Michigan Department of Natural Resources

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has released an update on the health of the state's forests, including threats posed by insects and diseases.

Michigan's 20 million acres of forest land supports recreation, forest products and other industries while providing crucial wildlife habitat.

The report outlines efforts to control spruce budworm, a pest that periodically defoliates spruce and fir forests. It says infestations probably will increase over the next 10 years. Experts are looking for high-risk areas in state forests.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Department of Natural Resources has awarded $100,000 in deer habitat improvement grants to 11 recipients in the U.P.

The money will be used to enhance whitetail habitat on non-state-managed lands.

The grant proposal recipients selected for 2017 are:

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking private landowners to help maintain and improve deer wintering habitat in U.P. counties. 

Officials say habitat quality is an influence in white-tailed deer population trends. 

Three meetings will be held to discuss cost-share programs available to aid in those improvement efforts. Each will be held from 6 to 8 p.m.

GWINN, MI--   The Department of Natural Resources has closed a footbridge leading to Black River Falls in the Gwinn Forest Management Unit. 

The wooden bridge crosses a small, deep gorge in the rocks that channels water from the river during flooding. Officials say severe deterioration has created an unsafe condition. Decking planks are missing and the railings are weak and worn.

The bridge will be removed in the upcoming field season and that segment of the trail permanently closed.

An alternate route to the falls will be improved this spring or summer.  

MARQUETTE, MI--   Four U.P. entities are getting a portion of $350,000 in funding from the Department of Natural Resources for projects along the state’s Iron Belle Trail.

The route is the longest state-designated trail in the nation and includes more than 2,000 miles of hiking and biking routes from Belle Isle in Detroit to Ironwood.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has released its final decision on non-motorized trails at Little Presque Isle in Marquette County. 

A total of 17.2 miles of mountain bike trail will be designated for the non-winter biking season, and 10.7 miles of winter fat tire bike route will be designated for riding from December 1 to May 1.

The DNR evaluated on-the-ground conditions at Presque Isle and took comment from user groups and the general public about potential trails plans.

MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP, MI--   The Department of Natural Resources’ Eastern and Western U.P. Citizens’ Advisory Councils are meeting in the middle next week. 

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Having problems with coyotes? The resourceful species is turning up increasingly in urban neighborhoods as well as its traditional countryside habitat. 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has advice for people who aren't used to dealing with the wily predators.

Wildlife technician Hanna Schauer says it's important to remove access to food sources such as trash bins, bird feeders and pet foods. Fencing off gardens and fruit trees can help.

Yelling, clapping and chasing the animals can help them retain their natural fear of humans.

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LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering two training sessions this spring for people seeking certification as an off-road vehicle safety instructor. 

The academies are scheduled for April 21-23 at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon and May 19-21 at the Escanaba State Fairgrounds.

Participants will learn policy and procedure, as well as classroom management and teaching concepts. They'll also get hands-on instruction about operating off-highway motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and winching recovery equipment.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   State officials need volunteers to help with Michigan's annual frog and toad survey.

Populations of frogs, toads and other amphibians have been falling since the 1980s.

Scientists say the likely causes include habitat loss, pollution, disease and human collection.

The Department of Natural Resources says the survey helps biologists monitor how Michigan's amphibians are doing.

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