Natural History Articles

History – Articles that contain information about Natural History.

Lakeshore Logbook – Merrith Baughman

Lakeshore Logbook – Merrith Baughman

Merrith Baughman As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the 13th in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Merrith Baughman worked in the national lakeshore from May 1991 to August 1994 as an Interpretive Park Ranger. She says...

Friends join with Big Top Chautauqua to celebrate Earth Day and the beauty and future of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Friends join with Big Top Chautauqua to celebrate Earth Day and the beauty and future of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

It was a night of music, moving images and intriguing discussions when our friends at Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua collaborated with the Friends of the Apostle Islands to celebrate the connection between Earth Day and the national lakeshore during a special edition of the Tiny Tent Show on Facebook and YouTube. Of Earth Day and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, host Michael Perry noted that Wisconsin Governor and Senator Gaylord Nelson was "at the heart of both of these milestones." Michael Perry, Host He asked Friends Executive Director Jeff Rennicke about Nelson's connection to...

On the Islands and on the air: Apostle Islands Symposium recap on Wisconsin Public Radio

On the Islands and on the air: Apostle Islands Symposium recap on Wisconsin Public Radio

With over 650 registrants, the 50th Anniversary Resource Stewardship Symposium sponsored by Friends of the Apostle Islands was a huge success. If you missed it or just wanted to relive the excitement of the event, the Wisconsin Public Radio program, "Simply Superior" offers you a way to do just that. Hosted by award-winning radio personality Robin Washington, the first half of the hour-long program offers a taste of several of the nearly 30 programs given at the Symposium with commentary by Jeff Rennicke, Executive Director of Friends of the Apostle Islands. Washington acknowledged the...

Past, Present and Future of Fire in the Apostle Islands

Past, Present and Future of Fire in the Apostle Islands

Part 1 with Damon Panek, Apostle Islands NL “For generations, Native people in the Great Lakes region utilized prescribed fire to improve habitat, increase blueberry production, and clear the understory of vegetation. These frequent, low-intensity fires promoted fire adapted and dependent ecosystems. The medicines, species abundance and diversity, and foods created are what our Anishinaabe culture is rooted in. Our way of seeing the world was developed here around this lake and with fire,” said Damon. “Damon integrates Ojibwe culture, language, and history into the park’s education and...

Apostle Islands Flora

Apostle Islands Flora

Situated at the transition from northern hardwoods to sub-boreal forest, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore’s vegetation is a signature of both broad-scale physiographic processes and localized coastal and maritime influences. A variety of human uses and stewardship is also key to the natural history and vegetation patterns in the park. Diverse physical landforms and a variety of habitats contribute to the high total plant diversity of 810+ species documented within the Lakeshore. In this talk, I will provide a virtual tour of the predominant or unique plant communities and species in...

Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Traditional Ecological Knowledge is all around us. In some circuits it’s a trending buzzword. What is TEK? How does it relate to scientific knowledge? Traditional knowledge is embedded within the very fabric of our existence as Anishinaabeg. Come learn a little about Ojibwe history in the upper Great Lakes and how these knowledge systems have been both maintained and revitalized to help many tribal nations with environmental relationships and environmental decision-making. Recording of this presentation is not available. Presenter biography Dylan Jennings, Great Lakes Indian Fish and...

And the sky danced – northern lights put on a show in the Apostle Islands

And the sky danced – northern lights put on a show in the Apostle Islands

CRACK! The lake ice is restless tonight, crackling out in the darkness like old bones, weakened by wind and warm spring days. But I am safely on solid ground along the mainland portion of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. It is nearing midnight. The stars overhead are as bright as sparks from a campfire. But it is not lake ice or campfires that have me out this late, alone and in the cold. It is what is happening just above the ice: here in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore the northern lights are out.    Northern lights over York Island with a meteor tail on the left - Jeff...

Lakeshore Logbook – Kayci Cook Collins

Lakeshore Logbook – Kayci Cook Collins

As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the fourth in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Kayci Cook Collins is the fourth generation of her family to work for the National Park Service. She served as Chief of Interpretation...

Lessons from the hermit in the times of COVID

Lessons from the hermit in the times of COVID

Stuck inside, practicing good social distancing, my eyes drift to a large, framed map of the Apostle Islands that I keep just above my writing desk. Even the names on that map are enough to spark wanderlust: “Hermit Island.” Was there really a hermit? What did he do out there all alone? Could you live alone on a small island cut-off from the rest of the world? Are there lessons for us in his story that could offer solace during our COVID isolation? Curl up and read on. What you are about to read is a shadowy mix of fact and fiction, enough to make serious historians roll over in their ivory...

Watch now if you dare: Apostle Islands Folklore and Fake-lore

Watch now if you dare: Apostle Islands Folklore and Fake-lore

Pirates, hermits, ghosts of lighthouse keepers killed in a storm, haunted lighthouses, buried treasure: there are stories on every one of the Apostle Islands and some of them are even true! Enjoy a journey through the fact and fiction of some iconic Apostle Islands stories with retired Park Historian Bob Mackreth. Brought to us by the Bayfield Heritage Association and all the tall-tale tellers in island history. You’ll also see introductory comments by Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Executive Director Jeff Rennicke.We want to thank the BHA for creating a wonderful series...