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Michigan Department of Natural Resources

a peregrine falcon on a branch
Becky Matsubara / Flickr

Peregrine falcons are making a comeback in southeastern Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The birds became endangered in the mid-20th century because of pesticides like DDT. But now, the population has grown from near extinction to 15 nesting pairs in southeast Michigan alone.

Several of the headboards found burned near the village of Lake Ann in Benzie County.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources discovered 20 burned mattresses and bedspring frames on state-managed land in northern Michigan last week. 

MDNR says conservation officers responded to a complaint on May 24 about the burned items in Benzie County's Inland Township. They're seeking information from the public about anyone responsible for dumping and burning them.

Morning theft on Flickr / Creative Commons

A new program from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will allow campers to bring their dogs and cats to some Michigan state parks. The pilot project will launch on November 1st and last for one year.

DNR resource specialist Maia Turek says lots of people like to vacation with their pets.

Rachel Kramer / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Ahead of the 100-year anniversary of the state park system, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has drafted a strategic plan for the state parks and recreation system.

The draft plan will replace the current strategic plan, which was set to last until 2019. The draft identifies new issues and recent changes within the system. Key issues include the environment, economic impact, and balancing recreation and protection.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Officials have found that a recent outbreak of an invasive virus may be responsible for killing tens of thousands of fish in Lake St. Clair.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed this afternoon that the fish tested positive for the viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSv). The virus first appeared in Lake Michigan in 2006.

The Michigan Senate in Lansing.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio file photo

For more than 40 years, royalties from oil and mineral rights on State of Michigan-owned land have gone to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The Trust Fund is controlled by a non-partisan board. It uses the money to buy park land and to help cities and counties develop public recreation areas.

More than 30 years ago voters passed a constitutional amendment that barred the Legislature from raiding that fund.

Jethro Taylor / Flickr, http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

For rural residents worried about visits from black bears this spring and summer, a wildlife expert has some advice: Take down your bird feeders, at least for now.

Katie Keen of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says bears are particularly attracted to bird seed and suet because they have higher fat content than natural food sources such as roots of early spring plants and insect larvae.

Once a bear finds a bird feeder, it will keep coming back until the seed is gone or the feeder is removed.

Hemlock woolly adelgid
Michigan DNR

Insects and diseases are posing a threat to Michigan's forests.

That's according to a report released yesterday by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The report, which is a part of the National Forest Health Monitoring Program, includes an analysis of issues that threaten Michigan's 20 million acres of forest land for 2016.

New rules forbid chocolate as bear bait in Michigan

Mar 10, 2017
Ken Thomas / wikimedia commons

Hunters won't be allowed to bait bears with chocolate for the 2017 hunting season.

The DNR's Natural Resources Commission passed new regulations that apply to bear hunting, including a ban on bait containing chocolate or cocoa products. 

Chocolate is popular with hunters as a bait for the same reasons it's attractive to humans -- it's sweet and high in calories. But chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine that is toxic to many animals, including dogs, bears, and many species of wildlife such as wolves and coyotes.

Spring thaw may bring fish kills to Michigan waterways

Mar 8, 2017
NOAA / Flickr Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

As ice and snow melt, Michiganders should not be surprised to come across fish kills.

The state Department of Natural Resources said winter conditions often cause die-offs of fish and other aquatic creatures like frogs, toads, turtles and crayfish.

According to the DNR, winter kills are the most common form of fish kill. They are most often found in shallow lakes, ponds, streams and canals as winter ends.

income tax
ccPixs.com / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A proposal to get rid of Michigan's income tax is quickly moving along in the Legislature. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether the Republican-backed bill will go all the way.

They also discuss the action plan state House Republicans rolled out this week, the state Board of Education's call to hold off closing any schools this fall, and a planned set of bills to rectify the mess at the state Unemployment Insurance Agency. 

MARY MEYER / FLICKR

Michigan's Department of Natural Resources is looking for volunteers for its annual frog and toad survey.

The DNR says the survey helps biologists monitor how Michigan's amphibians are doing.

Coordinator Lori Sargent says spring is the best time to estimate frog and toad populations in Michigan.

"This is when they call, when it starts to get warm and the water temperature gets warmer because they're calling for mates and establishing their territory," Sargent said.

This map shows land ownership and location of the exploratory copper drilling project.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has given the green light to an exploratory copper drilling project in the Upper Peninsula.

The use permit allows Orvana Resources U.S. Corp., a subsidiary of Highland Copper, to drill in a one square mile area located on the western edge of  Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. 

According to John Pepin, a DNR spokesman, the company is taking steps to reduce the impact of the exploratory drilling on the land surface of the park. 

prettyemmy / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Spend time on Black Friday in the great outdoors - not just in stores. 

That's the message of the #OptOutside campaign started last year by the outdoor recreation retailer, REI, and supported by Michigan's Department of Natural Resources and hundreds of agencies across the U.S.

This year the Michigan DNR will waive park entry fees to all 103 state parks and recreation areas on the day after Thanksgiving. 

According to Maia Turek of the DNR, the agency does not get general tax dollars to support Michigan's parks.

For many Michiganders, the start of firearm hunting season is like a state holiday. Today, tens of thousands of hunters hope they'll be successful as they head outdoors in search of deer. 

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hopes the successful hunters will stop by one of their deer check stations before having their deer processed. It's a good way for the DNR to keep tabs on the health of Michigan's deer herds.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State wildlife officials are shifting their investigation into Chronic Wasting Disease in deer in mid-Michigan.  

The Department of Natural Resources has examined the brains of roughly 600 deer since the first case of CWD was confirmed in Ingham County in May. In all, three have tested positive for the fatal neurological disease.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Another free-ranging Michigan deer has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease. 

“This news is not surprising,” said Dr. Steve Schmitt, DNR wildlife veterinarian. “The good news is that all three deer came from the same small area.” All three deer are related and were found in a one mile radius in Ingham County.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer, moose and elk.   It is not a threat to humans.

an island from above
Flickr user Steven Tomsic / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Official at the Department of Natural Resources are inviting the public to comment on a draft plan for managing Lake Michigan islands.

“We are looking at developing a collaborative effort where we involve island residents and local governments and tribal governments and other interested stake holders in helping us, in the future, set priorities and then more importantly execute priorities. We can't do this ourselves, for some of this work we are outlining,” said Keith Kintigh, a field operation manager for the DNR. 

Deer in the underbrush.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials say a second mid-Michigan deer has tested positive for a fatal neurological disease.

“Finding this second positive deer is disappointing, however, not unexpected,” said DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. 

The second deer was discovered about a mile from where the first deer was found in Ingham County. Wildlife officials are genetically testing the two deer to determine if they are related.   

The Eastern Spruce Budworm is one of the most destructive native insects in Eastern United States and Canada.
Jerald E. Dewey, USDA Forest Service / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The State Department of Natural Resources is keeping an eye out for one of the most destructive insects in our northern spruce and fir trees.

After nearly 30 years on hiatus, it looks like the spruce budworm is once again rearing its head.

Terry Kreeger / Wyoming Game and Fish Department/CWD Alliance

Last week, state officials confirmed they found chronic wasting disease in a wild deer for the first time. Michigan now joins 22 states and two Canadian provinces where the disease has been found.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A serious health threat to the state’s wild deer population has been detected in mid-Michigan. 

A six-year-old doe found in Haslett last month has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. 

The neurological disease is always fatal.  The disease is transmitted through saliva and other bodily fluids.   The disease is fatal to deer, elk and moose. 

Courtesy photo / Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan started tracking how many hunters die each year 1970. Since then, there has never been a year when no one died while hunting.

But 2014 was a first. No fatalities and only ten injuries were reported.

A Canadian mining company has revised its proposal to acquire nearly 10,000 acres in the Upper Peninsula. 

Graymont wants to acquire land and mineral rights in three different U.P. counties to mine for limestone.  The mining operation would include surface and underground mining.  The company says it is acquiring so much property because it plans to set up a “generational” operation that would mine the land for 100 years. 

It would be the largest sale of public land in Michigan history. 

The Department of Natural Resources

HANCOCK, Mich. (AP) - State officials have closed 32 waterfront campsites at F.J. McLain State Park in the Upper Peninsula because of unsafe conditions and erosion along the Lake Superior shoreline.

  The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says 18 sites at the park near Hancock will remain closed permanently, while 14 will be evaluated in the spring for safety and accessibility.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

State wildlife officials are concerned a large bat die-off in Keweenaw County this month might be a sign of things to come.

The small brown bats died from white-nose syndrome. The distinctive white nose is created by a fungal growth that typically kills most of the bats hibernating in an infected cave.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Update: January 15, 2015:

Gov. Snyder has vetoed the legislation.

Original post:

More than 130 scientists and the state’s environmental groups are calling on Gov. Rick Snyder to veto a bill they call anti-science. The bill would forbid the Michigan Department of Natural Resources from protecting native wildlife and plants on the pure merits of protecting nature.

  • The bill would prohibit the Department of Natural Resources from managing state lands for biodiversity.
  • It would prohibit the agency from managing forests for restoration.
  • It would end work to eliminate invasive species.
  • It would strike from the law the finding that most losses of biological diversity are the result of human activity.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

A bill that would forbid the state Department of Natural Resources from considering biodiversity along with other uses of state lands, such as public recreation, or logging rights, is moving swiftly in the state Legislature.

More than 130 researchers who oppose it hope Gov. Rick Snyder will veto the bill.

USFWS

State wildlife officials are looking for wolf poachers in the Upper Peninsula.

Two wolves were killed last month in Mackinac and Schoolcraft counties.

In one case, a tracking collar on one of the wolves was removed. 

This trail camera photo of a cougar was taken on public land in western Mackinac County in early November.
MDNR

Cougars were wiped out in Michigan more than 100 years ago, but a few of the big cats have been returning.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed two new cougar sightings in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

MDNR officials say the two photographs were taken this fall – one was taken on a camera phone 30 miles south-southeast of Sault Ste. Marie in late October – another was taken with a trail camera on public land near Mackinac County’s Garfield Township.

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