MUCC Volunteers Help Maintain Apple Orchard in the Grayling State Forest

Last weekend, volunteers pruned ~150 apple trees in the Grayling State Forest in a section of a 300acre orchard that has not been maintained in many years. This is the second year that efforts have been made to maintain the orchards within the Grayling State Forest by partnering with MUCC’s Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program as well as the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). This event was coordinated with the areas DNR Wildlife Biologist, Brian Piccolo, and seasonal staff. Volunteers spent the day on Saturday pruning any dead branches from apple trees in hopes of improving their sift mast production in the upcoming seasons. The apple production will provide food for the areas wildlife including whitetail deer, black bear, turkey, and several other small game and bird species. Continue reading

A Successful Trial Season For OTG Jr

Last week on Friday, OTG Jr successfully completed the third event for its Spring 2017 trial season. The Cramer Jr High Community Service Club partnered with OTG Jr in efforts to eradicate invasive species at the Bay City State Recreation Area near Tobico Marsh. A total of 16 students from the club participated in the project accompanied by Brad Williams- the school counselor for Cramer Jr High, as well as two other adult chaperones. During the habitat improvement portion of the event, the group pulled enough garlic mustard to fill over 30 trash bags and made small brush piles for rabbitat using autumn olive, glossy buckthorn, rose bushes, and japanese knotweed. After a well-earned lunch break, the kids then enjoyed an afternoon of fishing on the lagoon for their recreation activity portion of the day. Continue reading

NRC Recap: Deer Regulations, Cormorant Reports and Much More

Last week the NRC held a meeting at the West Shore Community College in Scottville, where public attendance filled the room in anticipation of the proposed 2017-2019 deer regulations cycle that were up for information.  With a full crowd and full agenda, the Commissioners wasted no time, and jumped right into business.  If you missed the meeting and would like to watch the full video it can be found on MUCC’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/mucc1937/ Continue reading

Volunteers Plant Trees for Wildlife in the UP

This past weekend, 20 volunteers from Marquette County planted 130 trees to improve wildlife habitat in the Gwinn State Forest. A great amount of support was shown by locals including MUCC Vice President-George Lindquist, UP Whitetails member-John Strom as well as local DNR staff including DNR Deputy Public Information Officer-John Pepin and family, DNR Forester-Rachel McDonald and family, and soon-to-be DNR Wildlife Assistant for the Escanaba Field Office- Kim Randolph. The apple tree varieties and the planting locations were chosen by the areas DNR Wildlife Technician, Caleb Eckloff. Protective fencing was placed around each tree to ensure that they are not browsed on by deer too early. Once the trees start producing soft mast (apples), they will provide food for the areas wildlife including whitetail deer, black bear, turkey, grouse, as well as other small game and bird species.  Continue reading

Deer Regulations up for Discussion at the Next NRC Meeting

Coming up later this week the Natural Resources Commission will be meeting at the West Shore Community College, in Scottville on Thursday beginning at 1 o’clock, and deer regulations are up for information! Read on to check out the latest on the proposed changes for the 2017-2019 deer regulation cycle.  Continue reading

Volunteers With MUCC Planted 2,600 Trees For Wildlife This Month

A total of 2,600 trees were planted by volunteers with MUCC’s Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program and school groups participating in OTG Jr events this month. The trees and shrubs planted included conifers to provide thermal cover and also, mast-producing trees to provide browse for wildlife. Projects were completed this month in the Southwest, Southeast, and Northwest regions of the state. The Upper Peninsula isn’t being forgotten, join On the Ground (OTG) on May 6th in the Gwinn State Forest to plant another 190 trees for wildlife- see more details and RSVP to volunteer here! Read more to see what was accomplished by volunteers with OTG last week. Continue reading

Groups Sue U.S. EPA to Act on Lake Erie

MUCC has joined as a party to this lawsuit with National Wildlife Federation and others. Below is a joint press release issued today, along with a link to the case document. WASHINGTON, D.C.– To force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to protect communities and businesses from harmful algal blooms that have plagued Lake Erie for years, today a coalition of businesses, conservation advocates, and sportsmen groups sued (http://blog.nwf.org/2017/04/lawsuit_lakeerie_impaired/), asking a federal judge to order the agency to carry out its duty under the Clean Water Act. In 2014, a harmful algal bloom poisoned drinking water for more than 400,000 people in Toledo, and in 2015, an algal bloom stretched for over 300 square miles.   Photo Credit: U.S. Geological Survey, Dr. Jennifer L. Graham Continue reading

How to do a Crowing Count for Pheasants

By Anna Mitterling, MUCC, Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator Believe it or not, pheasants are starting to make a comeback in different parts of Southern Michigan. The trail camera picture shows a flock of pheasants flying by, and believe it or not, those are pheasants on a parcel of well managed habitat in Gratiot County. The phrase, build it and they will come, is proving true in pockets around Michigan, where well managed native grasslands have been established. Whether you know you have pheasants, or if you hope you have pheasants, running a crowing count this spring is a great way to get outside, watch the sunrise, and listen for crowing pheasants. Continue reading

MUCC's On the Ground Program Expands to Include K-12 School Groups

Two more wildlife habitat improvement projects will be completed in different regions of the state by the end of this week.  Tomorrow, we will be teaming up with the Reese High School Out-of-Doors Club to maintain wood duck nesting boxes in the Fish Pointe Wildlife Area. Then, on Saturday, we will be teaming up with the Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops local to the Gourdneck State Game Area to complete Brandon Thomas’ Eagle Scout Project. Brandon has recruited up to 50 volunteers to plant a total of 1,100 trees in a wildlife opening in the Gourdneck State Game Area. The native trees for this event were donated by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF); thank you for your support! Continue reading

Volunteers With MUCC Complete the First Spring Projects

Volunteers with MUCC’s Wildlife Habitat Program have already completed three wildlife habitat improvement projects in the past week and a half! Crabapple trees were planted in the Southwest region, brush piles were built for rabbitat in the Southeast region, and Scotch pine was removed from a Jack pine plantation and brush piles were built in the Northeast region of the state.  Volunteers local to each area dedicated a day to make a lasting impact on the areas wildlife habitat. Each project was determined in coordination with the areas DNR Wildlife Biologist or Technician based on the current Wildlife Management Plan. There are several more upcoming events to improve wildlife habitat in various regions of the state; see details and RSVP to volunteer here! Continue reading