Volunteers have spent all winter cutting trees to make brush piles or hinge-cuts for wildlife habitat in various state game areas and state forests. Now that the spring season is just about here, looks like I’ll be trading the chainsaw for a shovel for the next few wildlife habitat projects! The ground will be softened from the warmer temperatures and frequent rain as well as packed with nutrients from last fall; a great time to plant mast producing trees for wildlife! Here are a few upcoming opportunities to improve wildlife habitat on public land by planting trees with MUCC’s volunteer wildlife habitat program.
In the thumb region- Volunteer on April 22nd to plant red pines, white pines, and white spruce in the Tuscola State Game Area. The Reese High School Out-of-Doors Club will be helping with this habitat project. We will be planting the trees in an opening to provide roosting area and cover for pheasants; this planting project will also benefit other small game and deer. See more details and RSVP to volunteer in the Tuscola SGA here.
In the Southwest region- Volunteer on April 23rd to plant conifers in some areas and mast producing trees such as white oak, burr oak, hazelnut, crabapple, and viburnums in another area of the Crane Pond State Game Area. In previous years, volunteers have built brush piles in several locations of the Crane Pond SGA. The area also hosts an annual youth rabbit hunt (coming up this Saturday) in which youth have the opportunity to hunt with mentors and hunt these areas that have been improved by volunteers. See more details and RSVP to plant trees in the Crane Pond SGA here.
In the Northern Lower region- Volunteer on June 4th to plant native hawthorn and oak trees as we join efforts with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) in the Pigeon River Country State Forest. The planting area is in the South end of the PRCSF near Elk Meadows in an area that has been recently cleared. This group of volunteers makes a whole weekend out of it and plans to camp out in Elk Meadows the night before and after the project. In previous years they’ve even offered a delicious skillet-cooked camp breakfast before the event! See more details and RSVP to volunteer in the Pigeon River Country here.
In the Upper Peninsula region- Volunteer on August 27th to plant trees in the Garden Grade Grouse Enhanced Management Site (GEMS) area located in the Shingleton State Forest near Cooks, MI. This habitat project will benefit grouse, woodcock, snowshoe hare, deer and other wildlife species too. There are several planting sites within the GEMS area that will be focused on. See more details and RSVP to volunteer in the Shingleton State Forest here.
Check out the list of other upcoming wildlife habitat projects (here) to see what opportunities may be near the public land you hunt. We’ll have the chainsaws back out in May to do some more brush pile habitat projects and clearing out encroaching timber from wildlife openings!