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Updated 12/24/20



Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board Recommends $37.8 Million Dollars to Boost Outdoor Recreation

24DEC20-The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board recommended Wednesday to the Michigan Legislature that 76 recreation development projects and land acquisitions totaling $37,789,600 be funded in 2021. The board this year considered a total of 136 applications seeking over $60 million in funding. In a competitive process, all eligible applications were evaluated based on scoring criteria approved by the Trust Fund board.

“Easy access to the beauty of Michigan’s natural places and open spaces during a challenging, uncertain year has been a source of comfort and connection for residents across our state, and the Trust Fund is a major part of making those opportunities available,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Whether you’re enjoying a trail or park close to home or exploring the deep forest, outdoor recreation resources like these are big contributors to each community’s quality of life and unique appeal.”

The Trust Fund board recommends funding to both state and local agencies for development projects and land acquisitions that will further access to public outdoor recreation.

This year, the board recommended $27,289,600 for acquisition grants and $10,500,000 for development grants. There were 26 acquisition grants awarded to local units of government for a total of $20,805,400, while four acquisition grants went to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for projects totaling $6,484,200. The Trust Fund board also recommended a total of $9,300,000 in 42 development grants be awarded to local units of government while four DNR projects garnered a total of $1,200,000.

“This year’s grant recommendations represent a broad range of land acquisition and outdoor development projects that will make a real difference,” said DNR Director Dan Eichinger. “With the results of Proposal 1 this fall, it’s clear that Michigan’s residents support this program and its continued investment in projects that speak to the recreational needs of communities across our state.”

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is a restricted fund that was established in 1976 to provide funding for public acquisition of lands for resource protection and outdoor recreation, as well as for public outdoor recreation development projects. It is funded through interest and earnings on funds derived from the revenues of state-owned oil, gas and minerals. Over the past 44 years, the Trust Fund has granted more than $1.2 billion to state and local units of government to develop and improve recreation opportunities in Michigan.

“Under the challenges of gathering with friends and family this year, outdoor spaces and public recreation played a major component in people’s lives,” said Trust Fund board chair Bill Rustem. “This program’s ability to continue to acquire and develop parks and green spaces is more important now than ever to ensure that every Michigander has access to the state’s natural resources.”

The Trust Fund board's recommendations will go to the Michigan Legislature for review as part of the appropriations process. Upon approval, the Legislature forwards a bill to the governor for her signature.

A list of the final recommendations made by the Trust Fund board is available at


Firefighters Return to Michigan After Assisting with Historic Western Wildfire Season

By KATHLEEN LAVEY - Michigan Department of Natural Resources

More than 70,000 feet of fire hose is shown piled for rerolling from the Lake Fire in California.24DEC20-Paul Dunn has been fighting wildfires in Michigan for 15 years, the last two of them as a full-time firefighter for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Late this summer, he got his first chance to go west, driving a DNR Type 6 off-road engine with colleague Ben Osterland, arriving at the Lake Fire near Santa Clarita, California on Aug. 24th. The fire burned more than 31,000 acres of big-cone Douglas fir, oak and gray pine between August 12th and September 28th.
Once on site, the duo from Michigan was assigned to mop-up duties in areas where the fire had already passed through. They made many trips up and down the mountain to look for hot spots, pulled hose out of the area and restored the landscape, as much as possible, to its native state.
They were up at 5 a.m., working in remote country in 90-degree heat, wearing 25-40 pounds of gear while working at their jobs.

Firefighters working along the Lake Fire in Los Angeles County in California in August.For Dunn, the experience offered a chance to take in the breathtaking beauty of the west, as well as an opportunity to build firefighting skills he can use back home in Michigan.
“Before I was full-time, I did this for fun on my days off from my other jobs in Michigan,” Dunn said. “Coming out to California is like a big bonus. You get to see the country. You meet a lot of good people from all over.”
Dunn and Osterland are among DNR staffers who filled 90 out-of-state assignments during the 2020 wildfire season, even though COVID-19 kept them from traveling until the middle of August.
This year, DNR individuals and teams have taken seven fire engines west, worked on direct fire lines and served various leadership positions on fire management teams in California, Colorado, Oregon, Arizona, Utah and Wyoming.
Their help was essential.

A hot shot crew works on a burnout operation as part of the Dolan Fire response.Spurred by hot, dry conditions in much of the west during 2020, wildfires have burned more than 8 million acres across western landscapes, with record-setting blazes sometimes forcing quick evacuations of towns and cities.
DNR staffers Glenn Palmgren and Keith Murphy are part of an interagency Eastern Area Type 2 Incident Management Team. They were summoned to California’s capital city of Sacramento in early September to be placed on emerging fires as needed.
Their first assignment was the Bobcat Fire in suburban Los Angeles, which started Sept. 6th and burned more than 115,000 acres. The fire destroyed or damaged more than 170 homes and other structures, which made for some scary moments.
“That was the most intense incident management experience that Keith and I have ever had, with tens of thousands of homes being threatened,” Palmgren said.

The DNR's Paige Gebhardt stands in front of a map she helped create on the Mullen Fire in Wyoming.Managers had to make fast decisions as the fire moved across the landscape toward heavily populated areas.
“There’s a lot of triage involved in firefighting,” Palmgren said. “Things like human life always take first-priority, and we have to work with local units of government on evacuations.
“Next, after human life is property, and we work really hard to try to keep the fire from destroying people’s homes and businesses. When we’re in that kind of a mode, and the fire is moving fast, we call that ‘point protection.’
“We can’t put the fire out during the most extreme conditions. We’re trying to protect people and their homes. It’s a matter of meeting the highest priorities that we can while trying to stop the fire.”
The Type 2 team Murphy and Palmgren were assigned to was called off as the Bobcat Fire continued to expand. The team was replaced with a Type 1 team rated for more complex events.

Murphy and Palmgren were then reassigned to the Brattain Fire, eight hours north near Paisley, Oregon. It started Sept. 7th and burned more than 50,000 acres as firefighters worked to cope with extremely dry conditions and high winds.
“Once the town was secured and protected, it was about trying to protect the grazing lands and timber,” Palmgren said. “Fire can leave cattle without food in that part of the country, so protecting grazing land was important.”
Palmgren and Murphy spent two weeks in Oregon, working with firefighters from across the eastern region of the country, including 10 firefighters from New York City.
Palmgren said he enjoys the challenge of diving into a new fire situation.
“It’s everything from saving people’s lives to saving their livelihoods and their property,” he said. “And it helps us keep our own skills sharp. We learn valuable lessons that can help us do a better job here in Michigan.”
After coming home for a few weeks, Palmgren and Murphy returned to California to spend two weeks on the Dolan Fire, which has burned about 125,000 acres south of Big Sur, since it was reported on August 18th.

The Palomar Interagency Hotshot Crew assists with a burnout along California Highway 1 as part of the response to the Dolan Fire. Paige Gebhardt, a resource analyst with the DNR’s Forest Resources Division, makes maps that include layers of data to help firefighters get to where they’re going and assess what’s happening there.
Gebhardt is currently in training on fire duty. Her first assignment was as part of a mapping team on the 1 million-acre August Complex fire in California in early September. She was also invited to work on the 176,000-acre Mullen Fire south of Centennial, Wyoming in October.
Maps are key in fighting fires, and the technology for creating them is evolving. Paper maps are important and are updated every day. But more and more, maps are going digital.
“Staff can go in and change information in real-time based on what is happening on the ground,” Gebhardt said.
Gebhardt also created “story maps” that combine journalistic-style text and photos displayed online with maps, to relay information to the public.

“There are definitely tight deadlines,” Gebhardt said. “Major stress came in when we couldn’t produce maps fast enough and get them to the people on the ground.”
Gebhardt didn’t know what to expect going into the experience, but she came away with better skills and higher confidence.
“I just didn’t really know what to expect from me and my job,” she said. “But I learned I can produce the maps quickly and interact with people and a team.”
Michigan is always compensated fully for expenses related to western fire assignments, and there are always firefighters ready at home to handle things that come up here.
“Out-of-state assignments are just a great way for the team to build skills,” said Dan Laux, fire section chief for the DNR’s Forest Resources Division. “These assignments are a win for the states that need help and for our DNR team.”
Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories in our archive at To subscribe to upcoming Showcasing articles, sign up for free email delivery at


Time to Check Trees for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Invasive pest already confirmed in five southwest Michigan counties

04DEC20-The recent discovery of hemlock woolly adelgid as far north as Ludington State Park in Mason County is a reminder of the importance of checking hemlock trees for signs of the invasive insect.

The Michigan departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development encourage those who have eastern hemlock trees on their property to take time this winter to inspect the trees for signs of hemlock woolly adelgid. Anyone taking to the woods can help by looking for signs of the insect while hunting, hiking or enjoying any outdoor activities.

Winter is the optimum time to look for evidence of an infestation, according to Robert Miller, MDARD’s invasive species prevention and response specialist.

“Cooler temperatures trigger feeding activity,” Miller said. “As hemlock woolly adelgids feed, they secrete a white, waxy material that creates ovisacs. The presence of these small, round, white masses makes it possible to identify infested trees.”

As they feed, these tiny, soft-bodied insects consume a hemlock’s stored nutrients, slowly sucking the life from the tree.

These insects are considered invasive because they are not native to the state and can cause significant harm to Michigan’s hemlock resource, estimated at 170 million trees.

Infestations of hemlock woolly adelgid have been confirmed in Allegan, Ottawa, Muskegon, Oceana and Mason counties, all bordering Lake Michigan.

Winter surveys underway

Workers survey for hemlock woolly adelgid in a snowy forest

Throughout the winter, survey crews from several Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas will take to the woods looking for signs of hemlock woolly adelgid. Surveys will be conducted within a 5-mile border along the Lake Michigan shoreline in both the Lower and Upper peninsulas.

At the same time, DNR staff will survey state parks and federal lands in the vicinity of Lake Michigan.

Because hemlock trees can be protected from these insects with proper insecticide treatments, infested trees and any other eastern hemlocks within the area will be mapped and tagged, then prioritized for summer treatment.

CISMAs will seek landowner permission to conduct surveys of hemlocks on private lands within the shoreline border. CISMA survey efforts are supported by funds from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program and the U.S. Forest Service and are provided at no cost to landowners.

Your help is needed

Though dozens of crew members will assist in the surveys, they won’t be able to check all trees. If you have eastern hemlocks on your property, whether it’s within or beyond the 5-mile shoreline border, take some time to look for signs of hemlock woolly adelgid. Anyone spending time outdoors is encouraged to do the same.

In Michigan’s northern forests, hemlock trees are found in moist soils along streams and riverbanks and along coastal dunes. Hemlock also is popular as a landscape tree in parks and residential areas.

Identify hemlock trees

Hemlock twig with conesSince adelgids feed and form ovisacs only on eastern hemlock trees in Michigan, it is important to distinguish hemlocks from other conifers like pines or spruces. Look for:

  • Cone- or egg-shaped trees up to 75 feet tall.
  • Drooping or feathery branches.
  • Flat needles growing individually from the sides of twigs.
  • Needles that are dark green on top with two parallel, white stripes underneath.
  • Papery cones about three-quarters of an inch long that hang downward from branches.

Look for signs

Late fall through early spring is the best time to check hemlock trees. Look on the undersides of branches for evidence of round, white ovisacs near the base of the needles.

Up close, ovisacs look like balls of spun cotton and may appear alone or in clusters. The short video “Hemlock woolly adelgid: invasive species in Michigan” provides helpful identification tips.

Report your findings

A hemlock branch with adelgids

Report infested hemlock trees by using the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network, available online at or as a downloadable smartphone app. The MISIN smart phone app will take a GPS location point if a report is made at the site; it also will allow you to upload photos with a report.

Reports also can be made by email to or by phone to the MDARD Customer Service Center at 800-292-3939.

Identify the location of infested trees and, whenever possible, take one or two pictures of infested branches to help confirm identification. To avoid spreading the insect, do not collect sample branches or twigs.

Manage your trees

If you find hemlock woolly adelgids on your property, it is important to know that certain insecticides are successful in treating the infestation if used correctly. Without treatment, infested trees can die within four to 10 years. A qualified arborist, such as one certified by the International Society of Arboriculture, can diagnose and assist with treating infested trees.

If you are able to handle treatment on your own, follow the guidance provided in the MSU Extension Bulletin: “How to treat hemlock trees for hemlock woolly adelgid.

Reporting infested trees, even if you will be managing them on your own, is important to help determine how far hemlock woolly adelgid has spread. This information also indicates where additional surveys may be needed.

Find more information

On Jan. 22, 2021, “Hemlock Rescue” is featured in the NotMISpecies webinar series. This free program will take a look at the labor-intensive effort to inventory and treat trees infested with hemlock woolly adelgid. A question and answer period will follow the presentation. Register for the webinar at

For more information on identification, reporting or treatment, visit the Michigan Invasive Species Program’s hemlock woolly adelgid page at


Take Advantage of Pheasant and Ruffed Grouse Seasons


01DEC20-Explore Michigan’s winter wonders in December while hunting for ruffed grouse or pheasants. Beginning Tuesday, the late ruffed grouse season and Zone 3 pheasant season will be open through January 1st, 2021

The December pheasant hunting season is open only in select portions of Zone 3 (see the map on page 55 of the 2020 Hunting Digest) and pheasant hunters may bag two male pheasants a day. Pheasant hunters need a free pheasant/sharp-tailed grouse endorsement on their hunting license, unless hunting pheasant only on hunting preserves.

Want to become a ruffed grouse and American woodcock cooperator? Download the cooperator report and tell us about days spent afield and what flush rates were like. This information provides an indicator of the hunting season and population trends for grouse and woodcock.

For more information on the 2020 pheasant and ruffed grouse season regulations and dates, see the 2020 Hunting Digest available at

Questions? Contact Rachel Leightner at 517-243-5813.


Zooming in a Winter Wonderland

zoom bg01DEC20-A snowy, lantern-lit trail, a cardinal’s crimson plumage, ice-bejeweled berries and more – these scenes, found in the DNR’s collection of virtual videoconferencing backgrounds, can brighten the backdrop for your next virtual call. They’ll add some charm and beauty next time you’re meeting by screen with friends, family or colleagues.

With these new additions, you can enjoy the wonders of winter while remaining cozy indoors – or get inspired to go out and try a new winter activity like snowshoeing, winter hiking or fat-tire biking. Browse the gallery, which is available at in the Photos and Videos section.

In addition to their visual appeal, virtual backgrounds serve a practical purpose. When you’re meeting online with people outside your immediate contacts, security experts recommend using virtual backgrounds to obscure details of your home and surroundings. Steps to enable and upload backgrounds in a Zoom account are available on the Zoom virtual background support page. The high-resolution images should be compatible with other virtual meeting platforms, too, and can be used as computer backgrounds.

Questions? Contact Beth Fults at 517-284-6071


ICYMI: #ADA30 and the Growth of Accessible Recreation

track chair

01DEC20-This year marks the 30-year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The landmark civil rights legislation – which the U.S. Department of Justice said prohibits disability discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life – was patterned after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on color, race, sex, religion or national origin.

In case you missed it, to commemorate the signing of this important legislation, the DNR recently released a video exploring the expansion of accessible recreation in Michigan and capturing testimonials from officials, staff and residents about these evolving opportunities and the hard work and drive that got us to this point. Read the full Showcasing the DNR story for more information.


Seeking Local History to Complement Grayling-to-Roscommon Trail

black and white photo of a woman wearing a hat, kneeling, bundling pine tree seedlings, while other people around her do the same30NOV20-A new segment of Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail currently under development will add about 20 miles to the trail’s planned 828-mile biking route, but project managers also plan to add layers of story to this stretch that connects Higgins Lake Nursery and the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum at North Higgins Lake State Park with Hartwick Pines State Park and you can help.

Led by the Michigan History Center, this heritage trail project in Crawford County, unofficially dubbed the "Forest Heritage Trail", is welcoming local history stories. The Center is partnering with Central Michigan University and local stakeholders to identify the unique and critical history of the area and plan for a series of interpretive informational signs for people to enjoy while exploring the trail.

Dan Spegel coordinates Michigan’s Heritage Trails program. He said the right stories can help trail visitors connect with an area’s history and better understand a region’s development, character and place in the state’s bigger history. He pointed to the Kal-Haven Trail, in southwest Michigan, as an example.

“When we put the call out for the Kal-Haven, the community came forward with some great stories,” he said.

“For example, in 1948 Joe Louis spent a month training at Great Bear Lake to get ready for a fight with Jersey Joe Walcott. We found out that in 1901, A.M. Todd started a mint-oil operation that grew and revolutionized the global industry. We also learned about Julia Schelske, who in 1916 became one of the earliest female car dealers for Ford Motor Company in the town of Grand Junction,” Spegel said. “Bringing those stories into the trail makes for an experience that immerses visitors into the area’s natural and cultural history.”

Spegel stressed that heritage stories about the Forest Heritage Trail do not have to directly connect to or be about the forest. That working title for the project was chosen simply because the completed trail segment will connect the CCC Museum with Hartwick Pines, and the forest clearly has a strong presence/history in the area.

Want to learn more about the project and share some stories? Join in a virtual meeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9. Advance registration for the meeting is not needed; just visit around 6:50 p.m. to sign in and join the meeting.

For more information, contact Dan Spegel at 517-420-6029.


Heading Out? Join a Christmas-Winter Bird Count!

cardinal01DEC20-Whether you’re at home or visiting a nearby natural area, wintertime provides plenty of opportunities to observe birds across Michigan. Our open lakes and rivers have turned into a cornucopia of waterfowl and water bird activity. Northern finches, sparrows and owls are descending upon forests and suburbs, and woodlands and grasslands provide winter cover and seeds for birds like the dark-eyed junco, white-throated sparrow and American tree sparrow.  

You can contribute to community science, too, by joining a bird count this winter. With bird populations in decline since the 1960s, it is increasingly important that scientists and land managers understand all aspects of a bird’s life cycle. Winter bird counts help scientists track bird movements, assess bird population health and guide meaningful conservation action. There are a few ways to get involved in a winter bird count near you:

Participate in Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count 

cardinalThe CBC is the longest running community science bird census in North America. For more than a century, birders and volunteers have braved snow, wind and occasional rain to take part in this early-winter bird census. Join a local count, which will take place over a 24-hour period between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. Explore the interactive CBC map to join a Christmas Bird Count near you! 

Keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic will affect CBC participation. Pending local restrictions, many counts will be done under the COVID-19 guidelines sent to compilers, while others likely could be canceled. See the map for current information.  

Join a Winter Feeder Watch Count

If you have a bird feeder visible from a window at your home or office, you’re ready to participate in a winter feeder survey, taking place now through April 2021. Monitor your bird feeder as often as you’d like. Participation is easy, and all age levels and birding skills are welcome.  

MI Birds is a public outreach program presented by Audubon Great Lakes and the DNR, aimed at increasing all Michiganders’ engagement in the understanding, care and stewardship of the public lands that are important for birds and local communities. Follow along on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  

Questions? Contact Erin Rowan at 313-820-0809.


Deer Samples Needed for Bovine TB Monitoring

white-tailed buck, chest deep in grass, facing the camera with forest in the background30NOV20-If you’re hunting in the northeastern Lower Peninsula this firearm season, don't forget to take your deer head to a DNR check station or drop box to be tested for bovine tuberculosis.

The DNR needs samples from Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Crawford, Emmet, Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle and Roscommon counties. Surveillance goals for these counties help biologists understand the scale of bovine TB infection in the local deer herd.

"Sixty percent of deer that test positive for bovine tuberculosis show no signs of the disease, so testing is important," said Emily Sewell, DNR wildlife health specialist.

Bovine TB is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis and, though typically occurring in cattle, it can infect nearly any mammal, including humans.

"It’s important that hunters take precautions like wearing latex or rubber gloves when field dressing their deer. If they notice any lesions on the lungs or in the chest cavity, they should avoid cutting into the lesions and bring the deer to a check station," Sewell said.

As an added convenience, several self-service drop boxes are available 24 hours a day throughout the region. Hunters will need a smartphone to submit deer heads at these drop boxes.

Hunters anywhere in the state who discover chest lesions on deer carcasses should submit the deer for testing; it's better if DNR biologists are able to examine the whole deer carcass. Hunters can either bring the deer to a check station or contact their local wildlife office for an appointment. Check station and drop box locations are available at

Learn more about bovine tuberculosis at Hunters may check their deer or elk TB lab results at

Questions? Contact Emily Sewell at 231-340-1821.


MDARD Urges Vigilance Due To Dead Spotted Lantern Flys

Freight carriers, warehouse workers, and delivery drivers should be on the lookout

Two spotted lanternflies on a tree trunk30NOV20-The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is asking freight carriers, warehouse workers and delivery drivers to be on the lookout for invasive Spotted Lantern Fly after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed dead Spotted Lantern Fly insects were found in Michigan in recent weeks. While the specimens found were dead, these cases demonstrate one of the many ways this insect could find its way into the state. There is no evidence of established populations of Spotted Lantern Fly in Michigan.

“Thanks to the collective efforts of MDARD inspectors, alert business owners and USDA, we were able to intercept these shipments. These detections showcase the importance of being on the continual lookout for invasive species,” said Robert Miller, MDARD’s Invasive Species Prevention and Response Specialist. “This a great example of the public and government agencies working together to keep out unwanted pests and protecting our prized natural resources.”

Invasive species are those that are not native and can cause harm to the economy, environment, or human health.  First found in the United States in 2014 in southeastern Pennsylvania, Spotted Lantern Fly has been spreading rapidly across the nation. Infestations have been confirmed in Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, West Virginia, Connecticut, and Ohio. If introduced, Spotted Lantern Fly could seriously affect Michigan’s agriculture and natural resources. This insect could damage more than 70 varieties of crops and plants including grapes, apples, hops, and hardwood trees.

Spotted Lantern Fly causes direct damage by sucking sap from host plants and secreting large amounts of a sugar-rich, sticky liquid called honeydew. This honeydew and the resulting black, sooty mold can kill plants and foul surfaces. The honeydew often attracts other pests, particularly hornets, wasps, and ants, affecting outdoor recreation and complicating crop harvests.

MDARD is asking people involved in transporting and handling goods or freight to become familiar with identifying Spotted Lantern Fly adults and egg masses, as both could become attached to vehicles or goods themselves and unintentionally be brought into Michigan.

Spotted lanternfly egg massSpotted Lantern Fly adults are roughly one inch long. Their folded wings are gray to brown with black spots. Open wings reveal a yellow and black abdomen and bright red hind wings with black spots transitioning to black and white bands at the edge. Egg masses resemble old chewing gum, with a gray, waxy, putty-like coating.

If you find a Spotted Lantern Fly egg mass, nymph or adult, take one or more photos, make note of the date, time and location of the sighting, and report to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, or call MDARD’s Customer Service Center, 800-292-3939. If possible, collect a specimen in a container for verification.

For additional information on identifying or reporting spotted lanternfly, visit


Prune Oak Trees in Winter to Avoid Oak Wilt Disease

a few thin tree branches with yellow and green oak leaves, some curled and browned by oak wilt fungus, set against a blue sky

Leaves are down, temperatures are cooler, and that means it’s prime time for pruning oak trees, which can be infected by the oak wilt fungus if they’re pruned during the high-risk period April 15-July 15.

“Beetles that can carry the disease from tree to tree are not very active now, and the trees are not vulnerable to infection,” said Simeon Wright, forest health specialist with the DNR Forest Resources Division. The beetles are attracted to fresh bark damage or wounds where tree limbs have been removed.

Firewood can harbor the fungus, too. If you suspect your firewood is infected, burn it, chip it or debark it before April. Once the wood has been dried over a year and/or all bark loosens, it can no longer spread oak wilt.

“Not moving potentially infected oak firewood into areas that are free of oak wilt is critical to protecting our oak trees,” Wright said.

Oak wilt, identified in the 1940s, is widespread across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and along the Wisconsin border in the Upper Peninsula. Red oaks are most susceptible and can die within weeks of infection. These trees have leaves with pointed tips and include black oak, northern red oak and northern pin oak. Trees in the white oak group have rounded leaf edges and are less susceptible. Affected trees will suddenly wilt from the top down, rapidly dropping leaves, which can be green, brown or a combination of both colors.

If you suspect oak wilt:

Learn more about invasive species and diseases at

Questions? Contact Simeon Wright at 906-203-9466.


License System Vendor Issues Affect Deer Hunting License Sales

16NOV20-In light of unforeseen technical issues with the licensing system provided by Sovereign Sportsman Solutions, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reports that some hunters may not have been able to purchase a base license and deer kill tags today. The DNR is working with the vendor to resolve these issues, which are occurring across several states, as quickly as possible.
Hunters are encouraged to continue checking online or with local retailers for updates. As always, DNR conservation officers will be patrolling throughout the season. Over the next several days, officers will take these circumstances into consideration while making contacts with hunters.
Hunters who were not able to obtain a legally issued kill tag for their deer due to system outages should affix a temporary kill tag using materials they have on hand. The temporary tag should include the same information normally found on a kill tag:

  • Identification of the hunter.
  • The date the deer was killed.
  • The sex of animal.
  • Number of antler points on each side.

Customers who have purchased a license on the DNR website today are asked to use this temporary kill tag until their legal tag arrives in the mail.
Hunters always should carry proper identification when in the field. The DNR does not have the authority to waive a license as a requirement for hunting. Hunters who go afield this deer season are still required to buy a license from a retailer or online as soon as possible to meet their statutory obligations.


DNR Licensing System is Online
Hunters Must Carry Licenses When Going Afield

30NOV20-After experiencing technical issues Saturday, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources licensing system is performing as expected.

At around 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14th, the licensing system began experiencing slowness and timed-out transactions as some customers tried to purchase licenses. The DNR continues to work with the system vendor, Sovereign Sportsman Solutions (S3), to determine the cause of the issues, which affected S3-supplied licensing systems in other states, too.

As of Saturday afternoon, Michigan’s licensing system was successfully processing transactions as expected, and more than 45,000 hunters have purchased licenses since then. The DNR wanted to ensure the vendor's system was selling licenses without issue for 48 hours before making this announcement. 

Hunters who were unable to purchase licenses or deer tags due to Saturday's system slowdown should do so online at or at a local retailer as soon as possible to comply with state law. The DNR does not have the authority to waive a license as a requirement for hunting.

Successful hunters who used a homemade deer kill tag as instructed must consider their purchased, official tag to be validated and not use it to take another deer.

Michigan’s firearm deer season opened statewide Sunday morning. For more information on deer check stations, safety and other resources, visit


DNR Notes:

Aggressive animals

In those instances where there is an aggressive wild animal, particularly animals such as geese, swans, turkeys, deer and bears, landowners should get in touch with the nearest DNR Customer Service Center to let the local DNR staff know about the issue.  As each situation is unique, staff will first assess the problem and then determine the appropriate action based on the species and location.  
Landowners can contact one of the nuisance wildlife control permittees for assistance with removal of species such as coyotes, fox, raccoons, opossums and skunks.

Specially permitted nuisance control companies can be hired to assist landowners with goose control programs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services also offers removal assistance, such as nest destruction and relocation permits.

DNR Customer Service Centers

  • Baraga - 906-353-6651
  • Bay City - 989-684-9141
  • Cadillac - 231-775-9727
  • Detroit - 313-396-6890
  • Escanaba - 906-786-2351
  • Gaylord - 989-732-3541
  • Lansing - 517-284-4720
  • Marquette - 906-228-6561
  • Newberry - 906-293-5131
  • Plainwell - 269-685-6851
  • Roscommon - 989-275-5151
  • Sault Ste. Marie - 906-635-6161
  • Traverse City - 231-922-5280

DNR Field Offices

  • Crystal Falls - 906-875-6622
  • Gwinn - 906-346-9201
  • Naubinway - 906-477-6048
  • Norway - 906-563-9247


Tired of the mad dash to get a good camping spot at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore at Little Beaver Lake Campground, Twelve Mile Campground, or Hurricane River Campground?  These campgrounds now require reservations, after years of a "first come, first served" policy. Since visitation has nearly doubled in the last few years during the summer months reservations can now be made at


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

DNR Public News is published here as a courtesy and does not represent the views or intent of the ownership of Carroll Broadcasting.

Copyright © 2019 Carroll Broadcasting, Inc., All rights reserved.


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Telephone:  989-362-3417     Text: 989-984-5034     Fax:  989-362-4544
Address:  P.O. Box 549 Tawas City, MI 48764     WIOS Server Provider:  Carrie's Creations Inc.

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Streaming Technical: The audio stream is broadcast monophonically direct from our AM modulation monitor, you are hearing the same signal that is broadcast over the air (audio processing included). If you have an exceptionally good AM receiver with full 10kHz IF bandwidth, you will experience a hi-fidelity frequency response closely approximating that of the streaming service. WIOS's music is digitally "cleaned" and equalized to provide removal of most analog noise, clicks and pops and is enhanced for crisper highs and deeper lows on older recordings where that range had been previously been restricted.  Our transmitter bandwidth complies with NRSC technical standards and the transmitted audio frequency response is 20Hz-10kHz.  Rolloff occurs at the specified NRSC-G100-A rate with the total bandwidth cutoff ending at 11.5kHz well within the limits of the FCC analog AM mask.  Older receivers without sharp IF cutoff response curves can experience higher fidelity performance.  Look for old receivers with the AMAX logo to assure better performance.

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