You-Can-Eat BBQ Dinner will be held on Saturday, March 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. at VFW Post 5670 in Gwinn.

Sponsored by the VFW Auxiliary, the dinner will feature B Dogs BBQ, bucket raffles, a bake sale, and music by Spun. Tickets are $11 for adults, $6 for kids 5 to 12, and free for those under the age of 5. Proceeds will benefit the Gwinn VFW activities.

NMU Hosts “Three-Minute Thesis” Contest

March 14, 2018

MARQUETTE, MI – Northern Michigan University will join the international Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) movement with its inaugural campus competition at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 15, in Mead Auditorium in West Science. Five master’s degree students will be judged on their ability to effectively explain their research in only three minutes in language appropriate to a general audience. They are limited to one PowerPoint slide, but no other resources or props. The NMU winner will advance to the Midwest regional championship April 6 in Grand Rapids.

Developed in 2011 by The University of Queensland, 3MT is now composed of 600 participating universities representing 65 countries.

NMU students from all disciplines who will graduate in May or August were invited to compete.

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