A Sylvan Stream or a Manistique Ditch?
Nope; The City of Manistique's Bear Street Ditch Wild Life Refuge
and Landfill Pest Farm. In this photograph, a pair of Mallards may be
seen in the most distant sky lit pool. A variety of wildlife breeds
along its sheltering banks. Spring is the best time to appreciate
the saplings, Wisconsin Central's railroad ties, gravel, garbage,
raked leaves and cut brush in this sluggish water course. In Summer, join
local residents as they swat mosquitoes, black flies, and
horse flies that breed in its year round waters. Fall brings
a variety of critters foraging for that last meal hidden in the rank
vegetation along its banks. When Winter arrives it
serves as a frozen shortcut to the famous sled
and o.r.v. dunes of St. Francis. Visitors should ignore scurrilous
rumors concerning West Nile Virus and roadbed damage due to poor
drainage along this verdant gem of the UP.
Note: Readers interested in "the scientific discussion of
diseases, including "West Nile Virus" are referred to the ARBO_BYTES listserv.
Those interested in the spread of West Nile Virus organisms among Michigan vectors
may find local information at: http://www.michigan.gov/mda/1%2C1607%2C7-125-1566_2403_2424---%2C00.html
Information from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (C.D.C.) may be found at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm
A letter to the editor, from Karri Truitt, in the 05/17/01 edition of the Pioneer Tribune, provides
more reason for concern, from another resident. It detailed her observations as supervisor of a prison
cleanup crew that cleaned a block long stretch of the ditch. The "small trash" included 27 extra large
contractor garbage bags filled with smaller garbage and trash from the upper reach of the watercourse,
some 500 yards upstream from the area shown in this article's photograph. The contents included animal
carcasses, used hypodermic needles, broken bottles, rotting garbage, used personal hygiene devices,
car batteries, paint cans, and lots more to create a public health hazard, in which local children play.