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News Digest – Week of June 10, 2024

A fisherman, silhouetted in the glow of an early sunrise, casts a line from a kayak on a placid, misty lake.

Summer is a great time to explore Michigan’s state parks, trails and waterways!

Here are 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.

Protect against mosquito, tick bites

A black-legged tick, a small arachnid with a brown body and dark legs.

This year’s warm, wet spring was prime time for some of Michigan’s nuisance insect species. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recently issued tips to avoid bites by ticks and mosquitoes. Bug bites can be more than just an annoyance – they can have future health implications, so it’s important to stay informed and take steps to protect yourself and others.

Every summer in Michigan, bites from mosquitoes and ticks carry the risk of spreading diseases to people and animals. Ticks are known to carry Lyme disease and anaplasmosis, while infected mosquitoes can transmit eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus. Mosquitoes collected in Saginaw County last month tested positive for Jamestown Canyon virus at the DHHS Bureau of Laboratories, the first infected mosquitoes detected in 2024.

Signs and symptoms of tick-borne disease typically begin one to two weeks after a tick bite, often after being in wooded or brushy areas where ticks commonly live. Early symptoms can be nonspecific and include fever or chills, rash, headache, fatigue and muscle aches. Early treatment with appropriate antibiotics can decrease the risk of serious complications.

The easiest way to protect from mosquito- and tick-borne illnesses is to prevent bites in the first place. Try these tips:

  • Avoid areas like woods, brush or tall grass, where ticks and mosquitos like to frequent.
  • Apply insect repellents containing DEET or other Environmental Protection Agency-approved products to clothing and exposed skin.
  • Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Check yourself, others and pets for ticks daily, and make sure to bathe as soon as possible when you head back inside to make sure none have hitched a ride.
  • Ensure window and door screens are sealed and maintained.
  • Empty standing water sources like buckets, old tires, unused kiddie pools and other stagnant water sources where mosquitos may lay eggs.

For more information, visit Michigan.gov/EmergingDiseases.

Natural Resources Commission meets this week

A white-tailed deer doe and a yearling are shown standing in a meadow.

The next meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission – Thursday, June 13, in Lansing – leads off with a Fisheries Committee agenda that includes an overview of the steelhead biodata results. The director’s report follows, with recognition of Hunter Education Instructor of the Year Award, a land use amendment, deer regulations and more.

The meeting also will include a series of public comments, a land use order and wildlife conservation orders.

The meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. in Rooms M119-121 of Lansing Community College, West Campus, 5708 Cornerstone Drive, Lansing.

See the draft meeting agenda at Michigan.gov/NRC. For more information about the meeting, email [email protected].

ICYMI: Hone your wilderness survival smarts at summer outdoor skills classes

A pair of hands work to start a spark from flint and steel, flame leaping to life in the dry tinder of a survival fire.Would you know how to survive if you ever found yourself stranded outdoors? Landing in an unforeseen situation can be nerve-wracking, but learning the skills to handle it can make outdoor activities a breeze.

Besides tapping into a deeper awareness of nature, having the skills to survive outdoors can seriously boost your confidence, too. Interested in learning the basics? Check out the DNR Outdoor Skills Academy’s Bushcraft, Survival and Wild Edibles Clinic, June 28-30 or July 19-21 at Mitchell State Park in Cadillac.

You’ll learn how to find your way when no modern navigation tools are available, wilderness first aid, how to identify plants you can eat (and ones to avoid), how to safely start a fire without matches – plus how to shoot a bow and arrow and more.

In case you missed it, this is one of a variety of opportunities to boost your outdoor skills this summer, with classes covering pursuits like fly fishing, wild mushroom foraging and hunting bear, waterfowl and deer. See the Outdoor Skills Academy calendar for more details.

Photo ambassador snapshot: Glowing glass among the green

A sunset illuminates Proud Lake, casting the water in a glassy glow amidst a dark, green forest.See more pictures by Michigan state parks photo ambassadors at Instagram.com/MiStateParks. For more on the program, call Stephanie Yancer at 989-274-6182. (This photo is by Paul Massie, for the Michigan DNR, at Proud Lake State Park in Oakland County.)


Michigan has thousands of miles of water trails to explore by canoe, kayak or paddleboard. Find your next paddling adventure, plus all the know-how you need, on our paddling page.


If you’re planning to visit state parks, trails and waterways this year, plan ahead and make sure you have a Recreation Passport!


Want to take your outdoor stewardship to the next level? Grab some friends, gear up and help clean up illegal dumping sites in state forests with Adopt-a-Forest.