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Michigan DNR News
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Deer Hunting for the Young at Heart
By BOB GWIZDZ-Michigan Department of Natural Resources
are some pastimes that folks age out of. When was the last time you saw
someone much past grammar school shooting marbles or playing jacks?
And there are other pastimes that are lifelong activities, like deer
Need an example?
John Trottier of Iron County has already shot a deer this season. He’s 100
According to Michigan Department of Natural Resources statistics, more
than 7,500 people 80 years old or older bought a deer hunting license in
2016 and sales this year point toward that trend continuing.
this sidebar feature: DNR Director
Keith Creagh and Phillip Knight, executive director of the Food Bank
Council of Michigan, talk about Michigan’s Sportsmen Against Hunger
Some of Michigan’s most senior deer hunters say they’ve been hunting
deer for most of their lifetimes and have no intention of stopping any
Bob Wygant, a retired mason who lives in Williamston, said he started
hunting when he was 14 and missed just two seasons in the following 71
years – both when he was in the military.
“It was nine years before I got the first buck – they didn’t have doe
seasons back then,” said Wygant, who now hunts not far from his Ingham
County home. “We used to tent camp up near Honor, but now we’ve got 10
times the deer around here than they do 'Up North.' It didn’t used to be
Wygant, who hunts with a crossbow before firearms season, says he gets a
deer most years. He either climbs into his tree stand or hunkers down in a
tent blind that his kids have set up for him.
“I like getting out in the fresh air, and I enjoy being with the kids,” he
said. “Both my boys and all my grandkids hunt. And they’ve all out-hunted
me as far as big bucks go.”
Wygant said he doesn’t hunt by himself anymore because “the boss (his wife
Carol) frowns on it,” ever since he had heart bypass surgery 20 years ago.
Although he hasn’t killed a deer in the last two seasons, he’s reasonably
sure he’ll get one this year.
already missed one this year with my bow,” he said. “I hit a twig about as
big around as my little finger.”
Joe Ehlinger, who lives near Addison, said he hasn’t missed a season since
he started hunting as a 14-year-old in 1946.
“The first deer I killed on my own was the night before John Kennedy was
killed. I killed a monster, and I remember it to this day because I went
to work and was bragging in the office when it came over the radio.
“That’s about when deer started showing up in Lenawee County. Before that,
in the ‘40s, we went to the U.P. They used to let you out of school in
those days and we went up for two weeks.”
Ehlinger said that first deer was the only one he ever shot with a
cartridge, a shot shell loaded with buck shot.
“I went into muzzleloading after that and I’ve killed a pile of them –
within a mile of our home,” he said.
Ehlinger said his wife, Marty, who is 83, is his hunting partner.
“We started hunting together when she was 14 and I was 16,” he said.
“We’ve been married 67 years.”
Both say the other is the better deer hunter.
“I’m lucky to have that woman,” Joe said. “She can track better than a
hound. And she’s killed a pile of deer, too.”
For her part, Marty says she’s never missed a season either, but she did
have to miss opening day one year when her boss called a mandatory meeting
out of town on November 15th.
“Can you imagine?” she asked. “He was not very popular.”
Joe said the biggest change he’s seen in deer hunting is proliferation of
posted signs on private property. When he was younger, it was common to go
anywhere he wanted to hunt, and if he ever did get a deer, the landowner
was happy for him.
in the early 60s, we never got anything, but everybody had a good time,
and if someone did get a buck, we’d all share the meat,” he said. “Now
it’s, 'don’t get near my property – don’t put your stand near my
property.' They don’t even want you to look at their property.”
The other thing that’s changed over his lifetime is the emphasis on
killing big bucks.
“I’m a meat hunter,” he said. “I hunt for a deer. I’ve killed some big
bucks, but any more.
I let the big bucks walk. Give me a doe fawn if you want good eating.”
Both Ehlingers will be in the woods opening day.
“I’m just an old goat who’s looking forward to hunting season,” he said.
“I’ve just had a lot of fun.”
Raymond Andres, 90, said he hunted small game as a youngster with a
slingshot growing up – occasionally getting a rabbit or pheasant – but he
took up deer hunting after he got out of the military and has been at it
“I was out there this morning,” he said, about a week before the firearms
opener. “Nothing came by for me to shoot.”
Andres said he had to go north to hunt deer when he was young as there
weren’t any around his boyhood home in the Downriver Detroit area, so he
started hunting northeast of Gaylord.
“A friend of mine had a car and he let me go up with him. So, I went up
with him. All I had was a .22 rifle. I hunted with that,” he said.
Andres, who hunts with a crossbow from a ladder stand on property near
Hastings, said he’s “killed my share of deer,” over the years, but admits
his drive to do so is softening a bit.
“I haven’t got one yet this year,” he said. “I let a spike go by – I just
watched him, that’s all. I don’t worry about it anymore.”
Andres said he’s only missed two seasons of deer hunting. He didn’t go the
fall when his wife took ill – she passed away – but the first year he
missed was the year he got married.
“We got married in November, so I missed that year,” he said, “And I said
I’d never do that again.
“I hunt as much as I can, but I think this might be my last year of deer
hunting. My legs are acting up. But if I can’t hunt I’ll probably be
around camp anyway.”
Get more information on hunting in Michigan at www.mi.gov/hunting.
Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories and subscribe to upcoming
DNR Extends Black Friday Invitation to #OptOutside;
Michigan State Parks Offer Free Entry Statewide November 24th
and visitors are encouraged to put away leftovers and #OptOutside as part
of their day-after-Thanksgiving traditions. To encourage folks to tap into
Michigan's great outdoors and gather with friends and family, on Friday,
Nov. 24, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will waive the
regular Recreation Passport entry fee that enables vehicle access to
Michigan state parks, trails and boating access sites.
Exploring some of Michigan's best outdoor destinations is a great way to
recover from holiday shopping excursions, burn off some of those
Thanksgiving calories and enjoy the many benefits of nature.
"In Michigan, you’re never more than a half-hour away from a state park,
recreation area, state forest campground or state trail," said Ron Olson,
DNR Parks and Recreation Division chief. "#OptOutside is an invitation to
residents and those traveling to spend time outside during the holiday
weekend and help continue or build new Thanksgiving traditions. The DNR
hopes the free entry opportunity will encourage residents and visitors to
explore new places and experience the outdoors' many physical, mental and
There are plenty of ideas to incorporate into popular
day-after-Thanksgiving traditions, including opportunities to:
|Find a new mile to hike or run on one of more than
12,500 miles of state-designated trails. |
|Cast a line in a state park and put fishing
on your Friday festivities menu. |
mountain biking. |
|Jump on the Iron
Belle Trail - the longest designated state trail in the nation - and
crisscross more than half of Michigan’s counties along both hiking and
biking routes. |
|Find a new hunting
spot by exploring one of Michigan's vast recreation areas. |
|Enjoy the peace and quiet of camping
in the off-season. |
|Download a geocaching
app and take part in an outdoor treasure hunting game that utilizes
GPS-enabled devices. |
|Seek out historical
markers and learn a little bit more about Michigan’s backstory. |
|Make a bird-watching
scavenger hunt for kids and start a list of the birds you spot. |
"The holidays can get hectic with added obligations, no matter how
happy or anticipated they may be," said Olson. "Our #OptOutside promotion
is an opportunity for folks to take a deep breath of fresh air, share an
experience with your favorite people and make some great holiday
Although the Recreation Passport vehicle entry fee into 103 Michigan state
parks, 138 state forest campgrounds and parking for hundreds of miles of
trails and fee-based boat launches is waived Nov. 24, camping and other
permit and license fees still apply.
Interested in learning more about things to do and places to visit? Visit
the DNR website at michigan.gov/dnr
to learn more about fishing, hunting, forest land, state parks and much
more. To search for a list of Michigan state parks, rustic state forest
campgrounds, state-designated trails and associated activities and
www.michigan.gov/recsearch. Interested in the Recreation Passport and
how it helps Michigan state parks, trails and waterways? Visit
The #OptOutside movement was started by outdoor recreation cooperative REI
Inc. in 2015 to encourage people to spend time outdoors on Black Friday.
For the third year in a row, the Michigan DNR has encouraged people to
utilize the outdoors as part of their Thanksgiving weekend celebrations.
Ahead of Golden Anniversary, Michigan’s First
Rail Trail Boasts Innovative Mile Markers
a half-century ago, a group of public and private partners saw the
potential of an abandoned railroad corridor in the central Upper Peninsula
to become a multiuse recreational trail. Today, supporters are enhancing
the value of Michigan's first rail trail by installing innovative mile
markers along the Haywire Grade's 32-mile route.
A new partnership between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources,
the Hiawatha National Forest, the city of Manistique, the Hiawathaland
Trail Association and the Schoolcraft County Motorized Trail Association
has kicked off plans for a grand 50th-anniversary celebration of the
Haywire Grade in 2020 with the installation of mile markers that combine
function and historical references along Michigan’s pioneer rail trail.
“Centuries of natural and cultural history are embedded within the
landscape that trails pass through," said Dan Spegel, heritage trail
coordinator with the DNR's Michigan History Center. “Uncovering and
interpreting this heritage provides context for the surroundings and a
greater sense of place, which, in turn, creates a more enriching trail
Beginning at Intake Park in Manistique, markers have been installed every
mile to Shingleton on the east side of the trail. The tall markers each
feature the mile number and the historic Manistique and Lake Superior
“Standing several feet above the trail, the markers are located safely
above average snow depth so they don’t get buried in winter," said Gerry
Reese, a longtime volunteer for the Schoolcraft County Motorized Trail
Association and Hiawathaland Trail Association.
Few motorized trails in the Upper Peninsula have mile markers.
Representatives of other area rail trails have taken note that the Haywire
Grade markers – which meet Michigan Department of Transportation standards
for nighttime visibility – have improved the trail's safety by offering
important location information for maintenance operations, first
responders and others.
Spegel said that work to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Haywire
Grade now turns to the development of 12 interpretive stations that will
be placed along the rail trail.
"We want Haywire Grade's 50th anniversary to acknowledge and celebrate the
important milestone for Michigan’s trail network and, at the same time,
help trail users interact for years to come with the heritage of this
beautiful area,” he said.
Plans are for the interpretive stations to be installed before the first
of four commemorative rides in 2020 – snowmobile (winter), equestrian
(late spring), bicycle (late summer) and ORV/ATV (autumn).
“The U.S. Forest Service is excited to partner with such an enthusiastic
team to encourage enjoyment of the national forest and the natural
environment,” said Cid Morgan, forest supervisor for Hiawatha National
Forest. “This is a great way to promote the historical significance of the
The Haywire Grade rail trail began as the Manistique and Lake Superior
Railroad, which operated for almost 60 years between Manistique and the
Shingleton-Doty area, until the line was abandoned in 1968. Although
converting railroad corridors into trails was a novel concept at the time,
Schoolcraft and Alger counties, the Hannah Mining Company, the U.S. Forest
Service and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources partnered to make
the necessary land acquisitions and Michigan's first rail trail, the
Haywire Grade, debuted in 1970.
Now rail trails are the backbone of Michigan’s ever-expanding trail
network, the largest in the nation. They are seen as more than just places
to enjoy the outdoors – they also are catalysts for economic growth and
valuable transportation corridors.
As a unit of the U.S. Forest Service, Hiawatha National Forest is
dedicated to sustaining our Nation’s forests while delivering a wide array
of benefits to the public. For more information about the Hiawatha
National Forest and its recreation program, visit
The Michigan Heritage Trail Program works with communities and
organizations to ignite pride, inspire learning and promote preservation
by combining local heritage and trails. The MHTP is administered by the
Michigan History Center; more information about the program can be found
The Michigan History Center is part of the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources. Its museum and archival programs foster curiosity, enjoyment,
and inspiration rooted in Michigan’s stories. It includes the Michigan
History Museum, 10 regional museums, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
and Underwater Preserve, and the Archives of Michigan. Learn more at
There’s Still Time to Enter the Wetland Wonders
Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters that there’s
still time to enter the Consumers Energy-sponsored Wetland Wonders
Challenge this waterfowl season. The contest began October 14th and runs
until February 15th, 2018.
Michigan's Wetland Wonders include the seven premier managed waterfowl
hunt areas in the state: Fennville Farm Unit at the Allegan State Game
Area (Allegan County), Fish Point State Wildlife Area (Tuscola County),
St. Clair Flats State Wildlife Area on Harsens Island (St. Clair County),
Muskegon County Wastewater Facility (Muskegon County), Nayanquing Point
State Wildlife Area (Bay County), Pointe Mouillee State Game Area (Monroe
and Wayne counties) and Shiawassee River State Game Area (Saginaw County).
These areas provide exceptional waterfowl hunting opportunities throughout
the hunting season. Managed duck hunting runs through Dec. 10 at most of
the managed waterfowl hunt areas; however, the Fennville Farm Unit and
Muskegon County Wastewater Facility have managed goose hunting
opportunities even later. Canada goose hunting at the Fennville Farm Unit
runs through February 15th, 2018, and Muskegon County Wastewater
Facility’s season runs until November 14th and opens again December 2nd -
19th of 2018.
Seven lucky winners will be chosen. One grand prize winner will win a
War Eagle boat, motor and trailer. Six additional winners will win a duck
hunting prize package, with Avian X duck and goose decoys, Zink custom
duck and goose calls, a shotgun and additional waterfowl hunting gear. All
seven winners will take home a “golden ticket,” good for one first-choice
pick at a managed waterfowl area drawing (nonreserved) for the 2018-19
waterfowl hunting season. Contest partner Michigan United Conservation
Clubs will select winners March 1, 2018.
“With Consumers Energy’s generous support, we’ve been able to put together
an exceptional prize package, so get out there and get your punches,” said
Barb Avers, DNR waterfowl specialist. “There’s still plenty of opportunity
to enjoy Michigan’s waterfowl hunting.”
When hunters register at any of the managed waterfowl hunt areas, they
will receive a validation on their Wetland Wonders Challenge punch card
(available at all of the areas). To be entered, participants must hunt at
three of the seven southern Michigan Wetland Wonders and submit a
punch-card entry form.
Hunters who hunt at more than three managed waterfowl hunt areas will
receive an additional contest entry for each additional punch. Those who
hunt at all seven areas will automatically win a prize.
For more information on the managed waterfowl hunt areas (including
location, drawing times, dates, and rules and regulations) and the Wetland
Wonders Challenge contest (including terms and conditions), visit
Rotary Charities of Traverse City Provides Grant
to Support Fund Development for Michigan's Arctic Grayling Initiative
Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently was awarded a $10,000
grant from Rotary Charities of Traverse City to facilitate a fund
development strategy in support of Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative.
This initiative, a statewide partnership effort focused on restoring
self-sustaining populations of this native fish, was founded by the DNR
and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in June 2016. The partnership
includes more than 40 organizations.
The $10,000 grant will support grant research and writing by NorthSky
Nonprofit Network, a management support organization administered through
Rotary Charities. The project will include a fund development strategy
matching public and private funding sources with project phases and the
development of the initial grant applications to secure funding for
initial phases of the Arctic Grayling reintroduction.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our organizations to be a catalyst
for what we hope will be the historic return of the grayling to northern
Michigan streams,” said Marsha Smith, executive director of Rotary
Charities. “We are impressed by the scale of this partnership. This kind
of collaboration is exactly what will generate important solutions for our
region and all of Michigan.”
The first stage of Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative is expected to
take five years of research project development, acquisition of fertilized
eggs from Montana and/or Alaska, raising fry (small fish) in a controlled
environment, and research to assess acclimation, mortality and other
“Securing this grant will lay the foundation for developing funds from the
public and private sources this project requires to move forward,” said
DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “This is an effort that needs to
be owned by many organizations if it is to achieve its intended historic
This is the second of two grants awarded to support the reintroduction of
Arctic grayling. The first came from the Consumers Energy Foundation in
the amount of $117,000 to support identifying prime northern Michigan
streams for this work.
For more information on Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative, visit
Enbridge Told to Make Full Accounting of Line
5’s Condition to Pipeline Safety Advisory Board in December
Action comes due to increased
number of coating gaps on pipeline that runs through Straits of Mackinac
State of Michigan today called on Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. to give
the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board (PSAB) a full accounting of the status
of the Line 5 pipeline in light of new information released today by
Enbridge that additional coating gaps were discovered during the company’s
most recent inspection of the dual pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac.
Enbridge must give the presentation at the PSAB’s meeting Dec. 11 in
Lansing about all the findings it has made about the pipeline’s condition,
that of its protective coating and anchors, and the results of its video
inspections, automated in-line tests, and recent hydrostat and biota
The new information comes after the State requested inspections of each
of the anchor locations following initial reports of coating gaps. Those
inspections have been completed at 48 of 128 locations, and a majority of
those 48 areas have gaps, Enbridge told the state today.
“This is very troubling and points out exactly why the state has been
vigilant about getting information from Enbridge,” said Heidi Grether,
Director of the Department of Environmental Quality and co-chair of the
PSAB. "It is essential that we get adequate and accurate information from
Enbridge to allow the State to continue our pursuit of protecting the
Besides ordering the presentation, the State said it will bring on
additional technical expertise to evaluate the information Enbridge is to
provide about the condition of the pipeline that was built in 1953. A
4.5-mile section of the line from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario,
runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac within an easement issued in 1953 by
the State of Michigan.
“A year ago, Enbridge said there were no coating gaps in the Straits
pipeline. Now, there are dozens. When will we know the full accounting of
what Enbridge knows about Line 5?” said Valerie Brader, executive director
of the Michigan Agency for Energy and co-chair of the PSAB. “I sincerely
hope there are no more surprises when Enbridge gives their presentation to
the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board in December. We and the people of
Michigan deserve nothing less, and the State will be bringing on
additional experts to examine Enbridge’s information and challenge it
The latest Enbridge information comes just a week before the State is to
release on Nov. 20 the final version of the Line 5 Alternatives Analysis
report. Developed by independent contractor Dynamic Risk, the report
studies what options are available for transporting the 540,000 barrels a
day of light crude oil and natural gas liquids that run through Line 5.
Public feedback sessions in December
Three public feedback sessions have been scheduled after the
Alternatives Analysis release:
|Wednesday, December 6th, in
Taylor, beginning at 6 p.m., at the Heinz C. Prechter
Educational and Performing Arts Center, Wayne County Community College
District, Downriver Campus, 21000 Northline Road.|
|Tuesday, December 12th, in St.
Ignace, beginning at 6 p.m., at the Little Bear Arena &
Community Center, 275 Marquette St.|
|Wednesday, December 13th, in
Traverse City, beginning at 6 p.m., West Bay Beach Holiday Inn
Resort, Leelanau Banquet Rooms, 615 E. Front St. |
The report will be posted on the PSAB
website and the public will have 30 days to make comments online about
what the State should do regarding the future of Line 5. The Dec. 22
deadline for comments includes two additional days to account for the
Thanksgiving state holidays during the comment period. Comments can also
be mailed to: Department of Environmental Quality, Attn: Line 5
Alternatives Analysis, P.O. Box 30473, Lansing, MI 48909-7973.
Dr. Guy Meadows, a professor at Michigan Technological University who is
in talks with the state to perform a risk analysis of the pipeline, will
also be asked to include information contained in today’s revelations in
his report, which is expected to be completed next summer.
The PSAB’s next quarterly meeting is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. December
11th at the Causeway Bay Lansing Hotel and Convention Center, Ballrooms
F-J, 6820 S. Cedar St., Lansing.
The State will use the information from the Enbridge presentation, the
Alternatives and Risk studies, and the outside expert review to ensure the
informational basis for any decision about the future of Line 5 is robust
Keep up on PSAB activities by
signing up for its listserv.
Michigan’s Trapping Tradition, a Challenging,
By BOB GWIZDZ-Michigan Department of Natural Resources
who has spent much time in Michigan knows that hunting and fishing have
always played major roles in the state’s heritage. Michigan is, and has
long been, known nationally for the quality of its outdoor recreation.
But one natural resources-based recreation coterie, which garners very
little attention, is quick to point out that its members’ pastime is at
least equally as important – if not more so – as anyone else’s in Michigan
Trappers are the invisible men and women of outdoor recreation. You don’t
see them in blaze orange or towing metal flake-finished boats to the lake.
But they are out there, often daily, participating in a pastime that
brought a lot of folks to this part of the country in the first place.
“The city of Sault Ste. Marie was founded as a fur-trading post, the first
in Michigan,” said Dale Hendershot, a 67-year-old retired diesel mechanic
and past president of the Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers
Association. “Michigan trappers settled our state – they were the first
ones in here, paving the way for others to come.
“Trappers have certainly played a big role in Michigan history.”
Indeed, some say trapping was so important in pre-settlement times that
Michigan became known as the Wolverine State, even though it’s not certain
that the ferocious creatures ever lived here. But wolverine pelts
certainly showed up in Michigan, which was the gateway to western U.S. and
Canadian trapping expeditions.
30,000 people buy fur harvester licenses in Michigan every year, about
half of whom are trappers. (The other half are those who hunt furbearing
species, though some do both). Of those, however, only about half
participate in any given year. In the most recent survey (2015) conducted
by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, only about 14,000 of the
28,000 license buyers hunted or trapped furbearers.
The DNR has been tracking the numbers of fur takers since the late 1950s,
and the number of participants has remained relatively constant. The DNR
lacks historical data, but it is assumed there were more trappers in
Michigan years ago, especially during the Depression and before the
widespread use of synthetic fabrics for clothing.
Participation grows modestly when fur prices are high and falls when they
are not, but the bulk of trappers will tell you they’re not in it for the
“When prices are good, you can make a little money trapping, but it’s
nothing like it used to be,” said George Cullers, 78, a life-long trapper
and a past trappers’ association president. “Most people do it for a hobby
and the love it. I just love doing it – when I’m out there trapping I
don’t feel any aches or pains.
hoping I can do it another 10 years. It’s excellent exercise. And after
deer season, I have the whole outside world to myself. I hardly ever see
another hunter or trapper out there.”
Because it was somewhat lucrative in the past, trappers were often
secretive about their pastime, preferring to keep their secrets to
“Historically, trappers wanted privacy,” said Adam Bump, the DNR Wildlife
Division’s furbearer specialist. “It attracted people who were more
solitary. Trappers wanted to fly under the radar.”
But trapping is not well understood by the general public, Bump said, and
that’s led to a new willingness on the part of trappers to discuss their
sport, something that even some of the old-timers welcome.
“We have a lot of trapper education instructors, and a lot of our members
will go into schools and put programs on, to introduce students to
furbearers,” Hendershot said. “There are a lot of people who misunderstand
trapping. There are a lot of people who believe all the things the antis
(anti-hunters) have to say that simply are not true.”
should be willing teach the young ones,” he said. “That’s our heritage.
And a lot of them are willing now; it’s not as bad as it used to be. It
should be your responsibility to pass it along to the younger people. I
think it’s your duty as a trapper to do that.
“We do have a few young ones coming on, but all of the outdoor sports are
hurting in that area – it’s that little thing (cellphone) they hold in
their hand – that’s their whole world. I’d like to see more kids getting
into it, but we’ve got our work cut out for us. “
Cullers, who still runs about 70 traps, said his father was a trapper but
was tight-lipped about it, even with his own son. He pretty much had to
learn it on his own and has done his best to pass his knowledge along to
his nephew and grandson.
Trapping, like other pastimes, has evolved over the years. At one time,
trappers used only foot-hold traps. But over the years other styles, such
as body-gripping traps and dog-proof paw traps, have come into use. Cable
restraints, which were legalized in Michigan a number of years ago, have
become popular with some trappers for coyotes and foxes.
The DNR regulates the use of various types and styles of traps to minimize
conflicts with other recreationists and prevent problems.
“There are a lot of options, and the traps are a lot more selective,”
Bump said. “Back in the day, trappers would catch whatever they could. Now
there’s a lot more focus on catching what you want and avoiding what you
don’t want. The regulations allow trapping to occur while minimizing the
catch of non-target species and avoiding conflicts with other users.”
Because of the increased complexity of trapping – with participants
needing familiarity with a variety of regulations, equipment and
techniques – teaching tools like Michigan’s trapper education program are
“There’s a vast misconception on trapping in Michigan,” Hendershot said.
“We pushed for a trapper education program because so many people didn’t
understand it. We wanted people to know how to do it properly, to teach
them how to do it right and give them the resources that if they don’t
know what to do, where they can go to learn.”
Hendershot is convinced that trappers are among the state’s most
“I enjoy matching wits with the animals,” he said. “You have to figure out
where that animal is going to put its foot, and you’ve got to put that pan
(which trips the traps) that’s about an inch in diameter right there to
make it work. That’s the challenge. It forces you to learn the habits of
“I teach hunter education, and bow hunter education, but I tell my
students that if they really want to get to be good, they should learn how
to trap. It’s a whole different ballgame."
For more information on trapping visit
Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories and subscribe to upcoming
DNR to Offer New Deer Check Stations in Gogebic
Wakefield and Watersmeet check stations help aid efforts to ‘Keep
the U.P. CWD free’
part of its stepped-up chronic wasting disease monitoring efforts along
the Michigan-Wisconsin border, the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources will be operating new deer check stations in Wakefield and
Watersmeet during the upcoming firearm deer hunting season.
“As our education and disease-testing efforts continue, we want to
increase our deer checks in this important part of the Upper Peninsula,”
Bill Scullon, field operations manager for the DNR’s wildlife division at
Norway. “We are lining up check stations along the Michigan-Wisconsin
The DNR’s Wakefield deer check station is located at 1405 East US-2, while
the Watersmeet check station will be a temporary station set up at the
Ottawa National Forest Visitors Center, located east of the Intersection
of US-45 and US-2 on US-2.
Each of the stations will be open during some days during firearm deer
hunting season which runs from November 15th - 30th.
The Wakefield and Watersmeet DNR check stations will be open from 9
a.m. to 1 p.m. CST Nov. 15-17, November 20th, November 27th and December
1st. The stations will be closed November 18th, 19th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd,
24th, 25th, 26th, 28th, 29th and 30th.
Additional DNR deer check stations are located along the border at the
DNR’s Crystal Falls (Iron County) and Norway (Dickinson County) field
offices and Kuber’s Feed Mill, located 912 41st Avenue in Menominee
For a complete listing and map of Michigan’s DNR deer check stations visit
Chronic wasting disease, a neurological disease fatal to deer, elk and
moose, has been found in several central Michigan counties in the Lower
Peninsula. This deadly disease has also been found in Wisconsin, 30 miles
from the Michigan border.
addition to new regulations enacted recently to restrict the parts of
deer, elk or moose that can be brought into Michigan from any other state
or Canadian province, the penalties for doing so have also been increased.
The DNR encourages hunters to help "Keep the U.P. CWD Free" by minimizing
carcass movement across Michigan, and practice proper carcass handling and
Since May 2015, 1,360 deer have been tested for CWD in Gogebic, Iron,
Dickinson and Menominee counties. So far, there has been no finding of the
disease in the U.P.
The DNR encourages hunters in CWD-free areas of the state, including the
U.P., to have their deer voluntarily tested by bringing them to DNR check
stations. Eleven check stations are available throughout the U.P.
The DNR is also working with taxidermists and meat processors in continued
CWD surveillance efforts. Wildlife biologists continue to check roadkill
deer and those harvested under crop damage permits for CWD.
Educational campaigning will continue with billboards, fliers, public
service announcements, press releases, social media messages and a
30-minute television program broadcast on public television. Messaging at
the Mackinac Bridge will also be included in the effort to educate hunters
and the public on CWD.
Hunting groups in the U.P. have worked hard to help the DNR’s efforts.
Find out more at
DNR Honored for Forest Certification Efforts
Michigan Department of Natural Resources has achieved honors for its work
to sustainably manage nearly 4 million acres of state forests.
The DNR is among 16 organizations and individuals to earn Leadership
Awards from the Forest Stewardship Council, the world’s leading forest
certification system. The awards were presented Wednesday at the
Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston.
“We were blown away by the accomplishments of our award winners this
year,” said Corey Brinkema, president of the Forest Stewardship Council
US. “By building the market for FSC products, the award winners show we
can conserve forests, even as we use forest products in our daily lives.”
The DNR was honored for being one of the longest-standing FSC-certified
forest managers in the Lake States region. FSC certification involves a
rigorous, independent review to ensure forest management practices meet
the highest standards for environmental and social benefits.
“Michigan forests have been certified for more than a decade and we’re
proud of that,” said Deb Begalle, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources
Division. “It’s important to the people of Michigan that we manage forests
to ensure they are here for our children and grandchildren. We can do that
in a way that provides the wood products people use every day, offers
quality wildlife habitat, and protects the environment.”
Michigan is certified by both the FSC and the Sustainable Forestry
Initiative. Learn more about the DNR’s efforts at
Other winners of FSC leadership awards from across North America are:
ARAUCO North America, for investing approximately $400
million in a new FSC-certified particleboard mill in Grayling, Michigan
– along with nine other certified mills in North America – to meet
demand from its customers, notably IKEA. |
Patagonia, for developing the world’s first FSC-certified
Yulex natural rubber wetsuits, and for communicating the importance of
responsible forest management to its customers. |
Staples, for marketing more than 1,000 individual FSC-certified
paper and furniture products online and in stores, and for working to
help family woodland owners earn FSC certification. |
Procter & Gamble, for making Charmin and Puffs tissue
products FSC-certified and for working with partners to add 500,000
acres of FSC-certified forest in the southeastern U.S. |
Wilsonart Engineered Surfaces, for being the first
North American laminate manufacturer to earn FSC certification. |
Monadnock Paper Mills, for being the first paper mill
in the United States to earn FSC certification, and for offering the
first 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper bearing the FSC Recycled
Dixie Plywood and Lumber Company, for more than 10
years of commitment to marketing FSC-certified building materials in the
southeastern U.S. |
Forest Products Laboratory, Center for Wood Anatomy
Research, for applying state-of-the-art forensic wood science to verify
the accuracy of claims about FSC certification on more than 1,000
products annually. |
Center for Forest and Wood Certification at the University of
Kentucky, for providing technical expertise to forest managers
and supply chain businesses to grow FSC certification. |
Seven Islands Land Company and Pingree Associates, for
its continuous FSC certification of more than 800,000 acres of
timberland in Maine since 1993, and working to help build the FSC system
over the past 20 years. |
Heron Hall, McLennan Design, and Smallwood Design and
Construction, for using 100 percent FSC-certified or reclaimed
wood in a residential project, including shou-sugi-ban (charred wood)
exterior walls – in pursuit of the Living Building Challenge. |
Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre,
Regional Municipality of York, and DIALOG, for using 100 percent FSC-certified
wood in construction and for sharing information about sustainability to
thousands of visitors annually. |
Cowhorn Vineyard and Garden Tasting Room, and Green Hammer,
for using more than 95 percent FSC-certified wood products – along with
a small amount of Eastern Oregon Grassland Restoration Juniper – in its
highly visible wine tasting room. |
Michael Conroy, for helping to launch FSC and for
decades of commitment to the organization, as a grant maker at the Ford
Foundation, chair of the Board of FSC US, chair of the Board of FSC
International, and active member in the Social Chamber. |
Christopher McDonell, for 20 years of work shaping
responsible forest management in Canada as manager of Aboriginal and
Environmental Relations for Tembec. |
Learn more about the Forest Stewardship Council at
Volunteer Campground Host Applications Being
Accepted for 2018
Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteer campground
hosts in Michigan state parks, recreation areas and rustic state forest
campgrounds for the 2018 camping season.
In exchange for 30 hours of service per week, including duties such as
helping campers find their campsites, answering camper questions, planning
campground activities and performing light park maintenance duties,
campground hosts enjoy waived camping fees.
Both individuals and couples may apply for volunteer positions that begin
as early as April and last through October. Volunteer hosts must be 18
years of age and provide their own camping equipment, food and other
"For many visitors, the camping experience wouldn't be the same
without campground hosts," said Miguel Rodriguez, promotional agent for
the DNR. "These dedicated volunteers engage with park visitors by helping
out around the campground, answering camping and park questions and even
hosting kids' crafts and fireside activities. All of this is accomplished
while they are enjoying some of Michigan's most beautiful outdoor
Interested volunteers can click on "campground host" at www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers
to learn more about the volunteer host campground program, download an
application and waiver and view a vacancy host campground report, which is
updated regularly and indicates when and where hosts are needed in
Hosts are screened and interviewed by park managers and selected based
on familiarity with the state park system, camping experience, special
skills, availability and knowledge of the area. Hosts must participate in
a two-day host training session within the first two years of being
selected as a host. The 2018 training will take place June 6-7 at the
Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon.
For information, contact Miguel Rodriguez at 517-284-6127 or
The DNR is accepting applications for volunteers to work as campground
hosts in Michigan state parks and rustic state forest campgrounds during
the 2018 season. It's a great way to camp for free and get a
behind-the-scenes park experience.
DNR Conservation Officers Provide Tips for a
Safe Hunting Season
the November 15th firearm deer season opener
nears, Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers
encourage hunters to brush up on safety tips and hunting regulations to
ensure a safe, enjoyable experience.
“Firearm deer season is a special time of year in Michigan,” Cpl. Dave
Painter said. “It brings family and friends together in celebration of our
state’s great outdoor heritage. Staying safe, knowing the laws and being
good stewards of our resources will help hunters have a memorable outing.”
Painter reminds hunters that a mandatory deer check is in place within
certain areas of the state due to the confirmation of
chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurological disease found in deer,
elk and moose. Hunters harvesting a deer in these CWD areas must bring it
to a DNR check station within 72 hours. Visit
mi.gov/deercheck for a map and list of check stations.
Regardless of where deer are harvested in Michigan, the DNR encourages all
hunters to voluntarily take them to the nearest check station to help with
disease surveillance. In addition, big-game hunters who travel outside of
Michigan should be aware of new regulations restricting the
importation of harvested cervids.
Painter also offered the following general safety tips:
|Treat every firearm as if it is loaded. |
|Keep your finger away from the trigger and outside the trigger guard
until you are ready to fire. |
|Keep the safety on until you are ready to fire. |
|Always point the muzzle in a safe direction. |
|Be certain of your target, and what’s beyond it, before firing. |
|Know the identifying features of the game you hunt. |
|Make sure you have an adequate backstop. Don’t shoot at a flat, hard
surface or water. |
|Unload the firearm before running, climbing a fence or tree, or jumping
a ditch. |
|Wear a safety harness when hunting from an elevated platform. Use a
haul line to bring the unloaded firearm up and down the raised platform.
|Avoid alcoholic beverages or behavior-altering medicines or drugs before
or during a hunt. |
|Always wear a hat, cap, vest or jacket of hunter orange, visible from
all sides, during daylight hunting hours, even if hunting on private
land. The law also applies to archery hunters during firearm season.
|Make sure at least 50 percent of any camouflage pattern being worn is in
hunter orange. |
|Always let someone know where you are hunting and when you plan to
return. This information helps conservation officers and others locate
you if you become injured or lost. |
|Carry a cell phone into the woods. Not only does it let you call for
help if necessary, but newer phones emit a signal that can help rescuers
locate you. Also consider downloading a compass or flashlight app. |
|Program the DNR’s
Report All Poaching (RAP) line (800-292-7800) in your phone contacts
so you can alert conservation officers to any natural resources
violations you may witness. |
“These are simple, common-sense tips that can help prevent accidents
and save lives,” Painter said. “The DNR encourages all hunters to review
Hunting and Trapping Digest for other essential information before
taking to the field.”
Michigan conservation officers are elite, highly trained professionals
who serve in every corner of the state. They are fully commissioned peace
offers with authority to enforce the state’s criminal laws. Learn more at
DNR Seeks Public Input on Lake Michigan
Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host three public meetings
this month along the Lake Michigan coast – November
28th in Manistique, November 29th in
Traverse City and November 30th in Grand
Haven – to hear from the public on two issues that will affect the lake: a
draft management plan and future stocking activities.
Draft Lake Michigan management
This draft plan sets long-term vision and goals for the Lake Michigan
fishery. It also outlines the process for ensuring the public is involved
and is aligned with shorter-term strategies and tactics. The draft plan
was developed through engagement with focus groups, advisory committees
and DNR staff.
A copy of the draft plan is available for public feedback and can be
found online at
https://mdnrlmfmp.wordpress.com/. This website is hosted through a
partnership with Michigan Sea Grant.
The DNR, together with other state natural resource agencies and tribal
fishery managers, is working to balance predators in Lake Michigan with
available prey. Last year, Chinook salmon stocking in Michigan waters was
reduced by 41 percent as part of that effort. Throughout 2017,
stakeholders provided the DNR with considerable feedback to consider
reducing other predators (rather than just Chinook salmon) to seek a
predator and prey balance.
Future stocking options now are available on the DNR’s
salmon website for public feedback. These options propose reductions
and movement of brown trout, movement of some coho salmon to southern Lake
Michigan, and reductions in second-priority lake trout stocking sites in
northern Lake Michigan. These options follow a new concept that emerged
from focus group discussions while developing the draft Lake Michigan
“Collecting public input is a critical part in effectively managing
Michigan’s world-class fisheries,” said Jay Wesley, the DNR’s Lake
Michigan Basin coordinator. “The conversations we hope to have at this
month’s meetings will help us all re-think how we do some new things on
Lake Michigan, yet still meet the needs of anglers and the resource.”
Public meeting dates, locations
|Tuesday, Nov. 28 – Manistique|
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Comfort Inn Conference Room, 617 E. Lake Shore Drive
|Wednesday, Nov. 29 – Traverse City|
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Boardman River Nature Center, 1450 Cass Road
|Thursday, Nov. 30 – Grand Haven|
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Loutit District Library, 407 Columbus Ave.
For more information, contact Jay Wesley at 269-685-6851, ext. 117 or
Crew Boss Academy Develops Wild Land
Firefighters Into Leaders
dozen wild land firefighters from around the country knew for sure they
were going to find a lot of class work during the 10-day Crew Boss Academy
at Fort Custer. The intensive workshop crams four separate firefighting
management classes into busy mornings.
It was during afternoon exercises on this military base near Battle Creek,
Michigan, when they got some surprises.
On the scene of a grass fire, they might encounter a person recruited to
play a disgruntled landowner. Dispatched to a fire site, they might come
across a simulated car accident and stop to help while calling for another
engine to proceed to the fire.
“They did live fire scenarios with DNR engines on site,” said Paul Rogers,
forest fire officer supervisor with the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources. “They were dispatched like they were going to a real fire.”
The classes and exercises conducted in October were part of a nationwide
workshop to help wildland firefighters learn to manage crews of four to 21
people. Like real-life firefighting, days were long, work was hard and
team-building was vital.
“Essentially what they’re doing is emphasizing how to be a better
leader,” said Maria Albright, a longtime firefighter who works as a
wildlife technician at the Allegan State Game Area. “They want to help you
get better at taking charge of firefighters with less experience than
Meeting other leadership candidates from across the country was critically
important, she said, as participants were able to share experiences.
“We were talking about similar things that we all do, but we kind of come
at it differently,” she said of participants, which included eight
Michigan DNR firefighters from the wildlife and forest resources divisions
and visitors from 20 agencies in 12 other states: Arkansas, Delaware,
Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South
Dakota, Texas and Virginia.
The training was hosted by the DNR, the Michigan
Prescribed Fire Council and
The Nature Conservancy, with support from other agencies as well. It
rolls four separate certification classes into just over a week.
Individual courses focus on leadership, the urban interface, crew boss
issues such as handling personnel and engine boss, which deals with
equipment handling. The urban interface refers to times when wildland
fires run into homes, subdivisions and towns or cities.
“It’s just an intense, consolidated series of training,” said Dan Laux,
fire specialist with the DNR and training coordinator. “It’s important
because we always like to keep folks moving into leadership roles.”
The work is not done when the Crew Boss Academy workshop is complete.
Participants now are working though “task books,” which document their
real-life experience as leaders. They’ll have to get others to sign that
they have completed 75 to 122 crew boss-related jobs and responsibilities
within the next three years to become officially certified. The tasks
include a variety of skills ranging from getting complete information from
dispatch, to safely traveling to the assignment. Respect and integrity are
covered right along with tactics.
Albright said she understands the need for qualified leaders in the field,
and is looking forward to finishing her task book.
After thinking about it for some time, she said she is glad she finally
went through the Crew Boss Academy.
“I think the strength of this thing is, you sit in a class for a little
bit and you go outside and do what you were just talking about, or do it
on sand tables or in simulation exercises,” Albright said. “You’re
applying what you just talked about.”
DNR Dredging Buys Time, $3.1 Million Effort
Begins to Protect Buffalo Reef in Keweenaw County
EPA forms task force to develop long-term
stamp sands management plan
Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently completed an emergency
dredging project in Keweenaw County to restore the Grand Traverse Harbor
channel for commercial and recreational boating.
The $246,230 dredging project, undertaken by Marine Tech, LLC of Duluth,
Minnesota, through the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division, pumped 9,000
cubic yards of sand to a beach area north of the harbor.
Previous dredging at the harbor was done by the DNR in 2015 and the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers in 2009 and 2003.
Meanwhile, more extensive sand removal and containment efforts are needed
to protect important lake trout and whitefish spawning habitat on Buffalo
Reef and a juvenile whitefish area south of the Grand Traverse Harbor,
which is situated on the east side of the Keweenaw Peninsula, northeast of
“Buffalo Reef is a 2,200-acre spawning reef located down drift of stamp
sands that have eroded into Lake Superior since the early 1900s,” said
Phil Schneeberger, DNR Lake Superior Basin coordinator. “It is currently
estimated that this reef, critical to both lake trout and lake whitefish
populations in the area, is currently 35 percent unusable by spawning fish
due to sand that has filled spaces between rocks, which are necessary for
successful fish egg deposit and incubation. Furthermore, migrating sands
along the shore have made nursery areas unusable by newly-hatched fish.”
a quarter of the annual lake trout yield from Lake Superior’s Michigan
waters comes from within 50 miles of Buffalo Reef. The Great Lakes Indian
Fish and Wildlife Commission estimates the annual economic benefit of the
reef at $1.7 million.
“The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, as well as other tribes located around
Lake Superior, are and have always been, fishing tribes,” said KBIC
President Chris Swartz. “Since time immemorial, these tribes have used the
resources provided by gitchi-gami (or Lake Superior) to sustain their
communities. This sustenance is not only physical; it is also spiritual,
cultural, medicinal and economic.”
Swartz said modeling predicts that by 2025, 60 percent of the reef will no
longer be viable for lake trout and whitefish spawning.
In this part of the Keweenaw Peninsula, the coarse, black stamp sands
threatening the reef were created as a by-product of century-old copper
mining at the Mohawk and Wolverine mines.
mines hauled copper ore from near Calumet 13 miles to a four-stamp mill in
the community of Gay, where ore was crushed by the stamps and the copper
separated through a flotation process.
Stamp sands are the waste material resulting from the milling work. They
were dumped into Lake Superior and on the shoreline.
Over the past roughly 80 years, the stamp sands have shifted south – moved
by winds, waves and nearshore lake currents – about 5 miles to the Grand
Traverse Harbor, covering 1,426 acres of shoreline and lake bottom.
“Without taking measures to slow the movement and down-drift accumulation
of the stamp sands, they will eventually move past the harbor and deposit
on the natural white sand beach south of the jetty, at the mouth of the
Traverse River,” said Steven Check, a project manager with the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers in Detroit.
DNR has applied for a permit from the DEQ, under the Great Lakes Submerged
Lands Act (Part 325 of Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental
Protection Act), to allow the Army Corps to remove more of the stamp sands
from Lake Superior.
The EPA has provided $3.1 million to the Army Corps to design and carry
out the dredging work, scheduled for May 2018. A public comment period on
this permit closed Nov. 1. No public hearing for this permit application
is planned, with a permitting decision deadline set for December 14th.
the permit, a total of 172,500 cubic yards of stamp sands are expected to
be removed from an underwater bedrock trough, moving the sand to a 37-acre
placement site that has the capacity to store 380,000 cubic yards. This
2,350-foot-long by 700-foot placement area, located about 1.5 miles from
the dredge location, would be north of Buffalo Reef, behind a temporary
Another 20,000 cubic yards of sand would be removed from Grand Traverse
Harbor, while 10,000 cubic yards of material would be dredged from an
upland area next to the harbor, on the beach.
“This dredging project would buy 5 to 7 years of protection for the
reef and the whitefish juvenile recruitment area south of the harbor,”
said Steve Casey, Upper Peninsula district supervisor for the Michigan
Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Resources Division. “In the
meantime, we need to develop a long-term, adaptive management plan, a
solution, for the Gay stamp sands problem.”
The EPA has formed a cooperative multi-entity task force to develop
that plan over the next couple of years, which will solicit input from
many stakeholders, including the public.
public meeting of the task force to kick off the effort has been scheduled
for 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the Lake Linden-Hubbell High School
Auditorium, located at 601 Calumet Street in Lake Linden.
“We will be soliciting public input on what issues the plan needs to
address and looking for volunteers to help us understand and resolve those
issues,” Casey said.
One critical component of the plan will be to develop a beneficial use
for the stamp sands, which is currently being explored by the MTECH
SmartZone in Houghton. A primary goal of the plan would be that long-term
maintenance would be assumed by a non-federal entity.
A task force steering committee has been named which includes Lori Ann
Sherman, natural resources director for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community,
Tony Friona, Great Lakes liaison for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’
Engineer, Research and Development Center and Steve Casey, U.P. district
supervisor of the DEQ’s Water Resources Division.
“We’re hoping construction can start on some type of control mechanism
for the original pile of stamp sands by 2021, with completion two years
after that,” Casey said. “We would then hope to put long-term maintenance
dredging in place by 2026. The annual costs for that dredging would depend
on which type of long-term remedy is selected.”
stamp sands source pile at Gay was originally estimated to contain 22
million cubic yards of material, with 2.3 million cubic yards of material
The community of Gay is named for Joseph E. Gay, who conducted early
explorations of the ore body that would be mined by the Mohawk Mining Co.
Meanwhile, a separate dredging project has been proposed by private
parties for a stamp sands deposit on the southwest side of the Keweenaw
Peninsula. The project would extend roughly 13 miles, from the Village of
Freda to the North Portage Entry.
This proposal is currently under permit application review by the DEQ
Water Resources Division, and is in no way associated with EPA Task Force,
DNR and Army Corps of Engineers efforts at the Gay stamp sand deposit. A
public hearing is planned for spring 2018. No date for that session has
Great Lakes Invasive Carp Challenge Nets More
Than 350 Entries
First-round awards to be announced
State of Michigan announced today that the Great Lakes Invasive Carp
Challenge, which sought innovative solutions to stop the movement of
invasive carp, received 353 entries from 27 countries. The challenge,
hosted by global crowd-sourcing company InnoCentive, netted new ideas and
raised the global profile of this important issue.
“Invasive carp pose a serious and growing threat to the economy and
ecology of our Great Lakes,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “The Invasive Carp
Challenge has unleashed the creativity and power of the entrepreneurial
community to find the best ways to protect one of Michigan’s most prized
natural resources. I’m looking forward to the results of this challenge
and how to put some of these ideas into action.”
Solutions will be reviewed by a panel of expert judges, with up to eight
solutions selected for awards of $25,000. Stage 1 awardees will be
announced in February 2018.
For final awards, a select number of Stage 1 awardees will be invited to
present their ideas before a live audience of judges, industry experts,
nonprofit organizations and venture capital representatives for additional
cash awards totaling up to $500,000.
This live event is planned to take place in late March 2018 in Detroit
and will provide an in-person platform for ideas to be pitched to judges
for final awards. All awardees will have an opportunity to make
connections with audience members as well, including university
researchers, entrepreneurs and venture capital firms, in hopes of
furthering their ideas.
Gov. Snyder announced the Great Lakes Invasive Carp Challenge during his
State of the State address in January 2017. The State of Michigan pledged
$1 million to seek innovative methods to prevent the movement of invasive
carp species into Lake Michigan from the Illinois River through the
Chicago Area Waterway System.
Invasive carp pose a significant threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem, the
$7 billion fishery, and other economic interests dependent on the Great
Lakes and its tributaries.
In June 2017, a 28-inch-long silver carp was caught approximately 9 miles
from Lake Michigan, beyond the electric barrier system meant to keep
invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. An autopsy and analysis by Southern
Illinois University indicated the fish spent from a few weeks to a few
months in the section of river where it was caught. There was no
indication of how the fish ended up beyond the electric barriers.
This discovery of a second invasive carp found beyond the barrier – a
bighead carp was captured in 2010 – underscores the need for action and
innovation to prevent these fish from doing potentially irreparable
ecological and economic damage to Michigan’s signature and defining
Two Michigan Businesses Connect With DNR for One
‘Great Outdoors’ Cause
Merchandise program to raise funds
for state parks, trails and waterways
Michigan Department of Natural Resources is hoping a new business
partnership will encourage the millions of people who love Michigan’s
state parks, trails and boating opportunities to – quite literally – wear
their feelings on their sleeves.
Starting this month, two private Michigan businesses, Peninsulas LLC and YooperShirts,
Inc., will work with the DNR to make state park, trail and boating
merchandise and apparel available anywhere, anytime.
After a yearlong evaluation process, the DNR awarded two contracts to
implement the retail program; Peninsulas was awarded the contract for
destinations in the Lower Peninsula, while Yooper Shirts will work with
Upper Peninsula destinations.
"The DNR provides safe, clean, quality recreational destinations and
experiences for our millions of visitors," said Ron Olson, chief of the
DNR Parks and Recreation Division. "This partnership allows us to offer
memorabilia and apparel for visitors who want to show off their love of
Michigan’s great recreational places and outdoor spaces."
"Working with the DNR allows us to expand our product line, developing
unique designs that showcase the beauty of the parks in the U.P., all the
while giving back to the Michigan state parks that we love,” said Jeremy
Symons, president of Yooper Shirts, Inc. “This opportunity enables our
business to invest in additional equipment so that we can be more
efficient, as well as hire additional employees to help with our continued
companies will be responsible for designing, imprinting and selling the
merchandise and apparel they create and will then share the proceeds with
the DNR. Merchandise and apparel will be available through both partners’
brick-and-mortar stores, on-site at select state park stores and retail
outlets and online at shoppeninsulas.com
Funds generated by the program will be used for park, trail and boating
improvements and maintenance. Each year the DNR, Peninsulas and Yooper
Shirts will publish a list of projects supported by the proceeds generated
through this retail partnership.
"The Peninsulas brand is all about celebrating the beauty and heritage of
the Great Lakes State. As we get a great deal of our inspiration from our
trips to Michigan’s state parks, this DNR partnership is a natural fit,”
said Robert Jameson, co-owner of Peninsulas. "It is our hope that through
creating unique designs on high-quality products, Michiganders will be
able to show their love of their home state and support our precious
natural resources at the same time."
For more information, contact Maia Turek, DNR resource development
specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 989-225-8573. For information on the merchandise, contact Robert
Jameson (Peninsulas), 248-268-4828 or Jeremy Symons (Yooper Shirts),
About Peninsulas LLC
Peninsulas was started by two lifelong Michiganders who combined
a love of their state with a passion for vintage design. This devotion
grew into a brand that celebrates all that is old and new in Michigan
through high-quality apparel, housewares and gifts. Robert and Sherri
Jameson get inspiration traveling the state in a little Airstream camper.
Their favorite spot is Orchard Beach State Park, site #42. Visit www.shoppeninsulas.com.
About Yooper Shirts, Inc.
Yooper Shirts is passionate about creating modern designs
inspired by Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the entire state. This
Michigan-based company dresses Yoopers and Michiganders around the world
in unique, quality products by embracing all that is the Upper Peninsula,
from the depths of Lake Superior to the hundreds of miles of biking and
hiking trails. Visit www.yoopershirts.com.
Michigan Bear Forum Set for December 16th –
Management, Regulations and Harvest Information to be Discussed
group of individuals representing various sportsmen’s clubs, the U.S.
Forest Service, the agricultural community and nonaffiliated bait and
hound hunters throughout the state will meet Saturday, Dec. 16, to discuss
the future of bear management in Michigan.
“This group represents our Michigan Bear Forum,” said Michigan
Department of Natural Resources wildlife management specialist Kevin
Swanson. “We have a very wide range of members who make up this group,
each representing a slightly different view with regard to bear management
The Michigan Bear Forum will meet from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Little
Bear East Arena, located at 275 Marquette St. in St. Ignace.
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss bear management and
regulations, while assessing 2017 harvest statistics. The meeting is open
to the public, and DNR staff will be available after the meeting to answer
Swanson said the DNR also would use the Dec. 16 meeting as an
opportunity to kick off its effort to update the
Michigan Bear Management Plan, which was last updated in 2008.
DNR Wildlife Division staff members will provide an overview of
long-term harvest statistics, population estimates, research and season
updates, and trend indicators for each bear management unit.
Hunter Safety Education Helps Keep Hunting a
By BOB GWIZDZ-Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Switala has always been a volunteer. He’s coached Little League baseball,
swim and soccer teams, led Cub Scout and Boy Scout groups, and he puts on
an annual youth sucker-fishing tournament near his home in Sterling, where
he serves as president of the Sterling Sportsmen Association.
He’s well-known for his efforts in Arenac County, but his reputation
spread statewide when the Michigan Department of Natural Resources named
him Hunter Safety Education Instructor of the Year.
It’s an honor he accepts with a casual shrug.
“Anything we can do for the youth, I’m all for it,” said Switala, a
50-year-old retired union brick layer and full-time community activist.
“I’ve always thought that.”
Switala was barely an adult, 30 years ago, when he thought it was time to
recreate the local sportsmen’s club, which had closed its doors in 1963.
He and a handful of locals came up with a plan to purchase the decrepit
building and in 1993, even before the facility was fit to be used, he
started a hunter safety program, holding classes at a nearby 4-H building.
for a couple of years when he was out of the loop, recuperating from a
fall from a scaffolding, he’s been at it ever since.
DNR Conservation Officer Philip Hudson, who patrols Arenac County and
nominated Switala for the award, said Switala is responsible for teaching
nearly 2,000 future hunters.
“He’s very dedicated,” Hudson said. “He’s never late, always early, ready
and prepared. The amount of time he puts into (this) is way beyond what
would be expected from any volunteer. He’s an amazing guy.”
Switala says even he’s not sure “what it is that got a hold of me,”
causing him to hurl himself headlong into hunter education, except that he
loves hunting himself and “you get enjoyment out of passing the sport
Four times as year – in February, March, August and September – he spends
a weekend teaching hunter safety to an increasingly diverse crew.
“The last class I had had 42 students, 23 of them girls and seven of them
adult females,” Switala said. “Back in the day, it was all 13-year-old
He also provides the hands-on field sessions that support the on-line and
home study programs.
Switala calls his approach to hunter safety EDGE training – educate,
demonstrate, guide and enable – something he picked up in other programs.
never thought of myself as an educator,” said Switala, who has been lauded
by the school district for the outdoor education programs he puts on for
fourth- and fifth-graders at the local school. “I like the word ‘mentor.’
In life there are ways you do things and ways you don’t do things. I think
we all think it should be that way.”
A strong believer in hands-on learning, Switala says he has his students
handling firearms properly within the first hour of class. He runs them
through 14 hours of training – more than the minimum requirement – saying
he wishes he had 24 hours. He then offers all the students the opportunity
to return at a later date and shoot clay targets at the sportsmen’s club.
Switala holds his classroom shooting sessions with air rifles at the
club’s inside range, demonstrating proper procedures to the first student,
then requiring that student to instruct the next one, so he knows it’s
“I drill them pretty hard,” he said. “Then we hold mock hunts – a bird
hunt, a rabbit hunt, a deer hunt – so they can demonstrate what they
learned. It’s everything but live ammo.”
When administering the written test, he reads each question aloud – “not
every kid is the best reader,” he said – and after the tests are
corrected, he goes over every incorrect answer with each student, making
sure any mistake is corrected.
“To me one wrong answer is failing,” he said. “You want them to get it
And over the years, he’s never had a student he couldn’t certify,
though he admits he had one student that took two years to successfully
complete the training.
Hunter safety education in Michigan has evolved over the decades.
“It’s been around since the mid-1940s,” explained Lt. Tom Wanless, who
oversees the program for the DNR’s Law Enforcement Division. “When the
National Rifle Association conducted the program nationwide.
“When the states assumed control, we were one of the first states to do
Hunting was a lot more dangerous back then compared to what it is today,
and every step the state has taken has improved safety, Wanless said.
In 1971, hunter safety training became mandatory for first-time hunters
ages 12 to 16. In 1988, hunter safety became mandatory for all first-time
hunters born after Jan. 1, 1960.
“That’s when the numbers of hunting casualty incidences really started to
nosedive,” Wanless said.
In 1971, Michigan witnessed a total of 15 deaths and 180 injuries
involving hunting. In 1988 there were 10 deaths and 91 injuries.
“That was the last year that we had double-digit deaths, and since then
we’ve only had one year on record where we had more than five related
deaths – seven,” Wanless said. “And we had two years when we had no
Today, to purchase a hunting license in Michigan, hunters must show proof
of a previous hunting experience – such as a license from another state –
or have completed hunter safety training.
There is one exception – beginning hunters may purchase an apprentice
license, which allows them to hunt under the tutelage of an experienced
hunter for up to two years, then they must complete the training to
Three options exist for taking hunter safety courses in Michigan.
Hunters may take:
traditional classroom course, which involves a minimum of 10 hours
spread over at least two days. |
|An online course, offered by state-approved private vendors, and then
attend a hands-on field day (typically 4 hours, with a certified
home-study course, with the hunter safety manual for at least a week,
before attending the hands-on field day. |
have about 3,000 volunteers teaching it out there,” Wanless said.
Some conservation officers teach hunter safety, and some teachers teach it
“Volunteer instructors are the backbone of this program,” Wanless said.
“We’re teaching approximately 20,000 students a year. That would take up a
lot of our conservation officers’ time that they would not be able to be
out in the field. Because of our volunteers, we’re making safer and more
However, Michigan needs more volunteer instructors, Wanless said.
“The average age of our instructors is getting up there. Some of them have
volunteered for over 40 years. We’d love to see more younger adults get
involved,” he said. “Anyone who is interested in instructing, who is
willing to share their knowledge and talent to help out our future
hunters, should check us out.”
For more information, visit
Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories and subscribe to upcoming
DNR Asks Hunters to Report Bear Dens in Northern
out in the field, hunters and trappers could come upon a denned black
bear. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is looking for
locations of denned bears in the northern Lower Peninsula, in order to fit
the bears with radio collars for an ongoing bear management program.
“Information gathered from bears assists in managing the black bear
population,” said Mark Boersen, wildlife biologist at the DNR Roscommon
Customer Service Center. “Currently, we have six female bears being
monitored from both air and ground using radio tracking equipment.”
After locating a denned bear, DNR biologists will determine if the animal
is a good candidate for a radio collar. Bears that are selected will be
sedated by a wildlife biologist and fitted with collars and ear tags. A
small nonfunctional tooth will be collected to determine each bear’s age
and to provide a DNA sample. Upon completion of the short procedure,
biologists will carefully return the bear to its den, where it will sleep
through the remainder of the winter months.
Those who encounter bear dens in the northern Lower Peninsula are asked
to record the location, with a GPS unit if possible, and contact Mark
Boersen at 989-275-5151 or email@example.com
with specific location information.
As a reminder, it is illegal to disturb a bear den or disturb, harm or
molest a bear in its den.
New Reservation Policy Gives Campers Better
Sites in MI State Parks
an effort to make it easier for more people to have a chance at securing
campsites at many of the state’s most-visited parks, the Michigan
Department of Natural Resources has put in place a new policy that
encourages people to firm up their reservations further in advance of
their planned camping dates. The new sliding modification and cancellation
structure takes effect November 1st.
Campers still can make reservations up to six months in advance. Under the
current policy, the cost to cancel or modify a camping reservation is $10.
The new structure still will include the $10 modification and
cancellation fee, but also will include an additional incremental fee
based on the length of time between the date the initial reservation was
made and the planned arrival date. That incremental fee will be determined
by the length of time a reservation is held:
|Reservations held for up to two months:|
10 percent of the nightly rate for each modified/canceled camp night.
|Reservations held for between two to three months:|
15 percent of the nightly rate for each modified/canceled camp night.
|Reservations held for between three and four months:|
20 percent of the nightly rate for each modified/canceled camp night.
|Reservations held for between four and five months:|
30 percent of the nightly rate for each modified/canceled camp night.
|Reservations held longer than five months:|
40 percent of the nightly rate for each modified/canceled camp night.
Note: There will not be a fee to modify a reservation that adds
than holding onto several blocks of campsites at a campground – or in some
cases, multiple campgrounds – the new policy incentivizes campers to
finalize their plans as soon as possible.
"We are updating the current policy to encourage campers with
reservations to make any necessary changes to their travel plans much
earlier in the process, which opens up more sites for others who currently
may experience difficulty finding space at our more popular campgrounds,"
said Ron Olson, DNR Parks and Recreation Division chief. "Rather than
waiting for cancellations that may or may not happen close to their own
desired travel dates, more campers will find that the new reservation
policy will give them access to a variety of sites much earlier."
For more information on camping opportunities and pricing, visit
www.michigan.gov/camping. Camping reservations can be booked up to six
months in advance at Michigan state parks. Campers are encouraged to
or call 1-800-44PARKS (1-800-447-2757) to check on availability. Remaining
camping spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information, contact Jason Fleming, chief of the Resource
Management Section in the DNR Parks and Recreation Division,
at 517-284-6098 or
DNR Hunting Access Program Celebrates 40 Years
By MONIQUE FERRIS-Michigan Department of Natural Resources
is home to one of the nation’s oldest private-public partnership programs,
offering financial incentives to private landowners who allow public
access to their properties for hunting.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Hunting Access Program has
developed over the past 40 years, initially in the southern part of the
state, recently expanding northward.
“This program grants access to quality private hunting lands close to
urban centers and in agricultural areas,” said Mike Parker, conservation
partners program specialist with the DNR’s Wildlife Division. “The
availability of hunting lands close to home is critical for attracting new
hunters, retaining those already involved in the sport and supporting
Michigan’s strong hunting tradition.”
According to a 2013 study by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation,
outdoor recreation supports 6.1 million direct jobs across the country and
$646 billion in spending each year.
In Michigan, hunters contribute $2.3 billion to Michigan’s economy and
support the professional management of the state’s natural resources.
The DNR places a high priority on providing hunting access through public
lands and leased private lands for public access. Michigan is blessed with
over 4.5 million acres of public hunting lands, most of which are in the
Twenty-one percent of Michigan is comprised of public land, but in
southern lower Michigan – where 90 percent of the state’s 9.9 million
citizens live and 72 percent of the 790,000 hunters reside – only 3
percent of the land is public.
Hunting Access Program was created in 1977 as the Public Access Stamp
Program by Public Act 373 of 1976, with the purpose of leasing private
lands to provide public access for hunting.
The original program was based on findings from a 1974 pilot study in five
southern Michigan counties, initiated by the U.S. Agriculture and Soil
Conservation Service, as well as an earlier access project called the
Williamston Plan, which was in place during the late 1930s and early
Within five years of its initiation, the Hunting Access Program had grown
to over 790 properties leased, covering 188,000 acres. After 1982, those
numbers declined to fewer than 50 farms and less than 8,000 acres by 2010.
“Program decline was a result of decreased funding availability and rental
payments not keeping up with market conditions,” said Monique Ferris, a
DNR wildlife biologist and coordinator of the Hunting Access Program.
Since that significant enrollment decline, recent efforts have emphasized
the importance of providing public access on private lands, reinvigorating
In 2005, the DNR established the Hunter Recruitment and Retention Work
Group charged with developing an action plan that identified three to five
approaches to increase the number and proportion of Michigan residents
hunting and to retain new, as well as current, hunters.
work group’s number one recommendation called for the reinvigoration of
the public access program through increasing landowner payments, providing
options meeting landowner needs for land management and security,
multi-year leases and quality maps,” Parker said.
In 2010, the DNR and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural
Development received a Voluntary Public Access – Hunting Incentive Program
grant, through the federal Farm Bill, to expand the Hunting Access
Funding from the grant was used to increase lease rates, market the
program, hire a program coordinator and contract with soil conservation
districts to service the program locally. The overall goal was to use the
grant money to double the number of acres and properties enrolled in the
2014, a new federal grant was approved for $1.2 million. The program was
expanded into the eastern Upper Peninsula for the first time, opening over
5,200 acres for small game and sharp-tailed grouse hunting.
The following year, the DNR was awarded another federal grant to expand
the program to the northern Lower Peninsula and hire a full-time program
The DNR, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Rural
Development and local conservation districts, has worked to lease a total
of 200 properties with a combined 25,000 acres of private hunting lands
for public access.
“Our commitment to providing access and working with new partners has more
than tripled the number of properties enrolled in the Hunting Access
Program over the past three years,” Ferris said.
To improve the program, the DNR has also increased its conservation
officer patrols on program lands, cultivated local conservation district
support at the county level, created a Hunting Access Program webpage, and
conducted surveys of hunters and landowners.
“The DNR has also developed an interactive mapping program, Mi-HUNT,
making it easier than ever for hunters to locate HAP properties and to
find a great deal of useful information at the click of a mouse,” Ferris
Hergott, administrator of the Arenac Conservation District, has been a big
proponent of the Hunting Access Program, helping to administer the program
locally. She manages the highest number of HAP properties of any partner
district in a single county in Michigan.
“Dawn’s promotion of the program is incredible,” Ferris said. “She has
become a role model for other partners.”
Hergott said the district has enjoyed having local community success with
“In 2010, we were asked to participate in the Hunting Access Program, we
had no properties enrolled in HAP and we took the opportunity to just
start reaching out to our local landowners,” Hergott said. “We started
going to meetings like the county commissioners, townships and local
sportsman’s clubs. Soon, we started to be invited to local chapters of
pheasant clubs, the Michigan Township Association and school boards to do
presentations on HAP.”
Hergott said the program was promoted with the help of the local weekly
newspaper and was discussed in the conservation district’s annual report
and its annual meetings.
“Phone calls began to come in, and properties were enrolled,” Hergott
Currently, the Arenac Conservation District has 25 properties enrolled
in Arenac County and another five in Bay County, with a waiting list of
four to five land parcels to be added as the acres of enrollment become
The DNR received $951,400 in that 2015 federal grant allocation to expand
the Hunting Access Program into the northern Lower Peninsula, including
Next spring, the DNR will be accepting applications from landowners in the
northern Lower Peninsula in Emmet, Charlevoix, Antrim, Grand Traverse,
Benzie, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Cheboygan, Otsego, Presque Isle,
Montmorency, Alpena, Oscoda, Alcona, Ogemaw, Iosco and Arenac counties.
Properties must be at least 40 acres and contain a minimum of 5 percent
Beginning this year, there are additional enrollment incentives for those
who live in Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency or Oscoda counties, within the
deer management units affected by bovine tuberculosis. Landowners should
contact the local conservation district in those counties to learn more
about the earning potential for their land.
Hergott said she’s honestly “a bit competitive” and wants programs to be
successful in Arenac County.
“I won’t say that our main goal was to have the most HAP properties
enrolled in our county, but it certainly has been a success that we are
very proud of,” Hergott said. “HAP is a really wonderful program.
Landowners get to share the love of their land with others, and hunters
get to enjoy the beautiful lands for hunting.”
Enrollment options are flexible for landowners. They can choose which
types of hunting are allowed on their lands. Hunting options vary in
certain areas but include:
|All hunting |
|Youth and apprentice hunting only |
|Small game only |
|Deer only |
|Turkey only (southern Lower Peninsula only) |
|Elk only |
Landowners may choose more than one option, such as deer and turkey
“We found that the customizing the HAP program really appealed to
landowners. They felt like it really fit their needs and they had more of
a say as to how their land was to be utilized,” Hergott said. “That is
what really seals the deal when landowners are sharing their land with
others. Our landowners love their land, and they are truly giving of
themselves when they are willing to share it so openly.”
The Hunting Access Program can pay up to $25 per acre for high-quality
habitat enrolled into a Farm Bill program, such as the Conservation
Reserve Program, or for land devoted to a wildlife food plot. Maximum
rates are paid for high-quality habitat allowing all hunting. DNR staff or
a designee can evaluate your land to determine the lease rate. Leases are
negotiated for a two- to three-year period with payments made at the end
of each hunting season.
Additional benefits for landowners include:
|An annual payment based on acres of land enrolled, type of land cover
and type of hunting the landowner chooses to allow. |
|The chance to help promote and support Michigan’s rich hunting heritage.
|Better management of wildlife on the landowner’s property. |
|Liability protection for the landowner through Public Act 451. |
|The ability to control types of hunting allowed on the property and
negotiate maximum number of hunters on the property at a time, as well
as the option to allow youth and apprentice hunting exclusively. |
“Property owners can help promote wildlife population management,
support the local economy, reduce wildlife conflicts, improve their land
and get paid to do it,” Ferris said.
To control the number of hunters using Hunting Access Program lands at any
one time, hunters are required to register to hunt each time they visit
the property. The landowner can select either a mandatory registration at
their home or a hunter self-registration box, which the DNR will provide
The maximum number of hunters allowed on the property is determined by the
total acreage, as well as the habitat type.
Finding a place to hunt
Hunting Access Program properties are available each day to hunters on
a first-come, first-served basis during the hunting season. Hunters must
register at the property headquarters before hunting. Self-service HAP
properties have a mailbox designated as the headquarters, with
registration forms and property information inside. At mandatory check-in
properties, hunters must register directly with the landowner.
hunting or scouting, it is important to register upon arrival, because
each property has a maximum number of hunters allowed at any one time,”
Parker said. “Failure to register is considered trespassing.”
HAP properties are no longer printed in the Public Hunting on Private
to learn more about the program and to see a current list of private lands
available for hunting in Michigan. The HAP webpage includes details about
enrolled properties, including types of hunting allowed and aerial photos
of the properties.
There are no extra costs for hunters to use HAP lands, but they are
responsible for reviewing information for the land they plan to hunt,
checking in before each day of hunting and respecting the landowners’
Also, check out the Hunting Access Program (HAP) Property Summary,
especially from August through October, when new properties are added. HAP
lands available are listed by county with detailed information about each
enrolled property. Click on the landowner’s name to generate a
descriptive, aerial map of the property. Boundary lines, designated
parking areas and the headquarters location all can be found in the HAP
To find public hunting land in Michigan, including HAP properties, check
out Mi-HUNT – a cutting-edge, web-based mapping application at
www.mi.gov/mihunt. Mi-HUNT allows users to navigate through a variety
of map layers to create their own custom aerial imagery or download
pre-made maps to meet their specific hunt-planning needs.
Check out a sidebar
story on Mi-HUNT.
This year marks a significant milestone in Michigan, a time to
celebrate 40 years of providing leased private lands for hunting through
the DNR’s Hunting Access Program, a tradition that is on target to
continue for many decades into the future.
This material is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources
Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under number
69-3A75-16-508. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations
expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories and subscribe to upcoming
DNR's Bill O'Neill Honored by Forest Products
25OCT17-In honor of the 57th annual National Forest Products Week, the
Michigan Forest Products Council (MFPC) awarded Michigan Department of
Natural Resources Deputy Director, Bill O'Neill, with its annual Tuebor
Award on October 19th.
"Deputy Director Bill O'Neill has been and continues to be a leader for
Michigan," said MFPC Chairman Todd Johnson. "Over the past 31 years, he
has an accomplished record as a public servant, particularly his
successful effort to help continue the progress the forest products
industry has made since the Governor's first Forest Products Summit in
The MFPC cited his efforts to:
|Promote an increase in DNR timber sale outputs. |
|Advocate working relationships with DNR field staff in the forest
|Advise a portion of the Governor's Forest Products summits. |
|Lead the Timber Advisory Committee. |
|Recognize forest industry opportunities. |
|Take a boots-on-the-ground approach when it comes to solving industry
The annual Tuebor Award recognizes significant accomplishments in
business and natural resource policy and recognition focuses on leadership
in support of well-managed forests that are vital to Michigan's quality of
life, environment and economy.
"This award recognizes not only his forestry advocacy, but also an
uncommon passion to improve the industry for all landowners and
forestry-related businesses. He recognizes the tremendous job-creation
potential of this renewable, natural-resource-based economy," said
Louisiana Pacific Corporation Regional Resource Manager, Dan Toivonen.
National Forest Products Week, designated by Congress through Public Law
86-753, started in 1960 and occurs during the week beginning on the third
Sunday in October. It recognizes the importance of products from our
The total economic benefit of Michigan's forest products industry grew
from $17.8 billion in 2013 to $20.3 billion in 2014 thanks to help from
Bill and his staff. The state has 20.3 million acres of forestland,
including 2.5 million acres of federal National Forests and 312,500
private landowners. Additionally, Michigan's value-added international
exports reached $505 million in 2014.
The Michigan Forest Products Council works to promote, protect and
sustain a globally competitive forest products industry in Michigan. The
Michigan Forest Products Council is a statewide organization representing
the forest products industry, which owns millions of acres of timberland
and employs over 96,600 men and women in Michigan.
Two DNR Conservation Officers Awarded for
Lifesaving Actions in Northeast Michigan
COs Paul Fox, William Webster honored for heroic
efforts in separate incidents
Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers recently
were honored for their lifesaving actions in northeast Michigan earlier
this year. Conservation Officers Paul Fox and William Webster received the
DNR’s Lifesaving Award during the regular meeting of the Michigan Natural
Resources Commission meeting in Alpena October 12th.
"Two people are alive today because of the skill, dedication and
professionalism of Conservation Officers Paul Fox and Bill Webster,” said
Gary Hagler, chief of DNR’s Law Enforcement Division, who presented the
awards. “Michigan conservation officers often serve as first responders,
sometimes braving treacherous conditions to provide assistance. Their
thorough knowledge of the areas they serve makes them well prepared to
respond to an emergency scene when every minute counts. We’re proud of
Conservation Officers Fox and Webster and are pleased to recognize their
In March, Fox was at home in Presque Isle County on his day off when
something unusual caught his eye as he looked through the window of his
residence. Grabbing his binoculars, he took a closer look and saw that a
person covered in snow had fallen through the ice and crawled to the
Through recently fallen deep snow, Fox quickly set out in his patrol
vehicle to the other side of the river, alerting dispatchers of the
situation by radio. With about 2 feet of snow on the ground, Fox advised
dispatchers to send a snowplow, so other responders could access the area.
When his vehicle became bogged down in the snow, Fox continued on foot for
about 300 yards, following the victim’s tracks and cries for help. Upon
reaching the victim, Fox rendered first aid for her injuries. She told Fox
she had fallen through the ice during the night and her feet were so
frozen she was unable to walk. In fact, her feet were encased in several
inches of ice from being submerged in the water.
A Presque Isle County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived as Fox pulled the
victim off the riverbank to an open area. Fox and the deputy then carried
the victim toward Fox’s patrol truck and an EMS team arrived with a
snowmobile and gurney soon after. Fox helped to place the woman on the
gurney and then kept the snowmobile from getting stuck in the deep snow.
The victim passed out in the ambulance and was taken to the hospital where
she was treated for extreme hypothermia and frostbite. She recovered from
her injuries with only minor lingering effects.
Fox has been with the DNR for three years, serving Presque Isle County and
the surrounding area the entire time. He is a native of Deckerville in
Webster’s lifesaving incident occurred in August, when he heard a central
dispatch call for assistance in finding a suicidal man who was in a
vehicle somewhere in the Alpena area. In an attempt to locate the person,
Michigan State Police asked the cell phone company to “ping” the man’s
phone, which can pinpoint the cell tower that received the phone’s last
the company could only identify a general location in the tower’s vicinity
and could not acquire latitude and longitude coordinates. Various law
enforcement agencies then dispatched officers to the general location
Due to his knowledge of the area, Webster determined the only place a
vehicle could be was on a remote portion of state-managed land. Webster
jumped on his all-terrain vehicle and traveled to the area, following
fresh tire impressions on the roadway until he came upon a parked, running
vehicle with a subject inside.
Webster discovered that piping had been run from the vehicle’s exhaust
system into the driver’s side window, and was held in place with duct
tape. Webster immediately ripped the piping from the window, opened the
door and shut the vehicle off. The internal temperature of the vehicle was
extremely hot. The man was unconscious but still had a pulse.
Webster continually performed lifesaving measures and monitored the
victim’s condition while he notified Central Dispatch and explained how to
get additional responders to the scene. When EMS arrived, Webster helped
to load the man for transport to the hospital, where he eventually
Webster has been with DNR for 11 years, serving Alpena County and the
surrounding area the entire time. He is a native of Atlanta in Montmorency
Michigan conservation officers are elite, highly trained professionals
who serve in every corner of the state. They are fully commissioned peace
offers with authority to enforce the state’s criminal laws. Learn more at
Twenty-three young men and women currently are going through training
with the goal of becoming Michigan conservation officers. To get a
close-up look at their challenges and accomplishments,
subscribe to the weekly conservation officer academy blog, which also
will be posted on the
Michigan DNR Facebook page.
View previous blogs from Recruit School #8.
All Three Pure Michigan Hunt Winners Bag Elk and
year, Pure Michigan Hunt winners get to spend their hunting seasons living
out their dreams – pursuing elk, bear, deer, turkey and ducks in
This year, all three winners bagged a beautiful Michigan bull elk and a
Michele Ketchum of Sparta harvested a 6x6 bull elk in Montmorency County
on the morning of August 29th with the help of her guide, Tim at Elk View
Cabins and Guide Service.
“The hunt didn't last long, but it was the most exciting thing I've ever
done,” said Ketchum. “Just to be that close to these impressive animals
was exhilarating, and I am so thankful that I had this opportunity. If I
hadn't won the Pure Michigan Hunt, I may have never had a chance to hunt
elk in Michigan.”
Ketchum also harvested a nice black bear in Mackinac County with the help
of her guide, Gary Morgan of Wild Game Dynasty.
On Sept. 15, Richard Farris of Almont harvested an impressive 5x5 bull elk
in Otsego County with the help of his guide, Preston Cassleman. He also
harvested a black bear in Mackinac County Sept. 20.
was an incredible experience to harvest a beautiful Michigan bull elk and
five days later, harvest a black bear,” said Farris. “This fall is one
that I will never forget.”
Jerry Peak of Crystal had a unique opportunity this hunting season. Along
with winning the Pure Michigan Hunt, Peak also drew a Michigan bull elk
tag, so he graciously transferred his Pure Michigan Hunt elk tag to his
“I was totally shocked when I found out about drawing a bull elk tag in
addition to my Pure Michigan Hunt tag,” said Peak. “I knew right away that
I would be transferring my Pure Michigan Hunt tag to my son so we could
On the evening of Sept. 18, Jerry Peak harvested a massive 6x6 bull elk in
Cheboygan County. Earlier that morning, Peak’s son Jim also harvested a
6x6 bull elk in Cheboygan County using the transferred tag.
conservation officers and DNR staff were extremely helpful when we got our
elk,” said Peak. “We want to thank everyone in the DNR for giving us this
In addition to the bull elk, Peak also harvested a 350-pound black bear in
“All three Pure Michigan Hunt winners have the flexibility to hunt many
different places,” said Jordyn Richardson, Michigan Department of Natural
Resources wildlife outreach technician. “Life gets very busy, but because
of this ‘golden ticket,’ all three winners have the ability to pick and
choose hunt areas and times so they are able to work these hunts into
their everyday lives. They also have the option to transfer a license to
For hunters who have dreams of experiences like these, there's still
plenty of time to make 2018 the hunt of a lifetime, by applying now and
applying often. Along with all of the hunting licenses, each winner will
receive a hunting prize package valued at more than $4,000. Visit mi.gov/pmh
for more information and to purchase Pure Michigan Hunt applications.
Michigan’s Top Environmental and Outdoor
Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education earlier this
month honored several Michigan educators at its annual conference at
Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
“We are very proud of the contributions these individuals have made to
improve Michigan’s environment by reaching thousands of citizens with
positive messages and education,” said Ashlie Smith, the alliance’s
outgoing president and head naturalist at the Farmington Hills Nature
The alliance’s highest recognition in 2017 went to:
Jody Harrington, an employee at the E.L. Johnson Nature Center
in Bloomfield Hills, has spent most of the past 30 years
connecting people to nature. As a classroom teacher in Southfield,
Harrington once integrated environmental education throughout her lessons.
Today, her love of gardening has been integrated into lessons at the E.L
Johnson Nature Center. Her past volunteer work includes time spent as
treasurer for the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor
Gwen Botting, executive director of Opportunities Unlimited for
the Blind in Ionia, whose energy and dedication
have enabled that group to do amazing things for visually impaired
children. Botting has incorporated nature-related outdoor education into
lessons that make a trip to camp the adventure of a lifetime. Campers
learn to make campfires, cook, hike, camp, canoe and more, building
self-reliance and confidence along the way.
Other Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education awards
included three appreciation awards to:
Kathleen Klein, community relations representative at Waste
Management in Wixom. Klein steadily exhibits the traits of an
environmental educator by bringing real-world issues to the public and
making them relevant to daily life. She manages wildlife habitat
certification programs for two landfills in southeastern Michigan and
conducts dozens of outreach programs each year.
Jereme Vanden Heuvel, camp director at Camp Tuhsmeheta in
Greenville. Operated by the Michigan Department of Education,
Camp Tuhsmeheta provides the ultimate outdoor experience for those with
visual impairments. Vanden Heuvel creates at atmosphere of learning,
safety and confidence for all campers, whether leading children on hikes
or the climbing wall.
Barbara Kinnunen-Skidmore, early childhood specialist at CLK
Elementary in Calumet. Regardless of the season, Kinnunen-Skidmore
believes students, especially kindergarteners, should be outside –
never too early, or too cold, to snowshoe or play on the nature
playscape with boulders and logs. These and other outdoor accessories are
due to her persistent grant writing and community relationships.
The alliance also gave volunteer awards to:
Francis Majszak, Carl T. Hunting and Fishing Center in Cadillac.
Majszak loves to teach others how to enjoy the outdoors and assists by
volunteering at ice-fishing clinics, shooting clinics and anything else
needed at the center.
Winnie Chrzanowski, Oakland County Parks. Chrzanowski is
a grasslands bird monitor, Project FeederWatch observer and frog survey
participant. In her spare time, she also volunteers for Clinton County
Watershed Council, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and
Ed Becker, Bay City Recreation Area. A retired high
school teacher from Saginaw, Becker has been a continual presence at the
park where he brings urban, disabled teens to learn how to fish and assist
in park stewardship projects. Whether building bird houses or self-esteem
among children, Becker works to be a positive influence on children and
Brooksie Pollack, Oakland County. Putting her
Michigan Conservation Stewards Program training to work, Brooksie
volunteers as a nest-box monitor and frog survey participant. She also
assists in the inventory of vernal ponds and mentors other Conservation
Stewards Program students.
In addition, the alliance recognized two graduates of the Michigan
Environmental Education Certification Program who presented their capstone
projects at the conference. They are:
Claudette Wizniuk of Shelby Township and Dorothy McLeer of Dearborn.
Wizniuk’s final project was "Clinton River Watershed - Recovery of
Michigan’s Rivers." McLeer’s was titled "Combatting the Extinction of
Experience – Introducing Youth to the Real World Outdoors."
The Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education is a
professional association supporting and advancing environmental and
outdoor education statewide. Learn more at
The Michigan Department of Natural
Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management,
use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for
current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.