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DNR Investigating Hunter Fatality in Antrim County

19NOV18-Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers are investigating the shooting death of a hunter on the opening day of the firearm deer hunting season in Antrim County.
Justin Beutel, 38, of Sanford was pronounced dead at the scene.
At about 1 p.m. Thursday, a conservation officer and South Torch Lake EMS personnel were dispatched to a reported hunting accident near the intersection of West Elder Road and Northeast Torch Lake Drive, which is located near the village of Alden, roughly 20 miles northeast of Traverse City.
Upon arrival, Albert and EMS responders found Beutel unresponsive. First aid was administered but he did not recover.
“Preliminary investigation reveals that Mr. Beutel was deer hunting on private property and was apparently shot by another subject hunting nearby,” said Lt. James Gorno, a district law supervisor with the DNR.
The second hunter, who is not being identified, is a 45-year-old Gaylord man. Gorno said the two men were not hunting together and it is believed that they do not know each other.

The Antrim County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police are assisting the DNR with the investigation and processing of evidence.
Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect citizens by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve.

Learn more about Michigan conservation officers at michigan.gov/conservationofficers.

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Digging Into Severed Mineral Rights

From state-managed park lands to private vacation properties, mineral and surface property rights may be severed.

16NOV18-A couple of winters ago, when a copper mining company announced plans for exploratory drilling under a section of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, the topic of severed mineral rights – and the question of what exactly they are, and what powers they convey – was raised by many people concerned about potential mining activity at this beloved Michigan state park.
Similar questions have been raised more recently with a mining company application to lease state-owned minerals on properties in Marquette County.
In the 1940s, when lands were being acquired in the western Upper Peninsula to develop the state park amid the storied northern hardwood and hemlock forests of the Porcupine Mountains, some properties were sold, with the mineral rights retained by the previous owner.
Under this scenario, though the state of Michigan owns the surface property rights, the state must allow the mining company “reasonable access” to the minerals situated below ground.
As a property owner, if someone told you he or she had the right to use the surface of your land to extract the minerals underneath, you would likely think he or she was mistaken.

How could that be true?

Core samples from exploratory copper drilling in the western Upper Peninsula are shown.

Unless you also own the minerals under your land, that someone might be right.
The rights to develop minerals in Michigan are based on common law doctrines. These doctrines, which have evolved through courts’ interpretations of rights, have roots in the old English laws that we inherited.

What are mineral rights?

Real property ownership includes a bundle of ownership rights, including the right to possess, use, enjoy, encumber, will, sell or do nothing at all.
“Mineral rights are a type of real property and can be owned in conjunction with, or separately from, the surface rights,” said Mark Sweatman, director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Office of Minerals Management.
An owner can separate the mineral rights from his or her land by conveying (selling or otherwise transferring) the land but retaining the mineral rights; conveying the mineral rights and retaining the land; or conveying the land to one person and the mineral rights to another.

“Landowners are sometimes surprised to find out someone else owns the rights to the minerals beneath the surface of their land, and that a mineral owner typically has the right to reasonable use of the surface as necessary to extract minerals,” Sweatman said. “Mineral rights owned by someone other than the surface owner are rights said to be ‘severed.’”
Once mineral rights are severed from the surface estate, the mineral estate becomes the “dominant estate” and the surface estate becomes the “servient estate.” This legal principle recognizes that some degree of surface access is necessary to develop the mineral estate.

The Lee A. Tregurtha fills up with taconite pellets at the Upper Harbor ore dock in Marquette.

“Because of its dominance, the mineral estate holds an implied easement to use as much of the surface as is reasonably necessary for the development of the mineral estate,” said Julie Manson, property manager with the Lease Management Unit of the DNR’s Office of Minerals Management.
In the case of the mining company test drilling at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, the DNR allowed access to drill core samples, but required various safeguards to protect the surface features at the park.
Some of these provisions included drilling only when the ground was frozen, using tracked vehicles to lessen any potential impacts to vegetation and using old logging roads to access core sites, rather than building new roads.
The test drilling was completed over a span of two winters without any adverse impacts to DNR-managed lands at the state park.
At some point, if the mining company does decide to mine the minerals lying beneath the park, it would do so from outside the park boundary.

Permission to mine would require the mining company to work through a separate permitting process via the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. That process would allow for public comment on plans prior to the DEQ’s final permitting decisions.

Mineral rights managed by the state

The DNR manages over 6.4 million acres of mineral rights, including almost 2.3 million acres of mineral rights where someone other than the State of Michigan owns the surface rights.
“Most of these rights were acquired by the state between 1920 and 1940 due to non-payment of property taxes,” Sweatman said. “When tax-reverted properties were subsequently sold, it was common practice for mineral rights to be retained.”

Parks and other recreation areas in Michigan benefit from the proceeds from oil, gas and mineral rights leases.

The DNR is the only state agency authorized to lease State of Michigan-owned mineral rights. Mineral leasing activities, as well as the verification of mineral lease revenues are administered by DNR’s Office of Minerals Management.
Mineral rights leased by the DNR include, oil, natural gas, metallic minerals – such as copper and nickel – and non-metallic minerals such as sand, gravel, limestone and salt.
“Revenue generated from the leasing and sale of state-owned mineral rights translates into funding for the acquisition, development, and maintenance of local and state parks and other recreational areas, resulting in a wide range of recreational opportunities and access to Michigan's forests, trails, waterways, and beaches,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “Mineral revenue generated since the 1980s for Michigan has exceeded $1 billion. Many important recreation projects funded in Michigan through the Natural Resources Trust Fund have been financed with revenue produced by oil, gas and minerals leasing revenue.”

In Marquette County, a mining company recently applied for permission to lease mineral rights owned by the state of Michigan. The state will consider the application and then decide whether to grant the leases, based on recommendations from foresters, biologists and other natural resource professionals. 
“A mineral lease from the State of Michigan does not mean there are actually valuable mineral resources in that location, nor does it give permission to drill a well or mine for minerals,” Sweatman said. “A lease simply gives the lessee the exclusive right to pursue development of the mineral rights, should they choose to. If the lessee chooses to develop the mineral rights, all necessary permissions must still be obtained, and all regulations must be followed.”

The Michigan Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee Township explores the state's iron mining heritage.

In the mining industry, companies often secure leases to prevent competitors from exploring mineral development in those areas.

Legal issues

Michigan has laws in place that require owners of a severed mineral interest to take steps at least once every 20 years to keep their interest alive. If the severed mineral owner does not take those steps, the severed oil and gas rights will revert to the surface owner and the other severed mineral rights will revert to the last owner of those rights in the chain of title.
For more information, please refer to the
Dormant Mineral Act (MCL 554.291 et seq) and the Marketable Record Title Act (MCL 565.101 et seq). Neither of these laws applies to governmental entities.
While only the mineral owner is typically entitled to royalties when the minerals are developed, a surface owner may negotiate with the developer to receive payment for the use of his or her surface in the development of the minerals.

Surface property owners can pursue the purchase of the mineral rights beneath their land with whomever owns the mineral rights. The mineral right owner is not required to sell them, but such sales do occur.
“Determining who owns the minerals beneath your property can be an arduous task, but assistance can be acquired through an attorney or title company,” Manson said. “Once an owner is established, a mineral appraisal is typically completed to determine its value. If the State of Michigan owns the mineral rights a program exists whereby a purchase can be pursued.”
Mineral ownership can have a big impact on the ability to use and enjoy the land as desired, even when the land is a Michigan state park. The DNR seeks to purchase surface and mineral rights jointly whenever possible.
“The issue of mineral rights can be complicated,” Sweatman said. “Those involved in mineral and surface rights issues may want to consult an attorney.”
Property owners – whether surface or mineral rights owners – can benefit greatly from an understanding of severed mineral rights, what they mean and how they work.
Clearing aside the mystery can reveal what truly lies beneath the surface of the lands we love.

Get more information on minerals management in Michigan.

Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories in our archive at michigan.gov/dnrstories. To subscribe to upcoming Showcasing articles, sign up for free email delivery at michigan.gov/dnr.

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Deer Hunting Season Starts November 15th

Deer in a sunlit field

13NOV18-Firearm deer hunting season kicks off this week!

Visit michigan.gov/deer to find 2018 season information, regulations, videos, chronic wasting disease updates and more. Check out the 2018 Michigan Deer Hunting Prospects for more on what to expect this deer season.

Hunters contribute $2.3 billion to Michigan’s economy and pay for wildlife conservation and management work throughout the state.

Helping set the pace

Michigan is one of the top five states nationally in both number of deer hunters and overall deer taken each year. There were 376,365 deer harvested in 2017:

  • 150,709 were antlerless deer, 225,655 were antlered.
  • 51 percent of deer were harvested during the firearm season.
  • 37 percent were harvested during the archery season.
  • 38,262 deer were checked, the highest number of checked deer since 2001.
  • See the 2017 Deer Season Summary for more 2017 statistics.

Other reminders

  • Looking for a place to hunt? There are new properties and more acres to hunt through the Hunting Access Program, including properties in Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Newaygo and Mecosta counties. See a complete list of private lands available to hunt at michigan.gov/hap. Also, you can find information and maps for lands open to public hunting at michigan.gov/mihunt.
  • Buy deer licenses online, at a license agent or at a DNR Customer Service Center.

Good luck and have a safe and enjoyable deer season! Questions? Contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.

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New Look for State Campground and Harbor Reservations Website

Front page screen shot of the DNR's updated campground and harbor reservations website

13NOV18-Visitors to Michigan's state campground and harbor reservations website probably have noticed some changes.

The site has a new look and feel, simpler navigation, a more mobile-friendly design, and a color scheme that better reflects what you see on the DNR website and many other department materials.
 

Much of the functionality that customers have come to know was carried over. Campers can still search for campsites and harbor slips from a map, list or calendar display and view photos of campsites located in each campground.
 

Questions about the site? Contact the reservations call center at 800-44-PARKS.

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Add Your State Parks Story to Centennial Celebration

A family enjoying the water on the beach at Grand Haven State Park

13NOV18-When the Michigan Legislature established the Michigan State Park Commission in 1919, those lawmakers likely couldn’t have foreseen the 100-plus network of state parks stretching across both peninsulas. This spring – May 12, 2019, officially – marks the anniversary, and the DNR is planning a yearlong celebration of programs and opportunities for park fans.

Maia Turek, a recreation programmer with the DNR Parks and Recreation Division, said that one way people can participate is by contributing photos and memories to the digital Michigan State Parks Photo Story Map.

“We launched the story map to start capturing the special memories – camping trips, family traditions, fish tales, Scouting excursions, day hikes and more – that people have made over the years. We’ve already received some terrific ones.”

If you’d like to add a story and photo or explore what’s already there, go to michigan.gov/stateparks100 and click “Explore map.” To add to the story map:

  • Click “Share your memory” (blue button in upper, right-hand corner).
  • You can sign in as a guest, so no login is required.
  • Add as many stories and photos as you like.

Camp with us

Those who want to camp at state parks during the official anniversary weekend, May 10-12, can book their favorite spots right now at the DNR’s updated campground and harbor reservations website, midnrreservations.com. All camping parties that weekend will receive a complimentary commemorative bumper sticker upon arrival.

Stay up to date on centennial news and information all year long at michigan.gov/stateparks100. Questions? Contact Maia Turek at 989-225-8573.

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Deciphering ‘Sustainability’

By KATHLEEN LAVEY - Michigan Department of Natural Resources

A heavy equipment operator works to scarify a clear-cut area in Marquette County.

09NOV18-Look across a sun-dappled clearing in the state forest not far from Newberry, and you’ll see some low-growing blueberry plants bearing ripe fruit and a sea of bracken ferns, with their leaves turning late-summer yellow.
Look a little closer, and you’ll find the forest of the future: an army of red pine seedlings scattered under the ferns — rich green needles feathering from tiny twigs.
Foresters for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources had hoped seeds from neighboring trees would sprout there after the land was cleared, a process known as natural regeneration. But not enough of the seeds found a toehold in the sandy soil.

So DNR staffers decided to help them out a little bit. They used heavy equipment to drag large-link chains weighing up to 7,000 pounds each across the soil, loosening the surface and giving the seeds a softer place to take root.
“We looked at this area, and it wasn’t taking off the way we would like,” said Keith Magnusson, a DNR forester and manager of the Newberry management unit. “We decided to give it a little help.”

Trees and other plants regenerate on the site of a clear-cut.

They also describe how firefighters carefully set fires, known as prescribed burns, to control invasive species, create wildlife habitat and prevent future wildfires. Finally, the terms describe how forests are mapped and monitored throughout the growing cycle.
“Healthy forests bring an immense benefit to the people of Michigan,” said Deb Begalle, state forester and chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division. “Forests help give us clean air and water. They provide us with places to hunt, fish, hike, bike or relax.”

The evolution of Michigan’s forests

When the earliest European settlers arrived in Michigan more than 300 years ago, they described a land so heavily forested that trails disappeared into trees so thick that water was the easiest way to travel.
By the early 1900s – after decades of Michigan leading the nation in lumber production – most of those forests were gone.
The Michigan Department of Conservation – the predecessor to the DNR – was founded in 1921, in part, to lead the effort to rebuild the forests.

It worked, and the seedlings will tower over the ferns within a few years.
The process of churning up the soil to aid seed growth, known as scarification, is among many techniques the DNR’s Forest Resources Division uses to ensure that Michigan’s 4 million acres of state forest thrive into the future.
The buzzword for this long view of maintaining forests is “sustainability,” and the process is known as “forest management,” but those terms aren’t really that important. What they describe is.
These terms describe how DNR forest staff carefully chooses which forests will be thinned or cut to promote tree health, fight insects and disease, or provide optimal habitat for species ranging from the elk to the tiny Kirtland’s warbler.

A seedling planted today will help regenerate a future forest.

Michigan’s state forest covers 4 million acres of the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula. Much of that land came back to the state after homesteaders, often lured by advertisements boasting of good farming opportunities, failed to make a go of it in sandy soils unsuited for cash crops.
Since those early days, the DNR has used the best science available to replenish and maintain state forests. By 1931, a state tree nursery near Higgins Lake had shipped 22 million seedlings out for planting.
A survey conducted this summer by the DNR showed that nine out of 10 residents believe Michigan’s forests help keep air and water clean, keep the state beautiful, provide habitat for wildlife and offer a backdrop for a host of recreational activities.

Michigan’s forest management is certified by two separate organizations — the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The stewardship council honored the Michigan DNR last year for being an early adopter of sound forest management practices.

Forestry prescriptions

About 60,000 acres of state forest are harvested each year for timber, which is less than 2 percent of the total forest. Often, logging projects go hand in hand with efforts to create habitat for wildlife. The elk, whose bugling draws visitors to the Pigeon River Country State Forest, for example, need open space to thrive.

Elk are one wildlife species that benefits from forestry prescriptions.

“Elk make use of early successional (forest) habitat. That is created by restarting a forest or regenerating a forest, which is what you get when you cut the trees,” said Scott Whitcomb, manager of the Pigeon River Country State Forest. “What the timber harvest mimics is natural disturbance, such as fire or a wind event.”

Elk will feed on young aspen trees for five to eight years, then other species such as American woodcock, ruffed grouse and various songbirds will benefit in succeeding years. The goal in Pigeon River Country is to maintain a mix of young, middle-aged and mature forests. About a quarter of the forest is currently young aspen cover.

“There’s a mosaic on the landscape that is constantly in the process of aging, being cut, starting over and growing up,” Whitcomb said. 
He admits it can be shocking to pass by an area that has recently been clear-cut, but within a year or two the new tree growth takes over.
“It’s pretty dramatic, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “This is part of the natural system, and they’re going to grow back, and in the meantime, it’s going to benefit animals and birds.”

Prescribed burns

It seems like the opposite of what a DNR firefighter should be doing: wearing fire-protection gear and walking along the edge of a woodlot with a drip torch, dropping burning fuel into dry grass.“Fire has always been a part of the natural ecosystem in this part of the country,” said Paul Rogers, DNR fire prevention specialist who has worked on hundreds of prescribed burns in his career. “Fire is needed to help release nutrients in the soil.”

A prescribed burn to control phragmites is shown.

Fire also can help eradicate invasive species that crowd desirable native plants out of Michigan landscapes.
“A lot of non-native species can’t tolerate fire, and that’s why we remove them with fire,” he said.
Another thing fire can be used for is to help create habitats for some of Michigan’s endangered species. The tiny, thumbnail-sized Karner Blue butterfly, for example, lives only on lupine plants on small parts of Michigan’s landscape. Fire activates the reseeding process for lupine.
After devastating fires in the late 1800s and early 1900s, land-management agencies took an active stance against fire. That led to a buildup of dry fuels in the woods, which made forest fires even worse. Today, the DNR also uses prescribed burns to get rid of underbrush and deadwood that serve as fuels for wildfires. 

The DNR burned just over 5,900 acres this year, carefully and judiciously. Burns are cancelled if weather is windy or conditions are too hot and dry.
“We’re doing it in a controlled way, and only in certain areas where biologists and wildlife experts feel it’s needed,” Rogers said.

Check out a cool page about prescribed burns.

To learn more about how and why the DNR manages Michigan’s state forests, visit michigan.gov/forestry.

Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories in our archive at michigan.gov/dnrstories. To subscribe to upcoming Showcasing articles, sign up for free email delivery at michigan.gov/dnr.

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DNR Seeking to Fill Vacancies on UP Citizens Advisory Councils

08NOV18-The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is soliciting applications for open volunteer positions on the Eastern and Western Upper Peninsula Citizens Advisory Councils.
The councils are designed to advise the DNR on regional programs and policies, identify areas in which the department can be more effective and responsive, and offer insight and guidance from members’ own experiences and from the public.

A November 30th deadline has been set to apply for membership to either of the two councils. There are several vacancies currently available.
Each council meets every other month. Meeting agenda items addressed at council meetings are set by the council members. Council recommendations are forwarded to the DNR for consideration in policy-formation and decision-making processes.
“The councils are a great opportunity for members and the public to learn about, and have input into, DNR issues, programs and processes,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “Since their creation, the two U.P. councils have drafted over 80 recommendations, on a wide variety of topics, which have been sent to the DNR for consideration, the wide majority of which have been approved.”
Council members, who are required to have their primary residence located in the U.P., represent a wide variety of natural resource and recreation interest groups or the citizenry at large.
Members are selected for the councils based on a variety of factors.
The eastern U.P. council includes roughly 20 members, each of whom reside within Alger, Chippewa, Luce, Mackinac or Schoolcraft counties. The western council includes essentially the same number of members who are draw from the U.P.’s remaining 10 counties lying west of Federal Forest Highway 13.
Application forms and more information about the councils are available online at michigan.gov/upcac or by calling the DNR’s Marquette Customer Service Center at 906-226-1331.

Completed applications may be faxed to 906-228-9441, emailed to dahlstromk@michigan.gov, or mailed to DNR (Attn: CAC), 1990 U.S. 41 South, Marquette, MI 49855.

For more information, contact DNR Upper Peninsula Regional Coordinator Stacy Welling Haughey at 906-226-1331.

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ICYMI: Working to Bring Back the Arctic Grayling

The Arctic grayling, shown here, is the focus of a partnership effort to return the iconic fish to Michigan waters

06NOV18-Our history with the Arctic grayling is long and storied. A striking fish with a sail-like dorsal fin and a slate blue color on its body, it virtually was the only native stream salmonid (a family of fish that also includes salmon and trout) in Michigan's Lower Peninsula until the resident population died off nearly a century ago.

To see how a group of more than 45 partners, including the DNR, tribal governments, nonprofits and others, are working together to bring this fish back to Michigan waters, check out this Showcasing the DNR story from September.

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Wetland Restoration Projects Up and Running

Many wetland restoration projects are making a difference at sites around Michigan, like this one at Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area.

06NOV18-As part of the DNR’s efforts to restore wetland habitat at sites around the state, restoration projects in Gratiot and Osceola counties are well under way.
At a site known as Potato Creek in Gratiot County’s Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area, initial construction on a 60-acre wetland restoration project is complete.
“The Gratiot/Saginaw site was a cornfield, and we’ve converted it back to a wetland,” said Steve Shine, DNR wetlands mitigation bank administrator. “It is greening up with the temporary seeding, and the basins are filling with water.”
In the spring, seeds planted this fall for dormant seeding will germinate, and shrubs will be planted.

Restoration and vegetation are complete on a 52-acre wetland project in Sears (Osceola County). A cooperative effort with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, this work took place on private land, and a permanent conservation easement will ensure the wetlands never will be converted to another use.
Both projects are part of the DNR’s new wetland mitigation banking program.
Many of Michigan’s wetlands – vital resources that provide wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities and play an important role in the state’s environmental health – have been drained over the last two centuries.
Because impacts to wetlands sometimes are unavoidable in carrying out other important work, such as farming and public infrastructure projects like building roads, wetland mitigation banks – or new wetland areas – are established to replace the wetland functions being lost.
The DNR has partnered with the Michigan Municipal Wetland Alliance on a wetland mitigation banking program that will preserve and restore wetland habitat to offset unavoidable effects on existing wetlands.
“Investing in the restoration of wetlands on state game areas is a great way to improve habitat, enhance recreation opportunities and advance public works projects,” said DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason.
The first phase of this this public-private partnership also will include wetland restoration projects at Allegan State Game Area in Allegan County and Grand River State Game Area in Ionia County.

For more information about the DNR’s wetland mitigation banking program, contact Steve Shine at 517-930-8155. This recent Showcasing the DNR story provides a more in-depth look.

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DNR Continues CWD Surveillance in Upper Peninsula

A map showing DNR deer head testing goals for 2018.

02NOV18-The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has stepped up its surveillance and information efforts in the wake of the Upper Peninsula’s first case of chronic wasting disease being confirmed Oct. 18 from Dickinson County’s Waucedah Township.
A 4-year-old doe killed in September on a deer damage shooting permit tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The deer was shot on an agricultural farm about 4 miles from the Michigan-Wisconsin border, though there is no information available currently to determine whether the deer came from Wisconsin.
“The increased surveillance measures are being taken to determine the extent chronic wasting disease is present in Waucedah Township and the surrounding area,” said Russ Mason, DNR Wildlife Division chief. “We are also testing deer from a wider geographic area to include deer making seasonal movements and to keep watch for potential cases of this fatal deer disease in other parts of the region.”

The DNR has enhanced its CWD information efforts to help raise awareness about what the presence of the disease means for hunters and others, and to answer important questions posed by the public. A toolkit with printable brochures, ads, photos and presentations, along with maps, testing information and surveillance statistics, is available at michigan.gov/cwd.

“It is very important to rely on facts in learning about CWD,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “The latest developments are being updated regularly on the Michigan Emerging Disease Issues webpage (michigan.gov/cwd) maintained by the state. The more folks become informed about the disease, the better equipped they will be to reject misinformation. We need hunters, community members and others to help spread the true facts about CWD.”
Chronic wasting disease is a fatal nervous system disease found in animals from the family Cervidae, including deer, moose and elk. The disease attacks the brain of infected animals, creating small lesions, which result in neurologic symptoms. The disease is always fatal in animals that contract it.
To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in humans. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization recommend the meat of infected animals should not be eaten.

A Michigan white-tailed buck is shown.

No plans are in place to ban or restrict deer baiting this year. A decision on supplemental winter feeding will be made once surveillance results are in.

Border testing efforts

Since 2015, the DNR has been conducting active surveillance along the Michigan-Wisconsin border. This surveillance effort detected the CWD-positive deer.
“We set up this surveillance because chronic wasting disease has been detected in Wisconsin captive and free-ranging deer within 50 miles of the Upper Peninsula,” said Craig Albright, the DNR wildlife division’s U.P. field operations manager. “We wanted to be watchful for the disease in Michigan border counties because early results of our ongoing deer movement study show some deer make movements across the state border.”
Deer collected through deer damage shooting permits, road kills and hunter submissions have been tested in the Michigan border counties of Gogebic, Iron, Dickinson and Menominee.

A map showing chronic wasting disease surveillance areas in the Upper Peninsula.

Prior to the CWD-positive deer confirmation from Dickinson County, the DNR had set a goal of testing a minimum of 600 deer heads from these four border counties for 2018.
Statewide, so far this year, the DNR has tested 37 percent of its 15,635-deer goal for 2018. There has been a total of 10 CWD-positive cases in Michigan this year, including one each from Dickinson, Ionia, Jackson and Kent counties, and six from Montcalm County.

Core CWD surveillance area

A roughly 10-mile-radius core surveillance area – encompassing 661 square miles – has been created, centered on Waucedah Township. Within this zone, the DNR is working to determine whether CWD exists in areas around the doe that tested positive.
Baiting for deer has not been restricted in this area for 2018. Deer check is voluntary and encouraged. No in-state travel restrictions are currently in place. However, the DNR recommends limited carcass transport and proper disposal.

The DNR hopes to collect a minimum of 600 deer heads for testing from this core surveillance area. Through this year’s previous border surveillance efforts, 358 of those heads already have been gathered and tested.
The boundary of the core area was set using several roadways. The zone is bordered by U.S. Highway 2, M-95 and the Menominee River on the west; M-69 from Randville to Bark River on the north and U.S. Highway 41/U.S. 2 and Menominee County Road G18 on the south.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, given the recent CWD confirmation in Dickinson County, will focus its own CWD surveillance testing effort, opposite the U.P.’s core surveillance area, on the Wisconsin side of the Menominee River in Marinette County.

Self-service drop boxes will be made available to send deer to the lab for testing after regular hours.

Expanded CWD surveillance area

Outside the core CWD surveillance area, the DNR has created an expanded surveillance area. Like the core area, this wider area is bounded by several geographic landmarks.
The zone is bordered on the west by the Menominee River and M-95; on the north and east by U.S. Highway 41; and on the south by U.S. Highway 2 and Lake Michigan.
As in the core area, baiting for deer has not been restricted in the expanded surveillance area for 2018. Deer check is voluntary. No in-state travel restrictions are currently in place. However, the DNR recommends limited carcass transport and proper disposal.
“Because of the seasonal movements of deer in the Upper Peninsula, we wanted to test some deer from this larger area outside the core to see if CWD is present,” said Terry Minzey, U.P. regional wildlife supervisor. “The boundary we created is based on previous patterns of regional deer movements revealed through deer tagging studies from 1989-2006.”
Within this roughly 75-mile-radius expanded CWD surveillance area, the DNR has set a goal of collecting at least 300 heads for testing. That goal already has been exceeded with 330 heads tested so far this year.

The DNR will continue to test deer heads.

“Any hunter who is concerned about CWD is welcome to have their deer tested by going to one of the check stations or drop boxes,” Albright said.

DNR staffers get ready to weigh a white-tailed buck at the Marquette check station.

Precautions

Hunters should take precautions to limit transport of deer carcasses. There are also laws governing bringing deer, or some deer parts, into Michigan from out of state.
In addition, deer carcasses should be disposed of properly in a landfill, or through home garbage pick-up. The DNR will have dumpsters available at DNR offices where carcasses may be disposed of.
A deer that is shot in an area infected with CWD should never be disposed of on the landscape in uninfected areas. At no time should the head, spine or other restricted parts of a deer killed in a CWD-infected area be moved, or disposed of, outside of that area.
If it is necessary to bury a carcass, do so as close to the kill site as possible, and deep enough to prevent scavengers from digging it up. This method does not prevent future infections at that location but minimizes the chance of moving CWD prions across the landscape to areas that have not been infected.

Available permits

Within the core area, the DNR will be contacting landowners who own at least 5 acres of land and are located within 2 miles of the farm where the CWD-positive deer was shot. These landowners will be offered free disease control permits to shoot deer on their properties for testing.
Additionally, the core surveillance area includes portions of Deer Management Units 022, 122, 255 and 055. Private-land antlerless deer licenses are still available in DMUs 055 and 122.

Dead or dying deer

There are a few options available to hunters and others who find a dead or visibly sick deer.
The first involves accurately documenting the location of the animal and the time and date that it was sighted. This information can be reported to the nearest DNR office or, after business hours, to the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline (1-800-292-7800).
“If the deer is essentially immobile, it can be put down by a DNR conservation officer,” Stewart said. “If the animal is still mobile, a site visit will depend on staff availability, but is unlikely, especially if a long time has passed since observing the deer.”
A hunter also can harvest a sickly deer as legal game, based on the stipulations available to them on their hunting license and the season. If the deer tests positive for CWD, a replacement license will be provided.
Third, if a photograph is available, getting written permission from a DNR biologist can serve as authorization to harvest the animal. Note that the entire deer will have to be submitted to the DNR, but a license does not have to be used to take this animal.

A white-tailed deer is shown in Marquette County in winter.

CWD testing process

Several DNR deer check stations are located within the core and expanded surveillance areas. In addition, there are self-service drop boxes, which will be in place by Nov. 6, available at DNR offices in some areas, including Escanaba, Norway, Crystal Falls, Stephenson, Felch, Gwinn and Marquette. Two meat processors, located in Crystal Falls and Spalding, will also have drop boxes.

View a video on the drop-box process.

To find locations of drop boxes and check stations, visit michigan.gov/deercheck or call a DNR customer service center in Marquette (906-228-6561), Escanaba (906-786-2351), Baraga (906-353-6651) or Newberry (906-293-5131). Drop box locations will be available online after November 5th.
Check station workers will remove deer heads. Hunters may keep the antlers and the meat. For self-service, hunters can remove the head at the base of the skull. Once a deer head is submitted for testing, it will take up to 14 business days to receive results. Hunters with an infected deer will be notified by the DNR wildlife disease laboratory. Otherwise, results will be posted online at
michigan.gov/dnrlab.

To learn more about the CWD-testing process, watch a short DNR video.

“Michigan’s hunters will play a big role in combatting this disease in the Upper Peninsula,” Mason said. “By continuing to hunt, learning the facts about CWD, getting deer heads tested, limiting carcass transport and disposing of deer carcasses properly, hunters and the general public will help us advance greatly our DNR surveillance and information efforts.”

More information on chronic wasting disease – including Michigan’s CWD Surveillance and Response Plan, locations of deer check stations, fact sheets and testing data – is available at michigan.gov/cwd.

Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories in our archive at michigan.gov/dnrstories. To subscribe to upcoming Showcasing articles, sign up for free email delivery at michigan.gov/dnr.

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Firewood Fact: Buying Local Limits Risk of Spreading Invasive Species

During Firewood Awareness Month in October, it's a good time to remember to buy local.

31OCT18-Michigan's millions of acres of forest land offer beautiful spaces where people can camp, explore and make memories, and it's important for everyone to do their part to keep our trees healthy.

One easy way to help is to buy firewood from a source close to your destination.

Buying local reduces the likelihood of introducing a new disease or pest to your favorite campsite or getaway.

Need to find a local firewood vendor? Check out firewoodscout.org

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Conservation Officer Reports, September 23rd - October 6th

Michigan DNR Law Enforcement Division door shield graphic

30OCT18-Conservation officers are highly trained professionals who protect Michigan’s natural resources, as well as the safety of the people enjoying them. Often, they're first on the scene in a variety of situations. Sometimes, they simply get to take part in others' enjoyment of the great outdoors.

Here's a look at a few CO encounters from a recent two-week period (September 23rd - October 6th):

Baraga County: Conservation Officer Cody Smith checked a group of hound hunters, who reported they hadn't seen a single track in days. Upon talking with the group the next day, CO Smith learned they successfully took a mid-200-pound bear. The hunters were happy for the change in luck and continued to run their dogs in search of another bear.

Delta County: COs Chris Lynch and Stephen Butzin responded to a call of a lost mother with her 2-year-old son in the woods. After a short search, the officers located the mother and her child who, thankfully, did not require medical attention. The COs gave the mother and her child a ride to their car. The mother was very appreciative of the officers' help.

Monroe County: CO Nick Ingersoll responded to an accident along I-75 where a vehicle had rolled over multiple times. CO Ingersoll was first on scene and, upon arrival, found all three individuals had already exited the SUV that had rolled over. The driver received a minor laceration to his head; otherwise, all three individuals were okay. One of the passengers was a 1-year-old who was properly secured in his rear-facing car seat at the time of the accident. All three individuals were shaken up, but relieved that there was only one minor injury.

Conservation officers receive training that equips them to respond quickly to a wide range of duties across all of Michigan. Read more reports from conservation officers in the CO biweekly reports.

For more information, contact Katie Gervasi at 517-284-6181.

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Deer Hunting Opportunities for People with Health Challenges

People with health challenges can enjoy reserved hunting opportunities at Sharonville State Game Area's Pierce Road Hunt Unit

30OCT18-Hunters with qualifying disabilities are encouraged to take advantage of reserved deer hunting opportunities at the Pierce Road Hunt Unit of the Sharonville State Game Area (in Jackson and Washtenaw counties). As part of the DNR’s Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors initiative, this 600-acre unit was designated as a restricted access hunt area to provide special hunt opportunities.

Remaining reserved deer hunting permits are available from any license agent, DNR Customer Service Center or online at mdnr-elicense.com. The following reserved hunts are available on a first-come, first-served basis:

  • Hunt 0405 (November 18th - 20th)
  • Hunt 0406 (November 21st - 23rd)
  • Hunt 0407 (November 24th - 26th)
  • Hunt 0408 (November 27th - 30th)

Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors provides improved outdoor recreation opportunities for wounded veterans and individuals with health challenges and coordinates a support network that facilitates their recovery through connecting with nature.

Get more information about this cooperative partnership, including eligibility for hunting, at michigan.gov/dnraccessibility or contact Dennis Tison at 517-522-4097.

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DNR Game Camera Records Cougar in Gogebic County

A second game camera image of a cougar in Gogebic County on Oct. 1.

26OCT18-A game camera set up as part of an ongoing state deer movement study has captured images of a cougar in Gogebic County, about 9 miles north of Ironwood.
The images were reviewed and verified by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ cougar team.
Since 2008, the DNR has confirmed 38 cougar reports, with all but one of those occurring in the Upper Peninsula. These reports include multiple sightings of the same cougar, not 38 individual animals.
So far, there remains no conclusive evidence of a Michigan breeding population of mountain lions. Cougars are an endangered species in Michigan protected by law.
“This latest confirmed report illustrates just how rare cougars are in the Upper Peninsula,” said Brian Roell, a DNR wildlife biologist in Marquette. “This is the first time we’ve ever caught a cougar on more than three million game camera images we’ve collected in our studies since 2009.”

DNR researchers use game cameras in their Quantifying Upper Peninsula Deer Movements and Abundance, predator-prey and bear studies. The deer movement study alone uses 50 game cameras in the western U.P., including the one in Ironwood Township that caught the images of the cougar at 7:15 p.m. on Oct. 1.

A graph shows the number of confirmed Michigan cougar reports in recent years.

The three daylight photos on the game camera show the mountain lion walking past, from right to left. Biologists noted there was no tracking collar on the cougar. No identification of whether the animal was a male or female was possible.
Michigan cougar confirmations have been derived from trail camera video, photographs, tracks, scat, or in the case of two male cats poached, carcasses.
Previous genetic testing on tissue samples from those two cougars poached in the U.P. showed the two animals likely came from a population found generally in South Dakota, Wyoming and northwest Nebraska.
“This genetic research lines up with what we’ve presumed previously, that cougars found in the Upper Peninsula are males dispersing from this population east of the Rocky Mountains,” said Kevin Swanson, a DNR wildlife management specialist with the department’s Bear and Wolf Program. “These males dispersed from the main population are looking to establish new territories.”
Researchers investigated the potential population of origin for the two cougars using a database that includes samples from cougar populations in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oregon and Florida.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, cougars were once the most widely distributed land animal in the Western Hemisphere but have been eliminated from about two-thirds of their historic range.
At one time, cougars lived in every eastern state in a variety of habitats, including coastal marshes, mountains and forests. They were native to Michigan, but were trapped and hunted from the state around the turn of the 20th century.

To learn more about cougars in Michigan, visit michigan.gov/cougars.

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‘Do Not Eat’ Advisory Issued for Deer Taken Within Five Miles of Clark’s Marsh, Oscoda Township

25OCT18-The Michigan departments of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Natural Resources (DNR) today issued a ‘Do Not Eat’ advisory for deer taken within approximately five miles of Clark’s Marsh in Oscoda Township. The advisory is due to high levels of PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid) found in a single deer taken about two miles from Clark’s Marsh, which borders the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base. PFOS is one type of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) chemical.

One deer out of twenty tested around the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base was found to have high levels of PFOS. The level of PFOS in the muscle of the deer was 547 parts per billion, exceeding the level of 300 ppb at which action is recommended. PFAS was either not found or was at low levels in muscle samples from the other 19 deer. Although only one deer of this group tested at such high levels, the advisory was issued to protect the health of anyone eating venison taken within approximately five miles of Clark’s Marsh. The state has plans to test more deer from this area.

advisory area map

The five-mile radius encircles the Wurtsmith base property and covers what the DNR has estimated to be the expected travel range of deer living in or near the marsh. The area covered by the deer consumption advisory issued can be described as:

From Lake Huron west along Aster Street, west on Davison Road, north on Brooks Road, east on Esmond Road, north on Old US 23, north on Wells Road, west on River Road, north on Federal Forest Road 2240, north on Lenard Road, north on Indian Road, and East on E. Kings Corner Road (along the county line) toward Lake to Lake Road, to Lake Huron (see map).

DNR also collected an additional 60 deer for PFAS testing this year as part of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team’s work on this emerging contaminant.  In addition to the testing around Wurtsmith, 20 deer were taken from near each of the PFAS investigation sites in Alpena, Rockford and Grayling with known contamination in lakes and rivers. The deer meat tested from these areas was found to have no PFAS or very low levels of the chemical. An additional 48 samples of deer muscle from the 2017 hunting season were tested from other areas across the state. Preliminary data for these deer also show no PFAS contamination or very low levels of the chemical.

PFAS are chemicals that are in Class B fire-fighting foam that was used at the air force base near Wurtsmith and other sites in Michigan. These chemicals are also found in stain and water repellants, personal care products, and many other consumer goods. Some health studies have linked PFAS to health issues such as thyroid disease, increased cholesterol levels, impaired immune system function, reproductive issues, high blood pressure in pregnant women, and increased chance of kidney and testicular cancers.

MDNR and MDHHS developed this investigation in response to questions from hunters concerned about harvesting deer in contaminated areas.  This is the first study of its kind and very little scientific information exists on whitetail deer and PFAS chemicals.

It is unknown how PFAS could accumulate to this level in deer. The State of Michigan is investigating the circumstances of the one deer with elevated levels and doing further analysis on these test results to learn more about PFAS in deer and wildlife. In addition, the state will be doing additional testing on deer from the Clark’s Marsh region and performing modeling studies to learn about PFAS consumption in wildlife. 

MDHHS and MDNR advise hunters to dispose of any deer in their freezer that may have come from this area and do not eat it.

If you have health related questions please contact MDHHS at 1-800-648-6942.  Hunters can contact the MDNR at 517-284-6057 or DNR-CustomerService@michigan.gov for information about deer tags that were used in this region.  

In Michigan, to date, only fish and deer have been sampled for PFAS. For more information about PFAS in wild game and fish, visit Michigan.gov/pfasresponse and go to the Fish and Wildlife button. For more information about wild game consumption, visit Michigan.gov/eatsafegame and go to the Eat Safe Wild Game button.

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DNR’s Al Stewart Honored with Dodge Sportsman Award

Al Stewart (center), the Michigan DNR's upland game bird specialist, recently was honored as the Dodge Sportsman of the Year.

24OCT18-In honor of a career that includes more than 45 years with the DNR, Al Stewart, the department's upland game bird specialist, received the Dodge Sportsman Award last month at Meadow Brook Hall’s Gourmet Wild Game Dinner in Rochester, Michigan.

The Dodge Sportsman Award recognizes a man, woman or organization who, in the spirit of entrepreneurial American sportsmen John, Horace and Danny Dodge, has demonstrated outstanding contributions to Michigan’s outdoor heritage, wildlife and habitat conservation and the promotion of hunting and fishing activities, ethics and education.

"I'm very humbled and grateful to be the recipient of this award,” said Stewart. “I thank the individuals associated with the Dodge Sportsman Award selection committee and representatives of the Meadow Brook Hall staff for honoring me with this prestigious professional award. I love my job and I feel privileged to work with so many fine people who have an interest in natural resources and helping others.”

Shannon O'Berski, director of external relations for Meadow Brook Estate, said Stewart was selected for the Dodge Sportsman Award because of his “inspired work in leading the conservation and management of upland game birds in Michigan, and for his work mentoring others in outdoor skills.” In addition to the body of work Stewart has achieved at the DNR, he also is co-chair of the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative.

Meadow Brook Hall's Gourmet Wild Game Dinner is a major fundraiser that supports the preservation of Meadow Brook, the fourth-largest historic house museum in the United States, named a National Historic Landmark in 2012 by the Secretary of the Interior.

For more information on the award and Stewart's career, contact Holly Vaughn at 313-396-6863.

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Firewood Fast Fact: Burn Only Certified, Heat-Treated Wood

During Firewood Awareness Month (October), it's good to remember to buy firewood locally where you plan to use it.

24OCT18

Temperatures around the state are dipping into the chillier numbers, with some regions seeing snow fly! If you're planning to camp or enjoy a bonfire, when it comes to firewood, please wait until you get to your destination to buy firewood locally.  

Aged or seasoned wood still can transport invasive species from one location to another. Just because the wood is dry doesn’t mean that bugs can’t crawl onto it. Only certified, heat-treated wood bearing the U.S. Department of Agriculture stamp is safe from pests and diseases. If you can’t find certified firewood – buy it where you burn it! This and other tips are available on the Firewood Awareness Month webpage.

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Michigan Leaders in Environmental and Outdoor Education Honored

Some of the award winners from the 2018 Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Recreation annual conference in Port Huron, Michigan

24OCT18-At the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education annual conference earlier this month in Port Huron, 10 alliance members were honored for their work. Outgoing alliance board president Cindy Fitzwilliams-Heck said these award-winners have “devoted hours and careers to promoting environmental literacy in Michigan.”

Each year, five award levels are open to competitive nominations, including the two highest honors: the Julian W. Smith Outdoor Education Award and the William B. Stapp Environmental Education Award. This year’s winners include:

  • The Julian W. Smith Outdoor Education Award went to Wil Reding, an instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Western Michigan University and owner of “Rent a Rambling Naturalist." Reding earned the award for inspiring current and next-generation citizens to embrace learning in the outdoors by setting his own example of love for the outdoors.
  • The William B. Stapp Environmental Education Award went to Kevin Frailey, the DNR’s Education Services director and formerly the director of Michigan’s Science Olympiad, adjunct science faculty at Lansing Community College, director of Information and Education at Michigan United Conservation Clubs, and conservation education supervisor at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Frailey and his staff have created programs that encourage educators to use the outdoors as their classroom, while meeting their science standard requirements.
  • The President’s Award is given by the outgoing alliance president to the person deemed instrumental to the president’s success. Fitzwilliam-Heck chose Brittany Burgess, program manager at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. Burgess moved from president-elect to president of the alliance Oct. 7.
  • The Recognition Award honors significant contributions to environmental education and outdoor education in a specialized area such as journalism, photography, curriculum development or interpretation. This year’s recipients were Mike Reed, curator of Informal Education at the Detroit Zoological Society, and Alan Heavner, owner/operator of Heavner Canoe Livery.
  • The Appreciation Award recognizes those who’ve made significant contributions toward creating, delivering, managing or sustaining environmental and outdoor education programs. Heather Rawlings, a wildlife service biologist with the U.S. Department of Interior, earned this year’s award.
  • Volunteer Service Awards honor those who give their time and skills for more than one year to a school, college, camp, outdoor center, zoo, nature center or other venue that promotes environmental or outdoor education. This year’s recipients were Greg and Michele Petrosky, Mike Mencotti and Larry Arbanas.

During the awards ceremony, 11 members were newly certified through the nationally accredited Environmental Educator Certification Program, an arduous, five-strand process: Eileen Boekestein, Becky Durling, Natalie Elkins, Zakiya Jackson, Christine Kelly, Misty Klotz, Mackenzie Maxwell, Amy Morrell, Rashmi Overbeek, Tracy Page and Lauren Westerman.

Questions? Contact Natalie Elkins, alliance awards committee chair, at 517-290-0687. More background on the alliance's two major awards is available in the linked photo/info folder referenced in the bulletin intro, above.

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More Than 21 Million Fish Stocked in 2018 Means Great Fishing

One of the DNR's specialized fish stocking trucks, releasing fish into one of the many stocking locations across Michigan.

23OCT18-Rainbow trout, chinook salmon, steelhead and seven other species and one hybrid were among the 21,116,476 fish – weighing a combined 333 tons – stocked in Michigan’s public waters so far this year.

DNR staff made 381 trips to nearly 800 stocking sites including Great Lakes, inland lakes and rivers. Eighteen specialized trucks traveled 103,618 miles and 2,619 hours to deliver the valuable cargo.

The number and type of fish stocked varies depending on stocking requests, hatchery rearing assignments, and the source and temperature of each facility’s rearing water. Michigan has six state hatcheries and two cooperative hatcheries that together produce the species, strain and size of fish requested by fisheries managers. These fish are delivered at a specific time and location to ensure their survival and success.

Each hatchery has stocked the following fish (details on weight and sites are available on the DNR’s fish stocking webpage):

  • Harrietta State Fish Hatchery (west of Cadillac) stocked 1,126,801 brown and rainbow trout.
  • Marquette State Fish Hatchery (near Marquette) stocked 549,765 yearling lake trout, brook trout and splake (a hybrid of lake trout and brook trout).
  • Oden State Fish Hatchery (near Petoskey) stocked 659,638 brown and rainbow trout.
  • Platte River State Fish Hatchery (near Honor) stocked 2,137,473 fish including yearling Atlantic and coho salmon and spring fingerling chinook salmon.
  • Thompson State Fish Hatchery (near Manistique) stocked 1,011,134 fish including yearling steelhead and spring fingerling chinook salmon.
  • Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery (near Kalamazoo) stocked 1,154,861 fish including yearling steelhead, spring fingerling chinook salmon, Great Lakes strain muskellunge and channel catfish.

A cooperative teaching hatchery at Lake Superior State University (in Sault Ste. Marie) stocked 34,973 Atlantic salmon.

This year’s total included 14.4 million walleye spring fingerlings and fry. These fish are reared in ponds by the DNR and tribal partners, with extensive support provided by local sporting organizations. The fish were stocked at 125 inland lakes and rivers and seven Great Lakes sites.

Learn more at michigandnr.com/fishstock or by contacting Steve VanDerLaan, 269-668-2696, ext. 26 or Elyse Walter, 517-284-5839.

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Map Shows Where Firewood Can be Gathered on State-Managed Land

With a fuelwood permit, you can gather firewood from state-managed land, in order to help heat your home this winter.

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, interactive map 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 at michigan.gov/fuelwood. 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 December 31st, 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 Doug Heym, 517-284-5867.

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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.

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

Copyright © 2018 Carroll Broadcasting, Inc., All rights reserved.

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