MI DNR sends firefighters to British Columbia as part of an international crew

Firefighters from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are joining international crews this week to battle wildfires raging in the western Canadian province of British Columbia. According to the British Columbia Wildfire Service, more than 930,000 acres have burned since April 1.

Eight Michigan firefighters will join two, 20-person international teams that also include staff from Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Canadian province of Ontario. They’re slated to spend two weeks in British Columbia, working up to 16-hour days. Read more

Four New Calibers Join Browning Ammunition’s BXR Deer Loads for 2017

Arnold, Mo., July 26, 2017 – Fall of 2016 saw Browning Ammunition’s BXR Deer rifle loads put successfully to the test by hunters across the country. Now it will only get better in 2017. Hunters will be ready for the rut with more caliber options to choose from.

New offerings include:

  • 6.5 Creedmoor (129-grain)
  • 7mm-08 (144-grain)
  • 7mm Rem. Mag. (144-grain)
  • .270 WSM (134-grain)

Each round features a nickel-plated shellcase and bullet jacket along with Browning Ammunition’s trademarked Rapid Expansion Matrix Tip™. The Matrix Tip is designed to allow for high-downrange velocity and energy retention while initiating rapid expansion and delivering maximum knockdown power on large game such as whitetail, blacktail, mule deer and antelope. Read more

Duck band reporting system moves online

LAUREL, MARYLAND – Hunters fortunate enough to harvest a banded duck, goose or dove next hunting season will see a change in the way they report those bands to the United States Geological Survey. The call-in center that has been in place to record information has been replaced by an online tool at www.reportband.gov.

According to the USGS Patuxent Bird Banding Laboratory, which administers the bird-banding program in the United States, the toll-free number engraved on bands will still function, but will redirect callers to the website. Read more

Projects for pollinators: habitat enhancement projects that benefit pollinating insects occurring throughout Michigan

Pollinators, such as the monarch butterfly and the rusty patched bumble bee (listed in March as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), recently have made headlines due to declining populations, primarily from habitat loss. These insects play a critical role in the ecosystem, as well as people’s lives, and human intervention is needed to help keep these pollinator populations abundant and healthy.

Grasslands, vitally important to many species including pollinators, have become increasingly rare.

“Making sure pollinators have habitat that supports milkweed and other native, flowering plants is important to preserving these key species,” said Dan Kennedy, endangered species coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Through several habitat enhancement projects, the DNR – along with many partners, organizations and volunteers – is working to increase habitat for pollinators in Michigan.

In southeastern Michigan, DNR staff is seeding wildflowers on 7.5 acres at the Shiawassee River State Game Area in Saginaw County to help restore pollinator habitat. Read more

Pesticide May Be Outlawed

(Photo: Mountain Plover by Greg Homel/Natural Elements Productions)

(Washington, D.C., July 25, 2017) We applaud the U.S. Senators who today introduced a bill to ban chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide that has been killing birds and poisoning the environment for the past half-century: Tom Udall (D-NM), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Edward J. Markey (D-MA). We’re also grateful to Representatives Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), who have offered a companion bill in the House.

The “Protect Children, Farmers & Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act” would prohibit all chlorpyrifos use by amending the U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that oversees food safety.

Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate related to sarin nerve gas, is used in production of common crops such as strawberries, apples, citrus, and broccoli. In addition to the pesticide’s well-known threats to human health, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is concerned about the pesticide’s effects on birds, including to declining species like the Mountain Plover (shown). A recent draft biological evaluation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that chlorpyrifos is likely to adversely affect 97 percent of all wildlife, including more than 100 listed bird species listed under the Endangered Species Act.
ABC has been calling for a ban on the use of chlorpyrifos for years. EPA scientists agreed and were on course to ban the pesticide from use on all crops. In March 2017, however, the EPA administrator reversed the recommendation of the agency’s own scientists and extended chlorpyrifos’ registration for another five years. Read more

Michigan: Accessible Canoe/Kayak Launch at Lake Cadillac

A new universally accessible kayak and canoe launch, made possible by the Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce 2017 leadership class, officially opens to the public at a ribbon-cutting event Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Universally accessible kayak and canoe launch officially will open to the public

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host a ribbon-cutting event Tuesday, Aug. 1, to mark the official opening of the new universally accessible kayak and canoe launch at Mitchell State Park in Wexford County. The ribbon-cutting, which starts at 11 a.m., will take place at the new launch, located adjacent to the public beach on Lake Cadillac. Read more

The Firminator Is the Perfect Partner in Your Warm-Season Food Plot Plan

Warm season food plots, which are extremely attractive to deer, are part of superior management programs for serious hunters.

The Firminator is ideally suited for putting in warm-season crops. It combines a heavy-duty disc harrow, a true agricultural-grade cultipacker and a precision ground-drive seed system in one unit that you can pull behind an ATV or a tractor.

It’s a simple all-in-one system that discs the ground, puts the seeds in at the rate and depth you choose, and then packs the ground to assure good seed-to-soil contact. It’s everything you need to put in a food plot. You do the driving, the Firminator does the planting. Read more

Campsites or Cabins? Find Camping Variety on National Wildlife Refuges

Ready to fall asleep under a sky filled with stars? Raring to ditch the fast-moving, competitive world for unspoiled nature — at least for a few days?

Maybe now’s the time to get away, go camping and be captivated by the nation’s national wildlife refuges.

National wildlife refuges from Alaska to Florida offer camping opportunities that allow visitors to see wildlife up close in a variety of natural habitats.

The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, works to conserve America’s treasured wildlife species and their habitat, providing unparalleled outdoor recreational opportunities for all Americans.

Here’s a sampling of camping options: Read more

Appeals Court Strikes Down DC’s “Good Reason” CCW Law

The Second Amendment Foundation today won a significant court victory against “good reason” requirements for concealed carry when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of such a requirement in Washington, D.C.

The 2-1 ruling, written by Judge Thomas Beall Griffith, a 2005 George W. Bush appointee, declared that, “At the Second Amendment’s core lies the right of responsible citizens to carry firearms for personal self-defense beyond the home, subject to longstanding restrictions…The District’s good-reason law is necessarily a total ban on exercises of that constitutional right for most D.C. residents. That’s enough to sink this law under (the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court’sHeller ruling).”

“Today’s ruling contains some powerful language that affirms what we have argued for many years, that requiring a so-called ‘good cause’ to exercise a constitutionally-protect right does not pass the legal smell test,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We’re particularly pleased that the opinion makes it clear that the Second Amendment’s core generally covers carrying in public for self-defense.”

The 31-page majority opinion also said that the District’s “good cause” requirement was essentially designed to prevent the exercise of the right to bear arms by most District residents. Thus, it amounts to a complete prohibition, and that does not pass muster under the 2008 Heller ruling that struck down the District’s 30-year handgun ban.

“The good-reason law,” Judge Griffith wrote, “is necessarily a total ban on most D.C. residents’ right to carry a gun in the face of ordinary self-defense needs…”

“To read the majority opinion and not come away convinced that such ‘good reason’ or ‘good cause’ requirements are just clever ways to prevent honest citizens from exercising their rights is not possible,” Gottlieb stated. “To say we are delighted with the ruling would be an understatement. We are simply more encouraged to keep fighting, winning firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time.”

The case is Wrenn v. District of Columbia.

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

Study: Greatest Threat to Eastern Forest Birds Is Habitat Loss on Wintering Grounds

Rose-breasted Grosbeak photo by David Brezinski, USFWS. .

Ithaca, NY—Within the next few decades, human-caused habitat loss looms as the greatest threat to some North American breeding birds. The problem will be most severe on their wintering grounds, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Global Change Biology. By the end of this century, the study’s authors say predicted changes in rainfall and temperature will compound the problem for birds that breed in eastern North America and winter in Central America.

This animation shows where the 21 study species are found throughout the year. They spend more time on Central American wintering grounds (bright yellow) than on their northern breeding grounds (green to purple). Map by Frank La Sorte.

“This is really the first study to measure the combined impact of climate change and land-use change over a bird’s full annual cycle,” says lead author Frank La Sorte at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Typically, studies tend to focus on the breeding season. If you do that, you’re missing the real story which is inherently dynamic and complex.”

Migrant wintering grounds are vitally important because the birds spend a greater proportion of the year in these places.

“We found the species we studied spend up to 60 percent of the year on their wintering grounds in Central America, where they occur in higher numbers and densities,” says La Sorte. “That means more individuals of more species are likely to be exposed over a longer period of time to habitat loss as people continue to convert forests to cropland or grassland.”

The scientists ran dozens of scenarios to predict what the future might look like for 21 species, most of them flycatchers, vireos, and warblers. They used observations that volunteers entered into the eBird database from 2004 through 2014 to establish where and in what density the species are found throughout the year. Then, they layered in modeled climate change projections (temperature and rainfall) and habitat data (land-use changes and the location of protected areas).

The study finds loss of wintering habitat in the near future will likely be magnified by the long-term effects of climate change. By the end of this century the study species are expected to encounter several significant changes:
Greater warming on the northern breeding grounds and during autumn migrations—a surface temperature increase of about 9°F (5°C) with uncertain consequences for breeding and migration success; a smaller increase of about 5.4°F (3°C) is projected for their wintering grounds. Read more

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