Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Thank you, all who volunteered last year!

The LLAA Board of Directors thanks all our LLAA Volunteers who helped this past year on a variety of opportunities!

This year there were 12 Neighborhood Shoreline Monitors who conducted two early detection surveys for aquatic invasive species in meanders by boat this season in their section of their neighborhoods on the lake. They viewed aquatic vegetation located in the first 15 feet from shore where plants grow. They sampled in four to six spots noting the plant types and if there were any zebra mussels on the vegetation.

For the 35 or so zebra mussel settlement samplers (ZMSS) distributed for hanging on docks, 28 families have completed the survey this season so far. In addition, 14 other families volunteered space under their docks to help our Association help the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center pilot a system for detecting zebra mussels. Happily, no zebra mussels were found. If you need help to check your ZMSS and/or want a second opinion looking for ZM, email sharonmnatzel@gmail.com.

We had 10 orders from families for the “Restore the Shore” program this season. Adding trees and plants to your shoreland helps prevent runoff and erosion, promoting a healthy lake. We learned more about Gardening Lake Friendly, the fun “game show,” at our annual meeting thanks to our game show host and 3 volunteer contestants!  View (3 mins) at:

Did you know we have volunteers that check the Mud Lake culvert in case beaver have tried to plug it up again? Volunteers also clean off the pipes that get clogged with vegetation at the dam.

We thank the additional contributors for newsletters articles and our editor too. You’ll read about other volunteer opportunities in the Spring newsletter too.

If you are interested in “trying on” an activity by participating for a season, please let us know. We have training and shadowing opportunities to help you contribute. You’ll understand different aspects of our special Long Lake even more!

PS: we are in need of people with an interest in communications to help with the website and Facebook etc. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Lake Light Pollution by Jim Seifert

When I look at nighttime photos of Long Lake taken from our dock in the 1930s, the shoreline across the lake is blank: no cabins, one resort and lots of undeveloped shoreline. Today, the shoreline has filled in as successive generations of families have settled on the lake, either as full-time residents or vacation home residents. As the shoreline along Long Lake has filled in, so has the nighttime light load with light from lake-shore development and light from the nearby city of Park Rapids.

Like climate warming, micro-plastics and depleted ozone, light pollution is impacting our lake environment in ways that we never imagined. Light pollution, in even small amounts, can profoundly impact our ecosystem.

Over half the insects in the world are nocturnal, including, of course, in Minnesota. Nocturnal insects have evolved over millions of years to be attracted to light, but the natural moon and star light. As the number of lights has increased, the number of insects attracted to those lights has steadily decreased because their life cycles and reproductive patterns have been upended by ever increasing man-made lighting.

Nocturnal animals are affected even more profoundly as increased light disrupts both their sleep cycles and their ability to forage and find prey, an ability adapted over millions of years to night-time life. The best example is the impact of light pollution on the bat population. While many of us are creeped out by bats, we are equally annoyed by mosquitos whose population is bolstered by the presence of artificial light and the heat it produces and is less vulnerable to a falling bat population whose foraging has been negatively impacted by light pollution. Unintended consequences: fewer bats, more mosquitos. (BioScience, Volume 71, Issue 10, October 2021, Pages 1103–
Park Rapids lakes area at night using the LightPollutionMap.info link showing the Bortle Class 4 designation
Artificial Light At Night (ALAN) is measured using a scale developed in 2001 by an amateur astronomer named John Bortle. The nine-level Bortle scale has been adopted and utilized by researchers, governments and scientists since its inception. As of 2015 Park Rapids had a Bortle Class 4 designation, characteristic of Rural/Suburban transition area: Park Rapids’ light pollution is equivalent to that of larger cities in Minnesota, such as Bemidji, Walker, Detroit Lakes and Alexandria.(https://www.lightpollutionmap.info/#zoom=8.16&lat=46.7509&lon=94.7596&layers=B0FFFFFFFTFFFFFTTTTFd)

Even though the lake is 1⁄2 mile wide at our spot, the lights installed across the lake are bright enough for us to read by at night and readily light our bedroom at night. 
Like the new “blueish” headlights that are so bright on new cars, the blue/white hue of LED yard lights transmits light waves much farther than traditional incandescent lights and watt for watt shines much more brightly. We all share this lake that we love and in consideration of the insects, plants, fish, and mammals that we share the lake with, we should reconsider how the lighting at our homes and cabins impact the surrounding environment. 
  • Security lighting should be installed to activate by the motion of a large animal and then shut off quickly if further movement is not detected. Security lighting should be installed so that when illuminated, “light trespass” onto the lake or onto a neighbor’s property doesn’t happen.
  • Landscape lighting should be low level, light only walkways and architectural features of a home and not be pointed towards the lake.
  • We should all support and advocate for “night sky friendly” lighting in towns and shopping areas to diminish light pollution on the environment. 
Jim Seifert is a third generation Long Lake resident and member of the Board of Directors of the Long Lake Area Association. If you have questions about light pollution or what you can do, please email Jim at jseifertjr@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Obituary of Longtime Long Lake Resident, James Leland Wooters

Obituary of James Leland Wooters, who's favorite place on Earth
(and his most frequent destination), was Long Lake. 

August 1, 1920 - February 18, 2022
Born in Omaha, Nebraska
Resided in Urbandale, Iowa

James Leland Wooters, a devoted husband, family man and astute entrepreneur who touched countless lives with his enduring kindness, passed away peacefully Feb. 18, 2022, at his home in Urbandale, Iowa. He was 101.

Alongside his late wife, Mary, Jim was co-founder and president of The Fad of the Month Club/National Handcraft Society, a mail order business headquartered in Des Moines they grew into a national success. But it was his devotion to his family and his generosity to others, to whom he gave often and silently, that defined him.

Jim was born Aug. 1, 1920, in Omaha, Neb., to Hope and Leland Wooters. Along with his late brother, Richard “R.C.” Wooters, Jim was raised on Des Moines’ near north side, where he graduated from North High School in 1938. 

While in high school, he met the love of his life, Mary Elizabeth Hagan, at an annual gathering of residents of Pine Haven Beach, a retreat for both families on the shores of Long Lake near Park Rapids, Minn. They were married in Des Moines on Sept. 13, 1941, and the two would remain side by side for 76 years until her death in 2018. 

Jim studied at Drake University, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps in February 1943 during World War II. He served stateside as a radio navigation instructor until his discharge in February 1946.

Following his military service, he and Mary returned to Des Moines and started National Handcraft Society. 

Jim was an ambitious leader with an endless supply of big ideas, often held in check by Mary, his ever-present voice of reason. Together, they formed a formidable business couple, with Jim lending his creativity and drive to create, market and deliver craft kits to households across the United States. He mined his voracious appetite for poetry and literature to pen a note with each Fad of the Month Club kit under the nom de plume “Nancy Lee, Club Secretary.” 

Jim was a founding member of the Iowa Chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), where he lent his considerable expertise to and forged lifelong friendships with other members of the organization, which focused on learning and the exchange of ideas in the business world.

Jim brought joy to everyone he met, with his curious mind, a contagious and immeasurable zest for life and a heart as big to match. He never refused a chance to dance with Mary. Nor could he resist delivering earnest recitations of poetry, including his incomparable retelling of "Casey at the Bat." 

Jim also had a passion for worldwide travel and exploration, but his favorite place on Earth — and his most frequented destination — was Long Lake in Northern Minnesota, where he met Mary and spent much of his life fishing, playing golf and tennis with his family and friends. 

It was there he developed in the early 1970s a family retreat he named Mirimichi, a getaway built out of love for his children and granddaughters, whom he doted upon. It’s a place that a sixth generation of family members still enjoys, much to his delight. 

He is survived by son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Pat Wooters; daughter and son-in-law, Carol and Pete Click; five granddaughters and 13 great-grandchildren. Granddaughters and families are: Mary Puchalski, and sons Jake and Zach; Jennifer Olson, husband Mike, and children Walker, Mia and Owen; Heidi Ness, husband Lance, and children Henry, Greta and Camille; Christy McLaughlin, husband Mark, and children Ellie, Josie and Charlie; and Joey Frost, husband Peter, and children Anna and Oliver. Also close to his heart were his nieces, nephews and longtime friends and confidants. 

Private family services will be held in the spring.

Memorials may be directed to:  Long Lake Area Association Foundation, P.O. Box 808, Park Rapids, MN, 56470.