The Blue Ribbon Advisory Group is the newest regulatory body created by the DNR to protect and improve Michigan’s public gaming areas.
The group will examine hunting grounds and suggest ways to improve the habitat, and hunters’ overall experience.
Russ Mason is a spokesman for the DNR. He says the effort is more important than some people may realize
“And it’s important for people to recognize that these aren’t just acres that are sittin’ there. These are acres that are critical for the timber industry, the mining industry. These aren’t just a bunch of trees on public land. These are really valuable assets that we need to think about and care for in a very deliberate fashion, and move forward. Because they are, perhaps the catalyst for Michigan’s economic recovery.”
Mason says the group is going to have a lot to consider
“The U.P and the Northern Lower 40 acres of land per man, woman and child. Southern Michigan we’re essentially .04 acres. There are counties in Southern Michigan without a square inch of public hunting land. That needs to be different if we want Michiganders to care about the one thing that makes Michigan special in my view, and that’s their natural resources. ”
Mason says the Group is expected to wrap up its work within 18 months.
The Michigan DNR has awarded one-and-a-quarter million dollars to 7 projects through its Aquatic Habitat Grant Program.
Friends of the Shiawassee received the single largest donation, $365-thousand, for their dam removal project.
Gary Burk is the Board Director for the Friends, he says the project is important for a number of reasons.
“We were actually approached by the State as to whether we could be a local agency to help direct grant dollars and project management for the removal of that dam. There’s a number of reasons for the removal. It’s a deteriorated structure, and we’d like to restore connectivity to the river. Plus, there have been some drownings at the dam.”
For a full list of the projects that were awarded grant money from the DNR visit their website here.