Foraging in the Spring Woods, Fields and Backyards

Photo shows a smiling Lisa Rose near a woods.

Thursday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m. – It’s the final program in the “Get Outdoors!” Dart Bank Speaker Series for adults. Herbalist Lisa Rose, author of Midwest Foraging: 115 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Burdock to Wild Peach, shares her knowledge of local plants that can be used for food and herbal medicine. She’ll also discuss how to forage safely, from accurately identifying plants to properly preparing them before eating.

There is no charge for this 90-minute program! Just register by Wednesday, April 20 – telephone 517-335-2796 or send e-mail to

DNR wildfire pilots have stressful, rewarding jobs

Experts tell us that stress is a killer.

Yet, the small handful of pilots who fly missions for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said they wouldn’t trade their high-pressure occupations for anything.

Soaring above the smoke and flames of raging wildfires, searching for moose, elk and wolves or aiding investigating conservation officers as eyes in the skies, these pilots are a talented breed.

Flames shoot toward the smoke-filled skies in an aerial photo of a wildfire in the Upper Peninsula.And while these aviators do a lot of work for a number of DNR divisions, their main job is to look for, report on and guide ground personnel who fight wildfires.

Think of any of the state’s most notorious recent blazes – Sleeper Lake, Meridian Boundary, Duck Lake and 4-Mile – these pilots have been there for all of them.

“It’s really the bread and butter of what we do,” said Bill Green, the chief pilot at the DNR. “However, it’s not always the majority of our flight hours because fire detection and suppression is weather related.” Read more

New Nightstick Headlamps

3 new AAA headlamps add perfect balance to existing models by combining performance with affordable pricingBayco Products has announced the introduction of 3 new Nightstick all-LED multi-function headlamps with Nightstick models NSP-4603B, NSP-4605B, and NSP-4606B. Each engineered polymer headlamp features a multiple-position tilt head design and single top-mounted switch for ease of operation. All three headlamps are IP-X7 rated waterproof, are drop-rated at 2 meters and are now available starting under $20 USD globally starting this month through Bayco Products expansive network of distributors. Read more

Lightforce HTX Combines HID, LED Technologies

Lightforce took one of its most powerful HID bulbs, surrounded it with 20 super-bright LEDs and strategically combined them in a 9-inch round housing to create the best one-two punch, do-all light that eliminates the need for additional spots and bars.Looking to light up the road to avoid deer, critters and other trip ending hazards in the road? The HTX’s 70W HID reaches into the next zip code while the LEDs provide an instant flood pattern that is both bright and energy efficient. The HTX is the perfect combination of flood and long-range illumination. Read more

Spring is Time to Control Invasive Plants

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Gardeners and landscapers are already taking advantage of the mild weather to prepare their land for the upcoming planting season. But spring is also a great time to take control of invasive plants that may be creeping onto your property.

Invasive plants are almost always the first ones to leaf out in spring, according Elizabeth Spinney, the new invasive plant coordinator for the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

“Getting rid of invasive plants makes room for Vermont native plants and helps local wildlife, and it can also make you healthier too,” said Spinney. “Areas with fewer invasive plants tend to see lower rates of infectious disease such as Lyme disease, because rodents and ticks thrive around many species of invasive plants.”

Spinney recommends starting with a few plants that are relatively easy to identify and manage, including honeysuckle, Japanese barberry, buckthorn, and garlic mustard.

Asian Honeysuckles are shrubs with white flowers, red or orange berries, and a hollow stem. They are often found at the edge of yards or abandoned farmlands. Japanese Barberry is a shrubby ornamental plant that forms dense thickets, shading out native plants. It has spatula-shaped leaves, red fruit, and yellow flowers that hang from the stem. Both plants can be pulled with the roots when the ground is soft after a rain and hung from a branch to prevent re-rooting. They can also be cut down to the stump, with the stump wrapped in burlap or plastic, periodically cutting back any new growth.

Common Buckthorn is a small tree with dark green shiny leaves, small black berries, and sharp spines at the end of twigs. It can similarly be pulled and hung, or cut with the stump wrapped in plastic or burlap. Buckthorn is one of Vermont’s most insidious invasives, requiring more aggressive monitoring and control over the long-term as shoots continue to sprout up.

Garlic mustard is an herb with white flowers and broad leaves that are tasty in salad. It is easy to pull up like a dandelion, making sure to get the entire long, s-shaped root. Read more

Coast Guard Posts Reward in Laser Incident on Lake Michigan

In this stock photo, a green laser is pointed into the night sky. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Lehmann.

MILWAUKEE — The Coast Guard announces Friday a monetary reward for validated information leading to the individual or individuals responsible for the illumination by green laser of a Coast Guard boat in Lake Michigan near Grand Haven, Michigan, Saturday.

This incident follows eight others on the western shoreline of Michigan over the past year, during which a Coast Guard search and rescue vessel or aircraft was deliberately illuminated by a laser.

About 11:30 p.m. Saturday a boat crew from Coast Guard Station Grand Haven was conducting a routine patrol when the side of the vessel was illuminated with a high-intensity green laser. The Coast Guard members immediately noticed the green laser, originating from either the north or south pier head entrance light, and quickly turned away. The laser hit the side of the vessel and did not injure any of the crew members’ eyes. Read more

BRP Introduces New 6 Passenger Can-Am Defender MAX Vehicles

2017 Defender MAX DPS HD8 Mossy Oak Break-Up Country
  • Latest addition to continuously growing Can-Am side-by-side vehicle offering
  • Pickup truck-inspired design and capability purpose-built for outdoor enthusiasts
  • Seats up to six adults with latest tough, capable, clever Can-Am Defender DNA

Valcourt, Québec, CA- BRP (TSX:DOO) has expanded its line of Can-Am Defender utility-recreational side-by-side vehicles with the addition of the 2017 Can-Am Defender MAX family, offered in four different models. Its pickup truck-inspired design offers extensive capability, cargo and storage space, along with comfortable seating for up to six adults.

Read more

Fox Island Lighthouse Association seeks volunteers

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announces the Fox Island Lighthouse Association is seeking volunteers mid-May through August for the Camper/Keeper Volunteer program at South Fox Island Light Station.This opportunity gives people a great experience involving wilderness camping on one of the prettiest islands in northern Lake Michigan. Volunteer duties include offering tours to the occasional visitor and performing minor maintenance tasks, such as mowing the lawn and painting. There is a minimum two-week-stay requirement for volunteers.

South Fox Island Light Station is located on Lake Michigan, 17 miles northwest of the Leelanau Peninsula. The light station has two lighthouses, a fog signal building, a boat house, assistant keeper’s quarters, a carpenter’s shed and an oil house – all in various stages of restoration. Read more

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