Category Archives: Natural Resources

State trail usage survey reveals thousands of annual users

trail users 2Michigan’s recreational trails have been feeling the love. A community forum is planned in Petoskey to discuss survey results that show the usage of some northern Michigan trails.

The Top of Michigan Trails Council and Emmet County commissioned the study last summer. Continue reading

U.S. Geological Survey awards $9.7 million to build new invasive species lab

Anyone who fishes the Great Lakes are probably familiar with pesky aquatic invasive species, things like sea lamprey and certain gobies.

Now, officials with the U.S. Geological Survey say they are granting $9.7 million to build a new invasive species laboratory in Presque Isle county.

The construction contract has been awarded to an Alpena county company, Crittenden. The work there will focus on how to repel and remove invasives from the Great Lakes. Continue reading

DNR Fisheries officials say late March marks annual walleye egg collection

State fishing licences expire later this month. And as people look forward to spring fishing season, DNR officials say they are helping Walleye populations one generation at a time.
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Tittabawassee river cleanup update

Tuesday night the EPA will give an update on cleanup work along the Tittabawassee River. It’s part of the at the bi-monthly Community Advisory Group meeting’s.

The current portion of the cleanup is focused on the floodplain of the river. It requires certain areas of soil to be removed and replaced.

The public is invited to the meeting and the local community group is looking to recruit new members.

The meeting is scheduled for the Tittabawassee Township Memorial Park Building in Freeland and begins at 6 PM.

Earlier this year the EPA estimated the entire cleanup would be completed in 2018.

As the snow melts, pollutants can flow into waterways, environmental specialists say

March 20 marks the first day of spring, and with the warm weather lately, mounds of snow are starting to disappear.

This melting is milestone in the passing from winter to spring, and environmental specialists said it also marks the passing of pollutants from snow into Michigan’s waterways. Continue reading

CMU receives nearly 400K for invasive species research

European Frogbit

European Frogbit


CMU has been awarded nearly $400,000 to expand its work on controlling invasive species in Michigan, which was the second highest grant amount received among 19 other organizations.

According to the DNR, the grant aims to evaluate and expand management tools for invasive species in the Great Lakes.
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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