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News Digest – Week of Sept. 26, 2022

two little blond girls lead a leashed black and white dog across a downed tree log, with two little blond boys following behind them in the forest

Outdoor adventures make the best memories! What are some of your favorites?

Here are just a few of this week’s stories from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources:

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at Michigan.gov/DNRPressRoom.

PHOTO FOLDER: Larger, higher-res versions of the images used below, and others, are available in this folder.

Photo ambassador snapshot: Fall in focus

a tidy row of pale white-yellow grasses blows to the left, against a grainy backdrop of dark green forestWant to see more pictures like this, taken by Michigan state parks photo ambassador Tim Largent at Van Buren State Park in Van Buren County? Visit Instagram.com/MiStateParks to explore photos and learn more about the photo ambassadors! For more on the photo ambassador program, call Stephanie Yancer at 989-274-6182.

Gather ’Round the campfire for stories from people like you

A woman with dark hair holds her face close to a smiling, blue-eyed little boy in her lap, in front of an orange campfire in a metal ringHopscotch on the sidewalk. A backyard treehouse. Fishing with grandpa. Sandcastles at the lake. Pick-up basketball at the local park. Long walks in the woods. Even just a well-placed window with a view that ignited your outdoor dreams …

No matter where you’re from or where you call home, everyone has a story about the outdoors. Each perspective is unique and every story is different, and we want to help share them with our new quarterly Gather ‘Round blog: an online space to hear signature stories written by people like you, along with looks at little-known critters, places, Michigan history and more.

This first issue covers topics like the rusty patched bumblebee and a recipe for foraged nettles, as well as a feature on the critical connection between mental health and the natural world. If you like what you see, feel free to share Gather ‘Round with your friends and family.

Questions? Contact Emma Kukuk at 517-284-5815.

Conservation officer recruits near halfway point in academy

two small groups of men with shaved heads, dark green T-shirts and black shorts take turns lifting and moving large black tractor tires outdoorsIntense physical training, emergency vehicle operations, underwater rescues, firearm safety, loads of fish and game laws and regulations, all governed by a commitment to self-discipline and teamwork – this is just some of what the conservation officer hopefuls in the DNR’s Recruit School #11 are tackling in this year’s academy, which started in early July at the Michigan State Police Training Academy in Lansing.

The recruits recently completed their 11th week, with 12 more to go. For a glimpse of academy life, follow their journey with this year’s recruit school blog. From week 3 on, the recruits themselves have been writing the entries, sharing their perspectives on goals, fears, expectations and much more.

Sign up for the conservation officer academy blog and other DNR email topics.

NotMiSpecies webinars: Easy learning about invasives

A wet glob of didymo on the palm of an outstretched hand above the water. A corner of a zippered bag is held between the index and forefinger.If you’re looking for a fun, informative way to learn about the invasive species that pose a threat to Michigan’s land, water, fish and wildlife (and what you can do to help), give the NotMiSpecies webinar series a try. It explores how agencies, universities and local organizations are working together to protect our state’s natural resources through the Michigan Invasive Species Program.

Two upcoming webinars include:

There’s a lamprey in my classroom! Infusing invasive species education into statewide programs (Thursday, Oct. 26, 9-10 a.m.)

Whether you’re an educator, a parent or someone who just enjoys learning, Tracy Page, DNR aquatic education coordinator, will explain how to take advantage of the department’s educational programs as you travel the state, or even in your own home or classroom.

Treat me right! Rules, regulations and best practices for controlling aquatic invasive species in Michigan’s inland lakes (Thursday, Nov. 10, 9-10 a.m.)

Join Eric Calabro, environmental quality analyst with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to learn about state regulations and options – When is a permit needed? What are safe, effective treatments? – for control of aquatic invasives.

Nearly two dozen past webinars on a variety of topics (rock snot, boating hygiene, environmental DNA, to name a few) are available to watch anytime, too. Visit the NotMiSpecies webinar page for registration information, past programs and more.

Questions? Contact Joanne Foreman at [email protected].


Several deer and waterfowl seasons are underway, with more hunting opportunities following close behind. Check the hunting season calendar for all start dates, digest information and more.


Are you or someone you know interested in setting up a mobile food, park store, beach or riding stable concession in one of our state parks? Check out available opportunities and submit your bid or proposal soon!


Show your love for Michigan’s endangered, threatened and nongame wildlife and buy a wildlife habitat license plate; $25 of the $35 plate purchase goes to the Nongame Wildlife Fund.

We recently launched a new website, and we’d love to hear what you think via this brief survey. Thanks for helping us improve our site for all users!