DNR announces recipients of wildlife habitat grants

Nearly ¾ of a million dollars will be used to help brush up habitats for wildlife around the state.

Several statewide and location-specific groups have received tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dollars for projects.

Drew YoungeDyke, public relations manager with the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, said a project will launch in Crawford County the first week of May.

“Our next project is going to be a jack pine planting in the Grayling Forest Management Unit,” he said. “The jack pine trees are going to create habitats for Kirtland’s Warblers, as well as, thermal cover and food for game species, like whitetail deer and grouse.”

MUCC has an “aggressive” schedule ahead. YoungeDyke said this is only one of 20 planned new projects for the year.

He said this is where the “on the ground” program comes in. It’s goal is to create a conservation community with volunteers.

“We’re getting people involved; we are giving people equity in our public lands, so when they go back out to those lands, they feel a personal connection with it,” he said. “When they go back to their community, they can talk about these projects, and they see, first-hand, what the DNR does and their role is, and how license fees are used.”

YoungeDyke says it’s clubs and the DNR’s goal to revitalize, expand and diversify communities with wildlife projects.

A list of projects across central and northern Michigan, and more, can be found on the club’s website at www.mucc.org, and clicking the “programs” tab.