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Help Fight the Bite in Michigan!

As any UP Michigan resident knows, ticks and mosquitoes are quite the nuisance. But more than just an annoyance, they can also spread many illnesses to people. Preventing bites from ticks and mosquitoes is the key step in avoiding these illnesses.

Ticks

The two types of ticks that most commonly bite people or pets in Michigan are the deer (black-legged) tick and the wood (dog) tick. A third type of tick that can bite people or pets in Michigan the lone-star tick, is less common. Bites from all three of these ticks(link is external) can make you sick. In Michigan ticks can spread anaplasmosisbabesiosisBorrelia miyamotoi(link is external)ehrlichiosisLyme diseasePowassan virusRocky Mountain spotted fever, and tularemia. Illnesses spread by ticks can be prevented if you take the proper steps.

Mosquitoes

Not all of the 50+ species of mosquitoes in Michigan bite humans, but many of those that do can spread diseases. In Wisconsin, mosquitoes can spread Eastern equine encephalitisJamestown Canyon virusLa Crosse encephalitisSt. Louis encephalitis, and West Nile virus. There are also illnesses that you can get from mosquitoes when you travel outside of the United States. Some of these diseases are chikungunyadengueJapanese encephalitis(link is external)yellow fever, and Zika virus. Illnesses spread by mosquitoes can be prevented if you take the proper steps.

Ticks 101:

  • Basics. Ticks are arachnids, related to spiders, mites, and scorpions. In Wisconsin, there are three types of ticks that spread disease: the deer (black-legged) tick, the wood (dog) tick, and the lone star tick. The deer tick spreads the most illnesses in Wisconsin. Most people get sick from a tick bite in the spring, summer, or early fall, when ticks are most active and people are outdoors.
  • Life Cycle. There are four different phases in a tick life cycle. This cycle includes egg, larva, nymph, and adult stages. During this life cycle, which can last up to three years, the tick will have three blood meals and usually feeds on small mammals, birds, and deer. Ticks feed by biting into the skin of a host and, while they are attached, illnesses can be spread. Once a tick is attached to a host, it will feed for 3–5 days. Usually only nymphs and adult female ticks are able to spread illnesses.
  • Habitat. Ticks live in wooded areas and areas with high grass. Ticks do not jump or fly and usually stay close to the ground to find a host. They crawl onto animals or people as they brush against leaves or grass and then will attach to the host for a blood meal. A warmer and wetter climate can increase the risk of getting an illness from a tick. In Wisconsin, this has created favorable conditions for ticks to survive in more areas of the state, and made the active tick season longer.
  • Prevention. The best way to avoid getting sick from a tick is to prevent bites in the first place. There are many ways to prevent tick bites, including doing daily tick checks, wearing insect repellent, and wearing appropriate clothes when you are outdoors. 

Mosquitoes 101:

  • Basics. Mosquitoes are a type of fly. In Michigan, there are many types of mosquitoes, but only some types can spread illnesses. Most people who get sick from a mosquito bite will become ill in the summer and early fall. This is when mosquitoes are most active and people are outdoors.
  • Life Cycle. Mosquitoes have a life cycle that includes four different stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs on or near water, and the eggs hatch after coming into contact with the water. After hatching, the larvae will feed until they have enough energy to change into pupae. The pupae then grow into adult mosquitoes, the only flying stage. Only adult female mosquitoes bite humans and other animals to get blood meals, after which they lay their eggs on or near water, starting the cycle again. The life cycle of a mosquito usually takes two weeks. However, it can range from four days to one month.
  • Habitat. Mosquitoes live in areas with slow-moving or stagnant water, as well as forests, marshes, and tall grasses. Mosquitoes fly and land on animals or humans to bite the host’s skin and consume blood. Warmer and wetter climates can increase the risk of getting an illness from a mosquito. In Wisconsin, climate change has created favorable conditions for mosquitoes to survive in more areas of the state, has made the mosquito season longer, and allows infected mosquitoes to spread diseases faster.
    In general, mosquitoes can be divided into two different types based on the habitats where they lay their eggs: standing water mosquitoes and floodwater mosquitoes. Most mosquito eggs need small amounts of water to hatch and develop into adult mosquitoes. For more information on the mosquito life cycle, and how to prevent mosquitoes around your home, please visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website.(link is external)
  • Prevention. The best way to avoid getting sick from a mosquito is to prevent bites in the first place. There are many ways to prevent mosquito bites, including wearing insect repellent and wearing appropriate clothes when you are outdoors. 

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MI-TRALE is holding youth safety class certifications this year after an absence of 2 years due to the pandemic. The first class was in Ewen with 26 attendees and the second class was in Ontonagon with 46 attendees. These classes are taught by MI-TRALE’s DNR certified instructor and Club Director, Jim Fooce, as well as helpers from the club, guest trainers from the DNR and the County Sheriff’s department. The students are taught and tested on the ATV safety guidelines, regulations and use, as set by the State to obtain their operators permit. The next class is in Lake Linden/Dollar Bay. This is a valuable tool and service the club provides in cooperation with the DNR, Sheriff’s Department and Schools to ensure the safety and knowledge of our future riders and the future stewards of our trails.

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Ottawa National Forest FB page

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We are fast approaching the 2022 Riding season and here are a few things to remember. All this information and more is in the MI-DNR OHV Handbook

  • Ride Only Where Permitted. Stay on the trail – they are marked for a reason. Rocks, fencing and barbed wire are just a few examples of what could be hidden in the under growth or the snow.
  • Be considerate of others on the trail and “Ride Right”.
  • Always yield to uphill traffic. Uphill traffic may have difficulty starting again if stopped.
  • Slow down when someone is passing you.
  • When you see non-motorized trail users coming from the opposite direction; please slow down, pull over. Yield right of way to bikers, hikers, and Horses.
  • Leave gates as you find them.
  • Report downed tress and trail maintenance needs to landManagers.
  • Report Illegal riding by calling or texting 1-800-292-7800.
  • Always carry out what you carry in. Leave no trace – pack it in; pack it out. If you see litter, please pick it up.
  • If you love Michigan’s trails, get involved and join MI-TRALE!

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We are fast approaching the 2022 Riding season and here are a few things to remember. All this information and more is in the MI-DNR OHV Handbook

OHV Rider Safety Rules and Tips

  • Respect riding conditions and trail closures.
  • During firearm deer season (Nov 15-30) a person cannot operate an ORV in an area where public hunting is permitted from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.
  • During snowmobile season (Dec. 1-March 31), it’s preferred that ORV riders use trails and/or open roads not open to snowmobiles.
  • ORVs are not legal on snowmobile trails located on private and federal lands. Know where you are.
  • Snowmobile trail groomers lay smooth paths for snowmobiles. If you encounter a groomed snowmobile trail, it’s imperative that you ride slowly or choose another trail, so you don’t undo the work of trail groomers or inadvertently tear up the trail.
  • Make sure that you are riding trails with an ORV confidence marker.
  • ORVs can tear up terrain easily (even when the ground is frozen). Reckless and careless operation are civil infractions, including fishtailing, doing donuts, locking up the brakes and riding in a manner that causes environmental damage.
  • Be sure your vehicle is in good mechanical order and has fuel for the ride.
  • Wear protective clothing for the environment you will be traveling in.
  • Always use a helmet and goggles to protect yourself from road debris and twigs.
  • Do not remove or replace factory muffler or air box. All machines must have a spark arrestor to operate on MI Trails.
  • Make sure your lights work properly-ride with lights on for safety (some states like WI require lights on while moving).
  • Ride at a safe speed.
  • Ride Right. Stay Right on Trails and Authorized riding areas.
  • Ride sober and safe.
  • Ride with a group.
  • Operate within the limits of your ORV and yourself.
  • Only transport a passenger when the ORV has been manufactured to carry a passenger (2 Up). Aftermarket add-ons do not permit a passenger to ride on/in a machine legally. Refer to the manufacturer’s user manual for clarification.
  • Stay on the trail an ensure the area you intend to ride is open to ORV activity.
  • Stay off state highways (those designated as M or US).

Be Prepared

  • Expect the Unexpected-Severe Weather, Illness, Injury Mechanical Failure or being Lost
  • Know your terrain and be prepared to adjust for changing environmental conditions.
  • Carry First Aid kit, Current Maps, GPS and Cell Phone.
  • Create a ride plan and share it with others. A ride plan includes the times and locations you will be riding, along with check-in points.
  • Tell Someone where you are traveling and with whom and when you will return.

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Attention Horse lovers! It’s time to drag the tack out and prepare for the 2022 riding season. It’s time to start the chore list:

1. Clean and treat all leather surfaces 2. Check all the leather strapping for tears or breaks that might fail when out riding 3. Check, clean and polish all metal surfaces to remove dirt and rust 4. Clean all Horse blankets and pads removing dirt and foreign objects that may injure your animal 5. Check you maps to be sure they are up to date and that the trails you want to ride are or may be closed because of logging 6. Make reservation’s if required at any campgrounds you plan on using. 7. Check your First Aid kits and replace all out of date items.

The Courtney Campground is close to being finished. We have small amounts of signage and ground prep that needs to be done. Please consider helping this fabulous project to a completion by attending a work day. Email the MI-TRALE Equine Director, Cathy, for information on how to help.

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Check out the 2022 Calendar for Meeting Dates, Rides and Events. You will also find Ride specific dates under Rides. We will post the itineraries closer to the ride dates. Posting of any Equestrian rides will be coming soon. If you have any questions please contact any club Officer or Director

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Geocaching is a fun activity that is enjoyed by many worldwide. You can look for Cache’s everywhere in your area as well as around the world. MI-TRALE sponsors a number of of these fun treasure finds that are hidden in our area.

Watch for more on this exciting sport and Check out our new Geocaching page under Club Stuff. Download the Geocaching app and get ready to JOIN the FUN. If you’d like to help in maintaining a few of our cache’s contact any club officer.

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Our counts for the season have been completed and we are now looking at our trails under the snow. We get lots of hits to count as you can imagine especially when a tractor pulling a big hunk of iron over the counter.

Check out the new TRAFX tab under ATV/ORV for more information and what kind of reports we can generate!

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Just a reminder! Poisonous! Do not touch!!

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