Volunteers Plant Oaks for Wildlife Habitat in the Upper Peninsula

If you asked someone what the Upper Peninsula needed more of, one of the last things they might say is trees. But that's exactly what it needs if they're the right kind of tree - the ones that provide food and shelter for wildlife, particularly after the tough winter we just had.
Kai Rosenhauer helps his dad Jack plant a red oak. Kai Rosenhauer helps his dad Jack plant a red oak.
So, in the midst of a die-off of beech trees due to beech bark disease, and the beechnuts wildlife rely upon, Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) volunteers teamed up with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to plant red oaks over the May 31-June 1 weekend as part of MUCC's On the Ground (OTG) program.
On May 31, volunteers planted 50 red oak saplings which were ten to fifteen feet high near Canoe Lake State Forest Campground. The trees were planted in a recent beech salvage timber sale. This planting was planned by DNR Wildlife Technician Don Brown, who works out of the nearby Cusino Research Station in Shingleton.
Volunteers help achieve DNR wildlife habitat goals. Volunteers help achieve DNR wildlife habitat goals.
Volunteers included Jack and Amanda Rosenhauer and their two-year old son Kai. Both veterans attending Grand Valley State University, they drove all the way from Grand Rapids to Shingleton to plant trees for U.P. wildlife! After the trees were planted, Jack had his first pasty at the Bear Trap in Shingleton with the rest of the volunteers!
This was also the first official project for new AmeriCorps member Taylor Renton, who is serving a term with Michigan United Conservation Clubs on the On the Ground program.
DNR wildlife technician Bill Rollo shows his daughter Elizabeth how to plant a tree. DNR wildlife technician Bill Rollo shows his daughter Elizabeth how to plant a tree.
On June 1, volunteers joined DNR Wildlife Technician Bill Rollo to plant 85 trees on state land north of Trenary. Volunteers included George Lindquist of U.P. Whitetails of Marquette County (and MUCC Statewide VP) and his daughter Mikaela Lindquist, as well as Rollo's family, Andrea Theoret-Rollo and daughter Elizabeth, making the project a genuine family outing. Misa Cady from the Alger County Conservation District and John Bauer, all the way up from the Genesee County Conservation District, volunteered, as well as the DNR's Brian Roell, a wildlife biologist who was selected as MUCC's 2013 Conservationist of the Year, and wildlife technician Justin Badini.
The 135 trees planted over the weekend were part of over 10,000 planted across the U.P. over the past few years to combat the effects of beech bark disease, an initiative spearheaded by wildlife biologist Kevin Swanson.
It was an excellent example of volunteers helping out on a DNR initiative to conserve wildlife habitat for game and nongame species through active management in the face of an aggressive tree disease. Thank you to everyone who helped out!
 

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