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Michigan Department of Natural Resources

An emaciated deer stands near a fence.
Terry Kreeger / Wyoming Game and Fish Department/CWD Alliance

To help combat chronic wasting disease, Michigan is banning deer baiting and feeding across big parts of the state. It’s highly unpopular with some hunters and lawmakers.

But, banning bait will only slow CWD from spreading to new areas, and more aggressive approaches that might actually stop it could be just as unpopular.

U.S Department of Agriculture / FLICKR - HTTP://BIT.LY/1XMSZCG

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is calling on snowmobilers to ditch modifications to  their sleds' exhaust systems that can make snowmobiles exceed legal noise limits. 

DNR officials say they continue to get complaints from the public about loud sleds.

"They're modifying them by putting on different types of exhaust pipes or what are called cans," said John Pepin, a DNR spokesperson. "And by using those modifications, they make the sleds actually louder than they would be, had they used the original stock exhaust that came from the manufacturer."

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

State officials have named eight navigable waterways as the first state-designated water trails in Michigan.

The water trails total about 540 miles and flow through more than a dozen counties in the Lower Peninsula, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. They are intended for paddleboarders and boaters on lakes, rivers, canals and bays.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources offered free admission to state parks, to entice people outside on Black Friday.

The DNR said the inspiration comes from the #OptOutside movement, which was started by the outdoor equipment store REI.

At P. J. Hoffmaster State Park, along Lake Michigan, there was a steady stream of visitors Friday.

racers at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix from last year, 2017
Nic Redhead / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

It appears Belle Isle will continue to host the Detroit Grand Prix for at least another five years.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources signaled its support for that Friday, as it released some suggested terms for keeping the IndyCar race on the island.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

A dredging project in Grand Traverse Bay Harbor in Michigan's Upper Peninsula has been delayed due to permit and contracting issues.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says dredging expected to start this spring will be postponed until at least fall. It's part of efforts to save Buffalo Reef off Gay, northwest of Marquette.

Monarch Butterfly
flickr user Paul VanDerWerf / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Public comment is being sought on a draft of a conservation plan expected to help reverse eastern monarch butterfly population declines.

Michigan's Department of Natural Resources says the Mid-America Monarch Conservation Strategy builds on existing efforts by state, federal, and local agencies and private organizations and individuals.

Monarch butterflies found east of the Rocky Mountains have declined by more than 80 percent over the past 20 years primarily due to habitat loss, including reduced milkweed required for reproduction and fewer nectar plants.

Michigan's Iron Belle Trail
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Hiking and bicycling routes that will traverse Michigan have secured $10.5 million in private donations. Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday shared the fundraising update on the Iron Belle Trail at an Ann Arbor event. He was joined by philanthropists including officials with the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, which has pledged roughly $5.5 million for trail design and development in Washtenaw County and Detroit. A group has been formed to help raise an additional $155 million in private money.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, Michigan lawmakers are scheduled to discuss a measure that would prevent communities from sterilizing wild animals to control their populations.

Hundreds race to catch "dinosaur of a fish"

Feb 13, 2018
A fisherman heads across Black Lake before the sturgeon fishing season starts on February 3.
Morgan Springer / Interlochen Public Radio

This month, hundreds of spear fishers went to Black Lake in northern Michigan. They competed to catch just six lake sturgeon before the fishing season ended. Sturgeon are a state threatened species, and their harvest is tightly regulated.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Copperwood Resources, a subsidiary of Highland Copper, has entered into a legal settlement with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality over part of its exploratory drilling operation at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

The agreement concerns environmental damage from the mining company's test drilling last spring along a county road right-of-way (233 feet on each side of the road) at the park.

tuchodl / Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Two additional firearm deer hunts are planned for January 4-7 and 11-14 in portions of Ionia and Montcalm counties, according to an announcement of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The goal of the extra hunts is to help with monitoring chronic wasting disease that has been found in some deer in these counties.

Participants in the hunt will be required to turn in the heads of the deer they kill for testing. 

The DNR advises not to eat the deer until test results are back.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources / Facebook

All through this deer hunting season, Michigan hunters are bringing their deer to check stations to be tested for a disease called chronic wasting disease (CWD).

It's turning up again in deer in our state, which is why the Department of Natural Resources is keeping a close eye on this threat.

Part of a polished Petoskey stone.
Michelle Pemberton / Wikimedia Commons

Most Michiganders have spent hours walking up and down shorelines, hoping to spot a Petoskey stone or two for their collection.

Hunting for Petoskey stones can be tough - they're often small, hidden among thousands of other little rocks and their distinctive pattern is only visible when wet.

deer
mwanner_wc / creative commons

One deer in Genesee County has tested positive for epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Disease Laboratory and the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory say the free-ranging white-tailed deer died from the disease, which can be found in wild ruminants such as white-tailed deer, mule deer and elk.

Invasive plant Japanese stiltgrass
Tom Potterfield / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state Department of Natural Resources says an invasive grass from Asia has been found in Michigan for first time.

The DNR said Friday that Japanese stiltgrass was recently found on private property in Scio Township, near Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County.

The invasive plant originates in Asia and is a thin, bamboo-like grass with jointed stems and well-spaced leaves.

The DNR is asking landowners and others spending time outdoors to be on the lookout for Japanese stiltgrass and to report its location to the state agency.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has issued a recommendation against adopting "hunter pink" as an approved alternate color for hunting safety gear.

Other states like Colorado and Wisconsin allow hunters to ditch the traditional orange safety gear for pink. But Tom Wanless, Hunter Education Administrator with the DNR, says the agency doesn't have enough information on whether pink is safe enough.

"Contrary to what some people are thinking, hunter pink is not a true color," Wanless said. "Hunter orange is a true color. It is nationally and internationally recognized as the safety color for hunting."

USFWSmidwest / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources doesn’t have enough people out in the field to keep an eye on everything in nature, so it relies on hunters, hikers, anglers, and activists to report things that are out of the ordinary.

But there was a problem with the department’s method of getting that information: red tape. The DNR had 15 different observation forms.

But now, there's an app for that.

A silver carp laying on top of a cooler.
COURTESY OF ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a long-anticipated study on ways to prevent Asian carp from spreading from the Mississippi River system to the Great Lakes through a manmade canal.

Tammy Newcomb, a senior water policy advisor for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, joined Stateside today to explain which kinds of Asian carp threaten the Great Lakes and why. 

A freshwater jellyfish. This species is clear and smaller than a penny.
Wikipedia Commons

A recent Facebook post has gone viral in the Great Lakes region. A few weeks ago, an Ontario woman posted a video and photo of a small, umbrella-shaped sea creature she says she caught in Lake Erie — a freshwater jellyfish. The video has been viewed more than a million times.

all terrain vehicle driving on dirt road
ATVist / CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

Many Michiganders are about to head up north for a long holiday weekend. When they arrive, some travelers will use public land for hiking, biking, horseback riding and driving off-road vehicles or ORVs. Fans of ORVs will soon have a lot more options. Thousands of miles of state forest roads are about to open up to them in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula.

Neil McIntosh / Flickr

For the first time in more than 100 years, a cougar has officially been found in Michigan's Lower Peninsula.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed the presence of a cougar in Bath Township, Clinton County.

A photo of the cougar was captured by a Haslett resident near the Rose Lake Wildlife Area on June 21. After a field investigation, the MDNR confirmed that the animal was indeed a cougar, also commonly referred to as a mountain lion.

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.

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