OTG 2017 Season Comes to an End at the Grayling State Forest

This Saturday, volunteers with MUCC’s On the Ground (OTG) program will be partnering with the Department of Natural Resources, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and Camp Grayling for a wildlife habitat improvement project under their Wildlife Habitat Grant. A total of 150 trees will be planted to improve habitat for the areas turkey, whitetail deer, black bear, other small game and non-game species as well. Camp Grayling staff will be auguring the holes for 50 of the larger trees prior to the project. Volunteers will then be planting the trees and filling in the holes with fertilizer and topsoil. This project will complete the OTG season as the 25th event this year. More wildlife habitat improvement events will be scheduled starting in December for the next season-keep up to date at www.mucc.org/ontheground! Continue reading

OTG Improves Wildlife Habitat in the Northern Lower and Upper Peninsula

Last weekend was a busy one for MUCC’s On the Ground program and volunteers. On Friday, a group of 12 volunteers removed small trees and shrubs from a 20-acre area at Inspiration Point in the Pigeon River Country State Forest to restore the area to a wildlife opening. Then, on Saturday, a group of 23 volunteers planted 300 trees in the Melstrand Grouse Enhanced Management Site (GEMS). Both of these events were made possible by new and continuing partnerships with local chapters of national and statewide organizations such as Huron Pines AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps NCCC, the DNR, Ruffed Grouse Society, Alger County UP Whitetails, and Michigan Sharp Tail Association. Thank you to the many volunteers that dedicated their day to improve wildlife habitat on Michigan’s public lands! Continue reading

Lansing Area Teachers Build Brush Piles and Meet OTG Jr

Last week, an On the Ground event was hosted at the Rose Lake State Game Area with the GRAND Learning Network as part of their annual orientation. This week, MUCC’s OTG program is focusing on wrapping up the project season with three more events. Coming up this Friday, August 25th, OTG will be joining the NCCC crew in the Pigeon River Country State Forest to complete a project maintaining the wildlife opening by removing small trees and shrubs and applying herbicide to the stumps. On Saturday, August 26th, OTG will be planting trees in the Melstrand Grouse Enhanced Management Site with the local chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society, Alger County UP Whitetails, and the Michigan Sharp Tail Association. To finish off this season, OTG will be in the Grayling State Forest on September 23rd to plant trees with the National Wild Turkey Federation, Camp Grayling, and the Department of Natural Resources.  To RSVP to volunteer or see more details about these events, view the links at www.mucc.org/ontheground. Continue reading

OTG Jr Meets the GRAND Learning Network

Tomorrow, MUCC’s Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program will be partnering with Lansing’s GRAND Learning Network to complete a rabbitat project at the Rose Lake State Game Area during their annual orientation day. There will be 25 teachers attending the orientation from schools in the Greater Lansing area. While this event will be conducted with adults, the focus will be on future opportunities in the area for the OTG Jr program. The group of teachers will have the opportunity to see first-hand what their students will do at an OTG Jr event. They will be starting the day off with a habitat project, then breaking for lunch followed by an afternoon archery session or another outdoor recreation activity. There will be other agenda items for the GRAND Learning Network orientation for the teachers as well. Continue reading

Oriental Bittersweet Out-Competing Native Species

The Oriental Bittersweet plant is known as Celastrus orbiculatus. According to the DNR, the oriental bittersweet plant is already established throughout Michigan. Celastrus Orbiculatus was brought to the states from Japan, China, Korea and other parts of Asia in the late 1800s. Continue reading

Upcoming Opportunities to Improve Wildlife Habitat with MUCC August 2017

Keep an eye out for more opportunities to improve wildlife habitat in your most treasured public land areas coming up in August. Volunteers with MUCC’s Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program have completed 17 projects throughout the state for the current cycle already, but there will be a handful more projects in August and September. So far this cycle, a total of 402 volunteers have collectively dedicated over 98 hours to the restoration of 445 acres of wildlife habitat on public land! Thank you for your contribution to conservation! Keep up to date with the latest wildlife habitat improvement events at www.mucc.org/ontheground.  Continue reading

NRC Recap for July

Antler point restrictions were shot down in a six-county tuberculosis management area despite mixed emotions among commissioners at the monthly Natural Resources Commission meeting. Continue reading

MUCC Volunteers Remove Over 500lbs of Trash From the Manistee & Clinton Rivers

Over the past two weekends, volunteers with MUCC’s On the Ground program and the Metro-West Steelheaders participated in two river clean-up events. Last weekend, a total of 63 volunteers participated in the 3rd Annual Manistee River Clean-up to improve fish habitat and spawning areas from Tippy Dam to Rainbow Bend. This past Saturday, a total of 20 volunteers partnered with the Metro-West Steelheaders for the fourth consecutive year to clean up a popular stretch of the Clinton River near Yates Park and removed 200 lbs of trash and debris! Collectively, volunteers have removed over 2,200 lbs of trash and debris from both the Manistee and the Clinton Rivers through these clean-up events. Continue reading

Purple Loosestrife and Michigan's Ecosystems

Purple Loosestrife is such a pretty plant! Of course it's pink/purple flowers catches the eye, but is it benefiting our Michigan ecosystems? The species was introduced to the states from various parts of Asia and this pretty plant has made its way into almost every state in the US. Read on to see the affects purple loosestrife can have on our natural resources! Continue reading

Osprey Banding

by Anna Mitterling, Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator Last week I was extremely fortunate to be invited to help the DNR band osprey near the Kellogg Biological Station on Crooked Lake. It was an incredible experience and it is amazing how far these special birds have come over the past couple decades. Their numbers sharply declined after the introduction of DDT. Even now, these pesticides threaten them as they are not regulated in South America where these birds winter. Continue reading