Michigan Department of Natural Resources

LANSING, MI--   Taking action now can prevent bear problems later.

The Department of Natural Resources says longer daylight hours mean wildlife is starting to move, and residents should see if they have items that could attract bears. DNR Wildlife Communication Coordinator Katie Keen says bears find birdseed and suet especially attractive. They will often hang around bird feeders instead of foraging for the roots of early spring plants and eating insects in trees and logs. Those who lose their fear of humans can become a threat.

ONTONAGON COUNTY, MI--   The Department of Natural Resources is limiting the number of backcountry campsites at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. 

Officials say in past years, such sites were available on a first-come, first-served basis, and campers could camp off-trail away from designated campsites. Now that annual visitation to the park has grown to more than 300,000 people, the backcountry experience has been compromised by overcrowding.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is performing courtesy snowmobile sound testing in Marquette this weekend. 

The testing will be offered only for 2-stroke machines manufactured after 1980. Under Michigan law noise emission from the muffler on a snowmobile cannot exceed 88 decibels at 13.1 feet.

The testing takes place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the DNR’s Marquette office. The process takes about 10 minutes to perform.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteer instructors for its off-road vehicle safety education program. 

It enables ORV enthusiasts to pass along their knowledge of the sport to new riders, while teaching them safe and responsible operating skills.

All instructors must attend a three-day academy to learn policies and procedures, classroom management and teaching concepts.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has put together an online form the public can use to report large fish kills.

It's designed for kills of more than 25 fish at a time, which could signify a need for further investigation.

Among information that can be provided is the location of the water body and photos showing bloody patches, unusual wounds or odd coloration that would provide clues about the cause of the die-off.

GOGEBIC COUNTY, MI--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has issued a use permit to Copperwood Resources to resume test drilling in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

Officials want to see if a mineral deposit first explored in the 1950s might feasibly be mined. Work is expected to be completed over the next month and a half. Copperwood wants to drill three test holes on DNR-managed land west of County Road 519. It will first need to obtain a wetlands permit from the Department of Environmental Quality.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says it placed nine separate fish species into state waters during fall stocking operations. 

More than 834,000 fish were stocked at 76 locations.

DNR fish production manager Ed Eisch says when combined with spring and summer results, the 2017 stocking total exceeded 26 million fish.

Michigan has six state and three cooperative hatcheries. They produce the species, strain, and size that fisheries managers need. The fish must be delivered at the right place and time for stocking to succeed.

CHAMPION, MI--   The Department of Natural Resources has reopened a bridge on a snowmobile route in Marquette County. 

The bridge on Trail #8 was closed in mid-December after officials discovered a major support beam was cracked. The bridge is northwest of Champion along the former Clowry Railroad Grade.

Trail #8 is the main east-west snowmobile connector route in the Upper Peninsula. DNR staffers and the Moose Country Snowmobile Club worked to coordinate the bridge repairs. 

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Department of Natural Resources says $100,000 is available to improve deer habitat in the U.P. 

The Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Initiative is a competitive grant program designed to enhance habitat on non-state lands in the Upper Peninsula. Groups eligible for money include organizations that promote wildlife conservation, sportsmen’s clubs, conservation districts, land conservancies, industrial landowners with more than 10,000 acres, or private land affiliations where two or more unrelated people jointly own 400 or more acres.

WHITEFISH TOWNSHIP, MI--   A Saginaw man has died from injuries sustained in a Chippewa County snowmobile accident. 

The Department of Natural Resources says it happened around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday on Trail #8 between M-123 and the Curley Lewis Highway. A snowmobile the 51-year-old was driving missed a curve and struck a tree. The man was taken to Helen Newberry Joy Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Whitefish Township Fire Department and Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene.