Category Archives: Environment

Michigan DNR assists in fire fighting efforts in southeastern states

DSC_0150Extreme drought conditions in the southeastern states has led to a series of wildfires across four states.

The state Department of Natural Resources has dispatched several teams to assist in fighting the fires.

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Scientists are taking a deeper dive into the sometimes bewildering world of micro-plastics

0e82d91ed9e1504d9ccf7db9467c3937One year after the United States banned microbeads – the small plastic particles you might see in a face scrub – scientists are now turning their attention to microfibers – hairlike plastics in our clothing. Both types of plastic have been cluttering up oceans, rivers, and lakes. But clothing and personal care products aren’t the biggest sources of microplastics.
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Scientists say microfibers are to blame

file000340177611If you’re one of those people who stopped using microbeads because you care about the environment, we have some bad news. Microbeads are those tiny plastic bits in your toothpaste and facewash. They pollute oceans, rivers, and lakes. But scientists say there’s a new microplastic to blame – and it’s lurking in your laundry hamper. Plastics in our clothes are sending billions of microfibers into our waterways – making fish and other aquatic life sick.
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Officials say the hunting season brings in more than two-billion dollars for the state’s economy

deer

The orange army will be out in full swing this week.

They’re not only keeping the deer population in check – but adding more than two-billion dollars to the state’s economy.

Ashley Autenrieth is a Deer Program Biologist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in Gaylord. Continue reading

Trees can help reduce air pollution researchers say

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One environmental group has found a way to help reduce the air pollution across the globe. Their solution is putting nature back into the environment.


A new survey shows planting trees can help reduce air pollution and extreme heat during summer.

Robert McDonald is the lead scientist for the Nature Conservancy, which conducted the survey. He said there are two issues the study focuses on.

“One is how trees cool the air and they do that by shading pavement, and asphalt preventing it from getting the sun’s energy. And then the reports focuses on particulate matter, which globally the most damaging type of air pollution. So when we burn gasoline and other fossil fuels there are little particles that float around in the air.”

McDonald said particulate matter pollution contributes to strokes, heart attacks, asthma and other diseases. It kills some three million people a year. He said trees help by serving as a giant filter, and cool surrounding areas by up to four degrees.

State takes public comment on Nestle Water’s request for more groundwater withdrawals

Lake Anne with Sun Reflecting
The state is taking public comment on a request by Nestle Waters to withdraw additional groundwater in Osceola county. Concerns have already popped up about local rivers and wells. Nestle says the move will bring jobs to the area.


The company says it needs the increased water in order to expand. The expansion would bring some 20 new jobs to the neighboring county of Mecosta.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality say the water withdrawals could affect areas around the Muskegon River and Chippewa Creek.

Carrie Monosmith is the with the DEQ. She said the state has received close to 2,000 emails from residents.

“They are concerned about lost of water, decreased in levels in the creeks, possible impacts to their private wells, and many think Nestle shouldn’t be able to withdraw additional water for profit.”

Monosmith said right now, public comment is scheduled to close December 3rd. A decision on Nestle’s request will not be made until after a formal hearing. A date for that has not yet been set.

Grand Traverse County man looking to educate people on foraging, and enjoying the outdoors

Clay Bowers pulling out a wild parsnip.

Clay Bowers pulling out a wild parsnip.

There are people that hunt, fish, grow food, and shop at grocery stores.

Then there are foragers. One Traverse City man searches for food in the woods almost everyday – and teaches K-12 students how to do the same.

Clay Bowers was once a survivalist. He said he thought the world economy may collapse, and he needed to learn how to fend for himself. Continue reading

Several people across Michigan have been recognized for their work in educating the public on natural resources

239f757a9988330397a4131be5b0d9dbSeven educators from around Michigan were honored.

Kevin Frailey is an Education Services Manager with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He says Mark Copeland of Gaylord was awarded for his work in archery.

“Outdoor education at its heart is learning outdoor skills, and one of those outdoor skills is archery and Mark Copeland has been teaching archery for many many years, he’s a certified archery instructor and he’s very involved with programs and organizations. Mark’s been teaching archery to kids to seniors to disabled to just about every kind of demographic you can think of.”

Frailey says another award was given to educator Theresa Neal, who teaches visitors of Tahquamenon Falls about the local environment.

There has been another sighting of a bull Elk in Mid Michigan

file2211281264306The elk was spotted earlier in the month in Isabella and Clare counties. The most recent report of an ambling elk came from Gratiot County.

Officials speculate all the sightings are the same animal, but without a photo, there is no way to be sure.

Brian Mastenbrook is the Wildlife Field Operations Manager with the DNR.

“These are wild elk, from up in Otsego and Cheboygan and it’s pretty rare for them to wander this far, they’ve done it before they’ve been to the north side of Bay City, they’ve been down around Houghton Lake, but it’s like every two or three or five years ya know one or sometimes two take off and make these long travels.”

Mastenbrook says elk are typically not a hazard to humans or other animals. He says he expects the animal to eventually make its way back up north.