Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board Recommends $37.8
Million Dollars to Boost Outdoor Recreation
Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board recommended Wednesday to the
Michigan Legislature that 76 recreation development projects and land
acquisitions totaling $37,789,600 be funded in 2021. The board this year
considered a total of 136 applications seeking over $60 million in
funding. In a competitive process, all eligible applications were
evaluated based on scoring criteria approved by the Trust Fund board.
“Easy access to the beauty of Michigan’s natural places and open spaces
during a challenging, uncertain year has been a source of comfort and
connection for residents across our state, and the Trust Fund is a major
part of making those opportunities available,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“Whether you’re enjoying a trail or park close to home or exploring the
deep forest, outdoor recreation resources like these are big contributors
to each community’s quality of life and unique appeal.”
The Trust Fund board recommends funding to both state and local
agencies for development projects and land acquisitions that will further
access to public outdoor recreation.
This year, the board recommended $27,289,600 for
acquisition grants and $10,500,000 for
development grants. There were 26 acquisition grants awarded to
local units of government for a total of $20,805,400, while four
acquisition grants went to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources
for projects totaling $6,484,200. The Trust Fund board also recommended a
total of $9,300,000 in 42 development grants be awarded to local units of
government while four DNR projects garnered a total of $1,200,000.
“This year’s grant recommendations represent a broad range of land
acquisition and outdoor development projects that will make a real
difference,” said DNR Director Dan Eichinger. “With the results of
Proposal 1 this fall, it’s clear that Michigan’s residents support this
program and its continued investment in projects that speak to the
recreational needs of communities across our state.”
The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is a restricted fund that was
established in 1976 to provide funding for public acquisition of lands for
resource protection and outdoor recreation, as well as for public outdoor
recreation development projects. It is funded through interest and
earnings on funds derived from the revenues of state-owned oil, gas and
minerals. Over the past 44 years, the Trust Fund has granted more than
$1.2 billion to state and local units of government to develop and improve
recreation opportunities in Michigan.
“Under the challenges of gathering with friends and family this year,
outdoor spaces and public recreation played a major component in people’s
lives,” said Trust Fund board chair Bill Rustem. “This program’s ability
to continue to acquire and develop parks and green spaces is more
important now than ever to ensure that every Michigander has access to the
state’s natural resources.”
The Trust Fund board's recommendations will go to the Michigan
Legislature for review as part of the appropriations process. Upon
approval, the Legislature forwards a bill to the governor for her
A list of the final recommendations made by the Trust Fund board is
By KATHLEEN LAVEY - Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Dunn has been fighting wildfires in Michigan for 15 years, the last two of
them as a full-time firefighter for the Michigan Department of Natural
Late this summer, he got his first chance to go west, driving a DNR Type 6
off-road engine with colleague Ben Osterland, arriving at the Lake Fire
near Santa Clarita, California on Aug. 24th. The fire burned more than
31,000 acres of big-cone Douglas fir, oak and gray pine between August
12th and September 28th.
Once on site, the duo from Michigan was assigned to mop-up duties in areas
where the fire had already passed through. They made many trips up and
down the mountain to look for hot spots, pulled hose out of the area and
restored the landscape, as much as possible, to its native state.
They were up at 5 a.m., working in remote country in 90-degree heat,
wearing 25-40 pounds of gear while working at their jobs.
Dunn, the experience offered a chance to take in the breathtaking beauty
of the west, as well as an opportunity to build firefighting skills he can
use back home in Michigan.
“Before I was full-time, I did this for fun on my days off from my other
jobs in Michigan,” Dunn said. “Coming out to California is like a big
bonus. You get to see the country. You meet a lot of good people from all
Dunn and Osterland are among DNR staffers who filled 90 out-of-state
assignments during the 2020 wildfire season, even though COVID-19 kept
them from traveling until the middle of August.
This year, DNR individuals and teams have taken seven fire engines west,
worked on direct fire lines and served various leadership positions on
fire management teams in California, Colorado, Oregon, Arizona, Utah and
Their help was essential.
by hot, dry conditions in much of the west during 2020, wildfires have
burned more than 8 million acres across western landscapes, with
record-setting blazes sometimes forcing quick evacuations of towns and
DNR staffers Glenn Palmgren and Keith Murphy are part of an interagency
Eastern Area Type 2 Incident Management Team. They were summoned to
California’s capital city of Sacramento in early September to be placed on
emerging fires as needed.
Their first assignment was the Bobcat Fire in suburban Los Angeles, which
started Sept. 6th and burned more than 115,000 acres. The fire destroyed
or damaged more than 170 homes and other structures, which made for some
“That was the most intense incident management experience that Keith and I
have ever had, with tens of thousands of homes being threatened,” Palmgren
had to make fast decisions as the fire moved across the landscape toward
heavily populated areas.
“There’s a lot of triage involved in firefighting,” Palmgren said. “Things
like human life always take first-priority, and we have to work with local
units of government on evacuations.
“Next, after human life is property, and we work really hard to try to
keep the fire from destroying people’s homes and businesses. When we’re in
that kind of a mode, and the fire is moving fast, we call that ‘point
“We can’t put the fire out during the most extreme conditions. We’re
trying to protect people and their homes. It’s a matter of meeting the
highest priorities that we can while trying to stop the fire.”
The Type 2 team Murphy and Palmgren were assigned to was called off as the
Bobcat Fire continued to expand. The team was replaced with a Type 1 team
rated for more complex events.
Murphy and Palmgren were then reassigned to the Brattain Fire, eight
hours north near Paisley, Oregon. It started Sept. 7th and burned more
than 50,000 acres as firefighters worked to cope with extremely dry
conditions and high winds.
“Once the town was secured and protected, it was about trying to protect
the grazing lands and timber,” Palmgren said. “Fire can leave cattle
without food in that part of the country, so protecting grazing land was
Palmgren and Murphy spent two weeks in Oregon, working with firefighters
from across the eastern region of the country, including 10 firefighters
from New York City.
Palmgren said he enjoys the challenge of diving into a new fire situation.
“It’s everything from saving people’s lives to saving their livelihoods
and their property,” he said. “And it helps us keep our own skills sharp.
We learn valuable lessons that can help us do a better job here in
After coming home for a few weeks, Palmgren and Murphy returned to
California to spend two weeks on the Dolan Fire, which has burned about
125,000 acres south of Big Sur, since it was reported on August 18th.
Gebhardt, a resource analyst with the DNR’s Forest Resources Division,
makes maps that include layers of data to help firefighters get to where
they’re going and assess what’s happening there.
Gebhardt is currently in training on fire duty. Her first assignment was
as part of a mapping team on the 1 million-acre August Complex fire in
California in early September. She was also invited to work on the
176,000-acre Mullen Fire south of Centennial, Wyoming in October.
Maps are key in fighting fires, and the technology for creating them is
evolving. Paper maps are important and are updated every day. But more and
more, maps are going digital.
“Staff can go in and change information in real-time based on what is
happening on the ground,” Gebhardt said.
Gebhardt also created “story maps” that combine journalistic-style text
and photos displayed online with maps, to relay information to the public.
“There are definitely tight deadlines,” Gebhardt said. “Major stress
came in when we couldn’t produce maps fast enough and get them to the
people on the ground.”
Gebhardt didn’t know what to expect going into the experience, but she
came away with better skills and higher confidence.
“I just didn’t really know what to expect from me and my job,” she said.
“But I learned I can produce the maps quickly and interact with people and
Michigan is always compensated fully for expenses related to western fire
assignments, and there are always firefighters ready at home to handle
things that come up here.
“Out-of-state assignments are just a great way for the team to build
skills,” said Dan Laux, fire section chief for the DNR’s Forest Resources
Division. “These assignments are a win for the states that need help and
for our DNR team.”
Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories in our archive at
Michigan.gov/DNRStories. To subscribe to upcoming Showcasing
articles, sign up for free email delivery at
Invasive pest already confirmed in five southwest Michigan counties
recent discovery of hemlock woolly adelgid as far north as Ludington State
Park in Mason County is a reminder of the importance of checking hemlock
trees for signs of the invasive insect.
The Michigan departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural
Development encourage those who have eastern hemlock trees on their
property to take time this winter to inspect the trees for signs of
hemlock woolly adelgid. Anyone taking to the woods can help by looking for
signs of the insect while hunting, hiking or enjoying any outdoor
Winter is the optimum time to look for evidence of an infestation,
according to Robert Miller, MDARD’s invasive species prevention and
“Cooler temperatures trigger feeding activity,” Miller said. “As
hemlock woolly adelgids feed, they secrete a white, waxy material that
creates ovisacs. The presence of these small, round, white masses makes it
possible to identify infested trees.”
As they feed, these tiny, soft-bodied insects consume a hemlock’s
stored nutrients, slowly sucking the life from the tree.
These insects are considered invasive because they are not native to
the state and can cause significant harm to Michigan’s hemlock resource,
estimated at 170 million trees.
Infestations of hemlock woolly adelgid have been confirmed in Allegan,
Ottawa, Muskegon, Oceana and Mason counties, all bordering Lake Michigan.
Winter surveys underway
Throughout the winter, survey crews from several Cooperative Invasive
Species Management Areas will take to the woods looking for signs of
hemlock woolly adelgid. Surveys will be conducted within a 5-mile border
along the Lake Michigan shoreline in both the Lower and Upper peninsulas.
At the same time, DNR staff will survey state parks and federal lands
in the vicinity of Lake Michigan.
Because hemlock trees can be protected from these insects with proper
insecticide treatments, infested trees and any other eastern hemlocks
within the area will be mapped and tagged, then prioritized for summer
CISMAs will seek landowner permission to conduct surveys of hemlocks on
private lands within the shoreline border. CISMA survey efforts are
supported by funds from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program and
the U.S. Forest Service and are provided at no cost to landowners.
Your help is needed
Though dozens of crew members will assist in the surveys, they won’t be
able to check all trees. If you have eastern hemlocks on your property,
whether it’s within or beyond the 5-mile shoreline border, take some time
to look for signs of hemlock woolly adelgid. Anyone spending time outdoors
is encouraged to do the same.
In Michigan’s northern forests, hemlock trees are found in moist soils
along streams and riverbanks and along coastal dunes. Hemlock also is
popular as a landscape tree in parks and residential areas.
Identify hemlock trees
adelgids feed and form ovisacs only on eastern hemlock trees in Michigan,
it is important to distinguish hemlocks from other conifers like pines or
spruces. Look for:
Cone- or egg-shaped trees up to 75 feet tall.
Drooping or feathery branches.
Flat needles growing individually from the sides of twigs.
Needles that are dark green on top with two parallel, white stripes
Papery cones about three-quarters of an inch long that hang downward
Look for signs
Late fall through early spring is the best time to check hemlock trees.
Look on the undersides of branches for evidence of round, white ovisacs
near the base of the needles.
Up close, ovisacs look like balls of spun cotton and may appear alone
or in clusters. The short video “Hemlock
woolly adelgid: invasive species in Michigan” provides helpful
Report your findings
Report infested hemlock trees by using the Midwest Invasive Species
Information Network, available online at MISIN.MSU.edu or as a
downloadable smartphone app. The MISIN smart phone app will take a GPS
location point if a report is made at the site; it also will allow you to
upload photos with a report.
Reports also can be made by email to MDA-Info@Michigan.gov or by phone
to the MDARD Customer Service Center at 800-292-3939.
Identify the location of infested trees and, whenever possible, take
one or two pictures of infested branches to help confirm identification.
To avoid spreading the insect, do not collect sample branches or twigs.
Manage your trees
If you find hemlock woolly adelgids on your property, it is important
to know that certain insecticides are successful in treating the
infestation if used correctly. Without treatment, infested trees can die
within four to 10 years. A qualified arborist, such as one certified by
International Society of Arboriculture, can diagnose and assist
with treating infested trees.
If you are able to handle treatment on your own, follow the guidance
provided in the MSU Extension Bulletin: “How
to treat hemlock trees for hemlock woolly adelgid.”
Reporting infested trees, even if you will be managing them on your
own, is important to help determine how far hemlock woolly adelgid has
spread. This information also indicates where additional surveys may be
Find more information
On Jan. 22, 2021, “Hemlock Rescue” is featured in the
NotMISpecies webinar series. This free program will take a look at
the labor-intensive effort to inventory and treat trees infested with
hemlock woolly adelgid. A question and answer period will follow the
presentation. Register for the webinar at
For more information on identification, reporting or treatment, visit
the Michigan Invasive Species Program’s hemlock woolly adelgid page at
Take Advantage of Pheasant and Ruffed Grouse
01DEC20-Explore Michigan’s winter wonders in December while hunting for
ruffed grouse or pheasants. Beginning Tuesday, the late ruffed grouse
season and Zone 3 pheasant season will be open through
January 1st, 2021.
The December pheasant hunting season is open only in select portions of
Zone 3 (see the map on
page 55 of the 2020 Hunting Digest) and pheasant hunters may bag
two male pheasants a day. Pheasant hunters need a free
pheasant/sharp-tailed grouse endorsement on their hunting license, unless
hunting pheasant only on hunting preserves.
Want to become a ruffed
grouse and American woodcock cooperator? Download the cooperator
report and tell us about days spent afield and what flush rates
were like. This information provides an indicator of the hunting season
and population trends for grouse and woodcock.
For more information on the 2020 pheasant and ruffed grouse season
regulations and dates, see the 2020
Hunting Digest available at Michigan.gov/DNRDigests.
Rachel Leightner at 517-243-5813.
Zooming in a Winter Wonderland
snowy, lantern-lit trail, a cardinal’s crimson plumage, ice-bejeweled
berries and more – these scenes, found in the DNR’s collection of virtual
videoconferencing backgrounds, can brighten the backdrop for your next
virtual call. They’ll add some charm and beauty next time you’re meeting
by screen with friends, family or colleagues.
With these new additions, you can enjoy the wonders of winter while
remaining cozy indoors – or get inspired to go out and try a new winter
activity like snowshoeing, winter hiking or fat-tire biking.
Browse the gallery, which is available at Michigan.gov/DNRPressRoom in
the Photos and Videos section.
In addition to their visual appeal, virtual backgrounds serve a
practical purpose. When you’re meeting online with people outside your
immediate contacts, security experts recommend using virtual backgrounds
to obscure details of your home and surroundings. Steps to enable and
upload backgrounds in a Zoom account are available on the Zoom virtual
background support page. The high-resolution images should be compatible
with other virtual meeting platforms, too, and can be used as computer
Questions? Contact Beth
Fults at 517-284-6071
ICYMI: #ADA30 and the Growth of Accessible
01DEC20-This year marks the 30-year anniversary of the Americans with
Disabilities Act. The landmark civil rights legislation – which the U.S.
Department of Justice said prohibits disability discrimination and
guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as
everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life – was
patterned after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits
discrimination based on color, race, sex, religion or national origin.
In case you missed it, to commemorate the signing of this important
legislation, the DNR recently released
a video exploring the expansion of accessible recreation in Michigan
and capturing testimonials from officials, staff and residents about these
evolving opportunities and the hard work and drive that got us to this
point. Read the full
Showcasing the DNR story for more information.
Seeking Local History to Complement
new segment of Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail currently under development
will add about 20 miles to the trail’s planned 828-mile biking route, but
project managers also plan to add layers of story to this stretch that
Higgins Lake Nursery and the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum at
North Higgins Lake State Park with Hartwick Pines State Park and you can
Led by the Michigan History Center, this heritage trail project in
Crawford County, unofficially dubbed the "Forest Heritage Trail", is
welcoming local history stories. The Center is partnering with Central
Michigan University and local stakeholders to identify the unique and
critical history of the area and plan for a series of interpretive
informational signs for people to enjoy while exploring the trail.
Dan Spegel coordinates
Michigan’s Heritage Trails program. He said the right stories can
help trail visitors connect with an area’s history and better understand a
region’s development, character and place in the state’s bigger history.
He pointed to the Kal-Haven Trail, in southwest Michigan, as an example.
“When we put the call out for the Kal-Haven, the community came forward
with some great stories,” he said.
“For example, in 1948 Joe Louis spent a month training at Great Bear
Lake to get ready for a fight with Jersey Joe Walcott. We found out that
in 1901, A.M. Todd started a mint-oil operation that grew and
revolutionized the global industry. We also learned about Julia Schelske,
who in 1916 became one of the earliest female car dealers for Ford Motor
Company in the town of Grand Junction,” Spegel said. “Bringing those
stories into the trail makes for an experience that immerses visitors into
the area’s natural and cultural history.”
Spegel stressed that heritage stories about the Forest Heritage Trail
do not have to directly connect to or be about the forest. That working
title for the project was chosen simply because the completed trail
segment will connect the CCC Museum with Hartwick Pines, and the forest
clearly has a strong presence/history in the area.
Want to learn more about the project and share some stories? Join in a
virtual meeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9. Advance
registration for the meeting is not needed; just visit
TinyURL.com/Forest-Heritage-Trail around 6:50 p.m. to sign in and
join the meeting.
For more information, contact
Dan Spegel at 517-420-6029.
Heading Out? Join a Christmas-Winter Bird Count!
you’re at home or visiting a nearby natural area, wintertime provides
plenty of opportunities to observe birds across Michigan. Our open lakes
and rivers have turned into a cornucopia of waterfowl and water bird
activity. Northern finches, sparrows and owls are descending upon forests
and suburbs, and woodlands and grasslands provide winter cover and seeds
for birds like the dark-eyed junco, white-throated sparrow and American
You can contribute to community science, too, by joining a bird count
this winter. With bird
populations in decline since the 1960s, it is increasingly
important that scientists and land managers understand all aspects of a
bird’s life cycle. Winter bird counts help scientists track bird
movements, assess bird population health and guide meaningful conservation
action. There are a few ways to get involved in a winter bird count near
Participate in Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count
CBC is the longest running community science bird census in North America.
For more than a century, birders and volunteers have braved snow, wind and
occasional rain to take part in this early-winter bird census. Join a
local count, which will take place over a 24-hour period between Dec. 14
and Jan. 5. Explore
the interactive CBC map to join a Christmas Bird Count near you!
Keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic will affect CBC participation.
Pending local restrictions, many counts will be done under the COVID-19
guidelines sent to compilers, while others likely could be canceled. See
the map for current information.
Join a Winter Feeder Watch Count
If you have a bird feeder visible from a window at your home or office,
you’re ready to participate in a winter feeder survey, taking place now
through April 2021. Monitor your bird feeder as often as you’d like.
Participation is easy, and all age levels and birding skills are welcome.
MI Birds is a public outreach program presented by Audubon Great
Lakes and the DNR, aimed at increasing all Michiganders’ engagement in the
understanding, care and stewardship of the public lands that are important
for birds and local communities. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Erin Rowan at 313-820-0809.
Deer Samples Needed for Bovine TB Monitoring
you’re hunting in the northeastern Lower Peninsula this firearm season,
don't forget to take your deer head to a DNR check station or drop box to
be tested for bovine tuberculosis.
The DNR needs samples from Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Crawford, Emmet,
Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle and Roscommon
counties. Surveillance goals for these counties help biologists understand
the scale of bovine TB infection in the local deer herd.
"Sixty percent of deer that test positive for bovine tuberculosis show
no signs of the disease, so testing is important," said Emily Sewell, DNR
wildlife health specialist.
Bovine TB is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis and, though
typically occurring in cattle, it can infect nearly any mammal, including
"It’s important that hunters take precautions like wearing latex or
rubber gloves when field dressing their deer. If they notice any lesions
on the lungs or in the chest cavity, they should avoid cutting into the
lesions and bring the deer to a check station," Sewell said.
As an added convenience, several self-service drop boxes are available
24 hours a day throughout the region. Hunters will need a smartphone to
submit deer heads at these drop boxes.
Hunters anywhere in the state who discover chest lesions on deer
carcasses should submit the deer for testing; it's better if DNR
biologists are able to examine the whole deer carcass. Hunters can either
bring the deer to a check station or contact their
local wildlife office for an appointment. Check station and drop
box locations are available at
Learn more about bovine tuberculosis at
Michigan.gov/BovineTB. Hunters may check their deer or elk TB lab
Emily Sewell at 231-340-1821.
Freight carriers, warehouse workers, and delivery drivers
should be on the lookout
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is asking
freight carriers, warehouse workers and delivery drivers to be on the
lookout for invasive Spotted Lantern Fly after the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed dead Spotted Lantern Fly
insects were found in Michigan in recent weeks. While the specimens found
were dead, these cases demonstrate one of the many ways this insect could
find its way into the state. There is no evidence of established
populations of Spotted Lantern Fly in Michigan.
“Thanks to the collective efforts of MDARD inspectors, alert business
owners and USDA, we were able to intercept these shipments. These
detections showcase the importance of being on the continual lookout for
invasive species,” said Robert Miller, MDARD’s Invasive Species Prevention
and Response Specialist. “This a great example of the public and
government agencies working together to keep out unwanted pests and
protecting our prized natural resources.”
Invasive species are those that are not native and can cause harm to
the economy, environment, or human health. First found in the United
States in 2014 in southeastern Pennsylvania, Spotted Lantern Fly has been
spreading rapidly across the nation. Infestations have been confirmed in
Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, West Virginia,
Connecticut, and Ohio. If introduced, Spotted Lantern Fly could seriously
affect Michigan’s agriculture and natural resources. This insect could
damage more than 70 varieties of crops and plants including grapes,
apples, hops, and hardwood trees.
Spotted Lantern Fly causes direct damage by sucking sap from host
plants and secreting large amounts of a sugar-rich, sticky liquid called
honeydew. This honeydew and the resulting black, sooty mold can kill
plants and foul surfaces. The honeydew often attracts other pests,
particularly hornets, wasps, and ants, affecting outdoor recreation and
complicating crop harvests.
MDARD is asking people involved in transporting and handling goods or
freight to become familiar with identifying Spotted Lantern Fly adults and
egg masses, as both could become attached to vehicles or goods themselves
and unintentionally be brought into Michigan.
Lantern Fly adults are roughly one inch long. Their folded wings are gray
to brown with black spots. Open wings reveal a yellow and black abdomen
and bright red hind wings with black spots transitioning to black and
white bands at the edge. Egg masses resemble old chewing gum, with a gray,
waxy, putty-like coating.
If you find a Spotted Lantern Fly egg mass, nymph or adult, take one or
more photos, make note of the date, time and location of the sighting, and
report to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development,
MDA-Info@Michigan.gov or call MDARD’s Customer Service Center,
800-292-3939. If possible, collect a specimen in a container for
For additional information on identifying or reporting spotted
Prune Oak Trees in Winter to Avoid Oak Wilt
Leaves are down, temperatures are cooler, and that means it’s prime
time for pruning oak trees, which can be infected by the oak wilt fungus
if they’re pruned during the high-risk period April 15-July 15.
“Beetles that can carry the disease from tree to tree are not very
active now, and the trees are not vulnerable to infection,” said Simeon
Wright, forest health specialist with the DNR Forest Resources Division.
The beetles are attracted to fresh bark damage or wounds where tree limbs
have been removed.
Firewood can harbor the fungus, too. If you suspect your firewood is
infected, burn it, chip it or debark it before April. Once the wood has
been dried over a year and/or all bark loosens, it can no longer spread
“Not moving potentially infected oak firewood into areas that are free
of oak wilt is critical to protecting our oak trees,” Wright said.
Oak wilt, identified in the 1940s, is widespread across Michigan’s
Lower Peninsula and along the Wisconsin border in the Upper Peninsula. Red
oaks are most susceptible and can die within weeks of infection. These
trees have leaves with pointed tips and include black oak, northern red
oak and northern pin oak. Trees in the white oak group have rounded leaf
edges and are less susceptible. Affected trees will suddenly wilt from the
top down, rapidly dropping leaves, which can be green, brown or a
combination of both colors.
If you suspect oak wilt:
Learn more about invasive species and diseases at
Simeon Wright at 906-203-9466.
License System Vendor Issues Affect Deer Hunting License Sales
16NOV20-In light of unforeseen technical issues with the licensing
system provided by Sovereign Sportsman Solutions, the Michigan Department
of Natural Resources reports that some hunters may not have been able to
purchase a base license and deer kill tags today. The DNR is working with
the vendor to resolve these issues, which are occurring across several
states, as quickly as possible.
Hunters are encouraged to continue checking online or with local retailers
for updates. As always, DNR conservation officers will be patrolling
throughout the season. Over the next several days, officers will take
these circumstances into consideration while making contacts with hunters.
Hunters who were not able to obtain a legally issued kill tag for their
deer due to system outages should affix a temporary kill tag using
materials they have on hand. The temporary tag should include the same
information normally found on a kill tag:
Identification of the hunter.
The date the deer was killed.
The sex of animal.
Number of antler points on each side.
Customers who have purchased a license on the DNR website today are
asked to use this temporary kill tag until their legal tag arrives in the
Hunters always should carry proper identification when in the field. The
DNR does not have the authority to waive a license as a requirement for
hunting. Hunters who go afield this deer season are still required to buy
a license from a retailer or online as soon as possible to meet their
DNR Licensing System is Online
Hunters Must Carry Licenses When Going Afield
experiencing technical issues Saturday, the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources licensing system is performing as expected.
At around 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14th, the licensing system began
experiencing slowness and timed-out transactions as some customers tried
to purchase licenses. The DNR continues to work with the system vendor,
Sovereign Sportsman Solutions (S3), to determine the cause of the issues,
which affected S3-supplied licensing systems in other states, too.
As of Saturday afternoon, Michigan’s licensing system was successfully
processing transactions as expected, and more than 45,000 hunters have
purchased licenses since then. The DNR wanted to ensure the vendor's
system was selling licenses without issue for 48 hours before making this
Hunters who were unable to purchase licenses or deer tags due to
Saturday's system slowdown should do so online at
Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses or at a
local retailer as soon as possible to comply with state law. The
DNR does not have the authority to waive a license as a requirement for
Successful hunters who used a homemade deer kill tag as instructed must
consider their purchased, official tag to be validated and not use it to
take another deer.
Michigan’s firearm deer season opened statewide Sunday morning. For
more information on deer check stations, safety and other resources, visit
In those instances where there is an aggressive wild animal,
particularly animals such as geese, swans, turkeys, deer and bears,
landowners should get in touch with the nearest
DNR Customer Service Center to let the local DNR staff know about
the issue. As each situation is unique, staff will first assess the
problem and then determine the appropriate action based on the species and
Landowners can contact one of the nuisance wildlife control
permittees for assistance with removal of species such as coyotes, fox,
raccoons, opossums and skunks.
Specially permitted nuisance control companies can be hired to assist
landowners with goose control programs. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture’s Wildlife Services also offers removal assistance, such as
nest destruction and relocation permits.
DNR Customer Service Centers
Baraga - 906-353-6651
Bay City - 989-684-9141
Cadillac - 231-775-9727
Detroit - 313-396-6890
Escanaba - 906-786-2351
Gaylord - 989-732-3541
Lansing - 517-284-4720
Marquette - 906-228-6561
Newberry - 906-293-5131
Plainwell - 269-685-6851
Roscommon - 989-275-5151
Sault Ste. Marie - 906-635-6161
Traverse City - 231-922-5280
Crystal Falls - 906-875-6622
Gwinn - 906-346-9201
Naubinway - 906-477-6048
Norway - 906-563-9247
of the mad dash to get a good camping spot at Pictured
Rocks National Lakeshore at Little Beaver Lake Campground, Twelve Mile
Campground, or Hurricane River Campground? These campgrounds now
require reservations, after years of a "first come, first served" policy.
Since visitation has nearly doubled in the last few years during the summer months
reservations can now be made at