for Iosco County & Surrounding Region
Michigan DNR News
& Other Wildlife Management News
Annual Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Festival Returns to
State Recreation Area August 5th Through The 6th
Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Frank N. Anderson
Foundation will host the 22nd annual Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Festival Aug.
5-6 at the
Saginaw Bay Visitor Center at
Bay City State Recreation Area, 3582 State Park Drive, in Bay City.
Activities run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Recreation Passport is required for each vehicle that enters the park
for the festival. Passports are $11 for those who have not gotten them
with their vehicle registration and can be purchased at the park the day
of the festival or at any state park prior to the festival.
The weekend’s festivities include the Hunting and Outdoor Recreation Expo,
the Michigan Duck and Goose Calling Championship, the 2018 Michigan Duck
Hunters Association Michigan Duck Stamp Competition, adult and youth
duck-calling clinics, a wildlife arts and crafts show, and a wildlife
carving and duck decoy carving show.
Special guest exhibitors include wildlife artist Heiner Hertling (host of
TV series “Your Brush With Nature” and 1992 Michigan Duck Stamp artist),
wildlife taxidermist Kathy Christensen, waterfowl carver and retired
Conservation Officer Phil Babe, and wildlife photographer John Buckelew.
Other activities include:
Live animal presentations by Wildlife Recovery. |
waterfowl ID trail. |
chainsaw carving contest. |
Parent/youth canoe races. |
The Future Duck Stamp Contest for young artists. |
Opportunities to learn from featured artists. |
wildlife photography contest with professional, amateur and junior
The Quack-athlon competition for teams of one adult and two youths. |
Retrieving dog demonstrations and fun trials. |
Special presentations by the DNR, including a 2017-18 hunting season
forecast, a hunter safety field day and programs on endangered and
invasive species. |
Outdoor sportsmen conservation information booths, where kids can earn a
Junior Ranger Patch by visiting selected booths. |
Additional sponsors, who make the Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Festival
possible, include the Friends of Bay City State Recreation Area, Michigan
Duck Hunters Association, Cabela’s, Ducks Unlimited, Frank’s Great
Outdoors, SC Johnson, the Bay Area Community Foundation the Dow
For more information about the 2017 Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Festival,
Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Festival Facebook page or the Friends of Bay
City State Recreation Area website at
www.friendsofpark.org or call the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center at
Annual Report Highlights DNR Fisheries
Division's 2016 Accomplishments and Activities
Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced that the DNR
Fisheries Division’s report highlighting various management efforts
accomplished during Fiscal Year 2016 is available online at
Again this year there are two components to the report: a 13-page document
with full details of DNR fisheries management work completed in the past
year and a 9-inch-by-12-inch printed trifold brochure (available as a PDF)
that visually summarizes the content.
The 2016 Fisheries Division Annual Report focuses on the programs and work
completed in the past fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016)
by division staff in an effort to maintain and improve Michigan’s
fisheries. The report categorizes work within the goals developed as part
of the division's five-year strategic plan, published in March 2013.
Highlights of the report include dam removal efforts, habitat restoration
work, prevention of aquatic invasive species, state-record fish, fisheries
population changes, education and outreach efforts, partnerships,
research, fish stocking, energy efficiencies and much more.
“We’re always pleased to present our annual report to provide a regular
snapshot of the critical work Fisheries Division is doing to manage
Michigan’s world-class aquatic resources,” said Fisheries Division Chief
Jim Dexter. “These reports help us track our progress as we work toward
completing our strategic plan and we are proud to share them with the
Fisheries Division welcomes input from readers of the 2016 annual report.
Comments may be shared via email to DNR-Fish-Accomplishments@michigan.gov.
Deer Private Land Assistance Network Grant
Application Period Opens
Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced that the
application period has opened for the Deer Private Land Assistance Network
(Deer PLAN) grant program. It is designed to support private-land deer
habitat improvement projects in the northern Lower Peninsula.
The Deer PLAN program is funded by the state's Deer Range Improvement
Program funds. In 2018, a total of $50,000 will be made available. The
focus area will include private lands in the following counties: Alcona,
Alpena, Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle. Funds will be
allocated across these six counties based on a competitive grant
application scoring process.
“Having a focus area helps us concentrate habitat projects, and doing so
will provide benefits to deer hunters in areas where we have identified
habitat issues,” said DNR Deer Program biologist Ashley Autenrieth.
New this year is a stronger emphasis within the grant application on the
Hunting Access Program, which recently was expanded to the northern
Lower Peninsula. Changes have been made to encourage landowners to
participate in the program, such as providing additional points toward
their final application score if their property is enrolled in HAP.
Additional HAP information is included in the grant application package.
“HAP is the perfect program for landowners looking to earn income from
their property and extra funding for deer habitat projects,” said Monique
Ferris, DNR Hunting Access Program coordinator. “It is a great way to
support Michigan’s hunting heritage by allowing public hunting on their
land. Plus, if you live in one of the four core bovine tuberculosis
counties, payment incentives have just increased.”
Proposals meeting the basic grant requirements and seeking between $2,000
and $10,000 in cooperative funding will be considered. A 25-percent match
of funds – in the form of any one of more of the following: financial
match, cost share, volunteer labor, material contributions or other
in-kind support – also is required for each proposal.
Project applications are due by September 1st, and successful
applicants will be notified by October 1st. Proposed projects will
be evaluated and competitively scored by a selection committee based on
specific criteria. The complete grant application package is available
www.michigan.gov/dnr-grants, via the
Deer PLAN link at the bottom of the page.
Climb Aboard as the DNR Surveys Lake Sturgeon
By BOB GWIZDZ-Michigan Department of Natural Resources
managers have many high-technology tools available today – acoustic
tracking, remote satellite imagery, environmental DNA – that might make
old-timers shake their heads and think it all sounds like science fiction.
But old-fashioned techniques continue to provide fisheries managers with
data that helps them make management decisions that benefit both the
fisheries resource and anglers.
Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to managing the Great Lakes’
oldest denizens — lake sturgeon.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been monitoring sturgeon
populations on the St. Clair River for the last 25 years with a technique
that is as old as fishing itself.
DNR crews use set lines that are anchored to the bottom of the river
channel and sport numerous hooks to catch and tag the mysterious
The DNR’s research vessel, Channel Cat spent much of June on the North
Channel of the St. Clair River, above Lake St. Clair, setting and running
what are essentially trot lines to monitor what’s going on with the Great
Lakes’ most significant sturgeon population.
“This is the largest natural reproducing population of sturgeon in the
Great Lakes,” said Todd Wills, who heads up the Lake St. Clair Fisheries
Research Station. “We estimate the population in the St. Clair system at
about 30,000 fish, 2 years old or older, with about 12,000 of them
concentrated in the area being surveyed.”
crews set lines Monday through Thursday and run those lines Tuesday
through Friday throughout most of June. They set nylon rope lines 500 feet
in length, with the middle section containing 25 hooks on tarred nylon
The single hooks – either 2/0 freshwater hooks or larger, size 4 saltwater
hooks — are attached 10 feet apart and baited with dead gobies.
Smaller hooks help catch smaller fish, though it takes one of the larger
hooks to hold the biggest fish, which can weigh 100 pounds or more.
The lines are set in deep water, from about 38 to 70 feet deep, running
roughly perpendicular to the bank. They’re marked with large floats and
kept on the bottom with large double-claw crab anchors.
The set lines are spread over approximately 4 miles of river where
sturgeon traditionally have been caught. The set lines are the DNR’s most
efficient method of monitoring sturgeon, though the crew also trawls for
them on the lake in the summer.
“Trawling produces fewer fish, and it’s pretty variable by year,” Wills
said. “Some years they’re harder to find.”
Typically, it takes a six-person DNR crew, as well as some volunteers, to
work the lines. Occasionally, some special guests are invited to observe.
had Governor Snyder out last year,” Wills said.
The crew begins by hauling in the lines, hand-over-hand, netting any fish
that have been hooked. The fish are transferred into a holding tank aboard
the research vessel and are worked up as soon as the line is cleared.
DNR personnel record more data than a marketing firm. The fish are
weighed, measured three ways – total length, girth at its widest, and
commercial length (from the gill plate to the base of the tail) – and the
number of visible lamprey scars is noted.
Crew members squeeze the sturgeon to see if they release eggs or milt,
which is the only way to determine their sex, and crew members note
anything unusual like missing barbels (whisker-like sensory organs found
near the snout) or damaged fins.
Fish are injected with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags if they
haven’t been tagged before and recaptures are noted. If the fish is longer
than 40 inches, it’s also fitted with a numbered external tag on the
dorsal fin. If the sturgeon is shorter than 40 inches, a pectoral fin ray
is taken to estimate the age of the fish.
“Larger fish can’t be aged accurately with that technique,” Wills said.
After data are collected, the fish are released and the crew makes sure
they swim off unharmed before moving along. The gear is stowed until the
lines are reset after all lines have been run.
an all-day job to run and set lines if we’re successfully capturing
numerous fish,” Wills said. “Any day you get 20 fish or more it’s a really
Wills said the data collected indicate the population can withstand a
short recreational fishing season.
The catch-and-keep fishing season in Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair
River is July 16 – Sept. 30 this year. Anglers can keep one fish between
42 and 50 inches annually. Harvested fish must be tagged by the angler and
reported to the DNR.
“Our catch data from the set line survey shows about 80 percent of the
population is protected with the current regulation, which allows the
unique opportunity to harvest a fish for anglers who choose to do so,”
“Harvest is usually low, with no more than a dozen fish taken each year.
It’s largely a catch-and-release fishery enjoyed by a very strong
contingent of anglers. It’s getting more popular.”
The catch-and-release fishing season in Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair
River continues from Oct. 1 – Nov. 30.
Roy Beasley, who captains the Channel Cat, says working the sturgeon
survey is an enjoyable assignment.
“I think it’s the most fun,” he said. “It can be challenging when there
are a lot of big boats around or high winds. But the fish are big and you
don’t need a lot of gear.
Trawling, you’ve got winches and trawl doors and a big net – lots of
bells and whistles – and you can get nets snagged up and torn up. With set
lines you don’t have to deal with all that, and you don’t have to deal
with big waves as you’re in the river.”
Chet Kilanowski, a retired letter carrier, is one of the volunteers who
occasionally helps out on the Channel Cat.
“I always wanted to do something with fish and wildlife so I volunteered,”
he said. “I’ve been helping out for 12 years. When we first started the
DNR had a smaller staff and really needed the help. Now I go every once in
a while, like if one of the crew is out. I fill in whenever they need me.
“There’s nothing wrong with volunteering when you’re retired.”
Get more information on lake sturgeon in Michigan at
Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories and subscribe to upcoming
DNR Conservation Officer Recruits Begin Rigorous
Candidates will be pushed to their limits
as 8th Recruit School begins Sunday
candidates will try to make the grade as Michigan Department of Natural
Resources conservation officers when the 8th Conservation Officer Recruit
School gets under way Sunday, July 16th, in Lansing.
Recruits face 23 weeks of intensive training that taxes their bodies,
minds and spirits. This year’s class is composed of 18 men and seven
women. Four candidates are from the Upper Peninsula, 18 are from the Lower
Peninsula and three are from out of state.
The DNR will provide weekly blogs that offer a closer look at life in this
year’s Conservation Officer Recruit School. The blogs highlight weekly
training events and challenges. You can
subscribe to the blogs, which also will be posted on the
Michigan DNR Facebook page.
“These men and women have the chance to be part of something special, but
they have to earn it,” said Gary Hagler, chief of DNR’s Law Enforcement
Division. “Anyone who wears the green and gray uniform of a Michigan
conservation officer must carry on our 130-year tradition of service and
excellence. Those who have what it takes can look forward to an exciting,
rewarding career protecting Michigan’s natural resources and the people
who enjoy them. But it all starts at Recruit School.”
Recruits had to pass a stringent screening process that included a
physical fitness test, a background investigation and two hiring
interviews. While at the academy, recruits will be trained in skills such
as firearms, survival tactics, vehicle operations, water safety, first
aid, criminal law, fish and game law and enforcement, report writing,
alcohol enforcement and computer use.
Recruits who complete the academy will graduate December 21st and then
spend an additional 20 weeks training throughout the state before being
assigned to one of Michigan’s 83 counties.
“The DNR has some of the country’s most challenging and comprehensive law
enforcement training,” said Sgt. Jason Wicklund, Recruit School commander.
“Our standards are high and the school is physically, mentally and
emotionally demanding. While we hope all of our candidates are successful,
we know the challenges involved might prevent some from completing this
training. But those who do will earn the right to join the ranks of an
elite team that is dedicated to protecting and serving Michigan.”
DNR conservation officers serve a distinct role in Michigan’s law
enforcement community. They are certified peace officers with authority to
enforce all of Michigan’s laws. As conservation officers, they also have
unique training in a variety of areas related to the protection of
Michigan’s residents, the environment and our natural resources.
Conservation officers often are first to respond in situations such as
medical emergencies, missing persons and public safety threats.
The DNR Law Enforcement Division is recruiting for future academies.
For more information, contact Sgt. John Meka at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-284-6499. To learn more about the hiring
process and the role of a conservation officer, visit
Natural Resources Commission to Meet Thursday in
hunting will be in focus this week as the Michigan Natural Resources
Commission considers antlerless hunting license quotas, antler-point
restrictions and deer management assistance permits at the commission’s
next regular meeting Thursday, July 13, at the Lansing Center, 333 E.
Michigan Ave., in Lansing.
The day begins with a 10:30 a.m. meeting of the Policy Committee on
Finance and Operations, which will hear annual report overviews from the
Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ fisheries, wildlife and law
enforcement divisions. The committee also will receive on update on the
DNR’s 2018 budget.
At 1 p.m., the Policy Committee on Wildlife and Fisheries will discuss
all-species tournament fishing regulations, get updates on a fisheries
order regarding state-licensed commercial fishing, and hear information on
antler-point restrictions and deer management assistance permits.
The Committee of the Whole meets at 2 p.m. to receive updates on state
parks and trails and the state forest road inventory, the Arctic grayling
plan and the bear patch program. Presentations include 40-year service
awards for volunteer hunter safety instructors and recognition of
Conservation Officers Michael Evink and Ben Shively, who will be presented
with Lifesaving Awards. The committee also will hear the regular DNR
legislative report and other committee reports.
Immediately following the Committee of the Whole, the commission will
receive public comments. Those wishing to appear before the NRC should
contact Cheryl Nelson, executive assistant to the NRC, at 517-284-6237 or
email@example.com to register.
Following public comments, commissioners are expected to vote on deer
DNR Director Keith Creagh then is scheduled to announce decisions on
several land transactions and 2018 camping, lodging and
For more information about the Natural Resources Commission, including
full agendas and meeting minutes, visit
DNR Seeks Mentors for Outdoor Recreation at U.P.
Businesses and organizations can also sponsor shifts, volunteer as
year’s fun-packed week of the Upper Peninsula State Fair is just around
the corner, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is looking
for some youth mentors for outdoor recreation activities taking place at
the DNR Pocket Park.
The DNR needs community volunteers interested in helping kids learn to
catch fish or shoot a pellet gun or bow and arrow during the Aug. 14-20
week of the Upper Peninsula State Fair.
“This is a really cool opportunity to help guide youth in activities many
in this region have come to consider as essential,” said Kristi Dahlstrom,
one of the DNR volunteer organizers. “Hunters, anglers, teachers and many
others could all be very helpful to young kids who may be trying these
activities for the first time.”
The DNR Pocket Park is a 1-acre site within the fairgrounds, off U.S. 2,
that features a bluegill-stocked catch-and-release pond, archery and
pellet gun ranges, a fire tower, and a waterfall in a serene wooded
The park caters especially to youngsters who are seeking an outdoor
adventure or to learn an outdoor skill. The U.P. State Fair draws almost
75,000 visitors annually and many visit the Pocket Park to participate in
the activities or to enjoy a relaxing shaded spot to sit.
“We also need volunteers to help greet visitors, staff the fire tower
or assist Smokey Bear,” said Jo Ann Alexander, one of the DNR volunteer
organizers. “This is a fun opportunity for those who love the outdoors to
share their expertise or for someone who enjoys mentoring children to
engage the next generation of hunters and anglers. No experience is needed
as training will be provided.”
Businesses and organizations, clubs, and groups may also wish to sponsor
shifts during the fair by having their employees or members volunteer as a
“Volunteering together is a fun way to give something back to the local
community, and do some important team-building at the same time,”
Recognition of the group or business will be prominently displayed and
“We have received a few wonderful monetary donations to replace old and
broken equipment, as well as a commitment for volunteer help from a couple
of dedicated organizations,” Alexander said. “We are extremely grateful
for their assistance, but we are still in need of a lot more help to fill
over 200 time slots.”
Volunteer shifts during fair week run:
|4:30-9 p.m. Monday (fair opening day-Aug. 14) |
|11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and 3-7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday
|11 a.m.-4 p.m. and 3:30-8:30 p.m. Friday |
|11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sunday (fair final day-Aug. 20) |
Community volunteers must be at least 16 years old (unless under
special pre-approved circumstances) and pass a background check. A meal,
T-shirt, and a small gift will be provided.
Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Kristi Dahlstrom at
906-226-1331 firstname.lastname@example.org or Jo Ann Alexander at 906-789-8200
The Pocket Park is open Memorial Day to Labor Day by appointment to
host family gatherings, picnics, youth organizations, school groups,
sports associations, scouting campouts, public events that include some
introduction to fishing, shooting or outdoor recreation.
Those interested in booking an event at the Pocket Park are asked to
call 906-789-0714 or 906-786-2351 to reserve a date.
DNR Offers Bear Hunting Clinics in Cadillac this
July and August
Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Skills Academy will offer bear
hunting clinics in Cadillac, Michigan, Saturday,
July 29th, Saturday, Aug. 5th, and Sunday, Aug. 6th, from 10 a.m. to 4:30
Students will learn the ins and outs of bear hunting with
experienced hunters and DNR educators. The class will cover habitat, gear,
stand placement, baiting, rules and regulations, carcass care and hide
Participants will spend three to four hours in the classroom and then hit
the trail to learn how to place a stand and bait in the woods.
Registration is required. The fee for the class is $30, which includes the
clinic, door prizes donated by the
Michigan Bear Hunters Association, a Michigan DNR bear patch and
"The Michigan Bear Hunters Association has donated phenomenal door prizes
each year. This year will be no different," said DNR park interpreter Ed
Shaw. "Prizes will be announced closer to the date of the classes."
The clinics will be held at the Carl T. Johnson Hunt and Fish Center,
located in Mitchell State Park at 6087 E. M-115 in Cadillac. A Recreation
Passport is required for entry into the park.
For more information and to register, visit
www.michigan.gov/huntfishcenter or contact Ed Shaw at 231-779-1321 or
Learn more about the Outdoor Skills Academy at
DNR’s West U.P. Citizens’ Advisory Council Meets
in Menominee Co.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Western Upper Peninsula Citizens’
Advisory Council is scheduled to hear a presentation on this past winter’s
moose survey results, antler point restrictions, and updates on trails and
western U.P. state parks when the group meets Wednesday, July 19 in
“This session will also feature updates on chronic wasting disease, and
the work of the U.P. Habitat Workgroup,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy
public information officer. “The council meetings consistently offer
information important to those interested in DNR activities in the region
and give members of the public a voice in those issues.”
The council meeting will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. CDT (6:30-8:30 p.m. EDT)
in the Wolf Conference Room at the Island Resort and Casino in Harris.
Prior to the meeting, from 5-5:30 p.m. CDT (6-6:30 p.m. EDT), DNR staff
members will offer division reports.
The public can participate in the session by offering comments to the
discussion during two specified periods during the meeting (for
The DNR’s eastern and western Upper Peninsula citizens’ advisory councils
are designed to provide local input 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 constituencies.
The council members represent a wide variety of natural resource and
recreation interests. Agenda items are set by the council members and
council recommendations are forwarded to the DNR for consideration.
Anyone interested in being considered as a future council member should
fill out the nomination form found on the DNR website at
www.michigan.gov/upcac. Meeting packets and agendas are also available
For more information, contact the DNR Upper Peninsula regional
coordinator’s office at 906-226-1331.
DNR to Temporarily Close Boat Launch in Iron
Michigan Department of Natural Resources will temporarily close the Indian
Lake boating access site in Iron County, beginning July 17, for
installation of a new concrete boat ramp.
Indian Lake is in southern Iron County, southwest of Crystal Falls, off
County Road 424 and Pentoga Trail.
“A DNR Parks and Recreation Division construction crew will accomplish the
work and it is anticipated the project will be completed by Friday, July
21,” said Zachary Bishop, unit supervisor at the Escanaba DNR field
office. “The site will reopen upon completion of the project.”
Indian Lake has no alternate boat launches.
This roughly $10,000 project is funded through the Michigan State
Waterways Fund, a restricted fund derived from boat registration fees and
the Michigan marine fuel tax, which is used for the construction,
operation and maintenance of recreational boating facilities, harbors and
For more information or updates about this project, contact Zachary
Bishop, unit supervisor at the Escanaba DNR field office, at 906-786-2351.
For more information on boating in Michigan, visit the DNR’s website at
Fort Street Bridge Park Project More than
Halfway to Goal of $600,000
Park location, site of Ford Hunger March of 1932, a
significant part of state’s automotive and labor history
Iron Belle Trail – with its 1,273-mile hiking route and 791-mile bicycle
route from Detroit to the western Upper Peninsula – not only connects
communities from across the state, it also spotlights the state’s unique
heritage and many historical milestones. One of those spots is in
southwest Detroit, where the Fort Street Bridge crosses the River Rouge.
This location is one of international importance, because it’s the site of
the Ford Hunger March of 1932. The Ford Hunger March occurred during the
Great Depression. Auto production had dropped from 5.3 million vehicles in
1929 to 1.3 million in 1932, and many automobile workers had lost their
jobs. The march helped shape the future of unions in America and
contributed to the formation of the United Auto Workers in 1935.
“Around midday, March 7, 1932, approximately 3,000 workers mustered near
the intersection of South Fort Street and Oakwood Boulevard to prepare for
the planned march to the Ford Administration Building,” said Lloyd
Baldwin, a historian for the Michigan Department of Transportation. “The
marchers crossed the Fort Street Bridge on the way to Miller Road, the
route to the Ford plant.”
In the bitter cold, the unemployed workers and their family members
crossed the bridge on a mission to deliver a list of demands to Henry Ford
for jobs, food, fuel for heat and help with rent and mortgages. When the
throng of people crossed into Dearborn, police fired tear gas into the
crowd. Later, fire hoses were turned on the marchers, who responded by
throwing clods of frozen dirt and rocks. Gunfire erupted from the police
line. Four marchers were killed and a fifth died weeks later.
years after the march, a Michigan Historical Marker was installed on the
Operators’ House of the Fort Street Bridge in 1992 to commemorate the
event. A dedication ceremony was held March 14, 1992, followed by a march
to the union hall where additional ceremonies were held. The marker was
decommissioned in 2013 when work began to replace the Fort Street Bascule
Bridge, which is its focus. This year the Michigan Historical Commission
granted permission to the UAW to reinstall the marker as a historic
artifact at UAW Local 600 Hall in Dearborn. With the new bridge now in
place, MDOT plans on installing a new interpretive panel at the bridge to
mark the Ford Hunger March. That panel will be installed later this
At the foot of the bridge, on the south side, is the site of a new
pocket park being planned by the Fort Rouge Gateway Project, a partnership
of 16 entities covering private enterprise, nonprofits, local government
and education. Partners include the MotorCities National Heritage Area,
the University of Michigan-Dearborn, the city of Detroit, the city of
Dearborn, Marathon Petroleum Co. LP, the Michigan Department of
Transportation, United Auto Workers Local 600, the Fred A. and Barbara M.
Erb Family Foundation and additional groups and organizations.
The Iron Belle Trail’s hiking route follows Fort Street, from downtown
Detroit south, across the historic River Rouge via the Fort Street Bridge,
passing the site of the new park. The design elements of the interpretive
park, tucked into the northeast corner of Fort and Denmark streets
adjacent to the Rouge River, include bike loops, an entry wall,
environmentally friendly landscaping, seating and a rain garden.
Park project more than halfway to
Earlier this month, Brian Yopp from the MotorCities National Heritage
Area, announced that more than $300,000 has been raised – including
$100,000 from Ford Motor Co. – toward the overall goal of $600,000 to
build the park.
“We are still $260,000 from our $600,000 goal, but we are nibbling little
by little,” Yopp said. “We are so proud to be part of this partnership.
This group represents diverse backgrounds and unique motivations that have
come together to accomplish a shared goal. This is an important site for
the automotive industry and its history.”
clearing for the park and on-the-ground work already has been completed.
Earlier this year, on the Marathon Gardens Wildlife Habitat (a separate,
but complimentary area to the park), for example, a stewardship day was
held in which dozens of people came out to help plant flowers and plants
and get rid of non-native species.
Planners hope to begin construction of the park yet this year.
“It is sites like this – and the partnerships formed to build them – that
help make the Iron Belle Trail a showcase trail for Michigan,” said Paul
Yauk, statewide trails coordinator with the Michigan Department of Natural
“This is an important location, a site with a lot of historical
significance,” he said. “Having it on the Iron Belle Trail is wonderful,
because it marks another reason for people to get out onto the trail and
explore all that Michigan offers. There are many other historically
significant sites along the trail, from Belle Isle in Detroit, to the Mann
House in Concord, to Hartwick Pines in Grayling, all the way to Ironwood.
And summer is the perfect time to visit them.”
Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail is the longest state-designated trail in the
nation, encompassing more than 2,000 miles of Michigan hiking and biking
routes, allowing users to explore pristine forests and cool rivers while
connecting big cities to smaller and diverse towns. The trail extends from
Belle Isle in Detroit to Ironwood in Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula.
For more information on the Iron Belle Trail, visit
For more information on the
Fort Street Bridge Park project and details on how to support the
fundraising effort, visit
Bovine Tuberculosis – A Disease Still Worth
DNR continues to work to eradicate bovine TB; help needed
By Kelly Straka-Michigan Department of Natural
more than two decades of study and testing white-tailed deer for bovine
tuberculosis, Michigan has become world-renowned for its research and
expertise on managing this serious contagious disease.
Over this time, Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife managers
have learned a great deal, including that continued assistance from
hunters and others remains vitally necessary to make significant gains in
battling bovine tuberculosis into the future.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious disease caused by certain bacteria that
attack the respiratory system of animals and humans.
There are several types of tuberculosis, but bovine tuberculosis (bTB) can
infect the widest variety of animals and is what wildlife managers have
been trying to eradicate from white-tailed deer in Michigan.
“Michigan is one of the leading experts in management and information
related to bTB,” said Kelly Straka, DNR state wildlife veterinarian. “We
are the only state in nation that has bTB established in wild deer.”
Although originating and typically occurring in cattle, bTB can infect
nearly any mammal, including humans. Bovine TB is caused by the bacterium
Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis), which is part of the Mycobacterium
disease is contagious and can be debilitating to deer. Severely infected
animals can struggle to even breathe,” Straka said. “By not eradicating
this in the herd, we risk the spread of the disease to new areas of
Michigan and into our wild elk herd.
“In addition, this is devastating to cattle producers. Trade restrictions,
expensive testing and quarantines can lead to the loss of family farms and
are a terrible burden on Michigan’s economy.”
Bovine TB is spread primarily through the exchange of respiratory
secretions and saliva between infected and uninfected animals. This
transmission can happen when animals are in close contact with each other.
Bacteria released into the air through coughing and sneezing can spread
the disease when inhaled by uninfected animals. In addition, food items
contaminated with the saliva of an infected animal can transmit bTB to
uninfected animals when they eat the contaminated feed. This is the
primary way that cattle and deer infect each other.
Michigan detected TB in the early years
Bovine tuberculosis is a chronic disease that can take years to
develop. The strains of bTB now present in Michigan are not native to
North America, but were brought here by human movement of infected cattle
from Great Britain in the 1700s and 1800s.
In the 1920s, nearly a third of cattle in Alpena and Alcona counties
tested positive for bTB. In 1975, a single hunter-harvested white-tailed
deer in Alcona County was found positive for bTB. At that time, it was
thought that bTB couldn’t sustain itself in wild deer.
Nearly 20 years passed before a hunter harvested Michigan’s second bTB-positive
deer in Alpena County in 1994.
Since 1995, Michigan has been testing white-tailed deer for bovine
tuberculosis year-round. Michigan has the longest- running continuous
wildlife TB surveillance program in the world.
“Most Michiganders, and even most policymakers, don’t realize how much
we’ve learned about bTB in the last 20 years”, said Dan O’Brien,
veterinary specialist with DNR’s wildlife disease lab. “The research we’ve
done here in Michigan is respected around the world.
“Other countries dealing with similar outbreaks of bTB continue to watch
our situation with great interest. At this point, we know what it will
take to get rid of bTB. Whether we as a state will choose to make that
happen though is still an open question.”
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date, nearly 900 of over 230,000 deer tested in Michigan have been
positive for bovine tuberculosis.
Seventy-eight percent of these TB-positive deer have been from a core area
— Deer Management Unit 452 — in the northeastern part of Michigan's Lower
Peninsula, where the counties of Montmorency, Alpena, Oscoda and Alcona
However, bTB is endemic (i.e. self-sustaining at a low level) across all
four of those counties, and in Presque Isle County. Ninety-seven percent
of all the bTB-positive deer ever found have come from that five-county
Antrim, Cheboygan, Crawford, Emmet, Iosco, Mecosta, Osceola, Otsego,
Roscommon and Shiawassee counties also have had deer test positive for bTB.
“We continue to commit time and resources to fighting this disease. This
year, we are reinvigorating the message that we still need help,” Straka
said. “This is a chronic disease, and we need all Michiganders to be on
board for the long haul.”
An effective disease-management tool
Hunting has been the primary tool for managing bovine tuberculosis in
“The majority (93 percent) of land in DMU 452 is private and is known
locally as 'club country',” said Brian Mastenbrook, DNR wildlife field
operations manager. “One of the primary reasons to own this land and be
club members is to hunt deer. We work with as many of the clubs as we can
on all aspects of deer herd management.
appreciate the cooperation of the club members and all the other hunters
throughout DMU 452. Hunters have been responsible for reducing the disease
prevalence by over 50 percent between the mid-1990s and now.”
Recently, the Michigan Hunting Access Program expanded into the
northern Lower Peninsula specifically to open more land to deer hunting.
The program leases private lands and makes those lands available to anyone
with a valid hunting license.
“The Hunting Access Program, along with a couple of private land
habitat grant opportunities, is a way for us to talk with more people
about deer management in this area,” Mastenbrook said.
The DNR reminds all hunters to get their deer tested. A deer can look
healthy and still have bovine TB.
"In fact, over 60 percent of the bTB-infected deer we’ve ever tested
have had no signs of disease a hunter would recognize,” Straka said.
Working together for success
Despite many efforts over the years, bovine tuberculosis has not gone
away. In 2016, 29 deer and six cattle herds tested positive for the
“Since the first TB-affected cattle herd was discovered in June 1998,
there have been a total of 69 cattle herds, five feedlots and three
privately owned cervid facilities found to be infected with the Michigan
strain of bovine TB,” said Rick Smith, assistant state veterinarian.
The agencies responsible for managing deer and cattle populations
include the Michigan DNR, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural
Development and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Together these agencies
are working collaboratively on new approaches to combat the disease.
Many of these new methods are implemented at the grassroots level;
cattle producers are encouraged to strengthen bio-security practices at
their farms, hunters are asked to harvest deer and private landowners are
offered incentives to open their properties for hunter access.
Michiganders called to action
state agencies involved in bTB management are committed to doing their
part, but cannot regulate the disease to eradication.
“Michiganders need to educate themselves about this disease, and find out
ways they can help,” said Russ Mason, DNR Wildlife Division chief.
“Whether you are a hunter submitting samples for surveillance, or a cattle
producer fencing off feed to prevent cattle/deer interactions, it’s these
everyday actions that can affect change over time.
“This is not a problem for just deer hunters, or cattle farmers, or even
residents in the northern Lower Peninsula; this is a problem for everyone
The DNR is urging hunters to submit heads for testing from all deer
harvested in the following counties: Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Crawford,
Huron, Iosco, Lake, Mecosta, Montmorency, Newaygo, Ogemaw, Osceola,
Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle and Roscommon. The testing is offered free of
Infected deer may not show chest lesions. Deer carcasses with chest
lesions suspected to be evidence of bovine TB should be submitted from
anywhere in the state. A list of DNR deer check stations is available at
DNR wildlife managers encourage anyone who sees a deer with this type of
infection to contact the DNR so the carcass can be examined. Hunters may
check their deer or elk TB lab results at www.michigan.gov/dnrlab
There are signs of bovine tuberculosis hunters may observe when
field-dressing a deer.
Lymph nodes in the animal's head usually show infection first and, as the
disease progresses, lesions may begin to develop on the surface of the
lungs and chest cavity. In severely infected deer, lesions can sometimes
be found throughout the animal's entire body.
Deer with severe TB may have tan or yellow lumps lining the chest wall and
in the lung tissue. Deer showing this type of infection should be
submitted to the DNR for laboratory testing.
In the years since bovine tuberculosis was discovered in wild white-tailed
deer in Michigan, much has been learned about this contagious disease.
The DNR and other agencies working to eradicate bovine tuberculosis from
our state encourage Michigan residents to educate themselves about this
affliction and do what they can as individuals and groups to help fight
For more information on bovine tuberculosis, visit
Grand Rapids Workshop on Finding Value in Urban
municipal tree care workers and forestry professionals are invited to
participate in a workshop showcasing the use of urban wood for green
building materials, lumber, sustainable energy and other value-added
Participants will learn about better uses for removed trees, how to
recognize and capture value in sawn logs from routine tree removals, and
how communities across the country are incorporating these cost-saving
practices in their tree maintenance programs.
Sponsored by Spalted Banjo Consulting, the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources and the Sustainable Resources Alliance (formerly the Southeast
Michigan RC&D Council), the workshop is set for:
Thursday, July 20|
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Blandford School, 3143 Milo St., Grand Rapids
To register, visit
www.spaltedbanjo.com/event. The cost is $35 and includes a full lunch.
Participants are asked to register by July 17. Check-in begins at 8:30
a.m. the day of the seminar.
"We’d like to encourage municipalities and tree care companies to explore
options for capturing some value from wood material generated through
routine tree care operations," said Kevin Sayers, DNR urban forestry
program manager. "Diverting the most usable logs from the waste stream can
help reduce disposal costs and give community trees a ‘second life’ in the
form of furniture, lumber, paneling and a variety of other uses.”
Much of the wood volume removed annually from the urban forest currently
ends up in landfills or as mulch, Sayers said. Using the wood in other
ways is not only more efficient, it also saves municipalities the cost of
“Trees in the urban forest provide multiple values,” said David Neumann,
DNR forest utilization and marketing specialist. “Urban trees are
beautiful and provide shade, habitat for wildlife, clean the air and
filter water, and help save energy by shading buildings. However, trees
may need to be removed for a variety of reasons including storm or insect
damage, and when that happens they can have great potential for use as
‘green’ building materials."
Neumann also said that many of the tree species growing in Michigan cities
and road rights of way can produce high-quality hardwood lumber, with
interesting character or grain patterns sought after in furniture
For more information about the workshop, contact Margaret Miller, Spalted
Banjo Consulting, at
email@example.com or 269-921-0592.
The DNR is committed to the sustainable management of forest resources,
and supports this workshop series as part of an effort to promote the use
of wood in construction and other forest product industries. To find wood
product manufacturers located in Michigan, visit the free Forest Products
Industry Directory maintained by the DNR at
www.michigan.gov/wood. For more information on the DNR’s urban and
community forestry programs, visit
Partial funding for this event is from the Bringing Urban Forestry Full
Circle grant project, which is supported by the USDA Forest Service
Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration
Grant Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination
in all its programs and activities and is an equal opportunity provider
Celebrate Michigan Mammals Week at Michigan
State Parks July 10th Through the 16th
Michigan Department of Natural Resources will highlight the wonders of
Michigan's mammals during Michigan Mammals Week July 10-16 in a handful of
Michigan state parks. The family-friendly programs are free for campers
The annual program provides a fun and educational experience for the
whole family. The week of hands-on programming will take place in
31 Michigan state parks and will feature hikes, animal tracking programs,
games and much more.
Michigan Mammals Week and many other programs are led by state park
Explorer Guides and park interpreters who work in the park and present a
variety of outdoor education opportunities in more than 30 Michigan state
parks Memorial Day through August. These enthusiastic, nature-minded folks
lead hikes, activities and programming that shine a spotlight on each
park’s unique resources.
To find a program in your favorite park, visit
www.michigan.gov/natureprograms and click on the link “Michigan
Mammals Week” under Special Programs and Activities. To see all available
Explorer programming throughout the summer,
view the interactive map or alphabetical list of parks.
Fall Turkey Hunting Applications on Sale July
1st Through August 1st
Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters that the fall
turkey hunting application period opens Saturday, July 1st.
Applications will be available through August 1st. The application
fee is $5. Applications and licenses may be purchased at any
authorized license agent or online at
The 2017 fall turkey season runs September 15th
to November 14th. A total of 51,350 licenses are available,
including 4,650 general licenses and 46,700 private-land licenses.
Information about fall turkey hunting can be found at
www.michigan.gov/turkey. Fall turkey drawing results and leftover
license availability also will be posted on the Michigan DNR website
August 14th, 2017.
St. Joseph and Kalamazoo Rivers Tested for
Silver and Bighead Carp
Concern in Michigan is high after capture of a
silver carp in the Illinois Waterway
Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced environmental DNA
(eDNA) sample results from the St. Joseph and Kalamazoo rivers show no
signs of invasive silver and bighead carp.
According to DNR fisheries biologist Nick Popoff, none of the 260 eDNA
samples collected May 1 and analyzed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service indicated the presence of genetic material for silver or bighead
Results and maps of the 200 survey sites on the Kalamazoo River and
the 60 sites on the St. Joseph River are available on the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Midwest Fisheries website.
Video of eDNA sampling is available on the
The eDNA surveillance program – a collaborative effort between the Great
Lakes states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 2013 – samples
high-priority locations for the presence of bighead and silver carp
“Invasive carp thrive and reproduce in large, warm-water rivers with ample
flow,” said Popoff. “Michigan’s southwestern Great Lakes tributaries
provide suitable habitat and sufficient food, in the form of algae, to
support these species.”
The Grand, St. Joseph and Kalamazoo rivers have two additional monitoring
events scheduled this summer, with lab results expected in July and
August. The eDNA monitoring program is a part of the early detection
efforts outlined in
Michigan’s Asian Carp Management Plan.
“Along with our participation in the eDNA surveillance program, we
continue to be diligent with early detection efforts, such as conducting
fish population surveys, increasing awareness among anglers, and
invasive carp reporting website for anglers to share any suspicious
catches or observations that occur during their outings,” said Tammy
Newcomb, the DNR’s senior water policy advisor.
Concern about the possibility of invasive silver or bighead carp reaching
Michigan’s waters was heightened by the June 22 capture of an 8-pound,
27-inch-long silver carp in the Illinois Waterway. The fish was netted by
a commercial fisher participating in a scheduled Asian Carp Regional
Coordinating Committee monitoring event.
The silver carp was caught just nine miles from Lake Michigan, some 27
miles beyond the electric barrier system meant to keep the fish from
entering the Great Lakes.
If invasive carp prevention measures fail, the Great Lakes and Michigan’s
waters could sustain major ecological changes, causing losses to the $7
billion commercial and sport fishing industry. The potential for injury to
recreational boaters and swimmers from leaping silver carp also could
negatively affect the state’s $38 billion tourism economy.
While Michigan plays an active role in the Asian Carp Regional
Coordinating Committee, the state only has jurisdiction and management
authority over Michigan’s waters. The Illinois Waterway and the Chicago
Area Waterway System are controlled by the state of Illinois, with the
system’s locks operated by the Army Corps of Engineers.
For this reason, the Michigan DNR supports the release of the Army Corps
of Engineers’ delayed Brandon Road study on the feasibility of enacting
additional invasive species controls in the Chicago Area Waterway System.
“The potential for action is being deferred by the study’s retention,”
said Newcomb. “At the same time, funding for the Great Lakes Restoration
Initiative, a key support for invasive carp monitoring, control and
prevention efforts, may be in jeopardy.”
Michigan’s commitment to protecting the Great Lakes from the threat of
invasive carp has taken the form of a $1 million investment in
innovation. The Invasive Carp Challenge –
michigan.gov/carpchallenge – will solicit ideas from around the globe
to help stop invasive carp from entering Michigan’s waters. The challenge,
offering cash prizes for feasible prevention methods, is scheduled to open
in mid-July 2017 through
InnoCentive, a leader in crowdsourcing for federal, state and private
If invasive carp are detected in Michigan’s waters, the state is prepared
to act with a plan of intensive monitoring to locate fish populations,
netting and electrofishing to capture and remove the invasive fish, and if
necessary, applications of rotenone, an aquatic pesticide.
“Controlling and eradicating aquatic invasive species is an extremely
costly, difficult and long-term undertaking, with no guarantee of success.
Preventing invasive carp from entering the Great Lakes is a far better
prospect,” said Newcomb.
“Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness week is July 2-8,” said Popoff.
“This is an appropriate time to remind everyone out on the water to keep
an eye out for unusual fish and report potential invasive carp sightings
These Flags Flew: Revisiting Michigan’s World
War I Flags
Highlighting the state’s efforts to preserve historic battle flags
By ERIC PERKINS
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
03JUL17-In 1919, on a beautiful day in May, soldiers of Michigan’s 32nd
Infantry Division marched through the streets of Detroit celebrating their
homecoming from World War I.
The division served in the fighting in France and was memorialized by the
French army with the nickname, “Les Terribles,” in honor of its ferocity
each successive battle, its fighting was better and its morale improved,”
said Major-General William G. Haan, combat commander of the 32nd Division,
in a May 6, 1919 news article on the front page of the Detroit Free Press.
“It actually fought in the hardest of battles 35 days and as many nights,
and smashed through the enemy lines for a distance of more than 25 miles
and never gave away an inch.
“It successfully defeated 33 German divisions, not a few of which were
rated among the best. From the famous 28th German division, known as ‘The
Kaiser’s Own’ after three days’ hard fighting it took more than 400
prisoners and drove it from the field a broken organization.”
One French newspaper praised the performance of the divisions’ soldiers.
After only a brief training period they, “made a magnificent showing when
under fire…neither the French, who fought beside them, nor the enemy, whom
they hurled aside, will dispute their right to the title of ‘terrible.’”
Another French reporter described the dangers the Michigan troops faced in
combat, saying, “One can scarcely imagine the difficulties of the fighting
in this country…with deep valleys…and honeycombed with holes making
admirable machine gun shelters. These machine guns literally rain
The reporter then illustrated the horrors of the poison gas used by the
Germans, writing, “One does not die from effects of this gas, but one is
so suffocated or burned that it is humanly impossible to hold the line,
and unfortunately the (gas) mask is not an absolute protection.”
Now back at home, the men of the 32nd proudly marched behind their
flags — a pair of banners, one resembling the stars and stripes, the other
bearing the national crest with an eagle holding a bundle of arrows and an
Each flag was emblazoned with the regiment’s number. These flags, and
others, are currently on display at the Michigan History Center in
Lansing, a division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
“The young men of the division are coming home strong and clean,
smiling and happy, ready to re-enter into competition in civil pursuits,”
Haan said. “They ask for no charity. They know there is awaiting them a
square deal in a fair field in God’s own country, the beauty and glory of
which they have learned to appreciate.”
Although Michigan’s World War I soldiers did not carry their regimental
flags into battle, as their Civil War predecessors did, their flags were
important symbols representing each regiment’s shared sacrifice and
According to a post-war memo from Michigan’s adjutant general, 186,000
Michigan soldiers served in “The Great War,” with 4,552 casualties.
During the Civil War, soldiers started painting the names of important
battles onto their flags. First World War flags bear the battle honors of
their regiments in the form of streamers attached to the tops of the
“This is similar to today’s military flags,” said Eric Perkins, historian
with the Michigan History Center. “These flags become much more than
simple symbols of patriotism to soldiers. You can literally read their
history on the flags.”
Before they left France, the 32nd Division soldiers attended a victory
ceremony where over 200 men were presented the Croix de Guerre for bravery
by their former French commander, General Mangin. Mangin also pinned
medals on the division’s flags.
Afterwards, Mangin spoke to the assembled men.
"I am very happy to be among you once more, and proud that this meeting
of ours is taking place on the other side of the Rhine,” he said. “The
occasion of this reunion is to bestow upon you a few decorations, meager
tokens of the gratitude which the French Republic, the People of France,
and the soldiers feel towards you, for the brilliant conduct and splendid
courage you displayed…which will place in history the glorious deeds of
the 32nd Division.”
Michigan’s historic World War I flags are housed at the Michigan History
Center, where staff from the Michigan History Center and the Michigan
Capitol Committee cares for them.
From now until January 2018, a selection of Michigan’s World War I flags
are on public display at the center.
The Michigan Battle Flag collection contains 56 flags from World War I and
another 184 flags from the Civil War and Spanish-American War.
Michigan’s flag collection was started more than 150 years ago when Civil
War veterans turned many of their battle flags over to the state in a July
4, 1866 ceremony the Free Press called “The Grandest Celebration Ever
Witnessed in Detroit.”
The event was attended by 70,000 people, including 16,000 to 20,000
revelers the railroad estimated were strangers in town.
“Of the impressive and unwonted scene presented, when the color-bearers of
the three score and ten organizations which the Peninsular State sent to
the field stood before the assembled authorities of the State, supported
by their comrades in arms and surrounded by the thousands of their fellow
citizens, holding those torn and smoke-grimed battle flags in their hands,
no true or faithful picture can be given,” the newspaper said.
“There are lights and shades, and strong and tender feelings and
memories, stirred which no words can tell or pencil portray. Rough,
stalwart, sturdy men were there, just from the fields and workshops where
they have employed themselves in the arts of peace since, a year ago, they
laid their arms down and returned to home and its endearments.”
The paper continued to describe the scene.
“There were others worn and thin and wounded, scars marked their limbs and
bodies, and not a few there were whose ‘empty sleeve’ hung limp and
lifeless as did once the arm that fell shattered by shell or bullet; and
some of these proudly bore the tattered banners in their remaining hand.
“Here too, were grouped in a single line banners and heroes from every
regiment and organizations which bore them in the field. Here under the
same ‘old flag’ that waved over them in the field, the trenches and the
deadly breach, what memories returned and what scenes and battles were
gone through again, what campfires brightened to the vision of weary,
toiling, foot-sore and hungry men.”
From April 1861 to April 1865, Michigan furnished 90,747 men to the Civil
War, not counting 1,982 men commuting and 4,000 Michigan men who served in
the units of other states, according to the Michigan Department of
Military and Veterans Affairs.
According to official regimental commander's reports, Michigan men engaged
the enemy on more than 800 occasions. Of officers serving, 177 were
killed, 85 died of wounds and 96 died of disease. Among the enlisted men,
2,643 were killed, 1,302 died of wounds and 10,040 died of disease.
In accepting the flags, Michigan’s Governor Henry Crapo pledged that,
“They will not be forgotten and their histories left unwritten. Let us
tenderly deposit them, as sacred relics, in the archives of our state,
there to stand forever, her proudest possession.”
Following the dedication of the new Capitol in Lansing in 1879, the flags
were placed, first in a military museum on the first floor, then, in 1909,
moved to the Capitol's rotunda.
The flags remained there until the restoration of the Capitol from
1989-1992. At that time, an alarming discovery was made — the flags were
deteriorating from the effects of constant exposure to light, fluctuating
temperature, humidity and gravity.
“What years of battle damage could not do to the flags was actually
being accomplished by these hidden enemies,” said Matt VanAcker, director
of Capitol tours for the state of Michigan and co-chairman of
Save the Flags. “The flags were removed from the Capitol and placed in
a specially-designed archival storage unit in the Michigan History
to VanAcker, “One of the greatest successes of Save The Flags, our project
to preserve, research and display 240 battle flags carried by Michigan
soldiers in the Civil War, the Spanish American War and World War I, has
been its ‘adoption’ program.”
For a donation of $1,000 individuals, organizations, schools, families and
communities can help with the preservation, research and display of the
flags by “adopting” flags in the collection. To date, almost 150 flags —
mostly from the Civil War — have been adopted, providing the project with
With controlled climate and lighting and special acid-free storage racks,
the flags are being preserved from further deterioration.
Flags from the 32nd Division and other military units like the 339th
“Polar Bears” Regiment, whose members served in northern Russia, are being
exhibited, one at a time, in a special viewing window.
Revisiting the state’s military flags, and preserving them properly for
tomorrow, allows Michigan residents to connect visually with the past,
adding depth and color to their appreciation of wars that gripped our
nation and greatly changed Michigan and the country.
The Michigan History Museum is located in the east wing of the Michigan
Library and Historical Center, on the north side of Kalamazoo Street, two
blocks east of M. L. King Jr. Boulevard in Lansing.
For more information, call 517-373 3559 or visit the museum webpage at
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DNR Confirms Cougar in Lower Peninsula; Photo
taken Clinton County
Michigan Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the presence of a
cougar -- also referred to as a mountain lion – in Bath Township, Clinton
County. This is the first time the presence of a cougar has been verified
by the DNR in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.
On June 21, 2017, a Haslett resident took a photograph of an animal from
his vehicle in Bath Township near the DNR’s Rose Lake State Wildlife
Area. The individual reported that he spotted a large cat in his
headlights as the animal attempted to cross a road. He captured the
photograph as the cougar turned back from the road into an area of thick
The picture was made available to the DNR June 26. A field investigation
ensued. DNR biologist Chad Fedewa and biologists from the DNR’s Cougar
Team reviewed the photo and visited the site where it was taken,
determining that the animal in the photo was a cougar.
“Even with this verification, questions remain, especially regarding the
origins of the animal,” said Kevin Swanson, DNR wildlife specialist and
member of the agency’s Cougar Team. “There is no way for us to know if
this animal is a dispersing transient from a western state, like cougars
that have been genetically tested from the Upper Peninsula, or if this cat
was released locally."
Cougars originally were native to Michigan, but were extirpated from
Michigan around the turn of the century. The last time a wild cougar was
legally taken in the state was near Newberry in 1906. Over the past few
years, numerous cougar reports have been received from various locations
throughout Michigan. Until this time, all confirmed sightings or tracks
have been in the Upper Peninsula. Since 2008 a total of 36 cougar
sightings have been documented in Michigan’s U.P. To date, the DNR has not
confirmed a breeding population of cougars in Michigan.
Cougars are protected under the state Endangered Species Act and cannot be
harmed except to protect human life.
Interested landowners within the area of the recent Clinton County
sighting may wish to place trail cameras on their properties. The DNR
encourage citizens to submit pictures of possible sightings for
verification. Observations should be reported at
mi.gov/eyesinthefield. If you find physical evidence of a cougar such
as scat, tracks or a carcass, do not disturb the area and keep the
physical evidence intact. Please include any photos with your report.
The odds of encountering a cougar in the wild are very small, and
attacks on humans are extremely rare. Should you encounter a cougar:
|Face the animal and do not act submissive. Stand tall, wave your arms
and talk in a loud voice. |
|Never run from a cougar or other large carnivore. If children are
present, pick them up so they cannot run. |
|Do not crouch and get on all fours. |
|If attacked, fight back with whatever is available. DO NOT play dead.
|Report the encounter to local authorities and the DNR as soon as
To learn more about cougars, visit
Early Detection Critical in Control of MI
Aquatic Invasive Species
team of technical experts is poised and ready for action whenever a call
or email reports a potential sighting of one of
Michigan’s Watch List invasive species. These experts are a part of
Michigan’s Invasive Species Program, a collaborative effort of the
departments of Environmental Quality, Natural Resources, and Agriculture
and Rural Development.
“Preventing invasive species from entering the state is the first goal of
the invasive species program, but when invaders slip through the cracks
the next step is early detection and response,” said Sarah LeSage, aquatic
invasive species coordinator for the Department of Environmental Quality.
This process involves finding, reporting, confirming and then choosing a
course of action to manage new or emerging invasive species that pose a
significant threat to Michigan’s environment, economy or human health.
Michigan’s Watch List
High-threat invasive species are classified on Michigan’s Watch List.
There currently are 28 species on the watch list:
|10 aquatic plants. |
|Six terrestrial plants. |
|Five fish. |
|Three insects. |
|One tree disease. |
|The red swamp crayfish. |
|The nutria (a mammal). |
|The New Zealand mudsnail. |
Of the 10 aquatic plants on the watch list, six have been detected in
limited areas in Michigan. Plants including yellow floating heart, water
lettuce, European frogbit and parrot feather have been found by staff
during monitoring activities, as well as by members of the public,
Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area staff and lake management
Sightings of aquatic plants on the watch list are reported to the
DEQ’s Aquatic Nuisance Control office or through the Midwest Invasive
Species Information Network’s website or smartphone app, found at
Early detection and response
a watch list species is reported, staff begin the early detection and
response process. The report is investigated, and photos or specimens are
examined by experts. If identification is positive, a site visit is made
to determine the extent of the invasion. For aquatic plants, a boat survey
of the waterbody and connecting waters usually is undertaken.
The state’s aquatic invasive plant early detection and response team has
been active since 2011 with support from the Great Lakes Restoration
Initiative. “The team conducts investigations and responds to positively
identified detections by assessing the risk posed by the invading plant,
reviewing response options and, if feasible, planning and implementing a
response,” said LeSage.
A story map,
Aquatic Invasive Species: Early Detection in Michigan, displays
locations where surveys for aquatic watch list species have occurred and
describes response actions that were taken when positive identifications
Responses are tailored to the situation. A large infestation, such as the
widespread areas of European frogbit along the Lake Huron shoreline, may
require multiple partners like Cooperative Invasive Species Management
Areas, volunteers and contracted pesticide applicators working together
over time to manage it. A smaller discovery, like the 2016 detection of
European frogbit in Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids, may provide the
opportunity to eradicate the plant from the area using chemical
“Early detection and response is truly a statewide effort,” said LeSage.
“It relies on detection and reporting from citizens across Michigan, as
well as monitoring and management support from the local management areas,
landowners, local governments and the private sector.”
Awareness, identification are key
Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed July 2-8, 2017, as
Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week. Everyone can help in early
detection of invasive species by becoming familiar with Michigan’s Watch
List and other invasive plants, insects and animals and reporting any
Descriptions of watch list species can be found at
www.michigan.gov/invasivespecies. Short identification tutorials for
many invasive species are available at
MDEQ Minute is a new video series designed to help identify aquatic
invasive species. Get a 60-second tutorial on yellow floating heart or New
Zealand mudsnail by visiting the
Invasive Species website media center.
To report aquatic invasive plants, call or email DEQ Aquatic Nuisance
Control at 517-284-5593 or
DEQ-WRD-ANC@michigan.gov. Online reporting is available at
www.misin.msu.edu, or download the MISIN app to your smartphone.
Guided Bike Tours Take Cyclists Through U.P.
into Michigan history
is open for the Michigan Iron Industry Museum's popular Iron Ore Heritage
Trail bike tours. Offered July 14, 21 and 28,
the tours take cyclists on an approximately five-hour, 16-mile journey to
explore historic sites and discover stories of the Marquette Iron Range.
Tours begin and end in Negaunee at the Michigan Iron Industry Museum, site
of the Carp River Forge, where iron mined on the Marquette Range first was
forged in the 1840s. Led by museum historian Troy Henderson, the tour
pedals to the Jackson Mine and then continues into Ishpeming, making
several stops along the way, including Old Towne Negaunee and the site of
the Pioneer Furnace.
“Iron mining on the Marquette Range is a big story to tell,” said
Henderson. “The tour combines traditional museum interpretation with
visits to sites where the history actually happened. Folks on the tour get
the best of both worlds.”
Tours start at 9 a.m.; pre-registration is required. A $25 fee includes
the guided tour, lunch provided by Negaunee’s Midtown Bakery and Café, a
Michigan Iron Industry Museum souvenir and a viewing of the museum’s
documentary “Iron Spirits: Life on Michigan's Iron Ranges.” More
information and a registration form are available on the museum’s
Iron Ore Heritage Trail Bike Tours webpage.
The Michigan Iron Industry Museum is a nationally accredited museum
located at 73 Forge Road in Negaunee, eight miles west of Marquette; enter
off U.S. 41. For more information, call 906-475-7857 or visit
The Michigan History Center is part of the Michigan Department of
Natural Resources. Its museum and archival programs foster curiosity,
enjoyment, and inspiration rooted in Michigan’s stories. It includes the
Michigan History Museum, 10 regional museums, Thunder Bay National Marine
Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, and the Archives of Michigan. Learn
Forest Tent Caterpillar Feeding is Over in
Northern Lower Michigan
forest tent caterpillar made life miserable for homeowners and woodlot
owners across much of Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula this spring as
it fed on oak, aspen and sugar maple trees. The good news is that
caterpillar feeding has come to an end for this season.
Widespread outbreaks occur in Michigan every 10 to 15 years. Past
outbreaks peaked in 1922, 1937, 1952, 1967, 1978, 1990, 2002 and 2010.
While caterpillar activity statewide can remain high for up to five years,
outbreaks in any one locale normally last for two or three years.
Outbreaks decline suddenly once parasites and other natural enemies become
“Trees rarely die from forest tent caterpillar defoliation unless they’ve
been seriously weakened by drought, late spring frost or other stressors,”
said Roger Mech, a forest health specialist with the Michigan Department
of Natural Resources. “Heavily defoliated trees will develop a second set
of leaves a few weeks after being stripped. These new leaves are often
smaller than normal.”
Once caterpillar feeding stops, mass flights of forest tent caterpillar
moths can occur in late June and early July. Adult moths do not feed. They
will mate and die over the course of a few weeks.
Adult moths have a wingspan of around an inch, are buff-colored and have a
broad brown band across the front wings. They are night fliers and often
attracted to lights in large numbers.
The forest tent caterpillar is native to Michigan, where it has evolved
with the state's forests over the centuries. Fortunately, natural controls
also have evolved, helping to prevent widespread damage following
insect in particular, commonly known as the ‘friendly fly,’ is an
effective parasite that lays its eggs on forest tent caterpillar cocoons,
preventing them from developing into adult moths.
“These large, slow-moving flies do not bite, although they can be a
nuisance for a few weeks when their numbers are high,” said Mech. “Just
remember, they’re one of the good guys.”
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.
Now that caterpillar feeding is over, spraying insecticides is not an
effective method of control. When caterpillars are small, spraying Bt – a
biological insecticide – on the leaves can help protect foliage without
affecting natural enemies of the forest tent caterpillar.
owners should focus on keeping their forest healthy by periodically
removing trees that are dead or in poor condition. This increases the
amount of sunlight available to remaining trees and reduces competition
for water and nutrients.
A professional forester or consultant can help develop a management
plan that will ensure your woodlot is healthy and thriving. Contact your
local conservation district or extension office for a list of area
foresters. [Friendly Fly (Sarcophaga aldrichi) pictured at right]
For more information on forest pests and diseases, visit
DNR Dedicates Augusta Creek State Wildlife Area
to Former DNR Director Dr. Gordon Guyer
today, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources rededicated the
Augusta Creek State Wildlife Area in Kalamazoo County in honor of Gordon
Guyer, a tireless advocate for Michigan’s natural resources who died last
year at the age of 89.
Recently, the area was renamed the Dr. Gordon Guyer Augusta Creek State
Wildlife Area as a tribute to Guyer, who served as the director of the DNR
from 1986 to 1988 and was involved in the discussions and evaluation of
dedicating the Augusta Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area. Guyer was
raised in Augusta and was an enthusiastic hunter, angler and
“Dr. Guyer was not just a mentor and a friend to me and many others, but
he represented the best of Michigan’s conservation ethic and heritage,”
said Keith Creagh, DNR director. “The legacy he left this state will
continue for many years. Dedicating this wildlife area in his name is one
small way of memorializing that lasting legacy so that future generations
of Michigan citizens will know the positive mark Dr. Guyer left on our
world-class natural resources.”
In addition to Creagh and other DNR employees, members of the Guyer family
and other friends and partners attended the rededication ceremony and
helped celebrate Guyer’s contributions. Pheasants were released on the
wildlife area as part of the ceremony.
“Michigan’s natural resources, as well as the DNR, played such a key
role in the life of my father, both recreationally and professionally, and
additionally were truly the basis upon which our wonderful, fulfilling and
complete father-son relationship was built, making this dedication and
recognition so extra special,” said Dan Guyer, Gordon Guyer’s son. “This
is a wonderful honor of my father to have this state game area here in the
locale where he grew up, and in recognition of his contributions to, and
passion for, this great state of Michigan.”
The Dr. Gordon Guyer Augusta Creek State Wildlife Area, purchased with
assistance from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, comprises
approximately 386 acres and is dedicated to fishing and hunting.
“With my father’s continual desire to support youth opportunities,
hopefully this will be a location where young people can come and take
part in some of the pleasures he enjoyed and – as was true for him – gain
respect for Michigan’s great natural resources as well as positively
influence their futures,” Dan Guyer added.
Guyer graduated from Michigan State University, receiving his bachelor's
degree, master's degree and doctorate in entomology. He joined the MSU
faculty in 1953 and held many leadership roles on campus. He was the
director of MSU Extension from 1973 to 1985, vice president for
Governmental Affairs, and MSU president from 1992 to 1993. He held
director positions at the DNR, Michigan Department of Agriculture and the
Kellogg Biological Station. Guyer traveled extensively for scientific
research and led one of the first American scientific groups allowed to
visit China in the mid-1970s. He later traveled to Africa under United
Nations' sponsorship to develop plant-protection education and research
efforts in eight countries.
U.P. History at Michigan Iron Industry Museum
ghost towns to World War II to the origins of the Michigan State Police,
Upper Peninsula history is in the spotlight once again this summer at the
Michigan Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee. The museum’s annual Tuesday
Afternoon Program Series features authors, scholars and historians
offering in-depth presentations that highlight the rich and varied history
of the U.P. The weekly series begins Tuesday, July 11, at 2 p.m. Admission
“There are many people researching, documenting and writing stories about
the Upper Peninsula,” said museum historian Troy Henderson. "There are
even more people – from tourists to longtime residents and others – who
are hungry to learn about our U.P. heritage and its role in Michigan
“The museum’s program series has become a much-anticipated venue for
sharing and learning about these interesting stories.”
This year's Tuesday Afternoon Program Series features:
|July 11, “Ghost Towns in the Upper Peninsula” by Daniel Truckey |
|July 18, “Magnificent Mansions and Courtly Cottages in the Upper
Peninsula” by Sonny Longtine |
|July 25, “Wolf’s Mouth: Upper Peninsula P.O.W. Research Behind the
Novel” by John Smolens |
|Aug. 1, “Lake Superior is Truly Superior” by Dr. James Surrell |
|Aug. 8, “Eight Tons a Day: The Soft Ore Mines of the Negaunee District”
by Allan Koski |
|Aug. 15, “The Labor Sport Union in the Upper Peninsula” by Dr. Gabe
|Aug. 22, “Origins of the Michigan State Police in the Upper Peninsula”
by Dr. Russell Magnaghi |
The complete schedule also is available on the Michigan Iron Industry
Tuesday Afternoon Program Series webpage.
The Michigan Iron Industry Museum is a nationally accredited museum
located at 73 Forge Road in Negaunee, eight miles west of Marquette; enter
off of U.S. 41. For more information, call 906-475-7857 or visit
The Michigan History Center is part of the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources. Its museum and archival programs foster curiosity, enjoyment,
and inspiration rooted in Michigan’s stories. It includes the Michigan
History Museum, 10 regional museums, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
and Underwater Preserve, and the Archives of Michigan. Learn more at
DNR to Highlight Safe Boating June 30th Through
National campaign seeks to reduce boating
under the influence
the July Fourth holiday approaches, Michigan Department of Natural
Resources conservation officers will focus on keeping boaters safe through
heightened awareness and enforcement of boating under the influence laws.
The initiative is part of the national
Operation Dry Water
campaign, which runs June 30-July 2.
The annual campaign is launched just prior to the July Fourth weekend,
when more boaters take to the water and alcohol use increases. It is in
coordination with the National Association of State Boating Law
Administrators, the U.S. Coast Guard and other partners. Through this
stepped-up enforcement, the DNR is raising awareness of the hazards
associated with boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and is
working to decrease the number of accidents attributed to impaired boating
and other unsafe boating practices.
“Alcohol and boating don’t mix,” said the DNR's Lt. Tom Wanless,
Michigan’s boating law administrator. “Using alcohol impairs reaction time
and judgment, just as if you were driving a car. In fact, the effects of
alcohol and certain medications are increased on the water due to added
stress factors such as the sun, heat, wind, wave motion and engine noise.
So be smart and stay sober when boating, and don’t put yourself and others
In Michigan, operating a motorboat while under the influence of alcohol
– which means the person has a blood alcohol content of 0.08 grams or more
– or under the influence of a controlled substance is a misdemeanor
punishable by fines up to $500, community service and up to 93 days in
jail. It also can result in the loss of boating privileges for at least
If a person is killed or injured due to a driver operating a boat while
under the influence, the driver could be charged with a felony, punishable
by fines up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison.
Boaters can do their part to stay safe on the water by:
Boating sober. Alcohol use is the leading contributing
factor in recreational boater deaths. Alcohol and drug use impairs a
boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time. |
Wearing a life jacket. Eighty-five percent of drowning
victims in the U.S. were not wearing life jackets. |
Taking a boating safety course. The DNR recommends a
safety course for anyone who plans to use a boat or personal watercraft.
Classes are offered at different locations throughout the state and
online, making it convenient and affordable. |
Learn more about boating regulations and safety in Michigan at
Michigan conservation officers are elite, highly trained professionals
who serve in every corner of the state. They are fully commissioned peace
officers with authority to enforce Michigan’s criminal laws. Learn more at
Saginaw County Man
Sentenced in Illegal Deer Baiting Case
20JUN17-A Saginaw County man was fined heavily, ordered to serve jail
time, probation and community service, and had his hunting privileges
revoked when he was sentenced recently for deer hunting violations he
committed during the fall 2016 firearm deer hunting season.
Dexter James Sysak, 40, of Merill was convicted by a District Court jury
in April of multiple hunting violations, dating back to Nov. 29th.
He was sentenced June 21st.
“Sysak had taken a dump truck of sugar beets and two dump trailers of
corn and placed them on his hunting property,” said Michigan Conservation
Officer Joseph Myers, who investigated the case. “The actual measure of
bait was impossible to count but was estimated at two-and-a-half tons.”
Myers said conservation officers were alerted to a complaint of over use
of bait via an anonymous tip to the DNR Report All Poaching hotline
(800-292-7800) on Nov. 27th.
The following day, officers went to the area, which turned out to be an
old golf course —property owned by Sysak near the Gratiot-Saginaw county
line. Myers said he found access to the site using a county road easement.
“I saw a hunting blind on the right and I could see an orange object
through the trees,” Myers said. “It was a grain trailer full of corn with
the door broken off and about 100 gallons of corn on the ground.”
Corn was spread over a wide area. Myers said he kicked a hard object while
walking, which was a sugar beet.
“There was a 150-yard cobblestone road of sugar beets making a J-shape
around the blind,” Myers said. “It looked like an individual had drove
onto the property and just dumped the sugar beets out of a truck.”
With no name on the blind and no one at the site, Myers didn’t know who
owned the land or the property. He decided to return the next day, Nov.
“There was a truck parked there. I walked up to the blind and there were
four individuals in the blind,” Myers said.
Myers said he saw Sysak pick up a hunter orange vest as Myers approached
After interviewing Sysak, Myers determined the bait, far in excessive of
the 2-gallon limit, had been in the area for some time.
“Sysak also admitted to me that he had taken a 9-point buck over the
illegal bait, making it an illegal deer,” Myers said. “I seized evidence
and cited the suspect.”
Myers said Sysak showed him the gun he used and where he shot the deer
from. He also told Myers which meat processor the deer had been taken to,
a place just a couple miles down the road.
Myers contacted the processor and recovered the deer meat and antlers.
Sysak pleaded not guilty.
A jury trial was held April 28th in District Court 65B in Ithaca in
Gratiot County, where Sysak was found guilty by the panel of six jurors on
all three charges against him. Those misdemeanors included an over limit
of bait, failing to wear hunter orange and taking a deer by an illegal
Myers said Sysak admitted the facts necessary to prove the case during
his testimony at trial. He also admitted he had rented a dump truck to
place the bait on the property.
Sysak was sentenced June 21 to serve 45 days in jail, fined roughly
$15,000, including $6,500 reimbursement for the deer and ordered to serve
90 hours of community service to the DNR once his jail sentence is served.
He was banned from all DNR activities during his 2-year probation term.
All sport license privileges were revoked through 2022.
The meat from the deer will be given to needy families in the community.
There were extensive terms set for Sysak’s probation. If any of those
terms are violated, it would be grounds for Sysak serving up to 1 year in
jail and potential lifetime revoking of his hunting license privileges.
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
DNR Seeks Input on Draft Cheboygan State Park
Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking public input on a new
draft general management plan for
Cheboygan State Park. The DNR will host a public meeting
Thursday, July 13th, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
at the Cheboygan Area Public Library, 100 S. Bailey St. in Cheboygan.
The draft general management plan defines a long-range (10- to 20-year)
planning and management strategy that will assist the DNR Parks and
Recreation Division in meeting its responsibilities to 1) protect and
preserve the site’s natural and cultural resources, and 2) provide access
to land- and water-based public recreation and educational opportunities.
A link to the Cheboygan State Park draft general management plan and
additional information on the DNR’s general management plan process can be
found on the DNR’s General Management Plan website at
Cheboygan State Park is located on the shores of Lake Huron and Duncan
Bay, approximately four miles east of the city of Cheboygan, at the
northern tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. This 1,345-acre state park
features a swimming beach, carry-in boat launch and seven miles of hiking,
biking and ski trails that provide access to scenic Lake Huron vistas and
glimpses of rare wildflowers. Visitors have a choice of lodging,
including modern camping, tepees, rustic cabins and a modern lodge. In
addition, the majority of the park is open to hunting, and plenty of
fishing opportunities are available in Duncan Bay and Elliot Creek
designated trout stream that flows through the park.
The July 13 meeting will begin with a short overview presentation of
the draft plan. The public is welcome to attend at any time during the
two-hour period to review the planning materials, provide comments and
talk to DNR staff. Comments also may be sent via email through July 21 to
DNR park management plan administrator Debbie Jensen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the public input meeting or the proposed
plan, contact Jensen at 517-284-6105 (TTY/TDD711 Michigan Relay Center for
the hearing impaired) or
email@example.com. Anyone with disabilities who needs
accommodations for the meeting should contact Jensen at least five
business days before the meeting.
DNR Partners ‘Working for Wildlife’ in SW MI Oak
30JUN17-Picture yourself in a beautiful park-like setting with
scattered, sprawling oak trees framed against a brilliant blue sky. As you
bring your eyes toward the ground you see a blanket of wildflowers
punctuated by clumps of grasses as far as the eye can see.
The air is sweet with nectar, and you see countless butterflies and notice
deer and turkeys foraging in the distance. You hear the sweet trill of a
multitude of birds and feel a breeze through the leaves of the bur oak in
front of you.
This is how one settler described walking through an oak savanna in
“Tallgrass prairie and associated savanna were at their continental
boundary in southern Michigan when white settlers arrived and had largely
disappeared before scientists could describe them,” Kim Alan Chapman and
Richard Brewer, of the Department of Biological Sciences at Western
Michigan University, said in their scientific paper on the history,
classification and ecology of prairie and savanna in southern Lower
Chapman and Brewer said the historical extent of upland prairie, wet
prairie and savanna in Michigan was estimated to be 2.23 million acres,
with savanna constituting 78 percent.
“Today over 99 percent of these original savannas are gone,” said Ken
Kesson, a Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist for
Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph and Branch counties. “This is unfortunate, as
many wildlife species use savannas for all or part of their life cycle.”
Savannas provide valuable habitat for many wildlife species such as Karner
blue butterflies, eastern massasauga rattlesnakes, upland sandpipers,
prairie voles, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer and fox squirrels.
“Savanna, a fire-maintained plant community co-dominated by herbaceous
plants and trees, was called oak openings or oak barrens by European
settlers, depending on the type of soil and tree species,” according to
Chapman and Brewer. “…Given the historical abundance and modern rarity of
prairie and savanna in Michigan, their ecological status is of great
scientific and conservation interest.”
Check out a
community abstract on dry-mesic prairie, associated with oak savanna,
in southern Michigan from the Michigan Natural Features Inventory. (For
print readers, find this story and link online at www.michigan.gov/dnrstories)
In southwest Michigan, the DNR Wildlife Division has identified
savannas as a priority ecosystem for habitat restoration and management.
Consequently, savanna management is occurring on many of the state game
areas and sites on private lands throughout the area.
example of work being done on public land is the Preston Road Savanna
Project at the
Three Rivers State Game Area in western St. Joseph County.
This unique project highlights how partners from the private and public
sectors can work together to complete an excellent restoration project
that benefits wildlife species, provides a valuable boost to Michigan’s
economy and offers exceptional recreational opportunities for state game
The Preston Road savanna was historically a black oak savanna.
“In evaluating the site during the summer of 2015, DNR staff identified
scattered, large, open-grown oak trees and several savanna indicator
species in the understory,” Kesson said. “These observations indicated the
site may respond positively to restoration and management efforts.”
During the spring of 2016, Northrop Logging, a local timber company,
approached the DNR about the possibility of harvesting hardwood chip
material from state-managed lands.
DNR staff recognized the opportunity to work together with the timber
company and capitalize on the new, local market demand for chip material
to remove trees that had invaded the Preston Road savanna site.
“It’s nice to have the opportunity to work close to home with the local
land managers,” said Al Northrop, owner of Northrop Logging. “It saves us
money in trucking and provides a good product that we need.”
The harvested wood chips eventually will be used by another local
company from Holland, Michigan to create wood pellets for heating homes
across the Midwest.
“The DNR strives to work with local companies and organizations to achieve
mutually beneficial goals,” Russ Mason, DNR Wildlife Division chief, said.
“Partnerships such as this enable us to accomplish projects that otherwise
may be impossible or too costly to complete independently.”
The timber harvest and chipping process was completed this spring, and
further restoration efforts have been initiated. The process of clearing
the woody debris left from the timber operation is currently underway.
At the same time, the DNR realized an opportunity, through another
partnership, to enhance wildlife habitat in at the
Crane Pond State Game Area in neighboring Cass County.
The agency worked with Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. and Pheasants
Forever to leverage mitigation funds from an Enbridge pipeline replacement
project to receive additional funding to favorably impact the site.
“With funding from Enbridge Energy and Pheasants Forever we were able to
improve local habitat conditions in the same area where habitat was
impacted by pipeline replacement – thereby balancing local impacts with
local improvements,” said Mark Sargent, DNR Wildlife Division southwest
region supervisor. “This was an excellent example of preparation meets
opportunity, and in 2016 the project began.”
The site soon will be treated to combat invasive species. Previously
farmed openings will be planted to generate a high-quality savanna
restoration mix of plant species. Areas that have plants that could
potentially help rejuvenate seed banks will be allowed to regenerate.
Habitat rehabilitation at the site will require continued management
for several years, but in the end, the result will be a quality oak
savanna for the people of Michigan to enjoy and visit for generations to
“The project would not have been possible without strong partnerships
involving the private sector to accomplish the clearing work, and through
the generous support of Enbridge Energy and coordination through Pheasants
Forever,” Kesson said.
like the Preston Road savanna work demonstrate how strong partnerships can
be used to affect quality management of state lands.
There are many other projects in the DNR’s southwest region that also
highlight how the DNR is working for wildlife by cooperating with
conservation partners, local communities, businesses and organizations.
Habitat destruction has a major impact on game and non-game animals,
including threatened and endangered species. Strengthening ecosystems, in
this case oak savanna, through habitat work is critical to the survival of
Chapman and Brewer said, “Michigan’s extensive savannas defined much of
southern Lower Michigan and were characterized by a complex interaction of
fire, tree canopy cover, and herbaceous plant diversity.
“Soils, landscape setting, drought, and other disturbances influenced
these interactions. The oak grubs found in Michigan’s savannas and
described by early writers are now understood as essential for
perpetuating the tree canopy of fire-maintained savannas.
These remnants represent less than 0.1 percent of Michigan’s historical
prairie and savanna acreage.”
In their “Prairie
and Savanna in Southern Lower Michigan: History, Classification, Ecology”
— which was published in the Michigan Botanist — Chapman and Brewer said,
given this historic loss of habitat, “any remnant should be protected, but
especially the oak openings, which were a dominant ecological feature of
southern Lower Michigan.
“Since oak openings existed on a large scale, small reserves are
insufficient to represent former ecological processes and encompass the
majority of animal and plant species characteristic of oak openings.”
The writers urged conservation groups and natural resource agencies “to
identify, protect and restore large blocks of oak openings in southern
Michigan, especially those that contain other prairie and savanna plant
For more information on DNR “Working for Wildlife” projects, visit
Check out previous
Showcasing the DNR stories and subscribe to upcoming articles.
Ann Arbor Seminar Focuses on Timber Uses for
30JUN17-Architects, engineers and contractors are invited to
participate in a seminar showcasing the use of wood and other renewable
materials in the construction of mid-rise buildings in Michigan.
Participants will learn about the variety of mass timber products
available, including glue-laminated timber, cross-laminated timber,
nail-laminated timber and other engineered systems. The seminar also will
provide information about building codes for mid-rise wood-frame
buildings, including fire resistance and safety.
WoodWorks and the
Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the seminar is set for:
Tuesday, July 11, 2017|
9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn, 1401 Briarwood Circle
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
To register, visit
www.woodworks.org/events. The cost is $20 and includes lunch. Check-in
begins at 8:30 a.m. Attendees can earn professional development credits
through the American Institute of Architects and Professional Development
Hours for Engineers.
"Mass timber products are cutting-edge technology in the forest products
and commercial building industries," said David Neumann, DNR forest
products utilization and marketing specialist. "They are examples of
responsible architecture, building design and engineering, in addition to
providing opportunities to showcase the use of renewable natural
Around the world, interest in the use of mass timber products in
structural framing of mid-rise buildings has been increasing due to the
environmental and aesthetic benefits of wood. As one of the leaders in the
production of certified wood products in the Midwest, Michigan is poised
to be near the front of a trend toward sustainable construction.
“Mass timber construction can often be less expensive than non-wood
alternatives for comparable aesthetic and functional designs.
Pre-fabricated components allow for faster construction and lighter
equipment,” Neumann said. “In addition, mass timber buildings are more
energy-efficient. They cost less to insulate, reduce our carbon footprint
and are made possible through an entirely renewable resource.”
The DNR is committed to the sustainable management of forest resources,
and supports this workshop series as part of an effort to promote the use
of wood in construction. To find wood products manufacturers located in
Michigan, visit the free Forest Products Industry Directory maintained by
the DNR at
WoodWorks - Wood Products Council provides free project assistance as
well as education and resources related to the code-compliant design,
engineering and construction of non-residential and multi-family wood
buildings. WoodWorks technical experts offer support from design through
construction on a wide range of building types, including
mid-rise/multi-residential, educational, commercial, retail, office,
institutional and public.
Michigan Duck Stamps and Prints Available Now
Michigan Duck Hunters Association, in cooperation with the Michigan
Department of Natural Resources, introduces the 2017 collector's edition
Michigan duck stamp and prints.
The Michigan Waterfowl Stamp Program, established in 1976, has become an
icon for waterfowl hunters and wetland conservation enthusiasts. During
the past 41 years, the program has gained popularity with collectors and
conservation groups throughout the United States.
The Michigan Duck Hunters Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated
to waterfowl and wetland conservation, coordinates the program in
partnership with the DNR. Proceeds from stamp sales will be used to fund
Michigan Duck Hunters Association projects, with 10 percent used to match
DNR funding for purchasing, restoring and enhancing wetlands.
The 2017 Michigan duck stamp features a striking pair of northern
shovelers, painted by Guy Crittenden. Crittenden, a wildlife artist from
Richmond, Virginia, has won the Virginia duck stamp competition four times
since 2005. He won the Connecticut and the Michigan duck stamp
competitions in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and has placed as high as
fifth in the prestigious Federal Duck Stamp Contest.
Purchasing Michigan waterfowl stamps and prints helps to ensure
continued conservation of wetlands and waterfowl habitat. To learn more
Michigan Waterfowl Stamp Program and supporting conservation efforts
in Michigan through the purchase of limited-edition signed and numbered
prints and collector's edition stamps, visit
www.michigan.gov/waterfowl (under Additional Resources and then
Michigan Waterfowl Stamp Program). Purchasing the stamps is voluntary and
does not replace the state waterfowl hunting license.
MDHA also will mail individuals who purchase a 2017 waterfowl hunting
license a free copy of the stamp (subject to availability) if they send a
self-addressed, stamped envelope with a copy of their Michigan waterfowl
hunting license to: MDHA Waterfowl Stamp Program, P.O. Box 186, Kawkawlin,
National Experts Return to U.P. Trappers Association
30JUN17-Fur trappers Les Johnson from “Predator Quest” and Lesel
Reuwsaat, who has been a frequent guest on the F&T Freedom Outdoors
television program, will be among the demonstrators at the Upper Peninsula
Trappers Association convention and outdoor expo in Escanaba.
event will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 30 and 8 a.m. to
4 p.m. Saturday, July 1 at the U.P. State Fairgrounds, which is located
along U.S. 2 in Escanaba.
“These gentlemen will join an all-star line-up of outdoor experts who will
be giving presentations on the trapping and hunting of furbearers,” said
Bob Steinmetz, National Trapping Association director.
Johnson, from Nebraska, is regarded as the “best coyote caller” in the
world. He produces his own television show, Predator Quest, for the
Sportsman’s Channel. His action-packed videos are well-known to trappers.
He has been honored with numerous awards including the Coyote Calling
Triple Crown and he has been named Sportsman of the Year numerous times.
“Les is always a big hit at our convention” said Jeremy Lundin, secretary
and treasurer of the U.P. Trappers Association’s District 3. “Along with
the sharing of his skills, he is very personable and friendly toward those
who attend his demos.”
Reuwsaat is from South Dakota and is a professional trapper and lure
maker. Each year, he captures over 400 coyotes and 300 raccoons, along
with big numbers of fox and badger.
His reputation is well-known and he is well-respected among the ranks of
“Lesel has been here before and does a great job,” said Duane Halvas, a
longtime U.P. Trappers Association member. “We welcome him again and hope
he continues to return to our convention.”
In addition to Johnson and Reuwsaat, the convention will feature
presenters John Chagnon, Rusty Johnson, Harry Nestell, Rich Clark, Jeff
Dunlap and Greg Schroeder.
The convention is expected to draw over 3,000 attendees. Activities for
children are planned, including a fishing pond, mini raffles and games.
Food and refreshments will be available. In addition, a wide variety of
items will be for sale from vendors and tailgaters.
“The list of vendors and tailgaters just keeps on growing. The wide
variety of items for sale or swap available is sure to offer things of
interest to everyone” said Roy Dahlgren, president of U.P. Trappers’
Association’s District 3. “Great prices, no shipping charges and
availability of needed items are sure to please attendees.”
Dahlgren said the convention is a great preview of what’s to come with the
National Trappers Association Convention being held in the Upper Peninsula
For more information, including biographies of the presenters, visit
Admission to the convention is $5 each day, with kids age 12 and under
admitted free of charge. Camping on the grounds is available.
For more information contact Roy Dahlgren at (906) 399-1960, or
For more information on trapping, visit the DNR’s webpage at: www.michigan.gov/dnr.
DNR Crystal Falls Field Office to be Remodeled
Office will continue to serve customers over the 6- to 8-week
30JUN17-The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will soon be
updating the Crystal Falls field office in Iron County — the first time
the office has been substantially renovated since the building was
constructed in 1970.
“The field office will undergo a complete interior remodel,” said Tim
Melko, the DNR’s western Upper Peninsula administrative area manager.
“This will include new carpet, paint, furniture, improved conference
rooms, and lobby redesign to improve customer service.”
During the renovation, the office will remain open to the public from 7
a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CDT weekdays.
The remodel is expected to take six to eight weeks to complete.
“We will begin the full-scale renovation process Wednesday, July 5,” Melko
said. “Phone and walk-in customer service, including information and
license sales, will be available at the Crystal Falls field office with no
“We are looking forward to completing this remodel of the field office at
Crystal Falls,” Melko said. “The updated accommodations will provide a
better place to greet the public and address their questions or concerns,
while also giving us an improved working environment for our DNR
The DNR’s Crystal Falls field office is located along U.S. 2, just west of
the intersection with U.S. 141. The office is staffed with 10 employees
representing the DNR forest resources, fisheries, wildlife, law
enforcement and facilities and operations divisions.
For more information, contact the Crystal Falls Field Office at
The DNR maintains offices providing customer service in the Upper
Peninsula at Baraga, Marquette, Newberry, Crystal Falls, Ishpeming,
Escanaba, Gwinn, Naubinway, Norway and Sault Ste. Marie.
To find out more about the Michigan Department of Natural Resources,
visit the DNR’s website at:
State Terminates Independent Contractor
Analyzing Line 5 risks
DNV GL failed to follow conflict of interest rule;
second contractor’s alternatives report continues
State of Michigan today terminated a contract with Det Norske Veritas,
Inc. (DNV GL), the firm preparing a risk analysis report on the Line 5
pipeline below the Straits of Mackinac. The contract was terminated prior
to the draft report being delivered to the state’s project team.
Within the past month, the state’s project team became aware that an
employee who had worked on the risk analysis at DNV GL subsequently worked
on another project for Enbridge Energy Co., Inc., which owns the Line 5
pipeline, while the risk analysis was being completed. This is a violation
of conflict of interest prohibitions contained in the contract.
“We took the initiative to terminate the contract based on our commitment
to the complete integrity and transparency of this report. Ultimately the
state will have to decide how to proceed with Line 5 and we can’t do that
if there is any doubt regarding the nature of the information,” said C.
Heidi Grether, director of the Michigan Department of Environmental
“The evaluations of Line 5 were supposed to be independent, not tainted by
outside opinions or information, but that’s not what happened. Instead,
our trust was violated and we now find ourselves without a key piece
needed to fully evaluate the financial risks associated with the pipeline
that runs through our Great Lakes, this is unacceptable,” said Michigan
Attorney General Bill Schuette. “Terminating the contract is the only
option we have to maintain the integrity of the risk analysis.”
DNV GL was hired by the state in 2016 following an extensive request for
proposal process including review and selection by a team with diverse
technical backgrounds. The contract requires that DNV GL employees working
on the risk assessment maintain complete independence from any other
project involving Enbridge during the term and length of the contract.
At the same time it hired DNV GL, the state also hired a separate firm,
Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems, Inc., to prepare an alternative analysis
report on the Line 5 pipeline.
“The State put strict rules in place that required both contractors to
avoid any appearance of impropriety. We are disappointed that those
requirements were not followed by DNV GL, as that rendered the work
essentially unusable to us,” said Valerie Brader, executive director of
the Michigan Agency for Energy. “That led to us making today’s decision to
terminate the contract.”
Dynamic Risk Assessment System’s draft report is proceeding and will be
delivered to the state project team by the end of this month. Their draft
alternative analysis will be posted on the Michigan Petroleum Pipeline
www.mipetroleumpipelines.com, for public review and comment by the end
of the month.
“Public discussion of the alternatives analysis will help inform next
steps regarding the risk analysis on Line 5,” said Keith Creagh, director
of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “Fundamental to the
state’s actions is a shared commitment to protecting our Great Lakes.”
Representatives from Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems will present their
findings to the public on July 6, 2017, beginning at 5:00 p.m. at Holt
High School, 5885 Holt Road, Holt, Michigan, 48842. Later in July, the
state will hold three public feedback sessions on the report: July 24 in
the Lansing area and Traverse City; and July 25 in St. Ignace.
The State of Michigan commissioned the two independent contractors to
complete risk and alternative analyses on the Line 5 pipeline following a
recommendation in the 2015 Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force Report.
Appreciating Your Neighborhood Canada Geese
DNR offers tips for avoiding problems with
beautiful but plentiful birds
one of the most recognizable birds in Michigan is the large, regal-looking
Canada goose. Once a rare sight in Michigan, Canada geese now are very
plentiful in the state – so plentiful that some people tend to think of
them as pests. The Department of Natural Resources reminds Michigan
residents that, with a little patience, understanding and perseverance,
homeowners can learn to respect and appreciate these beautiful birds.
The subspecies of goose that is most plentiful in Michigan is the giant
Canada goose. Because they are so abundant, many would never suspect that
the giant Canada goose subspecies nearly was extinct in the 1950s because
of unregulated, excessive hunting and wetland habitat loss.
In recent years, the giant Canada goose has experienced population
explosions in areas throughout North America due, in part, to the success
of wildlife management programs and the adaptability of these birds. In
Michigan today, the number of giant Canada geese counted each spring is
well over 300,000. They nest in every Michigan county, but are most common
in the southern third of the state, where 78 percent of the goose
population is found.
Geese are herbivores and prefer grass shoots, aquatic vegetation, seed
heads and various grains. Adult Canada geese have very few predators.
“In general, geese have benefited from the way humans have altered the
landscape,” said Holly Vaughn, DNR wildlife communications coordinator.
“Canada geese are attracted to areas that provide food, water and
protection. Urban and suburban areas with lakes and ponds and neatly
manicured lawns offer all the resources that geese need to survive.
“During the summer months, Canada geese can be a problem for some property
owners, as they are very adaptable creatures and can live close to
These simple tips can help keep geese away from your yard:
|Make your yard less attractive to geese by allowing the grass to grow
long and refrain from fertilizing or watering it.|
|Use scare tactics like bird-scare balloons, loud noises and mylar tape
to make unwanted geese leave the area.|
|Apply repellents to the lawn to deter geese from feeding on the grass.
Grape concentrate is useful for yards and turf. |
|In June and July, Canada geese are unable to fly because they are
molting. Construct a temporary barrier between your yard and the water
to keep flightless geese out.|
|Do not feed Canada geese. Artificial feeding can habituate them as well
as harm their digestive system. Bread products are not beneficial to
|Be aware of your surroundings when visiting parks and areas near water.
Canada geese are protective of their nests and hatchlings. Do not
disturb them or get too close. |
Vaughn said that the key to success is using a variety of techniques to
keep the geese guessing, as they will get accustomed to just one scare
tactic. Some sites have good luck with hiring a contractor that
specializes in goose control, including using dogs to scare birds away
when they first arrive in the spring. If multiple techniques have been
tried and have been unsuccessful, the DNR offers a
Resident Canada Goose Program that can permit nest and egg destruction
and roundup and relocation by a licensed contractor in some areas of the
Goose hunting in Michigan helps to keep goose populations in check.
Michigan regularly ranks in the top three states in the nation for Canada
goose hunters and harvest. The plentiful geese provide excellent
opportunities for goose hunters. To learn more about goose hunting, visit
DNR Partners with Schoolcraft County to Improve
28JUN17-This spring and summer, Michigan Department of Natural
Resources wildlife division staffers are improving the Rainey Memorial
Wildlife Area in Schoolcraft County, with the help of county community
The 100-acre wildlife area is situated about 7 miles northwest of
Manistique, off Wawaushnosh Drive in Hiawatha Township. The site has a
walking trail and elevated observation platform offering great
opportunities for watching eagles, trumpeter swans, a variety of migrating
songbirds, ducks and other wildlife.
the 93rd District Court Community Corrections Program of Schoolcraft
County helped DNR wildlife division workers place cedar wood chips and
mulch along the 800-foot-long pathway, and picked up garbage throughout
The District Court includes Schoolcraft and Alger counties and Judge Mark
Luoma presides over court cases from those two jurisdictions.
Magistrate David Maddox said the court is pleased to assist the DNR with
this type of project. Community corrections workers are expected to
continue to help the DNR throughout the summer at the site.
“Judge Luoma continues to value the role that community service plays in
the judicial process, and projects like this highlight that commitment,”
Maddox said. “We look forward to collaborating with the DNR on similar
projects in the future.”
DNR wildlife biologist Cody Norton, who works at the Cusino field office
in Shingleton, said additional work at the wildlife viewing area being
completed this year includes clearing saplings from in front of the
viewing platform, repairing rotting or broken lumber on the viewing
platform and kiosk, and re-doing the landscaping around a memorial located
at the site.
community corrections workers have been a big help in our efforts to make
repairs and improvements at the Rainey Wildlife area,” Norton said. “We
greatly appreciate their help on this cooperative project.”
The walking trail at the site is accessible to all, including the lower
platform at the viewing area, with scenic boardwalk areas and a crossing
over a wetlands area. From the platform, Smith Creek, Indian Lake and
Smith Slough are visible.
Check out more information on the site at
In 1984, the Michigan Conservation Foundation received a gift of 100 acres
from the Roland Dorothy Hoholik and Donald and Cecile Hoholik families.
The land was deeded to the DNR by the foundation, with a stipulation the
project would be funded by the foundation, with help from the Rainey
family, in memory of Gary L. Rainey (1954-1981), who was an avid
The wildlife area is one of many vacation, recreation and nature
attractions in the area.
“Southern Schoolcraft County is a great part of the Upper Peninsula to
visit,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “In
addition to the fantastic bird watching available at the Rainey Memorial
Wildlife Area, Indian Lake State Park, the sites and shops of Manistique,
with its picturesque Lake Michigan boardwalk, and the state’s largest
free-flowing spring at Palms Book State Park are all here.”
More Peregrine Falcons Find a Home in Southeast
Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service have released a report highlighting nearly 40 years’ worth of
monitoring data on peregrine falcons in southeast Michigan. These data
show that the southeast Michigan Peregrine falcon population has expanded
from five young birds, which were reintroduced in 1987, to 15 nesting
pairs that reared 30 young in 2016 – a remarkable recovery for a species
once listed as federally endangered.
complete report includes a history of peregrine falcons in Michigan,
status and trends of nesting birds from 1987-2016, and management and
research needs into the future.
Peregrines are considered endangered in Michigan, though they are no
longer federally endangered, so monitoring them is important as their
population recovers from a major decrease in the 1960s. The Peregrine
falcon population declined precipitously as the shells of peregrine eggs
became extremely fragile because adult birds had accumulated DDT, a
pesticide that interfered with calcium metabolism. By 1968, the entire
U.S. Peregrine falcon population east of the Mississippi was gone.
Michigan began its peregrine recovery efforts in 1986. In 1993, the
Peregrines in Michigan began reproducing successfully. In 2016, there were
54 nest sites in the entire state, and 29 of them produced young. Thirteen
of the 29 sites that produced young were in southeast Michigan. There
currently are 29 sites being monitored for Peregrine nesting in the
southeastern part of the state.
“The Peregrine falcon recovery in southeast Michigan is a true
conservation success story,” said Christine Becher, southeast Michigan
peregrine falcon nesting coordinator for the DNR. “One thing we must all
remember is that we share the same ecosystem with Peregrine falcons, and
if southeast Michigan is cleaner for Peregrine falcons, it is cleaner for
all of us.”
Peregrines are crow-sized birds with a wingspan of 36 to 44 inches. Adults
have slate-gray backs and barred breasts, while immature birds have brown
backs and heavily streaked breasts. All Peregrines have prominent cheek
("moustache") marks on either side of their head. As is true in most
species of birds of prey, the female is larger than the male – female
peregrines average 32 ounces in weight, while males average only 22
These falcons require large areas of open air for hunting, and are not
found in areas that are heavily forested. The diet of the peregrine falcon
includes a wide variety of small birds, including pigeons, seabirds,
shorebirds and songbirds. Occasionally, they have been known to take small
ducks, earning them the misleading name "duck hawks." Peregrines hunt by
diving at their prey from far above and catching it in mid-flight. During
these incredible dives, called "stoops," the birds can reach speeds of 180
miles per hour.
Learn more about peregrine falcons.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is, working with
others, to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and
their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
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.