State game areas are important public land areas owned by the state of Michigan, providing residents with broad opportunities to hunt, trap, fish and engage in other compatible recreational activities. The DNR is responsible for creating and maintaining wildlife habitat on these areas for conservation purposes.
The Blue Ribbon Advisory Group will examine:
- Overall use and intensity on state game areas.
- Funds and agreements used to acquire these lands.
- Current timing and diversity of uses.
- Vision for the future of state game areas.
- Potential habitat or strategic management changes that could enhance high-quality hunting, trapping or angling experiences.
- Potential for expanding compatible recreational uses and management activities.
“We are excited to have two great leaders managing this important review,” said Russ Mason, DNR Wildlife Division chief. “This type of review will help us plan our future management on these areas and be forward thinking as the individual interests of these areas may change.”
The group will begin with a review of state game areas in southwest Michigan and then focus on those in southeast Michigan. See a map and list of Michigan’s state game areas on the DNR website.
by Drew YoungeDyke, Public Relations Manager
Last Wednesday morning, we started fielding calls from reporters asking us about comments made by Senator Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba) on the Senate floor, some even asking "what did you do to him?" According to the newspaper reports, Casperson called a column in Michigan OutofDoors Magazine, by Executive Director Dan Eichinger, a "hit piece," and said that statements within it were "fraudulent" for attacking his recently-introduced legislation to divest state land. Except ... absolutely nowhere in the column did it ever mention him or his legislation, SB 39 and 40.Read more
The debate about the value of public land continues unabated in Lansing these days, much to my amazement. While decrying the public’s ownership of land for its recreation is a handy talking point for some folks in the legislature and elsewhere on this issue, hunters, trappers, and anglers, along with most other outdoor recreationists, need to pay particular attention to this debate.
For starters, publicly available recreation land is the essential ingredient necessary for preserving the democracy of hunting, fishing, and trapping. It is shameful to think that hunting, fishing, and trapping would become the province of the rich, available only to those with the means to acquire private land. We cannot simultaneously support the expansion of our outdoor heritage through investment in recruitment and retention efforts and hold a fire sale on the very land upon which we depend to practice it.
This is not to suggest that the strategic divestment of certain parcels, meeting specific criteria shouldn’t happen. It does. In fact, it has happened right along, these many years, contrary to commonly held belief. But strategic divestment and ensuring that the public is duly compensated for the loss of our land doesn’t happen at gun point, which is the position our DNR finds itself in so often on these matters.
Part of this debate is fueled by local government who view publicly owned land as a drain on potential tax revenue. Predictably, those local officials have found many sympathetic ears among the legislature who are driving to sell off public land as a way to bring more revenues in to local units of government. Of course, this whole debate about public ownership of land started round about the time the political folk in Lansing started to gut revenue sharing to local governments, in the first decade of this century. And, instead of addressing that, the most direct cause of the local revenue problem, we are demonizing the public’s land footprint. And while the cause-effect relationship is an intellectual fraud, it is nonetheless a real threat to public recreation.
Another argument being made to justify selling off public land is this notion that state needs to take care of what it has. Well, we hunters, anglers, and trappers started paying more for our hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses last year. A goodly portion of that new revenue is designed to enhance the management of public lands for fish, wildlife, and fur-bearers. This of course begs the question of why the legislature is asking us to pay more if it is their intention to give us less in return. That too feels like a fraud.
We constantly hear about how government needs to operate more like a business, and on this point I certainly agree. When people say that, you would rightfully assume that they mean government should seek to negotiate the most favorable terms, maximizing potential return, and failing the opportunity to achieve them, would walk away from the table.
Instead, what the utterers of this notion of mean is that government should capitulate the interests of the people, in the fastest possible way and tilt the negotiation in favor of whomever is asking for the deal, regardless of how rotten it may be. And if they don’t, the legislature is ready to swoop in and force the sale anyway. I may have had to take Economics 201 twice in college, but even I know that’s not how the free market was intended to work. You can’t claim to be a free market capitalist and then rig the rules so that government undercuts the market to serve some fleeting promise of a job that might come down the pike 30 years from now.
Outdoor recreation is an economic force in this state, and the pages of this magazine will be devoted in part to helping to bring greater attention to that fact. And by that I mean hunting, fishing, and trapping. If we hope to have an honest debate about the value of public land, we ought to know more about what that value is. Better understanding that value would be time and energy well spent from policy makers in Lansing. Indeed they could surprise us all by arming themselves with a fact or two to accompany the litany of talking points they trot out regularly on this issue. At the end of the day, I suspect that selling public land to ostensibly benefit economic development is akin to burning dollar bills in the furnace of your penny factory, the very definition of pennywise and pound foolish.
I’ll see you in the field and on the water.
There has been an ongoing battle for public lands most recently in the initiation and approval of a major land transaction application by Graymont, a Canadian-based supplier of limestone and lime-based products that already operates a quarry and processing facility in Gulliver (MI). The company has been in discussions over their desire for access and/or ownership of more than 11,000 acres of public-owned State Forest land near Rexton (MI) in the eastern Upper Peninsula.
To be clear, MUCC does not categorically oppose the strategic divestment of public lands nor do we oppose the development of oil, gas, and minerals on public lands. We do believe, however, that the development of these resources and the use of the lands by which they are accessed be resolved in a manner that is protective of the public’s present and future interests as a first concern. The Graymont application, as it was originally proposed, did not meet this crucial standard and for that reason MUCC (April 2014), the Michigan Conservation Coalition (Feb. 2015), and even the DNR Deputy Directors and Chiefs (Jan. 2015) of the Wildlife, Forestry Resources, Fisheries, and Parks and Recreation Divisions opposed the transaction as it was originally presented.
Click map to download the full DNR memo on the Graymont Land Transaction Application
It was a difficult challenge to resolve these issues, as this was a highly significant and complex transaction request that was amended many times over the course of the discussion. The DNR Director, chiefs, and many highly committed DNR staff as well as members of the public worked on analyzing each component thoroughly to outline and clarify their concerns and Graymont, to its credit, mostly listened. This transaction is much improved through the work of people committed to ensuring the public was compensated for the loss of land, access and minerals. A special thanks to the leadership and expertise within the Michigan Resource Stewards for helping us navigate this complex process.
As a result of input from resource professionals and the public, the following changes were made from the initial application to the final approved transaction:
- Sale of "Surplus" Land: What was originally a request to purchase outright more than 10,000 acres, resulted in a sale of 1,784 acres (Tracts A and E), an exchange of 830 acres (Tracts B and C), and a purchase of 7,026 acres of underground mineral rights (Tract D) and an option to purchase a 55 acre easement across 535 acres of land.
- Retention of Public Access: The 7,000 acres over the underground mine will remain in state ownership and open for public access for hunting, fishing and trapping and other outdoor recreation outside of areas leased for exclusive use for mining . On the remaining 2,600 acres of Graymont-owned land, the public will retain access outside of active mining operations and there will be trail easement assurances provided for existing trails in Tract E. 830 acres of new public land will be acquired in exchange as well.
- Environmental Impacts and Reclamation: While the state's mining laws do not regulate non-metallic mining or reclamation, mining plans will include hydrologic, archeological, and
site reclamation information. Relevant environmental permits will still need to be applied for in advance of development or mining activity, though there has been language added to ensure impacts to sensitive wetlands found in Tract E are minimized.
Royalty rate and minimum annual royalty payment: Graymont has increased the royalty ratefrom 18.75 cents/ton to a minimum of 30 cents/ton for limestone/dolomite removed and this will increase according to the Producer Price Index. A minimum annual royalty payment will begin in 2020. Now included in the purchase price of each parcel is $10/acre for other minerals and timber consideration in the purchase of Tracts A and E.
Local Economic Benefits: Graymont has committed to creating a regional economic development fund that will provide $100,000 a year for at least 5 years starting in 2015.
So that's the story of how the headlines have changed with regards to Graymont. But we know this is not one and done for the U.P. and probably elsewhere. MUCC still has concerns this transaction could be precedent setting and send a bevy of developers and speculators, and even potato farmers, knocking down the doors at the DNR.
MUCC still takes issue with declaring more than 1,700 acres of public land "surplus" that clearly has value to the public for wildlife and fisheries habitat, recreation, ecological services, and timber. We have concerns that decades from now the future staff of Graymont, the DNR and MUCC and every other entity involved will forget to live up to or enforce the deals that were made should things go awry. And we know that the money in the Land Exchange Facilitation Fund already has a target on it so we must work overtime to ensure that the funds from the land sale actually go into replacing the public land that was sold. So how do we make sure? This process has highlighted the need to codify some of these agreements into state statute:
- The need to standardize and improve the transparency on the land transaction process, with more advanced public notification of applications for major land exchanges or sales and increased time for public comment before a decision is made;
- Clarifying criteria for declaring land “surplus”;
- Ensuring that all values of the public land are taken into consideration in the sale pricing, or in any agreement for timber consideration or royalties in perpetuity, no matter who owns the land;
- Reviewing existing land transaction application fee revenue and the effort that goes into application and field reviews;
- Adding major non-metallic mining operations into mining law requirements for having a mining and reclamation plan; and
- Adopting the DNR Managed Public Land Strategy and lifting the artificial cap on the ownership of public lands.
This past weekend, MUCC held its regional meetings for the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula, or pretty much everything "knuckles north." This is where clubs and individual members present their ideas for MUCC's policy on hunting, fishing, trapping and conservation issues. By the end of the weekend, there were five resolutions going to our Annual Convention where they'll be up for a final vote on whether or not MUCC should adopt them as our policy, which we have a pretty good track record of seeing into implementation in state law or regulation.
A young elk in the Pigeon River Country
A couple of these resolutions were implemented by the MUCC executive committee on an emergency basis because the issues they address could require action before our Annual Convention in June, but the rest are only proposals at this point and are not current MUCC policy; that will require a two-thirds vote at convention on any resolution that would require a law or regulation change. Passage at the regional meeting doesn't necessarily mean that the region supports the resolution, either; often resolutions are passed to convention because they're appropriate subject matter and should be voted up or down by the full statewide delegation at the Annual Convention.
From the Upper Peninsula (Region I), the following resolutions will be moving forward to the Annual Convention:
George Lindquist discusses his resolution Congressional de-listing of Great Lakes wolves
1. Restoring State Management of the Gray Wolf in the Western Great Lakes
This resolution asks MUCC to call on the United States Congress to re-de-list wolves from the Endangered Species Act in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. It was submitted by Statewide Vice President George Lindquist and supported by the Ottawa Sportsmen's Club.
Wolves are recovered in these states; in Michigan alone, their last minimum winter count put their number over triple their original recovery goal of 200, which they've exceeded for over a decade. However, a lone federal judge in Washington, D.C. ordered them back on the list in December based on the rule-making process used to de-list them. Similar federal legislation was passed in 2011 to reinstate the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's order de-listing wolves in Montana and Idaho. Federal legislation is expected to be introduced tomorrow to de-list them in the western Great Lakes states, which MUCC supports.
This resolution was passed by the MUCC executive committee on an interim basis in January. By passing it at the Region I meeting, it affirms the region's support and it will move on to the convention where the full statewide delegation will vote to affirm it or not. In the meantime, it will be MUCC's policy.
Richard P. Smith submitted two resolutions
2. Support of Deer Baiting
This resolution was submitted by MUCC Life Member Richard P. Smith to remove MUCC's opposition to deer baiting, which was adopted at our 2007 convention. Current regulations allow for up to two gallons of bait in the non-TB area of the state. This resolution would require a two-thirds majority vote at the Annual Convention to become MUCC policy.
3. Increasing UP Bear License Quotas
This resolution was also submitted by MUCC Life Member Richard P. Smith. It would have MUCC encourage the DNR to raise bear license quotas by bear management unit in the Upper Peninsula. It would require a two-thirds vote at the summer convention in order to become MUCC policy. The DNR is recommending a reduction in bear license quotas in some U.P. bear units after consultation with the Michigan Bear Forum, which included individual bear hunters and bear hunting organizations, including the Michigan Bear Hunters Association, U.P. Bear Houndsmen, Michigan Hunting Dog Federation, Michigan Bow Hunters and MUCC, among others.
Tim Kobasic submitted a resolution on ORV use in the Hiawatha National Forest
4. Support ATV/ORV/OHV Use in the Hiawatha National Forest
This resolution was submitted by MUCC Board Member Tim Kobasic on behalf of our newest affiliate club, the Hiawathaland Trails Association. It would have MUCC encourage national forest managers for the Hiawatha National Forest to consider utilizing trails and routes recommended by the Michigan DNR and trail sponsors, and also to consider adoption of a streamlined use permit process similar that that used by the State of Michigan, so that designated ORV routes are consistent as they pass through state to federal land, with appropriate allowances for restrictions necessary to accommodate wildlife like the Kirtland's warbler.
From the northern Lower Peninsula (Region II), we have the following resolution:
Paul Rose discusses the Elk Management resolution
1. Michigan Elk Management
This interim resolution was submitted by MUCC Past President Paul Rose and adopted by the executive committee in January. It will move on to the annual convention for confirmation, but remains official MUCC policy in the meantime. The resolution asks MUCC to continue support of the 2012 Elk Management Plan and to oppose efforts to provide preferential treatment for the issuance of elk tags based on land ownership or crop loss. The management plan calls for continuation of lottery-based hunting as the primary method of herd management.
As an MUCC member, whether or not these resolutions become policy is up to you. That's what makes us a true grassroots organization. Our professional staff knows how to get it done, but what we work to get done is up to our members. If you're a member of an affiliated conservation club, make sure that your club debates these resolutions and sends a delegate to vote for your club to our summer convention. Make sure you attend the Region III and IV meetings on the weekend of February 21 & 22 to submit and vote on resolutions if your club is in southern Michigan. If you're an individual member (IM), make sure to vote in the poll that will be sent to you before convention so that your IM representative knows how the members in your region want him or her to vote. And if you're not a member, then join MUCC so that you have a say in what we advocate for, because we're pretty good at getting it done.
Decisions get made by those at the table, and those at the table are the ones who show up. If you're not a member of MUCC or an affiliated conservation club or organization, then you're missing out on the opportunity to guide the direction of the most powerful voice for hunting, fishing, trapping and conservation in the state. If you don't take the opportunity to participate now, then I don't want to hear you complain about what our policy is later. Join today!
Over the past several years, even as maintenance needs have increased, funding to maintain National Forest system roads across the country has decreased dramatically. Because of this, there is a national Travel Analysis Process to define safe, fiscally feasible minimum road systems that provide the greatest benefit to the largest number of visitors with the least risk to the environment.
Essentially, the U.S. Forest Service is proposing to down scale their road system to meet their budget.
What does that mean for hunters, trappers and anglers?
They need to hear from YOU on what roads or types of roads are important to accessing your recreation! MUCC members have time and time again opposed road closures where it might impact access to hunting or other recreation opportunities, including ORV use. Now that there is a move to "shrink" the system, we need to be involved in defining what roads should remain.
Please provide your input via the comment form linked below or via mail. If you would like to provide input about a specific road or area that you use, please include details such as section, township, range or latitude/longitude.
MUCC has already submitted our comments on the process, click the picture to download our letter.
But as a statewide organization, MUCC can only say so much. They need to hear from locals and users of the National Forests on what access is most important.
Your comments are requested by 2/15/2015. Do it today!
Online — You can submit information about benefits of particular roads and two-tracks using the USFS website here (TAP Comments in Subject).
Email: Using the Subject line "TAP Comments" and email firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. Mail — Print the this form, fill it out, and send to:
Huron-Manistee National Forest Attn: TAP Comments 1775 S. Mitchell Street Cadillac, MI 49601
Questions— Still not sure how this process works? Call Kenneth Arbogast at email@example.com or (231) 775-5023, Ext. 8726.
Dec. 8, 2014
Contact: Mike Parker, 5172846217 or Ed Golder, 5172845815
DNR receives $1.2 million grant to expand Hunting Access Program; public comment sought on adoption of environmental assessment Grant provides more youth hunting opportunities with a focus on land conservationThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced that it has been awarded a $1.2 million Voluntary Public AccessHunting Incentive Program (VPAHIP) federal grant to enhance the state's Hunting Access Program with an emphasis on Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program land, habitat restoration and more opportunities for youth and apprentice hunting.
"This is great news for hunters who may not currently have access to hunting land," said Mike Parker, coordinator of the DNR’s Hunting Access Program. "This grant will allow us to increase hunting opportunities in areas of Michigan where access is limited, restore wildlife habitat, and further our priorities of preserving our state's rich hunting heritage."
Michigan’s Hunting Access Program provides financial incentive to landowners in southern Michigan and a portion of the eastern Upper Peninsula who are willing to allow hunters to hunt on their lands. Hunting Access Program lands must be at least 40 acres in size, and payments to landowners increase with better habitat quality and the variety of hunting allowed.
The VPAHIP grant will allow the DNR Wildlife Division to use a multifaceted approach to expand the Hunting Access Program with a goal of increasing the acres and number of sites enrolled in the program. Currently, there are 15,710 acres on 135 properties. The DNR seeks to expand to more than 24,000 acres on 180 properties by 2017, placing an emphasis on Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program land and increasing youth and apprentice hunter opportunities. Funding also will be used to enhance wildlife habitat on 600 enrolled acres. Likely habitat restoration activities include grassland enhancement, food plots and invasive species control. The DNR will promote the Hunting Access Program to landowners through conservation districts and other conservation partners.
For more information about the Hunting Access Program, visit www.michigan.gov/hap. To learn more about the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, visit www.michigan.gov/mda, click on farming, and then environment.
As part of the grant process, the DNR and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service is seeking public comment on an environmental assessment related to the use of grant funds for habitat restoration activities. The public notice with details of the environmental assessment and public comment process is available in Word and PDF formats on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website.
Public comment will be accepted until Jan. 7, 2015. The full text of the notice follows:
NOTICE OF ADOPTION OF THE FARM SERVICE AGENCY ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FOR VOLUNTARY PUBLIC ACCESS HABITAT INCENTIVE PROGRAM STATE OF MICHIGAN
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces its intent to adopt the Farm Service Agency (FSA) FINAL PROGRAMMATIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FOR VOLUNTARY PUBLIC ACCESS HABITAT INCENTIVE PROGRAM STATE OF MICHIGAN dated August 2011 according to the provisions of the Council on Environmental Quality regulations at 40 CFR 1506.3. Further, NRCS announces the availability of a Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA) to address those proposed uses of 2014 Voluntary Public Access Habitat Incentive Program (VPAHIP) grant funds in Michigan that were not addressed in the FSA environmental assessment.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) applied for and received funding through the 2014 VPAHIP. This grant is the second VPAHIP grant awarded to the MDNR and is intended to further expand the objectives set forth in the initial 2011 project proposal. The MDNR proposes to use 2014 VPAHIP grant funds to continue enrolling land into the states Hunting Access Program (HAP) and promoting outdoor recreational opportunities within the State. The MDNR now proposes to further expand the HAP area to include sharptailed grouse and small game hunting in the eastern Upper Peninsula. This was not the case with 2011 grant funds. Additionally, the MDNR now proposes to use $50,000 of VPAHIP funds annually for the life of the grant to carry out habitat restoration projects on lands enrolled in the HAP. Habitat improvements were not funded under the previous VPAHIP grant. As a result, NRCS has prepared a Supplemental EA to analyze the potential impacts of the proposed expansion of the HAP area and the habitat restoration projects associated with the 2014 VPAHIP grant.
The 2011 EA as supplemented assesses the potential environmental effects of the VPAHIP project in Michigan. NRCS anticipates that only minor, shortterm adverse effects will occur during project implementation as a result of using VPAHIP funds to make wildlife habitat improvements as described in the document. In the longterm, early successional habitat will be improved and other benefits described in the 2011 Programmatic EA will be obtained.
The NRCS will accept comments on its intent to adopt the 2011 EA at the address below until January 7, 2015. A copy of the 2011 EA and the Supplement is available at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/ea. NRCS will review comments and determine whether it is appropriate to issue a Finding of No Significant Impact or to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement before the action proceeds.
For further information concerning actions being taken by the NRCS, to obtain a hard copy of the 2011 EA, or to provide written comment, contact the NRCS National Environmental Coordinator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at:
Andrée DuVarney, National Environmental Coordinator USDA, NRCS, Ecological Sciences Division, Room 6158-S P. O. Box 2890 Washington, D.C. 200132890
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.
by Lia Biondo, MUCC Policy Intern
On the agenda for the December 11, 2014 Natural Resources Commission meeting are the land acquisition cases for two forty acre parcels, The Beatty Tract and The Castle Tract, located in the Pigeon River Country Forest Management Unit within Cheboygan County.
The Beatty Tract is located approximately 15 miles southeast of the city of Wolverine and includes features such as water frontage and abundant wildlife habitat. The property is adjacent to state-owned land on three sides, with the fourth side abutting private property, and is already accessible from an existing state forest road. The Upper Black River cuts through the property with an estimated 2,100 feet of water frontage and supports a healthy brook trout population. Surrounding the river are wooded coniferous lowlands and limited hardwood forest uplands which provide habitat for a variety of native Michigan species, including elk, bobcat and woodcock.
The Castle Tract is located approximately more than 15 miles southeast of the city of Wolverine and includes similar features of the Beatty Tract. The property is also adjacent to state-owned land on three sides and can be accessed through an existing state forest road. A tributary of the Upper Black River, Oxbow Creek, runs through the southerly portion of the tract and forms a seasonal pond in the southwest corner. Upland areas consist of pine, aspen, and oak wooded forests, while lowland areas are mainly comprised of coniferous forests. The portion of the parcel that fronts Oxbow Creek is mostly a conifer swamp, providing thermal cover and habitat for some wildlife species. This parcel supports Michigan elk, deer, grouse, bobcat and many more.
Both parcels contain improvements to the land, including houses and garages that will be removed once the sale is finalized, as outlined by the Pigeon River Revised Concept of Management. The Beatty Tract’s forty acres are offered at $231,000 while the Castle Tract’s forty acres are available for $158,000. The recommendation is for the purchase of these two parcels, with monies coming from the Land Exchange Facilitation Fund. Support for the two land acquisitions have already been shown by the Cheboygan Board of County Commissioners and the Forest Township supervisor. This purchase will further consolidate the Pigeon River Country Forest Management Unit, and is consistent with the DNR’s objectives of protecting elk corridors and stream habitat, providing recreational activities for people in keeping the wild character of the area, and managing forest resources in a sustainable manner for desired future conditions.
For more information on these land acquisition cases and others, check out the Natural Resource Commission’s agenda for their December 11th meeting by clicking HERE.
Contact(s): Kenneth Arbogast
The U.S. Forest Service plans to study the risks and benefits for visitors and the environment associated with the road system on the Huron-Manistee National Forests.
The analysis, a part of the implementation of the 2005 Travel Management Rule, 36 CFR 212, will identify a road system that provides access for the public and forest management activities, minimizes environmental impacts, and can be maintained within budget constraints.
“The information we gather will help us identify a road system that serves the needs of the public and the Forest Service at a cost we can afford to maintain over time,” explained Forest Supervisor Leslie Auriemmo.
Public use and road maintenance needs continue to grow on the Huron-Manistee. At the same time resources for road maintenance are decreasing. Roads that are not adequately maintained can be unsafe to visitors and threaten forest health. They can increase soil erosion into rivers and streams, degrading water quality and impacting fish and wildlife. This analysis will not result in any final decisions regarding the future of roads within the Forests; the information gathered will be used in future site-specific analysis as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.
The Huron-Manistee National Forests include more than 3,000 miles of roads managed by the Forest Service. Additional roads within the National Forests are maintained by the State of Michigan and the counties. To assess the impacts of each Forest Service road the Forest Service, with input from the public, will consider conditions such as access, invasive species, heritage, wildlife, watershed, soils, fire, recreation, and vegetation management.This process will integrate that information to identify positive, neutral or negative factors related to each road.
The Forest will involve the public, local, state, other federal agencies, tribal governments, and other stakeholders in this information gathering effort. Public comments will be used to identify priorities and opportunities for potential changes to the road system. The Huron-Manistee National Forests will host four open houses to explain the analysis process. The open houses will be held:
Dec. 1; 4 to 6 p.m.: Manistee Ranger District Office, 412 Red Apple Rd. Manistee, MI 49660
Open house forums will be scheduled for Baldwin, Mio and Oscoda in January.
“The Subpart A analysis is an information-gathering study, not a decision-making process,” Auriemmo said. “The knowledge that we gain now will be used in the future to develop site-specific proposals.”
The national forest will complete the Subpart A study by October 2015.
For more information about the Huron-Manistee National Forests, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/hmnf.
Members of the public may also contact Kenneth Arbogast at email@example.com or (231) 775-5023, Ext. 8726.
Our trapping heritage played an important role in the discovery and early economics of the United States – and it still does today. Trading posts and companies followed trappers west, creating jobs and providing a foundation for communities. Trappers were valuable citizens who provided resources and skills that people depended upon for survival.
Unfortunately, the majority of voting citizens have a negative perception of trapping today. Most of which can be attributed to biased reports from the media and emotionally charged propaganda from anti-hunting organizations such as HSUS and PETA.
This misinformation has given trapping a bad reputation; one that makes it easy to dismiss and therefore a soft target for anti-hunters to slowly chip away at all of our rights. The fact is trapping provides many benefits to both humans and wildlife.
Click HERE to read full President's Blog from USSportsmen.org