Category Archives: Natural Resources

Revived senate bill would help protect the Great Lakes from invasives

In Washington DC, a bill that would help protect the Great Lakes from invasive species has been revived by the Senate, and sent to the House for a vote.

The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, or VIDA, would set a national precedent for controlling boat ballast water that enters the U.S.

The bill was revived when Senator Gary Peters of Michigan added an amendment that would require all ships that enter the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway to dump their ballast water prior to entry.
great_lakes
Ballast water is considered to be one of the biggest doorways for aquatic invasive species to enter our waterways.

The ‘Senior Citizen’ of the Great Lakes fisheries retires

R.V ChinookAfter 70 years of service, and earning the description “the Senior citizen of the Great Lakes fisheries research vessels”, the DNR’s R.V Chinook is being retired.

Research biologist at the DNR Dave Fielder spent years with the vessel. He said he’ll miss the old ship.

“Well I tend to think about the different people who have served on it, visited on it, over the years. Whole careers have been spent on this vessel. It can get pretty rough out there, it’s kinda notorious for creating seasickness, but it’s kinda like our second home.”

The new research vessel, the R.V Tanner, is expected to be constructed by April of 2016.

Fielder says the new ship is named after Dr. Howard Tanner who’s known as the, “Father of the Modern Pacific Salmon Program” .

Debate and controversy surround proposed nuclear waste dump near Lake Huron shore in Ontario

Kincardine

Controversy surrounding a proposed nuclear waste dump that would be built near the Lake Huron Shoreline in Ontario is heating up.

The main issue surrounding Ontario Power Generation’s, or OPG’s, proposed nuclear dump can be boiled down to three things.
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Debate and controversy surround proposed nuclear waste dump near Lake Huron shore in Ontario

Kincardine
Ontario Power Generation, or OPG, has talked themselves hoarse defending their proposal for a nuclear waste storage facility near Lake Huron.
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Federal funding boost for Great Lakes basin

great_lakesThe USDA is set to provide 1.2 billion dollars over five years to the Regional Conservation Partnership Program in order to improve water quality and wildlife habitats in the Great Lakes basin.
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Study links deer to forest plant species changes

deerA recent study is linking changes in forest ecosystems in northern Michigan and Wisconsin to the eating habits of White-Tailed Deer.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It links at least 40 percent of plant species changes in the forests of northern Michigan and Wisconsin to White-Tailed Deer. Continue reading

Wildlife officials say bat die-off in Michigan likely to “get considerably worse”, before it gets better.

Dead bats with white-nose syndrome (inset) at a mine opening in Keweenaw County. Photo courtesy of Gina Nicholas

Dead bats with white-nose syndrome (inset) at a mine opening in Keweenaw County. Photo courtesy of Gina Nicholas

Officials with the state Department of Natural Resources say they have received the first reports this winter of bats in Michigan dying from White Nose Syndrome.
The bats were found near the opening of a copper mine in Keweenaw County in the UP. Continue reading

DNR rejects massive U.P. land sale, for now

Canadian-based Graymont is pursuing a purchase of more than 10,000 acres of mineral rights in Michigan's U.P.

Canadian-based Graymont is pursuing a purchase of more than 10,000 acres of mineral rights in Michigan’s U.P.

A Canadian-based mining company, called Graymont, is interested in bringing business to Michigan, but the land sale that would go along with the initiative is being debated.
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DNR seeks information in finding snowmobiler who hit and killed ducks

The DNR is looking for information about who was involved in the killing of a group of ducks during Tip-Up-Town last weekend on Houghton lake in Roscommon County.

Tip-Up-Town USA is a winter festival on Houghton Lake that brings thousands of visitors to the area.

DNR officials said this happened Jan. 17 They said late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, someone ran a snowmobile into a group of roosting mallards on Houghton Lake. At least half a dozen of the ducks were killed. Continue reading

Michigan conservation officers use robotic decoy animals to catch poachers

Whitetail decoy. Custom Robotic Wildlife courtesy photo.

Whitetail decoy. Custom Robotic Wildlife courtesy photo.

Hunters often use decoy animals to lure in prey. In Michigan, DNR officers have turned the tables; they use decoy animals to catch poachers.

Conservation officers use robo-deer and other fake animals to catch poachers in the act.

Officers say they frequently get complaints of people hunting from their vehicles or trespassing in rural areas.

That’s when, they said, they break out the remote controlled robo-deer. The decoys have moveable heads, tails and sometimes legs. Continue reading

A Michigan organization is pushing for tougher poaching fines

Deer hunting season is wrapping up in much of the state, but one organization has another large mammal on its mind.

Officials with Michigan United Conservation Clubs said they are working on a resolution that would increase fines for elk poaching.

DNR officials say Michigan’s state elk population is around 900, that compares to millions of whitetail deer. Currently, elk poaching carries up to $2,500 in fines. Continue reading

No-Spills conference coming to Mt. Pleasant

In January specialists in the oil industry will be flocking to Mid-Michigan. The 25th annual No-Spills conference is scheduled for Mt. Pleasant.

Linda Hensel is Committee Chairman for what’s called the No-Spills conference. She said the conference will be an informative forum.

“Although we have vendors and they’re there because they want to meet potential clients, everybody in this conference is here because we want to know what’s actually going on in our field and related fields. I think that’s one thing that’s really important, this is not a hype type conference. The scope is very limited so that we are able to discuss the important things that need to be discussed.”

The organization is moving to a larger facility this year. The conference will be held in the Soaring Eagle Resort.

Hensel said the move is necessary because the conference is growing in size. She also said the location in the center of the state will be more accessible to the masses.

For more information on the event visit here.

In the interest of full disclosure, No-Spills is an underwriter of CMU Public Radio.

Emergency supplemental deer feeding possible near you

The past two harsh winters and a coming third have many people worried about Michigan’s deer population.

Russ Mason, Chief of the Michigan DNR’s Wildlife division, said supplemental feeding in certain areas could help.

“We would move on public land. The public can get a permit from us and under certain conditions, so far from a road and so forth, they can feed if they choose to do so.”

The public will only be allowed to feed on private land.

Mason made it a point to explain how dangerous feeding can be if done improperly. He says people could end up harming more deer than they help.

Northern Michigan officials say they have a new trail for winter enthusiasts

Winter is here, and DNR officials said a new winter trail is now available for people to use in northern Michigan.

Officials said they will be opening a new VASA pathway that has bicyclists in mind. They said they are holding a public meeting Nov. 20 to announce VASA trail changes. Continue reading

The Christmas tree industry

Imagine 33 million Christmas trees. That’s how many holiday trees were brought home just last year in the United States according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

Marcia Gray, Executive Director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association, said Christmas trees are actually considered one of Michigan’s cash crops!

“Well, first of all, Michigan is the third largest producer of Christmas trees in the U.S. This holiday season we’re going to estimate that we harvest 2 to 2-and-a-half million trees. About 3-quarters of those trees leave Michigan. Our trees are going elsewhere and bringing dollars back.”

Gray said she expects the tree industry to bring in roughly 40-million dollars to the state this year, and that’s at wholesale price.

She also said the agriculture industry is much more influential on Michigan’s economy than people give it credit for.

For more information on the Michigan Christmas tree business visit this website.