Category Archives: Natural Resources

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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An Isabella County community has exceeded its crowdfunding goal to renovate a local park

Timber Town 2.0

All systems are ‘go’ for a new play place in Mt. Pleasant.

The group supporting the project has surpassed their goal of 50-thousand dollars for construction of a new playscape.

The crowdfunding success triggers state matching funds to the tune of 50-thousand.

Molli Ferency is with the city of Mount Pleasant. She said local kids helped design Timber Town 2.0.

“After the 22 years, the naturally aging structural challenges, we need to rebuild the playground, so we have an enhanced design that was created with input for many of the local kids.”

Fernecy said the total cost of the project is close to 400-thousand dollars. The crowdfuding campaign helped raise the last 100-thousand needed.

“In order to create that enhanced design, we needed close to 400-thousand dollars, and the city has contributed close to 243-thousand dollars of that total amount. So come this spring, we will be building that new design based on the kids, based on those ideas they gave us.”

Ferency said construction of the project will begin in May, and should be completed within five days with volunteer help.

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.

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.

Massasauga rattlesnake officially a threatened species

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The only venomous snake species found in Michigan has been listed as threatened by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.


State officials said over the past few decades, there has been a 40 percent decline in the massasauga rattlesnake population. The loss of snakes, they said, is directly tied to a loss of their habitat.

Dan Kennedy is the Endangered Species Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He said the massasauga is most often seen in southern Michigan

“So they’re typically found in open wetlands, like marshes and wet prairies, or low line areas of rivers and lakes. They tend to want to be away from you and are typically docile. They are not like a regular rattlesnake.”

Kennedy said the DNR and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service are partnering to develop a recovery plan for the species.

In the interest of full disclosure the DNR is an underwriter for CMU Public Radio.

Rally calls for shutdown of Line 5 pipeline

IMG_0610Roughly 100 attended a rally held by The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Monday in in Saint Ignace to bring awareness to the dangers of the Enbridge pipeline under the straits.

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Conservation projects designed to connect Saginaw residents with nature

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The Saginaw Basin Conservancy has launched several major projects in Saginaw… designed to create natural beauty and reconnect residents with nature.


The conservancy is calling these “tipping point projects.”

There are four total, including a trail system at Saginaw State University, the cleaning of 10 vacant lots across the city, the renovation of 16-acres at Celebration Square, and a newly paved trail along the city’s riverfront.

Zachary Branigan is the executive director of the Saginaw Basin Conservancy. He said they decided to launch projects in the city a few years ago…

“One thing we really wanted to do is reach out the the community. So over the past year before we started these projects we did a community engagement process. That really involved us going into the community and listening and looking for projects that made sense.”

Branigan said the conservancy is performing around 300 thousand dollars worth of work in the city. He says if all goes as planned, the projects should be completed next year.