Category Archives: Natural Resources

Massasauga rattlesnake officially a threatened species

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.

Alabama pipeline leak not expected to impact Michigan gas prices

file000298506336Experts say Michigan gas prices should not be impacted by a gas pipeline leak in Alabama.

At least 6,000 barrels of gasoline spilled from the pipeline — causing supply issues across the southeastern United States.

Patrick DeHaan is a Senior Petroleum Analyst with

“Michigan gas prices will be likely unaffected completely by what’s taking place in the southeast. Price movements will likely continue but they will not be reflective of the situation in the southeast.”

DeHaan says Michigan, along with much of the Midwest, generally gets most of its gas from refineries in Ohio, Indiana, and in the Chicago area.

He says Michigan gas prices have been falling since an unrelated price spike last week.

Researchers have launched a ten-year project to keep invasives out of the Great Lakes


Researchers are currently working to develop new technology to let certain fish through a dam – and capture invasive species.

The ten-year project has just begun with researchers brainstorming new ideas for a fish passage system. Continue reading

A jack-of-all-trades who helped Michigan become a state is getting a historical marker in the U.P.


You may never have heard of Douglass Houghton, but the historical figure is getting a much deserved historical marker in the U.P.

Houghton was Michigan’s first geologist. He helped Michigan become a state. Continue reading