Byway enhances stewardship through partnership with local DNR
Natural and encouraged resources. They’re everywhere you look. The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway (PBSB) route is no exception. Beautiful forests, wetlands, hiking trails, walking trails, bicycling trails, acres of blue water and varieties of lakeshores from beaches to brambled bluffs.
Another area resource, valuable because of the natural ones it serves, is the Department of Natural Resources. Several DNR staff have worked closely with the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association over the years. Grant funding through DNR partnerships has provided partial funding for popular Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association (PBSBA) projects such as the Trail Meets the Byway, Veterans Walking Trail, Hay Creek Footbridge and Wetlands Walk. DNR staff have helped the PBSBA bring to byway users the stories of nature, the joy of trails, the natural allure and history of our area through the byway projects they’ve helped support.
The PBSBA is, however, especially grateful to two area DNR representatives; Pam Perry, Non-game Wildlife Program and Keith Simar, Forestry, for their enthusiasm and wisdom, guidance and support.
It was Keith’s excitement over the osprey nests in our area that encouraged the PBSBA’s first publication called Birds of the Byway. With help from area birders, Jo and Steve Blanich and Kent Montgomery, the resulting brochure quickly became a popular piece for birders traveling the byway. Keith’s positive impact on byway projects was again felt when the group began the Veteran’s Walking Trail effort. His grasp of the history of the property and his vision for how the trail might unfold were priceless additions to the development of the project.
With her knowledge of the Uppgaard Wildlife Management Area and its transformation from a tract of forested land donated to the DNR by the Uppgaard family, Pam Perry has been a tremendous addition to byway bus tours that always stop at this, the most well-known of the current byway sites. Pam has guided the PBSBA as they developed text related to non-game wildlife for interpretive panels, the Birds of the Byway brochure and the byway’s popular tear-off map. Her enthusiasm decorates everything she does and it’s truly a pleasure to work with her.
The PBSBA is proud to showcase the many resources of the route. It is equally proud to celebrate the continuing strong partnership with the area DNR representatives. At this colorful time of year, enjoy a drive, a walk or a bike ride on the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway, a route made better every year because of the positive support in so many ways, from the Department of Natural Resources.
Since the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway received national designation in September, 2005, it has become part of a select group of only 125 other byways across the nation known collectively as America’s Byways. The federal government markets this collection of premier byways both nationally and internationally. The curious can view the national website’s selected information and photos about the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway at www.byways.org.