MUCC's Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program 2016-2017 Season Begins

This Sunday, we will be kicking off the 2016-2017 season of MUCC’S Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program with a project at the Sharonville State Game Area. The Jackson College Jets Baseball Team will be volunteering to build brush piles for rabbitat as well as construct a natural hunting blind that is tracker chair accessible. This project is in coordination with the Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors (MiOFO) collaborative partnership with Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources. The completion of this project will enhance opportunities for hunting from an accessible blind as well as small game hunting opportunity by providing several large brush piles in the area. Continue reading

State Game Area Panel Releases Recommendations

The Blue Ribbon Advisory Group on Southern Michigan State Game Areas released its management recommendations today. The panel, co-chaired by 2016 Michigan United Conservation Clubs' Conservationist of the Year Bill Demmer and MUCC Executive Director Dan Eichinger, was created in May 2015.  Continue reading


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Deer Cooperatives - Surveys on Satisfaction

by Anna Mitterling, Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator, MUCC Back in 2010-2011 I was working on my Master's Research at Michigan State University. My research on deer cooperatives uncovered some interesting information.  1) Deer hunters within cooperatives were more satisfied with their overall hunting experience that those hunters surveyed by the DNR. 2) Deer hunters within cooperatives influenced harvest behavior of those also within the cooperative. These findings, along with others, lead to the the creation of not only my position here in Michigan, but two positions in Missouri, and some prospect positions in other states. Wildlife Cooperatives have significant value not only in increasing hunter satisfaction, landscape level harvest management, but also landscape level habitat management as well - not to mention the potential to collect data within cooperatives about habitat, harvest, and population levels and impacts. Continue reading

Recap of 2016 MUCC Wildlife Habitat Program Season

Let’s take a look at what volunteers accomplished with MUCC’s Wildlife Habitat Program in 2016. A total of 300 volunteers, not including the DNR Wildlife Biologists or Technicians, dedicated 27,600 hours to improve about 350 acres of wildlife habitat on Michigan’s public land this year. The quota of coordinating and completing 20 wildlife habitat improvement projects was met.  Projects were completed at 13 different State Game Areas, covering all regions of the Lower Peninsula and one region of the Upper Peninsula as well. MUCC’s Wildlife Habitat Program has returned to many of the same SGA’s since the start of the program in 2013, but reached 6 new areas this season as well! Continue reading

Great Lakes Leadership Academy - An Incredible Experience

by Anna Mitterling, Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator, MUCC Several months ago I applied for to attend the Great Lakes Leadership Academy. Throughout my career with DNR, MSU, and now MUCC, I have heard nothing but recommendations to attend the academy someday. Last year, I was in my review meeting with MUCC, and they asked me what sort of career development they could help facilitate. I let them know I was interested in more leadership training, and having more tools in my toolbox to manage meetings more effectively and communicate better. We discussed the Great Lakes Leadership Academy, and decided I would apply. So I did! And several weeks later was invited for an interview, and later offered an invitation to participate in three, four day sessions. I excitedly accepted, and then wrote letters to my partners requesting funding to cover the expense. I am blessed to have the financial backing of MUCC, QDMA, and PF to participate in this academy, as well as as a generous scholarship from a donor to Great Lakes Leadership Academy. Continue reading

Michigan Out-of-Doors Podcast Episode 29 - New Magazine and Current Policy

After following the lead of the state legislature and taking the summer off, Michigan Out-of-Doors podcast is back! We talk the new issue of the magazine, bear hunting and what policy issues Michigan United Conservation Clubs is hard at work on! Continue reading

74 Volunteers Wrap Up MUCC's Wildlife Habitat Program 2016 Season

This week, 74 volunteers helped wrap up MUCC’s Wildlife Habitat Program’s 2016 season by completing the final habitat projects to make a total of 20 habitat projects completed this year. On Saturday, a group of 24 volunteers partnered with Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) Ecologist, Jesse Lincoln, to help his work of restoring an oak-pine barren in the Allegan State Game Area. Then, on Tuesday, a group of 50 students from Ravenna High School’s Plant Science classes volunteered to improve aspen regeneration in the Muskegon State Game Area. These groups were extremely productive and although the work may seem small, the impact on conservation of public land wildlife habitat is far greater. Continue reading

Feral Swine - a Michigan Issue?

  by Anna Mitterling, Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator, MUCC When I was in college, I worked for the DNR Wildlife Division as a Student Assistant. This position formulated a lot of my early views on hunting, management, and the purpose of a State Agency. I had the opportunity to learn a lot about the views of various hunting groups over the years I worked for the Division. I also had the opportunity to see what decision making and management issues look like from the inside of DNR. One of the major issues that came to light while working for the Division was feral swine, according to Wildlife Chief Russ Mason, the Asian Carp of the forest and field. While there was a lot of initial activity and response to the issue when DNR initially promoted this issue, and the threats these swine create, the activity has since drastically declined, and public interest seems to have waned. Feral swine are a problem for two main reasons: they can host many parasites and diseases that threaten humans, domestic livestock and wildlife; and they can cause extensive damage to forests, agricultural lands and Michigan's water resources. Continue reading

Invasive Watchlist: Chinese Yam

With summer officially wrapping up, and the first few weeks of fall under our belts, it's that time of year again where yard work picks back up in preparation for winter.  As we start raking our yards, blowing leaves, cutting shrubbery and trimming plants back for new growth next year it's important to keep your eyes out for invasives! This week we’re going to take a look at Michigan’s invasive watchlist.  Invasives that are considered on the watchlist are priority species that have been identified as posing an immediate threat to Michigan's natural resources.  The species have either never been confirmed in Michigan, have very limited distribution, or are localized.  By focusing on watch lists we’re helping with early detection and timely reporting to prevent further spread and limit negative impacts to our natural resources and economy.  Fall and spring are great times to keep your eyes on alert for species that seem out of place or nuisances since they have tendencies to thrive later into the year than native plants.  Doing yard work is the perfect time to inspect your nearby surrounding and property for unwanted species. Continue reading