Michigan Department of Natural Resources

MUNISING, MI (AP)--   Scientists are studying water bodies in the area of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to determine what kind of fish live there. 

Fisheries biologist Cory Kovacs of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the sampling began in 2017, when staffers sampled Chapel Creek, Hurricane River, Miner's River, Rhody Creek, Towes Creek and Mosquito River.

This year, they'll head to Grand Sable Lake, Chapel Lake, Beaver Lake, Sevenmile Creek and Lowney Creek.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   State biologists say Michigan's gray wolf population appears to be leveling off after several decades of steady growth. 

The Department of Natural Resources says a census this winter produced an estimate of 662 wolves in the Upper Peninsula. That's up slightly from 618 in the previous count two years ago.

The survey found 139 packs — 15 more than in 2016. The average pack size was down slightly, to fewer than five wolves.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Officials say forest tent caterpillars are damaging many trees across Michigan this spring. 

The state Natural Resources department says the critters are eating leaves from sugar maple, aspen and oak trees and leaving small strands of webbing.

The insects are native to Michigan and occur in widespread outbreaks every 10-15 years. They've been spotted across the Lower Peninsula and in the eastern Upper Peninsula.

Outbreaks usually last two or three years. This is the second or third year for outbreaks in some areas.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   A newly developed online map provides information about how Michigan's state forests are managed.

The Department of Natural Resources says the map makes it easier to learn about timber sales, prescribed burns and other activities.

Users can navigate on the map or simply type in an address to find out what activities are planned or underway in areas of interest.

The DNR manages 4 million acres of state forest. It has a crew of geographers and data managers who provide up-to-date information on forest health, wildlife populations and more.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Firefighters with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources say fire danger is very high right now. 

The DNR is telling the public to be cautious with fire, as predicted weather conditions have heightened the possibility of fire across the Upper Peninsula. All areas west of a line from the Huron Mountains south to Stephenson are currently experiencing extreme fire danger. Very high fire danger is expected at least through Saturday, and possibly beyond, depending upon the significance of rainfall forecast for Saturday night.

LUCE COUNTY, MI--   High water from spring runoff has forced park staff at Tahquamenon Falls State Park to temporarily close the popular River Trail between the Upper and Lower Tahquamenon Falls in northern Luce County.

The spring flows have not subsided and there are several sections of trail which are underwater and have become quite hazardous. 

MARQUETTE, MI--    Officials with the Department of Natural Resources say fire danger has escalated over the past few days. 

Elevated temperatures and strong winds predicted through Monday have increased the risk of wildfires. The highest threat will be in the Upper Peninsula. Winds are expected to subside Tuesday.

Those who intend to burn agricultural or yard debris must first check online at michigan.gov/burnpermit for authorization to burn in their area. Permits are issued only when conditions are safe to burn.

Michigan DNR

FAYETTE, MI--   Firefighters conducted a prescribed burn this week to keep Delta County’s Fayette Historic State Park historically accurate.

Department of Natural Resources firefighters and park personnel burned five acres of brush and woody vegetation Tuesday. It reopened what would have been the infield of the half-mile, oval horse-racing track.

Park Manager Randy Brown says the open area better replicates conditions present during the years the town was bustling in the 1800s.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Department of Natural Resources is advising residents to restrict outdoor burning Tuesday. 

Dry and windy conditions combined with dry grass, leaves, and pine needles mean an increased possibility of wildfires. Conditions are dry across the entire Lower Peninsula and in the southern half of the Upper Peninsula from Iron County to Mackinac County.

Anyone who plans to burn in the U.P. or Northern Lower Peninsula must go online to michigan.gov/burnpermit to see if a permit is needed in specific counties and/or townships.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan officials are inviting public feedback on an inventory that designates Upper Peninsula forest roads as either open or closed to off-road vehicles. 

An online map with the proposed classifications will be available for viewing May 1.

People can make comments on the map about particular road segments.