for Iosco County & Surrounding Region
21JUN18-Interested in property in northern Michigan’s beautiful
Presque Isle County? Don’t miss the DNR’s upcoming land sale, starting
July 10, where parcels ranging in size from an acre to 32 acres will
be available by sealed-bid auction. There are 41 land parcels
available, all in Rogers Township.
Scott Goeman, manager
of DNR Real Estate Services, said these properties are being offered
to the public because they’re better suited for private ownership.
“The properties being
offered in the July auction are isolated from other DNR-managed land,
are difficult to manage, or provide limited outdoor recreation
benefits to the public,” Goeman said. “Plus, all of these parcels are
forested or have lake frontage – or both – making them attractive to a
lot of potential buyers who are interested in a little land ‘up
will be available for bid once the auction starts. At that time,
instructions for submitting a bid and printable bid forms will be
Information on the auction, including
minimum bid prices, property descriptions and
conditions of sale,
is available on the website, too. Properties unsold from previous
auctions also can be explored at this webpage.
Sealed bids must be
postmarked by midnight July 20, and will be opened Aug. 1. Proceeds
from the sale of these lands helps the DNR provide future outdoor
recreation opportunities throughout the state.
information may be requested from the DNR Real Estate Services
Section, P.O. Box 30448, Lansing, MI 48909-7948. For more information
about the auction or other state-managed public land, contact
21JUN18-Visitors this summer to the Pictured Rocks National
Lakeshore, on the south shore of Lake Superior, might see DNR staff
surveying a number of waterbodies in the area. It’s all part of an
effort to better understand what kind of fish make their home in these
National Lakeshore welcomes more than 1.5 million visitors every year,
and many of those folks have questions about fish locally,” said Cory
Kovacs, DNR fisheries biologist out of the DNR’s Newberry office. “We
started sampling in 2017, and that information is important in helping
us inform the public about what’s here, as well as in making decisions
about managing those fish populations.”
In 2017, staff
sampled Chapel Creek, Hurricane River, Miner’s River, Rhody Creek,
Towes Creek and Mosquito River. This year, they’ll head to Grand Sable
Lake, Chapel Lake, Beaver Lake, Sevenmile Creek and Lowney Creek.
Crews will use netting gear in lakes and electrofishing gear in
streams. Visitors should use caution if encountering those crews on
Additionally, the DNR
has always worked with the National Park Service to sample water and
take stream water temperatures, and will do that again this year, too.
Five streams were selected for temperature monitoring in 2018.
For more information,
906-293-5131, ext. 4071 or
Whether you’re out in the woods or skateboarding through city
streetscapes this summer, keep your eyes open – you may spot one of
Michigan’s largest trees!
The 14th Big Tree
Hunt runs through Sept. 3, 2019. Started by ReLeaf Michigan in 1993,
it takes place every two years and helps catalog the state’s biggest
trees. Your assignment: Seek out the most majestic trees in your area
and report them, because tree-spotters can earn certificates and
“This is a really fun
reason to get out and enjoy nature,” said Melinda Jones, executive
director of ReLeaf Michigan. “It also helps raise awareness and
enjoyment of the trees in our landscape.”
The Big Tree Hunt is
one way to discover candidates for the National Register of Big Trees,
which so far includes 19 Michigan trees. The biggest tree spotted on
the last hunt is a sycamore in Lenawee County with a 315-inch girth.
ReLeaf Michigan is a nonprofit that encourages planting trees.
Additional Big Tree Hunt sponsors include the DNR, the Arboriculture
Society of Michigan, the Consumers Energy Foundation, the DTE Energy
Foundation and the Michigan Botanical Club. Learn more about the DNR’s
Urban and Community Forestry Program at
online or hard copy, will be accepted until Sept. 3, 2019. Find out
how to participate by visiting bigtreehunt.com,
calling 800-642-7353 or emailing
DNR to Perform Major Construction in Houghton County
21JUN18-F.J. McLain State
Park in Houghton County will be undergoing a major construction project,
starting after Labor Day weekend 2018. Given a variety of safety concerns,
we must close the day-use area and sections of the campground. Due to
these closures there will be no new reservations made for Sept. 4 through
the end of the camping season, which is Nov. 1, 2018. However, a limited
number of sites will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. We
appreciate the public's patience and understanding as we work to repair
and prevent shoreline erosion damage and improve our infrastructure at
this beautiful Michigan state park. For the latest on closures at
DNR-managed state facilities visit
DNR Has Started Work on Walkways At Laughing Whitefish
Falls in UP
work is under way at the Laughing Whitefish Falls Scenic Site, north of
Sundell, in Alger County. Observation decks and a long wooden staircase,
of more than 150 steps, are being improved over the summer months. While
construction work continues, the viewing platform at the top of the falls
will remain open. Additional viewing may be limited. The project is being
funded through a $300,000 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant
approved in 2015. For the latest updates on this and other closures, visit
DNR Upper Peninsula Wolf
Survey Shows Healthy Wolf Population
Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division officials said today
the state’s wolf population has remained relatively stable over the
past four wolf surveys, the most recent of which occurred this past
DNR wildlife biologists estimate there was a minimum of 662 wolves
found among 139 packs across the Upper Peninsula this past winter. The
2016 minimum population estimate was 618 wolves.
“Based on our latest minimum population estimate, it is clear wolf
numbers in Michigan remain viable and robust,” said Russ Mason, chief
of the DNR’s wildlife division. “A similar trend is apparent in
Wisconsin and Minnesota. The western Great Lakes states’ wolf
population is thriving and has recovered.”
Fifteen more wolf packs were found during this past winter’s survey
than in 2016, but pack size has decreased slightly and now averages
less than five wolves.
The survey was conducted from December through April, before wolves
had produced pups, and when the population is at its lowest point in
the annual cycle.
“As the wolf
population in the Upper Peninsula has grown and spread out across the
region, packs are situated closer together,” said Dean Beyer, a DNR
wildlife research biologist who organizes the sampling and generates
the wolf population estimate for the biannual survey. “This makes it
harder to determine which pack made the tracks that were observed in
“Movement information we collect from GPS-collared wolves helps us
interpret the track count results, because these data allow us to
identify territorial boundaries. The minimum population estimate we
generate is a conservative estimate, which takes these factors into
The wolf survey is completed by DNR Wildlife Division and U.S.
Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services staff who search specific
survey areas for wolf tracks and other signs of wolf activity, such as
territorial marking or indications of breeding.
In 2017-2018, approximately 63 percent of the Upper Peninsula was
After wolves returned naturally to the U.P. through migration from
Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ontario in the 1980s, the population
rebounded remarkably over time. The pronounced long-term increase in
wolf abundance is evident, despite human cause-specific mortality,
such as poaching.
However, over the past few years, Michigan’s minimum estimate has
hovered between 600 and 700 wolves, which could be indicative of a
“Research suggests prey availability and the geographical area of the
U.P. are the key limiting factors of wolf population expansion,” said
Kevin Swanson, a wildlife management specialist with the DNR’s Bear
and Wolf Program in Marquette. “This is proving to be true.”
Since the winter of 1993-94, combined wolf numbers in Michigan and
Wisconsin have surpassed 100, meeting federally established goals for
population recovery. The Michigan recovery goal of a minimum
sustainable population of 200 wolves for five consecutive years was
achieved in 2004.
Wolves in Michigan
remain a federally-protected species which may only be killed legally
in defense of human life.
Black Buffalo State Record Broken by Angler on Grand
20JUN18-The Department of
Natural Resources confirmed the catch of a new state record black
buffalo on June 12th.
The fish, a member of the sucker
family, was caught by Brandonn Kramer of Muskegon, Michigan at 11:30
p.m. on Friday, May 25 on the Grand River in Ottawa County. Assistance
was provided by Kramer’s friend and fishing cohort, Shawn Grawbarger
also of Muskegon. The fish weighed 46.54 pounds and measured 39.75
inches. Kramer was bowfishing when he landed the record fish.
The record was verified by Jay Wesley, a DNR fisheries manager for
The previous state record black buffalo
was caught by Sage Colegrove of Muskegon on the Grand River in Ottawa
County on April 12, 2015. That fish weighed 44.54 pounds and measured
State records in Michigan are
recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must
exceed the current listed state record weight and identification must
be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.
For more information, visit
Arctic Grayling Reintroduction Gets Critical Support
from Oleson Foundation
20JUN18- Michigan’s historic effort to reintroduce Arctic grayling
to the state’s waters will be supported by a $5,000 grant from the
Oleson Foundation to the Department of Natural Resources.
Michigan’s broodstock – a group of mature fish used for breeding – the
DNR plans to source wild Arctic grayling eggs from Alaska. However, a
vital piece of equipment is needed first at Oden State Fish Hatchery
in Emmet County where the broodstock will be developed. Support from
the Oleson Foundation will help the DNR acquire this urgently needed
piece equipment that will ensure no invasive disease or virus is
inadvertently introduced to Michigan’s waters.
“The Oleson Foundation’s Board of Directors is pleased to support this
incredible project,” said Kathy Huschke, executive director of the
Oleson Foundation. “It’s an amazing opportunity to recapture what was
lost from northern Michigan’s environment more than 80 years ago due
to overfishing and clear-cutting of our forests. This is truly a
legacy project for all of Michigan.”
The DNR’s Fisheries Division and the Little River Band of Ottawa
Indians lead Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative. More than 45
partners – including state and tribal governments, nonprofits,
businesses and universities – support reintroducing Arctic grayling to
its historical range.
Chief Jim Dexter said the cost to reintroduce Arctic grayling is
expected at around $1.1 million, with virtually all of that amount
being supplied through private and foundation support. To date, nearly
$425,000 has been raised for the initiative.
“A diverse group of partners has invested themselves toward attaining
a shared goal, and that says something about the nature of this
project,” said Dexter. “Michigan's Arctic Grayling Initiative serves
as a template for future efforts that include a variety of
Other contributions from foundations include support from the
Consumers Energy Foundation, the Henry E. and Consuelo S. Wenger
Foundation, Rotary Charities of Traverse City and the Petoskey-Harbor
Springs Area Community Foundation. Plans are under way to recognize
donors at Oden State Fish Hatchery.
“We encourage everyone to get involved so we can bring back this
native fish,” said Huschke.
The Oleson Foundation is a family foundation founded in Traverse City,
Michigan, in 1962 to “help people help themselves.” The foundation
makes grants to nonprofit organizations in northwestern Michigan in
all areas of grantmaking. They are very supportive of environmental
work to preserve and steward the beautiful landscape that makes our
area spectacular and unique.
For more information about Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative and
answers to frequently asked questions, visit
Federal Funding Boosts
DNR’s Efforts to Improve Public Shooting Ranges Throughout Michigan
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
approves $1.25 million partner range grant
Fish and Wildlife Service recently approved a total of $1.25 million
over a five-year period for the Department of Natural Resources to
provide up to 75 percent of funding for improvements to partner
shooting ranges throughout Michigan.
The DNR received these additional federal funds via the Wildlife and
Sport Fish Restoration Program (Pittman-Robertson Act), through which
hunters and sport shooters who purchase firearms, ammunition, archery
equipment or hunting licenses help fund wildlife management, habitat
improvement, hunter education and shooting ranges in Michigan. The
federal funds will be available to partner shooting ranges around the
state to improve, expand or develop archery and firearm range
facilities. Entities selected by the DNR for funding must provide the
needed 25-percent matching funds for their project.
The initial phase includes a project in the western Upper Peninsula
and one in the northern Lower Peninsula. Michigan Technological
University in Houghton will upgrade the HVAC system at its existing
indoor shooting range, improvements that will create a safe, fun
indoor facility open to students and the public. The grant awarded to
Ogemaw Hills Sportsmen Association will enable the club to develop an
archery park in West Branch. Improvements will include upgrades to
existing buildings to create an indoor archery range, classroom and
clubhouse as well as outdoor archery opportunities.
“We’re excited to have another tool to help partners expand and
improve public range infrastructure throughout the state,” said Lori
Burford, DNR shooting range specialist. “The first two projects funded
through this grant will be fantastic resources for their communities.
The work at the indoor range at Michigan Tech will provide year-round
use to students, residents and visitors in the area, and the work
planned by the Ogemaw Hills Sportsmen Association will offer an
enjoyable and safe place for youth, adults and families to attend
classes and hone their archery skills.”
For more information about the DNR’s statewide partner range grant and
the selection process, contact Lori Burford at 989-600-9114.
There are more than 1.25 million target shooters in Michigan,
according to a recent report on shooting sports participation,
prepared for the National Shooting Sports Foundation by the National
Sporting Goods Association.
In a report on the 15-year history of shooting sports participation,
the foundation found that, nationally, participation in target
shooting increased 28 percent – and 64 percent among women – from 2001
Archery continues to grow in popularity as well, the report shows.
Total participation in archery target shooting increased by 77 from
2001-2015, female participation by 164 percent.
More than 300
Michigan schools currently offer the National Archery in the Schools
Program for students in grades 4-12, and the program continues to
expand. In 2016, the archery team from Michigan’s Hartland High School
won first place in the National Archery in the Schools national
tournament. In 2017, Hartland High School team won first place in the
national IBO (International Bowhunter Organization) 3D Challenge.
To learn more about the DNR’s
shooting ranges, other ranges around the state and the shooting
sports, visit michigan.gov/shootingranges.
20JUN18-In case you missed it, rural landowners in 41 southern
Michigan counties who are interested in helping to restore pollinator
and wildlife habitat can now apply to enroll their property in the
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program,
announced just last week.
The DNR will accept up to 40,000 acres of environmentally sensitive
land for the program, and work closely with the USDA and other
partners to improve wildlife habitat for species like the monarch
butterfly, ring-necked pheasant, grasshopper sparrow, Henslow’s
sparrow and mallard.
Learn more by
reading the full news release
DNR conservation partners program specialist, 517-898-2393.
20JUN18-Visitors to various sites off Lake Michigan between
Charlevoix and Frankfort now through June 29 may see DNR crews
conducting a survey to look for juvenile lake whitefish.
Lake whitefish is
the most important commercial fish species found in the Great Lakes,
but populations have declined in recent years due to fewer numbers of
juvenile fish surviving to adulthood. This survey will target
whitefish younger than a year old to evaluate how many were produced
The survey work is done from shore, often on public beaches. The
public is welcome to observe this Great Lakes field work – a rarity,
since most survey work is done offshore on boats or large vessels.
Several agencies are partnering with the DNR on the survey to better
understand and, hopefully, reverse the declines in this species.
“This survey will
give us critical information about the variability in lake whitefish
reproduction across the Great Lakes and help us with predictions about
the future commercial fishery,” said Dave Caroffino, a DNR fisheries
biologist based out of Charlevoix.
For more information on the survey, contact
231-547-2914, ext. 232 or
20JUN18-Are you a fan of podcasts? Whether you're mowing
the lawn or driving to work, listening to an engaging podcast can make
the time more fun and entertaining.
Tune in to
the new "Wildtalk" podcast and hear DNR reps chew the fat and shoot
the scat about all things habitat, feathers and fur. The premiere
episode discusses how the different DNR divisions interact, includes
some around-the-state updates and an interview with Wildlife Division
Chief Russ Mason; and lets you listen in on questions answered in the
mailbag segment. Finally, we'll wrap things up with a look at the
100-year anniversary of the reintroduction of elk to Michigan. A new
episode will be released the first day of each month.
The Wildtalk Podcast is
available on the
Google Play Music,
and other popular
of the podcast is available for those with a hearing disability.
Dredging Work to Save
Buffalo Reef Delayed
and contracting issues are delaying dredging work planned for this
spring and summer off the Keweenaw Peninsula that will help save
Buffalo Reef from being covered by drifting stamp sands.
“While the Grand
Traverse Harbor will likely be dredged this fall, the project may be
delayed until next year,” said Steve Casey, Upper Peninsula district
supervisor for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s
Water Resources Division. “In the meantime, we are evaluating
alternatives for long-term protection of the reef and associated
juvenile fish habitat.”
The dark sands are
the waste material created during the milling process for the
century-old copper mining at the Wolverine and Mohawk mines. The sands
were dumped into Lake Superior and on the shoreline.
Over the past roughly
80 years, the stamp sands have shifted south about 5 miles – moved by
winds, waves and nearshore lake currents – to the Grand Traverse
Harbor, covering about 1,500 acres of shoreline and lake bottom.
The farther south the
sands move, the more they threaten Buffalo Reef, a natural underwater
structure at the bottom of Lake Superior important for lake trout and
lake whitefish spawning and rearing.
Last year, the
Michigan Department of Natural Resources dredged 9,000 cubic yards of
stamp sands out of the Grand Traverse Harbor channel to re-open the
waterway for recreational and commercial boating.
Previous dredging at the harbor was done by the DNR in 2015 and the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2009 and 2003.
However, a late
October 2017 storm, which produced tremendous waves on Lake Superior,
pushed stamp sands back into the harbor channel. Additional stamp sand
material was blown or washed into the channel over the winter and
eroded from the beaches nearby.
of Buffalo Reef
In 2017, the EPA
provided $3.1 million to the Army Corps to design and carry out
dredging of the Buffalo Reef trough, a project which was scheduled to
begin last month.
This project is
expected to provide 5 to 7 years of protection for the reef, while a
long-term solution for the stamp sands problem is developed.
The DNR was granted a permit from the Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality, 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 these stamp sands from Lake
real estate and dredging natural sands versus stamp sand from an
underwater trough area have resulted in changes to the proposed
project,” said Steven Check, a project manager with the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers in Detroit. “These concerns have required the
reworking of bid documents and potential modifications to the DNR
permit, which has resulted in unexpected delays.”
Check said bid
specifications for the project are anticipated to go out later this
month, with a contractor awarded the project in late July or early
August. Dredging would then be expected to start a couple of weeks
The trough area
adjacent to the harbor may or may not be dredged late this year.
Officials are in the
process of scheduling a public meeting, possibly for July, to gather
input on the alternatives proposed for long-term protection of the
reef and to update residents and others about the ongoing effort.
Meanwhile, the harbor
is currently usable for recreational and commercial fishing vessels.
However, it may plug up again over the summer, as river flows strong
enough to flush sand from the river diminish.
“The purpose of this
project, based on the funding and the permit, is to protect the reef
and associated juvenile fish habitat,” Casey said. “Dredging the
harbor using these funds would protect the down-drift juvenile
habitat, while fortuitously improving the harbor channel for boaters
at the same time.”
The stamp sands
source pile at Gay – where the stamp mills were located – was
originally estimated to contain 22 million cubic yards of material,
with 2.3 million cubic yards of stamp sands remaining today.
"We’re now hoping
construction can start on some type of control mechanism for the
original pile of stamp sands by 2022, with completion two years after
that,” Casey said. “We would then hope to put a long-term solution in
place by 2026. The capital and annual costs would depend on which type
of long-term remedy is selected.”
Efforts continue to
find a beneficial use for the stamp sands removed from the beach and
The Buffalo Reef Task
Force has met several times over the past months, working on a wide
range of issues, including an alternatives analysis, stamp sand
movement projections, various cost analyses and webpage development.
Last year, a task
force steering committee was named, which included 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.
Sherman recently accepted a job as the president of Keweenaw Bay
Community College. She has been replaced on the task force steering
committee by Evelyn Ravindran, who was recently promoted from managing
the tribal fish hatchery to Sherman's previous job as natural
resources director for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.
For the latest on Buffalo Reef developments sign-up for email updates
and learn more at the task force’s webpage at
Boating Michigan's 'Water Wonderland'
By CASEY WARNER - Michigan
Department of Natural Resources
Michigan – a state with more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes
shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of
rivers and streams – you are never farther than 6 miles from a body of
water or 85 miles from a Great Lake.
With such an
abundance of water to enjoy, it’s no wonder Michigan is home to 4
million boaters. The state ranks third in the nation for both
watercraft registrations and total expenditures for sale of new
powerboats, trailers and accessories.
"Water is one of
Michigan's greatest natural resources," said Ron Olson, chief of the
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation
Division. "We encourage residents and visitors to get out and explore
all of the on-the-water opportunities the Great Lakes State affords.
Michigan is truly a boater's paradise."
Making sure the
state’s millions of boaters have ample opportunity to get their boats
out on the water is the focus of the DNR’s Waterways Program.
“There are over 1,300
state-sponsored boating access sites throughout Michigan and 82
state-sponsored harbors along the Great Lakes – at a total value of
over $1 billion,” said Jordan Byelich, DNR waterways development
explained that funding for public recreational boating facilities –
land acquisition, design, construction, operation and maintenance –
comes from boat registrations, the Michigan marine fuel tax and user
fees. Projects also may be funded, on occasion, with federal dollars
through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Coast Guard.
“We have a boating
team made up of planning/development, grant management, operations and
regulatory experts,” Byelich said. “Our 11 major maintenance crews and
two construction crews perform various forms of specialized boating
facility construction, including launch ramps, skid piers, vault
toilets, parking lots, sidewalks and channel dredging.”
The DNR has renovated
several boating access sites and harbors around the state.
One example is the
recently constructed and expanded piers for mooring along Snail Shell
Harbor at Fayette Historic State Park in Delta County, which offers a
floating dock system with seven finger piers – one that is 38 feet
long, two that are 45 feet long and four that are 60 feet long.
“This was a great
improvement for visitors to Fayette Historic State Park,” said Olson.
“The old dock was removed during the fall of 2015. The new pier system
is quite beautiful.”
As part of a major reconstruction project at East Tawas State Harbor
in Iosco County, boaters now can access modern amenities, improved
safety features and a better connection to the local community.
The project helps the harbor respond to current trends in Great Lakes
boating. The facility now features many enhancements, including new
piers, a greater variety of slip sizes, compliance with the latest
Americans with Disabilities Act standards, new electrical pedestals,
as well as a new pump-out system.
“The harbor currently has 160 slips, with all brand-new floating
docks,” said Micah Jordan, lead ranger/supervisor at Tawas Point State
Park and East Tawas State Harbor. “It is maintained by an all-new
electrical system that detects and reports electrical current in the
water, meeting the new federal codes for harbors and marinas.”
Connection to the downtown area, which is popular with boaters, also
has been improved.
“East Tawas Harbor is unique due to its location in Tawas and location
in the state. It’s perfectly located on the beautiful shore of Tawas
Bay, only a few hours from many major towns, and therefore it draws
large numbers of visitors each year looking to enjoy recreation on the
water or as a transient stop on their way north or south,” Jordan
said. “The harbor itself is located in the middle of town and provides
amazing access to downtown East Tawas within walking distance to major
shopping and dining. It creates a perfect spot for tourism and is a
major boost to the local businesses.”
Another DNR facility
improved recently is the boating access site at Silver Lake State Park
in Oceana County. The work was part of a redevelopment project that
relocated the launching area, dredged a new channel, added parking for
vehicles with trailers, improved circulation, and created separation
of the day-use area from the launching area supporting improved safety
and functionality within the park.
Boating access site improvements included adding a two-lane concrete
launch ramp, dredging a 300-foot channel to deeper water, a vault
toilet, and a maneuvering area for launching and retrieving boats.
A recent renovation project at the Jewell Road boating access site in
Cheboygan County, which accesses Mullett Lake, addressed erosion
issues at the site and included removal of an old concrete ramp, which
was replaced with a new double-lane ramp. The site’s parking lot was
also paved as part of the project.
State-funded boating facilities are
quite popular with Michigan boaters.
In the DNR's 2017 harbor survey, 93 percent of respondents said they
would visit the harbor/marina again, and 90 percent said they would
recommend the facility to a friend.
This support of public
waterways facilities is evident. For example, just nine of the state
harbors pump a total of more than 300,000 gallons of fuel to boats each
while many harbors see heavy use, others don’t get used as much as
Straits State Harbor
in Cheboygan County is among them.
Harbor's boat launch is still fairly quiet overall for the summer,”
said Megan Izzard, assistant harbor master there. “This is partly due
to how new our facility is – we’re entering our ninth season – and
people still not knowing that we are here.”
Straits State Harbor’s state-of-the-art, sustainable design has earned
it certification as a Michigan Clean Marina, a designation given to
sites that adopt marina and boating practices that reduce pollution
and enhance fish and wildlife habitat.
The state harbor facility – the only one in Michigan using wind
turbines for electrical generation – also gives boaters who want to go
to Mackinac Island another option, as the very popular Mackinac Island
State Harbor is often crowded.
“Straits State Harbor has capacity and is a great way to access
Mackinac Island – it’s a good option by taking a ferry,” Olson said.
The location of the harbor’s boat launch also offers some unique
“You can launch here
and be under the Mackinac Bridge in five to 10 minutes, and we are the
closest state boat launch that someone can use to get to Mackinac
Island,” Izzard said. “This boat launch is attached to a full-facility
marina, so you can launch just for the day or you can launch and stay
overnight while enjoying our wonderful facility.”
Cedar River State Harbor in Menominee County is what Ian Diffenderfer,
unit supervisor at the harbor and at Wells State Park, calls a “very
quiet and secluded harbor and boat launch.”
“It’s centered 30
miles between Menominee and Escanaba and is a quiet refuge for a trip
to these locations or a stop over from Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula and
Washington Island,” Diffenderfer said. “Amenities include pump-out
services, gasoline/diesel, bicycles, boat launch, fire pit, restroom
and shower facilities, horseshoe court, and local delivery for food.”
Boaters can find
location and amenity information about boating access sites and
harbors within the
Michigan Recreational Boating Information System.
Information on harbors also can be found in the
Michigan Harbors Guide.
Many harbors accept reservations, which can be made at
or by calling 800-44-PARKS.
June 9-16 marks Michigan Boating Week, when the DNR invites residents
and visitors to celebrate the state’s unparalleled freshwater
resources and boating opportunities.
While enjoying Michigan’s waters, it’s important that boaters protect
themselves and others by following important safety tips.
countless boating opportunities,” said Lt. Tom Wanless, boating law
administrator for the state of Michigan. “But having fun on the water also
means being safe. Taking simple precautions, always staying in control of
the vessel and following the law will help ensure an enjoyable outing.”
Boaters born after June
30, 1996, and most personal watercraft operators must have a boater
education safety certificate. The DNR also recommends a
boating safety course
for anyone who plans to use a boat or personal watercraft. Classes are
offered at locations around the state and online, making it convenient and
Wear a life jacket.
Avoid drinking alcohol.
Make sure the boat is properly
equipped and equipment is in good working order. |
File a float plan.
Stay alert. |
Carry a cell phone or marine
Watch a video
on how boaters can help stop the spread of invasive species.
Find more information
about Michigan boating – maps, safety, closures, rules and regulations,
and more – at
Water is Michigan’s
largest natural resource, and with so many opportunities to access our
state’s freshwater paradise, it’s easy to find a facility that will float
Check out previous
Showcasing the DNR stories at www.michigan.gov/dnrstories.
Subscribe to future stories at www.michigan.gov/dnr.
Pesky Tent Caterpillars Again are Munching Leaves
on Michigan Trees
tent caterpillars are making a nuisance of themselves across Michigan,
eating leaves from sugar maple, aspen and oak trees and leaving small
strands of webbing as they go.
The insects, which are native to Michigan, occur in widespread
outbreaks every 10 to 15 years. The most recent outbreaks peaked in
2002 and 2010. They’ve been spotted across the Lower Peninsula and in
the eastern Upper Peninsula. Outbreaks usually last two or three
years; this is the second or third year for outbreaks in some areas.
An infestation of forest tent caterpillars rarely is fatal unless a
tree has other stresses, said Scott Lint, forest health specialist
with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Resources
“The larvae begin feeding on new leaves in spring, and can strip
the leaves from a tree,” Lint said.
Many people also are seeing “tents” of web in trees, but don’t
confuse the forest tent caterpillar with a similar pest, the eastern
tent caterpillar. That one creates tents in black cherry, apple and
other fruit trees. Eastern tent caterpillars are dark-colored with a
light-colored stripe, rather than dots. They create localized silk
tents that encase a portion of a tree, but never enclose leaves.
“Its impact is minimal, but everybody sees the tents from alongside
the road,” Lint said about eastern tent caterpillars.
Forest tent caterpillars are dark-colored with pale spots. They
spin silken threads but do not form an actual tent. They will gather
in large colonies on the trunk of the tree when not feeding. Large
caterpillars often will wander in search of more food as they
completely strip a tree.
Caterpillars will spin a yellow cocoon in mid-June, and mass
flights of moths can occur in late June and early July. Adult moths do
not feed, but mate and die within a few weeks, after laying eggs. Eggs
overwinter until spring, when they hatch.
The forest tent caterpillar does have natural diseases, predators
and parasites, including the large, slow-moving “friendly fly,” which
lays its eggs on caterpillar cocoons, preventing them from developing
into adult moths. These natural agents eventually will respond and
bring the outbreak under control.
Homeowners with trees that have been heavily defoliated should make
sure those trees receive at least one inch of water per week during
the growing season. Applying a slow-release tree fertilizer in the
fall also will help trees recover quickly and prepare them for any
defoliation that might occur next summer.
Learn more about caterpillars
and other insects that threaten Michigan’s trees at
15JUN18-Fisheries staff in the northern Lower Peninsula have been
busy tagging muskellunge in the Inland Waterway in an effort to gain
better insight into the area’s populations. The Inland Waterway is a
roughly 38-mile series of rivers and lakes connecting Lake Huron and
Lake Michigan. Anglers who catch any muskies in the area are
encouraged to report it, particularly if a fish has an external tag or
any evidence that a tag was on the fish at some point.
Tagging these fish
allows the DNR to learn a lot about the area’s population: things like
fish growth and densities, spawning locations, exploitation, and how
recent fishing regulation changes are affecting them.
“We’re trying to
gather data to be better managers of our Inland Waterway muskie
populations,” said Tim Cwalinski, a DNR fisheries biologist out of
Gaylord. “This is hopefully a multiple-year project where we’ll have a
better idea of what the population actually looks like and how we need
to adapt our management over time.”
This is the third
year that local muskies have received tags – one in the form of a
button tag on the cheek, and the other located on the back dorsal fin.
Some fish may be missing one or both of the tags due to tag shedding,
which is another aspect of the study. If a tag is present, anglers
will see a tag number and phone number to report the catch. Anglers
are encouraged to report all Inland Waterway muskellunge catches to
As a reminder, all muskie that are caught and kept (harvested) must be
registered either at
over the phone, or at a
DNR customer service center.
For more information, visit
at 989-732-3541 or
15JUN18-The DNR has
launched a new, interactive online map to help the public better
understand plans for different areas of Michigan’s state forests.
The map makes it easier to find information on timber sales,
prescribed burns and other management activities. You can navigate on
the map or simply type in an address to find out what activities are
being planned or getting started in your area of interest. The current
map highlights planned activities that will occur in 2020, the current
“year of entry” – which means the department right now is discussing
and planning for actions that will take place in 2020. Next year, in
2019, forestry staff will work on actions for the next year of entry,
“This really makes it easier for people to learn well in advance about
what we’re doing to manage the forest for timber production, creation
of wildlife habitat, or removal of invasive species – actions that
will keep our forest healthy,” said Brian Maki, the DNR’s geographic
information systems support manager.
The map is part of the DNR Forest
Resources Division’s commitment to involving the public in proposed
state forest management activities. People also may offer public
upcoming open houses
in each of the 15 management units in the northern Lower Peninsula and
Find the map under Public Input on the
webpage. The DNR welcomes feedback to improve users’ experience, so if
you have suggestions on making interaction with the map better, please
The DNR manages 4
million acres of state forest and houses a crew of geographers and
data managers who provide up-to-date information on forest health,
wildlife populations and more.
To explore the DNR’s maps and data that are available to you, visit
15JUN18-DNR conservation officers now are federally certified in
responding to active shooter attacks, enhancing their abilities to
protect Michigan citizens.
The DNR is one of the few agencies in Michigan to earn this
certification. All 232 conservation officers completed the intensive,
16-hour training at the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center.
The program, certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,
instructs officers on the latest tactics for responding to attacks on
places like schools, places of worship and employment centers.
“Conservation officers are fully certified peace officers who may be
called upon to respond to active shooting situations,” said Gary
Hagler, chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “All too often we see
these incidents of terrorism play out on our televisions across
America. These are real, dangerous situations, and the need for a
rapid, coordinated response is imperative to stopping the threat as
soon as possible.”
Hagler said the training gives officers the most relevant information
and tactics that have proved successful in previous incidents. He said
the decision to undergo training was made last year and is not a
response to any recent threats.
"DNR conservation officers are assigned to every county in Michigan,"
Hagler said. "This type of training will allow us to interact more
effectively with other agencies."
Cpl. Brad Dohm, the department’s lead firearms instructor, said the course
addressed technical aspects of planning and implementing a rapid law
enforcement deployment, highlighted by classroom presentations, hands-on,
performance-based field training and scenario-based practical exercises.
Dohm and his team of instructors earned certification as active shooter
response course trainers in 2017 by working with professionals from
Louisiana State University’s renowned Academy of Counter-Terrorist
Education. The instructors then rolled out the training to their
conservation officer colleagues.
The entire 16-hour course also
is being incorporated into the
DNR Conservation Officer Recruit School curriculum.
For more on the federal training,
Lt. Steve Burton
at 517-284-5993. Learn more about Michigan conservation officers,
including qualification requirements, training and responsibilities, at
15JUN18-While at a Great Lakes port this summer and fall, you might
see one of the DNR’s four large fisheries research vessels conducting
annual surveys of Great Lakes fish populations. The vessels are based
out of Marquette, Alpena, Charlevoix and Harrison Township harbors,
and the DNR staff aboard these vessels do a variety of work to better
understand the fish communities, population sizes and habitats in
and evaluation work on Lake Huron is done by the research vessel (R/V)
Tanner, launched in 2016. This vessel focuses on Lake Huron lake trout
and walleye populations, and spends time in Saginaw Bay and the St.
Marys River to evaluate their fish communities.
Work on lakes St.
Clair and Erie is done by the R/V Channel Cat, now marking its 50th
year of service! This vessel helps researchers learn about walleye,
yellow perch and lake sturgeon in the waters that support some of
Michigan’s busiest fishing activity.
Lake Superior work is
conducted by the R/V Lake Char, launched in 2007. The Lake Char
assesses the status of Lake Superior’s self-sustaining lake trout
populations along with other members of the unique cold-water fish
community found in that area.
On Lake Michigan, the survey vessel Steelhead, launched in 1967,
focuses on adult yellow perch, whitefish, lake trout and chinook
When these unique vessels are in
port, feel free to visit and talk with the crews about their work.
Learn more by visiting
at 517-284-5830 or
15JUN18-Wondering what kinds of
snakes we have here in Michigan and how to tell the difference? Find
out with our
60-Second Snakes video series
on the DNR’s YouTube channel!
Michigan is home to
18 different snake species, but there’s no need to worry, since most
found here are harmless and tend to avoid people. If you do spot a
snake, give it space to slither away, and you likely won’t see it
again. Handling or harassing snakes is the most common reason people
Simply put, if left
alone, Michigan snakes will leave people alone.
While most snakes in Michigan aren’t dangerous, there is one venomous
species found here – the
eastern Massasauga rattlesnake.
As the name implies,
the Massasauga rattlesnake has a segmented rattle on its tail. But
keep in mind that other Michigan snakes – even those without segmented
rattles – also may buzz or vibrate their tails when approached or
rattlesnake tends to be a very shy snake that will avoid humans
whenever possible,” said Hannah Schauer, wildlife communications
coordinator with the DNR. “They spend most of their time in wetlands
hunting for small rodents and aren’t often encountered. In fact, this
snake is listed as a threatened species.”
Rattlesnake bites, while extremely rare in Michigan, can and do occur.
Anyone who is bitten should seek immediate medical attention.
Snakes play an important role in
ecosystem health by keeping rodent numbers in check and, in turn,
feeding larger predators, especially hawks and owls. Help monitor
Michigan’s reptile and amphibian populations by reporting your
sightings to our Herp Atlas database. Visit
to get started.
Learn more about snakes on the DNR website or
learn about various planned management activities, including upcoming
timber sales, at the Allegan State Game Area on Tuesday, June 26. The open
house will run from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Allegan State Game Area
headquarters, located at 4590 118th Ave. in Allegan, Michigan. Handouts
and maps will be available for more information about the area. Have
questions? Call Maria Albright at 269-673-2430.
Learn more about all of Michigan’s state game and wildlife areas.
14JUN18-Pack up the grandkids and head to Sleepy Hollow State Park
where together you can build outdoor skills and create lifelong
memories. Just north of Lansing, the new
AARP Grand Adventures program
at the park will offer hands-on
instruction in archery, fishing, birdwatching and geo-caching June 20
and 27 as well as July 17 and 25 and Aug. 1 and 8. The minimum age is
4 years old and there is a 20-person limit per class (registration is
Want to expand
your experience in this 2,600-acre park while there? After the
program, enjoy an afternoon exploring 16 miles of trails, pack a
picnic or enjoy the swimming beach on Lake Ovid. Consider booking a
spot in the modern campground if looking to extend your stay.
Find registration and event information.
14JUN18-This year, we’ll be celebrating pollinators with a weekend of
programming at a variety of state parks during Michigan’s
June 22-24. Attend to learn more about how bees, moths, butterflies
and other animals contribute to the food supply, ecosystems and
habitats in our state.
Events will feature
hikes, informative talks, identification programs and a variety of
other activities that are fun, educational and enjoyable for the whole
Wildlife Weekend, an annual
event with a different group of animals featured each year, is one of
many summer outdoor education opportunities offered at many Michigan
state parks. Find
a Wildlife Weekend program near you.
14JUN18-More than 50
of Michigan’s state parks offer a variety of outdoor education
opportunities throughout the summer, with enthusiastic, nature-minded
staffers leading hikes, activities and interesting programs that shine
a spotlight on each park’s unique resources. From mammals, birds and
insects to dunes, wetlands and more, learn about the resources in and
around the parks you visit while trying your hand at a variety of
These programs are offered free
of charge; however, a
is required for park entry. Check out our
weekly nature program schedules
and learn more about the programs in state parks at
Program schedules also will be posted in the parks and can be learned
about more through campground hosts or other park staff.
Paws in the Parks
By KELLY SOMERO-Michigan
Department of Natural Resources
trends change, recreational vehicles get larger and modern
technologies come to campgrounds, one thing has not changed – love for
family pets and including them in daily activities and even vacations.
However, traveling with pets can pose several questions.
Where do you go? What are the rules? How do you keep your pet safe and
healthy while on vacation?
“Michigan state parks offer some pet-friendly solutions to get you and
your pet into Michigan’s great outdoors together,” said Maia Turek, a
Michigan Department of Natural Resources resource development
specialist. “Pets are important in the lives of a lot of our park
visitors. For many, having to leave a pet at home is like leaving a
member of the family at home alone.”
Carol Dunstan of
Negaunee knows all about this. She’s been a campground host at
Van Riper State Park
in Marquette County for more than a decade. Over those years, she’s
enjoyed being able to bring her two black Labrador retrievers along to
her host campsite at the park.
“I probably wouldn’t
host if I couldn’t,” she said. “(I’m) like most pet owners, they are
| While the majority
of Michigan state parks, harbors, state forests and trails allow pets,
there are a few exceptions, such as state buildings. However, there
are lodging opportunities, campgrounds, beaches, trails and even
events that are pet-friendly.
First and foremost, any pet owner should be familiar with pet-friendly
rules in state parks:
Pets must be on a 6-foot leash
and under your immediate control at all times. |
Always clean up after your
Keep pets from interacting
with wildlife. |
Keep pets from disturbing
With the exceptions of
locations included in the pet-friendly lodging pilot program, pets
are not allowed in state buildings, which includes cabins, yurts,
offices, teepees and lodges. |
In November 2017, a
pilot program was launched to designate pet-friendly lodging at
several state parks in Michigan. Up to two pets (cats and dogs only)
are allowed in overnight lodging accommodations at the following
These cabins and
lodges can be booked up to 12 months in advance by calling
800-447-2757 or visiting www.midnrreservations.com.
The additional fee for your pet is $10 per night for
each pet if you are staying in a cabin or $15 per night for each pet
if you are staying in a lodge. The
above pet-friendly rules still apply.
Dogs should not be left in campers or tied up unattended to
prevent barking from negatively affecting the park experience of other
State Parks and State Forest
Campgrounds: In general, pets are permitted in
park campgrounds and state rustic (forest) campgrounds as long as they
are on a leash not exceeding 6 feet in length at all times. Please
become familiar with all the rules regarding pets and pay attention to
are welcome on state-designated
pathways located in state parks and state forests; however, there are
some instances where pets are not allowed. Always check trailhead
signage to make sure pets are allowed.
Boat Launches: The
majority of boat
pets, with the exception of certain boating access sites, during
certain times of the year.
Pet Friendly Locations
are allowed in state
Some harbors have a designated pet area, so please learn the rules at each
Pet-friendly shoreline: Pets
are allowed in non-designated bathing beach areas within state parks. Pets
are not permitted on designated swimming beach areas. Please note that
pets must be kept on a 6-foot leash even if they are in the water.
The following parks offer
sections of pet-friendly shorelines. Be sure to check with park staff to
use pet-designated areas only.
In the Upper Peninsula,
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
Lakes State Park.
For the Lower
Peninsula, there’s the
Brighton Recreation Area,
Burt Lake State Park,
Dodge No. 4 State Park,
Grand Mere State Park,
Harrisville State Park,
Holland State Park,
Holly Recreation Area,
Mears State Park,
Otsego Lake State Park,
Port Crescent State Park,
Sleepy Hollow State Park,
South Higgins Lake State Park,
Tawas Point State Park,
Warren Dunes State Park and
Young State Park.
Pet Friendly Events
From parades and
off-road vehicle rides to trick-or-treating, many parks allow pets to
join in on the fun of special events – there are even pet-specific
events. Check with the park holding an event to see if your pet
can participate, and find events at
A prime example of a pet-friendly event is the
Outdoor Adventure Center’s
Dog Days of Summer in Detroit.
“Come to the Outdoor
Adventure Center for a day of outdoor fun with your furry best friend,”
said Linda Walter, the center’s director. “We'll have dog-friendly
activities set up, including a guided walk along the Dequindre Cut,
‘doggie pools,’ and lots of tennis balls and Frisbees.”
Canine to Five will offer
complimentary nail trimmings, and Detroit Dog Rescue will be on hand with
information to help you find your next best friend. Friendly dogs with
current vaccinations and licenses are welcome. Plus, visit the
Outdoor Adventure Center Facebook page
to enter a dog-owner photo contest.
Travel with Your Pet
always plan what they need to do for their own travel. With a few extra
steps, everyone can make sure their pets have a great trip too.
To begin, research pet-friendly locations to find places to stay along
your travel route that allow pets. If your pets are not accustomed to
traveling, get them ready for the trip by taking them for short rides,
increasing the distance or duration to help them get used to the car,
truck or recreation vehicle.
Talk with your veterinarian about vaccinations, medications and
vaccinations might be recommended, such a Bordetella if you are using
a kennel service, vaccines for vector-borne illnesses from insects or
preventative medications for fleas and ticks,” Turek said. “Microchips
can help identify and get your pet home to you if you become
separated. For this same reason, make sure your pet has a collar and
an identification tag.”
veterinarians, kennels and boarding facilities in your travel areas.
In case of a medical emergency, severe weather, vehicle issues or any
other unforeseen problems, you will know who may be able to assist you
and your pet ahead of time.
Get copies of medical
and vaccination records from your veterinarian. Make reservations at
the pet-friendly locations along your scheduled trip route.
What to Bring
Here are some helpful
tips on items to always have when you travel with your pet:
A current copy of your pet’s
medical and vaccination records. |
If your pet takes medication,
bring the medication and a copy of the prescription. |
Have a spare collar with ID tag
and leash. |
Travel crate, car barrier or pet
seat belt/harness to ensure safe vehicle transport. |
Extra food and water.
A pet first aid kit with styptic
powder, antibiotic ointment and tweezers (for thorn, burr and tick
Pet bed or blankets for cool
Pet waste bags. |
Phone number of your veterinarian,
or one in the area you are travelling to, in case of an emergency.
Toys and treats. |
With a little extra
planning and research, taking the family dog, cat, bird or even hamster or
lizard to a Michigan state park this season can be easy and fun, while
ensuring the whole family is present for those lifelong memorable moments.
Dunstan said dogs are the pets most commonly taken to Van Riper State
Park, but other animals enjoy the park too.
“I’ve seen cats out on leashes, just like dogs,” she said. “Last year,
someone even had a pot-bellied pig.”
She said kids staying at the park enjoy visiting with her dogs.
Dunstan hopes state parks will one day have a pet play area where animals
can be off their leashes. For now, she’s happy to bring her dogs to the
park to help her enjoy her role as a campground host, meeting lots of
people from all over.
With so many locations to choose from, and so many types of activities,
you are sure to find a spot that everyone in your family can agree on for
some summertime fun.
Whether lounging by a campfire, running along a beach, taking a long hike
on a secluded trail or a kayaking at sunset, your family pets will love
that you brought them with you on your adventures.
For more information,
out previous Showcasing the DNR stories in our archive at
To subscribe to upcoming Showcasing articles sign-up for free email
Michigan State Parks’ 2019 Centennial Celebration
Rich with Sponsorship and Partnership Opportunities
100 years ago, people in Michigan were rallying to protect the state’s
most beautiful outdoor destinations, and on May 9, 1919, the Michigan
State Park Commission was created to acquire and maintain public lands
for state parks. Fast forward to today and you’ll find that
generations of residents and visitors have fallen in love with these
treasured natural places.
Next year marks the centennial anniversary of Michigan state parks,
now more than 100 parks strong, ranging from Milliken State Park and
Harbor in Detroit – Michigan’s first urban state park providing a
green oasis in the heart of the city – to Porcupine Mountains
Wilderness State Park, nestled in “the Porkies” and offering one of
the few remaining large wild areas in the Midwest.
As the Department of Natural Resources plans for Michigan state
parks’ centennial celebration, it is opening up opportunities for
partners and sponsors to join the fun and support the parks, while
connecting with the more than 27 million visitors who trek to these
parks every year.
“Plans are under way for a May 2019 public kickoff and yearlong
celebration of Michigan’s award-winning state parks," said Ron Olson,
chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. "Michigan state parks
help to define our state and consistently power one of Michigan’s
biggest economic drivers – outdoor recreation.”
For this reason, the DNR is seeking partnerships that will help
tell the story of Michigan state parks. Some examples include:
Sharing information about the
Underwriting portions of the
educational campaign, including a video series and “around the
campfire” podcasts. |
Collaborating on creative
product packaging. |
Hosting a corporate cleanup
volunteer event or a centennial display in your store or facility.
Partnering on a variety of
events including s’mores and storytelling, geocaching challenges and
vintage RV parades. |
offers a variety of ways for businesses and associations and others to
get involved at the local, regional and state levels,” said Maia Turek,
DNR resource development specialist.
Depending on a partner or sponsor’s specific needs, Turek said the
department can work individually with these partners and sponsors to
acknowledge their involvement and/or highlight special campaigns.
Partners and sponsors also will have the opportunity to direct their
support toward needs like trail maintenance, green initiatives,
invasive species removal landscape enhancement, facility preservation
Interested? Download the Michigan
state parks centennial sponsorship opportunities at
or contact Maia Turek at
or 989-225-8573 for more information. Find out how your support in
2019 can help carry Michigan state parks into the next hundred years.
06JUN18-Three metro-Detroit classrooms created the winning
presentations in the DNR’s 2017-18 Year in the Life of a Michigan
Black Bear program, open to all interested sixth-, seventh- and
eighth-grade educators in Michigan.
Brandy Dixon’s class
at Holy Ghost Lutheran School in Monroe earned top honors. You
can view their winning entry here. Dixon
and her students were awarded a $1,000 gift certificate to purchase
science supplies for their classroom.
program curriculum provides lessons and activities focused on Michigan
black bears, including their life cycle, biology and behavior, as well
as how the DNR manages and maintains a healthy black bear population.
Over the school year, students also get to “follow” a bear by using
actual data points from radio-collared Michigan black bears.
students of the Home School Academy in Dearborn placed second with
their presentation, A
winning a $500 gift certificate.
Sierra Rodrigues, a sixth-grade student in Shawn Kassab’s Farmington
STEAM Academy class, earned third-place honors. Kassab and his class
in Farmington Hills were awarded a $250 gift certificate. View
Registration for the 2018-19 school year’s program will open later
this summer. Program prizes are provided by the Michigan Bear Hunters
Association and the DNR.
Educators can explore A Year in the Life of a Michigan Black Bear and
other available DNR education opportunities at michigan.gov/dnreducation or
against beech bark disease came full circle in fall 2017 at Ludington
State Park, as volunteers planted more than 200 disease-resistant
trees where the disease was discovered in 2000.
That planting effort is one of
the success stories in
Michigan’s Forest Health Highlights report,
released annually by the DNR. The report summarizes the health of
nearly 20 million acres of forest in the state, including about 4
million acres of state-managed forest land.
“Invasive species like the beetle that spreads beech bark disease
present challenges,” said Deb Begalle, chief of the DNR’s Forest
Resources Division. “We also are coordinating efforts to cope with
other invasive species such as the hemlock woolly adelgid.” That tiny
insect attaches itself to hemlock trees and eventually kills them. So
far, it is known to be in four west Michigan counties.
On other fronts, the department
is working to stem the spread of oak wilt, a fungal disease that can
kill red oak trees within weeks, and taking steps to prevent the
spread of fungi, including Heterobasidion root disease that affects
pine trees. New reporting tools, such as the Heterobasidion root
on the DNR forest health website, make it easier for the public to
share their observations of suspected forest health issues.
Learn more at the
DNR's forest health webpage
06JUN18-With the statewide muskellunge possession season opening
Saturday, June 2, anglers are reminded that a new registration system
is now in place for any fish you reel in.
harvest tag is no longer required or available. If you do harvest a
muskie (meaning you catch and keep the fish), you must report it
within 24 hours, either:
>By calling toll-free 844-345-FISH
>Or in person (with advance notice of your arrival) at any
DNR customer service center
during regular state business. Fish registrations won’t be accepted at
any state fish hatcheries or DNR field offices, only at DNR customer
The same process is
now in place for lake sturgeon, too, although no fishing and/or
possession seasons open for that species until July 16. The lake
sturgeon fishing permit and harvest tags are no longer needed or
Both of these changes
went into effect at the start of the 2018 fishing season, April 1st.
For more information on Michigan fishing licenses and regulation,
check out the 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide – available at license
retailers or online at
and the online version is always up to date and available to download
– or contact
906-293-5131, ext. 4071 or
06JUN18-With a beautiful Memorial Day holiday weekend – the
unofficial start to summer – in the books, it’s a great time to get
outdoors! In Michigan, you’re never more than a half-hour from a state
park, state forest campground or a state trail system, meaning you can
hike, bike, walk, ride or paddle just about anywhere.
To ensure a fun,
relaxing time wherever you go, keep these tips in mind:
>State parks offer activities and
events in day-use areas and campgrounds, including nature programs,
trail races, yoga and crafts.
>Pets are welcome on a 6-foot leash in
state parks, state forests, non-designated bathing beach areas,
harbors, the majority of trails and boat launches and many other
>Be cautious when purchasing or packing
firewood. Invasive insects and diseases have killed millions of trees
in Michigan – often after hitching a ride on firewood. The DNR
recommends leaving firewood at home and/or purchasing certified
heat-treated firewood sold in state parks.
>Don’t forget to check out the
extensive mountain biking trails and connections to the ORV trail
system offered at many state parks.
>Feel like fishing at a state park?
It’s easy – just remember to purchase your 2018 Michigan fishing
license beforehand and pack your fishing essentials.
>Save fuel with the DNR’s free camper
storage program, which allows people to temporarily store campers in
designated park areas between visits.
>Book your camping reservations early,
up to six months in advance.
Learn more about planning your
next state park, trail or forest campground adventure at
Ami Van Antwerp
Overnight Search for
Ontonagon Man Ends Successfully
overnight search for an Ontonagon County man ended successfully this
afternoon when Carl Thomas Kettunen of Trout Creek was found alive, his
off-road-vehicle on top of him.
Search teams from
several entities were in Ontonagon County this afternoon, continuing
efforts begun Thursday night to locate the 66-year-old man.
The last report of Kettunen's whereabouts had been about 6 p.m.
EDT Thursday when, after finishing his dinner, caregivers heard him leave
his home at 9183 M-28 on his orange Honda rancher off-road vehicle.
Kettunen reportedly suffers from serious health conditions. Caregivers
reported him missing Thursday and a search got under way at about 10:30
p.m. with Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers,
local firefighters and volunteers.
Search efforts continued throughout the night. Significant rainfall
occurring after Kettunen left obscured tracks from his ORV.
This afternoon, more than a dozen search teams were looking for Kettunen,
with DNR officers leading the effort.
Additional agencies involved in the search included Superior Search and
Rescue, the Ontonagon County Sheriff's Office, Michigan State Police, MI-TRALE
and local volunteers from Trout Creek and Kenton.
A Civil Air Patrol plane was in the air and two additional aircraft
were on stand-by, including a DNR plane.
22MAY18-If you fish the Great Lakes and catch a marked and tagged
fish, please report it. You’re helping the DNR collect critical
information about the state’s fish populations and trends. The
department has used a coded-wire tag program to “mass mark” various
fish species in Michigan since the 1980s. Mass marking provides data
that helps fisheries biologists determine the value of naturally
reproduced fish versus stocked fish, as well as the lake-wide movement
The program involves implanting a small, coded-wire tag, invisible
to the naked eye, into the snout of a fish. A fish containing a
coded-wire tag can be identified because its adipose fin (the small,
fleshy fin between the dorsal and tail fins) has been removed. Anglers
who catch these tagged fish can help by recording needed information
about the fish, removing and freezing the fish’s snout, and taking it
to one of the
designated drop-off locations around the state.
DNR, in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other
state agencies, places coded-wire tags in the snout and removes the
adipose fin from lake trout, rainbow trout (steelhead), and Chinook
and Atlantic salmon stocked into lakes Huron and Michigan.
Beginning in 2018,
all rainbow trout stocked in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan (including
tributaries) will contain a coded-wire tag. All Chinook salmon stocked
in Lake Huron will contain a coded-wire tag, while only a portion of
those stocked in Lake Michigan will contain the tag.
Get more details about the DNR’s mass marking efforts at
or by contacting
21MAY18-Willing to work for your warmth this winter? Apply now for
a fuel wood permit from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Where can you cut? A new,
highlights state forest areas in the northern Lower Peninsula where
Michigan residents are allowed to collect up to five standard cords of
wood from downed, dead trees. Upper Peninsula residents also may get
fuel wood permits from their
local state forest management unit offices.
“The new map will help people who want to cut wood decide where to
go,” said Deb Begalle, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division.
“Then we encourage people to visit potential collection areas to
determine what wood is down and available.”
You can obtain a permit in two
ways: Visit a DNR office in person or download a mail-in permit order
The site also includes the interactive map and a map of DNR offices
that offer fuel wood permits.
Permits cost $20 each and are good for 90 days. All permits expire
Dec. 31, 2018. The department issues as many as 3,500 fuel wood
permits each year. Wood cut on a fuel wood permit is intended for
personal use and cannot be sold.
To help prevent the spread of
invasive species such as the emerald ash borer or oak wilt, the DNR
advises against moving firewood around the state. Learn more about
firewood rules and recommendations on the
Michigan Department of Agriculture’s website.
For more information, contact
08MAY18-When you head “Up North” for the first time this season, make
sure that removing anything that might attract bears is high on your
Michigan homes, cottages and cabins are sprinkled across the
countryside and near inland lakes – beautiful locations that also are
home to more than 12,000 adult black bears. That makes it extremely
important to know how to co-exist with bears.
“I know every year I need to make sure I have my bird feeder down
before the bears are up and moving,” said Wexford County resident
Joyce Oatley. “It’s something my husband and I are used to; it’s a
trade-off to live where we do. I love bears, but I know what I need to
do to be responsible.”
Bears are omnivores,
meaning they eat a variety of plant and animal matter. Bears also have
an excellent sense of smell, as well as the ability to remember where
they’ve found meals in the past. That’s why it’s critical to remove
attracting food sources before a bear finds them. There’s no better
way for an animal to lose its natural fear of humans, than by
receiving a food reward like bird seed or suet, pet food or garbage.
“Michigan has plenty of natural food for bears, but they won’t pass by
something easy like a garbage can or a bird feeder to get an easy
meal,” said DNR bear specialist Kevin Swanson. “It’s very important
that we don’t train a wild animal like a bear to get comfortable being
near people. We need to keep bears at a distance.”
Bear populations and
their distribution are controlled through regulated hunting. The 2018
bear hunting application period runs May 1 to June 1. Be sure to apply
for a hunt or a point. Learn more in this DNR
bear drawing video.
For more information
about living with bears or the upcoming hunting application period,
18APR18-For four straight years, the DNR and the Michigan Veterans
Affairs Agency have come together to highlight quieter camping options
in a handful of Michigan state parks.
of July is geared toward veterans and other visitors, including pet
owners, looking for a quieter camping experience. This year, 11
locations located farther away from traditional community firework
displays are participating July 2nd - 6th.
Camping reservations can be made up to six months in advance, which
means it's not too early to be thinking about those holiday dates. To
check availability and make a reservation, visit
Want to learn more? Visit
To learn more about services for Michigan veterans, visit
Michigan parks that will not allow Fireworks*
this year include:
>Bewabic State Park (Iron county)
>Brighton Rec. Area-Bishop Lake Campground (Livingston County)
>Cheboygan State Park (Cheboygan County)
>Craig Lake State Park (Baraga County)
>Hayes State Park (Lenawee County)
>Lake Hudson Rec. Area (Lenawee County)
>Sleepy Hollow State Park (Clinton County)
>Tippy Dam Rec. Area (Manistee County)
>Wells State Park (Menominee County)
*The DNR cannot
guarantee that fireworks will not be set off near the state parks.
Aerial fireworks such as Roman candles and bottle rockets are not
allowed in Michigan state parks at any time. *Smaller novelty
fireworks such as fountains, sparklers and ground spinners are still
Camping reservations can be made up to six
months in advance. To make a reservation, visit
midnrreservations.com or call 1-800-44PARKS
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.