Three MI osprey chicks now sporting GPS satellite backpacks

Michigan’s osprey population – nearly absent from much of the state due to the effects of DDT, other pesticide use and habitat loss – continues to rebound. In southern Michigan, monitoring efforts are in place to track the revitalization of this species.

This year, four osprey chicks from area nests were outfitted with “backpack” GPS telemetry units funded by DTE Energy, Huron Valley Audubon, Lou Waldock and Michigan Osprey member Barb Jensen. The GPS backpacks help scientists track the young birds’ daily movements and seasonal migration patterns.

The chicks were hatched on platforms at Michigan State University’s Lux Arbor Reserve in Delton, at Kensington Metropark in Milford and on Fletcher’s Pond near Alpena.

“We are very excited to have this opportunity to place GPS units on several ospreys this year,” said Julie Oakes, Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist. “This will not only provide the DNR with information on what migration routes the birds take, but will also give us insight into the perils they must endure on their migration.” Read more

Michigan DNR wildfire fighters pitch in on western blazes

Surrounded by smoke, constantly watching the wind and trying to tamp down fast-moving flames, Michigan Department of Natural Resources firefighters using two specially equipped fire trucks have been helping battle grass and forest wildfires in Montana since mid- July.

They may do what firefighters call “black lining” – purposely burning a strip of grass to deprive an approaching wildfire of fuel and stop it in its tracks.

Or they may “wet line” – dousing combustible materials in the path of a fire to keep a blaze from spreading.

Or they might, during a breather from work, do what any of us would: Whip out cell phones to shoot a quick video as a low-flying tanker plane releases a belly full of water over a hot spot of burning trees, brush or grass.

Check out this short video captured by a Michigan DNR firefighter.

“Statistically, it’s the grasses that are the most dangerous. They move fast and burn quick,” said Ben Osterland, who led one of two three-man teams that drove the Michigan fire engines to Montana. Read more

Manistee Marsh (MI) gets a makeover

After years of behind-the-scenes work, the Manistee Marsh wetland enhancement project at Manistee River State Game Area finally is seeing equipment on-site and in action.

“We’re excited to finally break ground on this project,” said Dane Cramer, regional biologist for Ducks Unlimited. “Between a project idea and a finished project, there are a lot of pieces that needed to come together and keep moving.”

The Manistee River State Game Area includes more than 6,000 acres just outside the city of Manistee, with its western border just shy of a mile from Lake Michigan. The Manistee River flows through this state game area and creates a unique environment used by wildlife, as well as wildlife enthusiasts like hikers, bird watchers, hunters and trappers. Historically, water levels were changed using pumps, boards and gates. Maintenance and structure updates require permitting, and in this instance, many players were involved. Read more

Zinke Sends Monument Report to White House

Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov
Secretary Zinke Sends Monument Report to the White House
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke sent a draft report to the president which included his findings and recommendations on national monuments that were under review as a result of the April 26, 2017 executive order. The report summary can be read here.
The extensive 120-day review included more than 60 meetings with hundreds of advocates and opponents of monument designations, tours of monuments conducted over air, foot, car, and horseback (including a virtual tour of a marine monument), and a thorough review of more than 2.4 million public comments submitted to the Department onregulations.gov. Additionally, countless more meetings and conversations between senior Interior officials and local, state, Tribal, and non-government stakeholders including multiple Tribal listening sessions.

Read more

Michigan government, nonprofits and corporations collaborate to fight oak wilt disease

The Oak Wilt Coalition is a new partnership between private, nonprofit and governmental organizations to help increase awareness about the serious threat of oak wilt disease in Michigan.

Led by the Arboriculture Society of Michigan, the partnership also includes representatives from the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan State University, ReLeaf Michigan, and various electric utility companies and tree-care companies.

Oak wilt is a fungal disease that is spreading among trees in Michigan and many other states. It has been confirmed in much of the Lower Peninsula and in the western portion of the Upper Peninsula, as shown in this 2016 oak wilt map. Read more

Montana Elk Habitat Conserved, Opened to Public Access

MISSOULA, Mont.—A key wildlife landscape previously threatened by subdivision in northwest Montana is now permanently protected and in the public’s hands thanks to a collaborative effort between the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a conservation-minded family and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

“This property lies within the popular Holland Lake recreational area of the scenic Swan Valley and there was some pressure to develop it,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “We appreciate the landowners for recognizing the wildlife values of the land and reaching out to us to help conserve it.”

The 640-acre parcel offers important summer and winter habitat for elk and whitetail deer. It is also provides key habitat for grizzly bears, Canada lynx and a vast array of other wildlife. Additionally, it contains riparian habitat via springs and a chain of wetland ponds that feed a tributary of Holland Creek. Read more

Gov. Snyder helps celebrate opening of new multi-use trail in Menominee County (MI)


Gov. Rick Snyder took an off-road vehicle ride Wednesday along the new Escanaba to Hermansville multi-use trail, celebrating one more milestone in deepening Michigan’s brand as The Trails State.The trail was developed through a unique and innovative partnership between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and American Transmission Co.

After a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Thomas St. Onge Veterans Museum in Hermansville, Gov. Snyder rode the roughly 25-mile ORV route east into Delta County to the Great Lakes Sports and Recreation Club in Escanaba.

“This new outdoor recreation opportunity is a great example of government, businesses and the community working together,” Gov. Snyder said. “Because of the public-private collaboration, residents and visitors alike will enjoy this trail for decades to come and celebrate the best of Pure Michigan.” Read more

British Columbia Bans Grizzly Bear Hunting

WASHINGTON, DC – Government officials, bowing to the bluster of anti-hunters, have closed the hunting of grizzly bears in British Columbia, Canada. This move ignores all sound science that supports a continuation of grizzly bear hunting in that Province.
Safari Club International (SCI) is actively pursuing a number of different avenues to address this pressing issue, including a call to base all wildlife management decisions on sound science that supports sustained use of those renewable resources.

In a letter to the Minister and Deputy Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, SCI stated, “We at Safari Club International are deeply troubled by the recent announcement of the closure of grizzly bear hunting in British Columbia. We feel this decision has been based on emotion and not science. Decisions of this magnitude must be made, using sound science-based conservation. There should have been stakeholder consultations before such drastic action was taken.” Read more

Missouri Landowners Join MDC to Eliminate Feral Hogs

These feral hogs were trapped one night after a trap was set up on Ken Hobbs’ property.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — When Ken Hobbs bought his 362 acres in Reynolds County, it was pristine and he planned to farm cattle and goats on the land. Then feral hogs moved in. Feral hogs are an aggressive invasive species. Their violent nature, rooting habits, and known diseases pose a threat to wildlife, farm crops, and the balance of nature.

“I had planned until this problem got so big to have cattle and goats in here,” Hobbs said. “I’d be afraid to put cattle out there because there’s no way I’m going to have a herd of cattle out there without broken legs, it’s not going to happen.”

The feral hogs didn’t only dash Hobb’s hopes of farming his land, they’ve also significantly decreased the numbers of wildlife that once thrived on the property.
“My turkey population went from one that I could actually go out and see every day, 15 to 20 of them in a flock, and in three to four different places on my property. Now those no longer exist,” he said. Read more

Michigan: Educators Register for Wildlife Programs for Your Classroom

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources offers free educational opportunities to help educators looking for a fun way to integrate the state’s unique flora and fauna into their curriculum, while still meeting required educational standards.

To date, over 5,000 ninth- through 12th-grade students have been exposed to natural resources in the classroom with Elk University – Educating Tomorrow’s Wildlife Managers. Elk University is designed to fit into teachers’ busy semester while meeting educational standards and touching on Michigan history, forest management, elk biology, wildlife disease and social considerations for wildlife management. Through YouTube lessons and activities, students will learn how the DNR manages and maintains a healthy elk herd for current and future generations.

A Year in the Life of a Michigan Black Bear, beginning its fourth year, is available to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade educators. Throughout the school year students will learn about the life cycle of the Michigan black bear, general black bear biology and behavior, and how the DNR manages and maintains a healthy black bear population. Additionally, over the school year, classrooms will get to “follow” a bear through its seasonal movements by using actual data points from a radio-collared Michigan black bear.

New last year, the Go Wild for Michigan’s Wildlife program is open to kindergarten through fifth-grade educators. Through this program, teachers can share the wonders of Michigan’s wild inhabitants with young learners to build appreciation for these unique species and the places they call home. Materials include lesson plans, wildlife posters for the classroom and sets of “Go Wild for Michigan’s Wildlife” critter cards for students. Sets of the critter cards for students are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. An electronic copy of the critter cards will be provided to all registered educators.

Educators are asked to register for these classroom programs by Sept. 30.

To register, visit mi.gov/dnrteachers and click on “Wildlife Education and Outreach,” then select the program(s) you are interested in.

Explore additional DNR education and outreach opportunities and resources at mi.gov/dnreducation.

1 2 3 4 187