DNR News Digest: Week of July 11, 2022

DNR News Digest: Week of July 11, 2022

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News Digest: Week of July 11, 2022

A Kirtland's warbler sits on a branch, facing the camera with an open mouth in a somewhat comical expression.

“Support species like me with a Michigan wildlife habitat license plate!”

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: Lake Michigan’s dazzling dusk

Black shadow outline of about a dozen people walking in line, one walking a dog, along the beach, backlit by a bright, increasingly orange skyWant to see more pictures like this, taken by Michigan state parks photo ambassador Tim Largent at Holland State Park in Ottawa 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.


Conservation officer recruits’ 23-week journey is underway

Conservation Officer recruits stand at attention in a line as a CO consults a clipboard. Chosen from a pool of nearly 400 applicants, 15 recruits assembled Sunday in Lansing to start down the path to becoming Michigan DNR conservation officers. The group gathered for day one of Conservation Officer Recruit School #11, during which they received intensive training to test them academically, emotionally and physically.

Follow their 23-week experience by subscribing to the weekly conservation officer academy blog, which also will be shared on DNR social media accounts.

“We have high expectations for this group, all of whom bring diverse life experiences with them,” said Chief Dave Shaw, DNR Law Enforcement Division. “These new recruits will be immersed in the rich history and culture of DNR law enforcement, and they’ll receive instruction from the ‘best of the best’ — veteran conservation officers who excel in the many specialized areas that make conservation officers unique among the law enforcement community.”

Additionally, three certified police officers were also hired as DNR conservation officers. They were sworn in Tuesday and will begin their natural resources law enforcement training as probationary conservation officers.

While conservation officers’ mission is to protect Michigan’s natural resources and the health and safety of the public through effective law enforcement and education, these certified peace officers also enforce all of Michigan’s criminal laws. (Yes, this means they can pull you over for a traffic violation.)

Because of their specialized training and equipment, conservation officers often are first to respond in situations such as medical emergencies, lost or missing persons and public safety threats in all types of weather conditions and environments. In addition to fish and game and general criminal law enforcement, recruits also get training in waterfowl, trapping, firearms, survival tactics, precision driving, off-road vehicle operation and maintenance, water safety, first aid, criminal law, report writing and alcohol enforcement.

Those recruits who successfully complete the academy will join the ranks of Michigan’s conservation officers as part of the DNR Law Enforcement Division, the state’s oldest statewide law enforcement agency — now celebrating its 135th year.

Questions? Contact F/Lt. Jason Wicklund at 906-284-1933.


Support wildlife with Kirtland’s warbler license plate purchase

a white license with lettering that says Pure Michigan and Conserve Wildlife Habitat, image of a yellow bird on a pine twig at the leftLooking for a simple, yet powerful, way to help turtles, peregrine falcons, bats, common terns and other nongame wildlife species? Consider purchasing Michigan’s wildlife habitat license plate, currently featuring the Kirtland’s warbler — a unique bird with a remarkable recovery story.

In 2019, the Kirtland’s warbler was removed from the endangered species list. Ongoing efforts by the DNR and a multitude of partners have ensured that ample habitat is, and will continue to be, available for this songbird that nests only in young jack pine stands in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario.

All proceeds from the sale of the wildlife habitat license plate support the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund and benefit nongame species like the Kirtland’s warbler.

You can buy the wildlife habitat license plate through the Secretary of State for $35, with $25 of that fee going to the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund. Since 2006, the fund has received more than $3.9 million from the purchase of wildlife habitat license plates.

Questions? Contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.


Natural Resources Commission meets Thursday in Lansing

A handful of young Arctic Grayling tumble from a net into a pool of water. The next meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Committee leads off with a Fisheries Committee agenda that includes an overview of statewide fisheries research.

The meeting also will include an update on the printing of hunting and fishing digests, upcoming fisheries orders, a legislative update and several land transactions.

It will start at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 14, in West Campus Rooms M119-121 at Lansing Community College, 5708 Cornerstone Drive, in Lansing. See the draft meeting agenda at Michigan.gov/NRC.

For more information or to request time to speak at the meeting, contact Victoria Lischalk at 517-599-1067 or NRC@Michigan.gov.


THINGS TO DO

The outdoors is for everyone, and the DNR is working hard to make the natural areas we manage easier for everyone to enjoy. Check out accessible recreation opportunities near you!

BUY & APPLY

Summer’s in full swing, and there’s no better time to head out to a state park, boating access site or state forest campground — just make sure you have a Recreation Passport before you go.

GET INVOLVED

Looking to get outside and do some good? Find stewardship opportunities near or far on the volunteer events calendar. Make sure to dress appropriately and stay hydrated.

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!

DNR Events – July 2022

DNR Events – July 2022

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DNR Events – July 2022

row of people aiming bows and arrows during archery class

Here are a few ways to get out and enjoy Michigan’s natural and cultural resources in July. For a full list of events, see the Department of Natural Resources calendar at Michigan.gov/DNRCalendar.


Learn about wild mushrooms, bear hunting, fly fishing and more

woman fly fishing in riverThe DNR Outdoor Skills Academy will offer opportunities to learn more about foraging for wild mushrooms, bear hunting and outdoor survival with July classes at the following locations.

Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center in Cadillac

  • Wild Mushroom Clinic, July 10
    Learn how to identify a variety of Michigan’s edible wild mushrooms, where to start looking, and proper handling techniques for transport, cleaning, consumption (including some sampling) and home preservation. Cost is $40 and will include lunch. This class will be offered again Aug. 20.
  • Bush Craft, Survival and Wild Edibles Clinic, July 15-17
    In this unique, three-day class, you will learn the basics of what you need to survive if you ever find yourself stranded in the outdoors, including some wilderness first aid; how to safely prepare water for drinking; how to identify animal tracks and scat; plants you can gather as wild edibles and for medicinal uses, and which plants to avoid; how to safely start a fire without matches; how to shoot a bow and arrow; and more.
  • Bear Hunting ClinicJuly 30 and July 31
    Students will learn the ins and outs of bear hunting with experienced hunters and knowledgeable DNR educators. The class will cover habitat, gear, stand placement, baiting, rules and regulations, carcass care, and hide care.

Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center in Mattawan

  • Fly Fishing 101, July 22-23
    Learn the fundamentals of fly fishing in this two-day class. Topics covered include knots, casting, fly tying, stream etiquette, catch and release, stream dynamics, macroinvertebrates, reading the water, and presentation. On Saturday afternoon, participants will head to local waters to bring it all together and catch some fish. Loaner gear is available.
  • Damsels Fly: Fly Fishing for Women, July 30
    For women who are new to fly fishing, this all-day workshop will teach participants enough of the basics to get out fly fishing with confidence. Topics covered include gear, rods and reels, casting, knot tying, macroinvertebrates, where to fish/reading the water and more. No equipment is needed to participate.

The DNR Outdoor Skills Academy offers in-depth, expert instruction, gear and hands-on learning for a range of outdoor activities at locations around the state. Learn more at Michigan.gov/OutdoorSkills.


Experience Michigan History at museum sites across the state

Group of people standing on hilltop listening to DNR staffer speakThe Michigan History Center’s 12 museums and historic sites are your pathway to fun and discovery this summer. The Michigan History Museum system will host a variety of events around the state in July.

Fort Wilkins in Copper Harbor

Fort Wilkins 1870, A Living History Experience, daily through Aug. 19
Step back to summer 1870, as costumed interpreters portray the daily life of people who lived and worked at this remote outpost.

Cambridge Junction Historic State Park in Brooklyn

Michigan Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee

For more details about what’s going on at the Michigan History Center, see the MHC events calendar.


Find all kinds of summer fun at Outdoor Adventure Center

young boy touching fox snake held by DNR stafferWhether you live in southeast Michigan or your summer travels take you there, check out what’s happening at the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit. July events at the OAC include:

  • Christmas in July, July 9
    We’re getting in the Christmas (in July) spirit with Mrs. Claus! Join us and learn to decorate holiday cookies with the best baker of the North Pole. Kids will get a cookie kit, reindeer food with a story and a Christmas pencil, and will learn the reindeer macarena. Cost is $10, or free with an unwrapped new toy.
  • Archery programs
    Give archery a shot with Try It – a brief introduction to archery where you’ll learn to safely handle a bow and shoot several arrows – scheduled for July 9 and July 23 and included with the price of admission. Grow your love for archery with Explore It: Skill Development, July 30, an opportunity to practice your shot with various targets and activities. Cost is $12.
  • Get Hooked on FishingJuly 16 and July 30
    Looking to learn more about the fish found in Detroit River and how to fish? In this catch and release fishing program, participants will be introduced to the parts of a fish and how to identify fish. Equipment, bait and instruction will be provided; beginners are welcome! Included with the price of admission, but preregistration is required.
  • Nature education programs for kids
    Check out Cub Club, for ages 3-6, July 23. This month, we’ll learn what makes an animal a fish, with a focus on fish of the Detroit River. For our July 30 Young Explorers session, for kids ages 7-10, we’ll learn about some of the common Detroit River fish species, then try our luck on the river. These programs are included with admission, but preregistration is required.
  • Live animal programs
    Find out what makes reptiles and amphibians so cool, get up close and personal with many of these creatures, during Live Michigan Reptiles and Amphibians with Nature Discovery, July 15 and July 16. Leslie Science and Nature Center will bring two live animal presentations to the OAC July 23. In Walking up a Food Chain, we’ll construct a live food chain as we meet different animals. Hunters of the Sky will feature three engaging raptors and hands-on explorations of feathers, skulls and other bird parts.

July will also offer opportunities to learn about Michigan camping, the story of Vernor’s ginger ale in Detroit and more. See everything that’s coming up on the OAC events calendar.


Take fitness on the water at state parks

two women doing exercises on stand-up paddleboards in the waterLooking for a fun outdoor fitness experience? Check out stand-up paddleboard yoga or PaddleFit – combining intervals of paddling and various types of exercises for a great nonimpact core muscle workout – at a state park. No stand-up paddleboard or yoga experience needed. July classes are scheduled at the following locations.

Island Lake Recreation Area in Brighton:

Pinckney Recreation Area in Pinckney:


Join us for outdoor fun on Pheasant Friday

Spend a fun afternoon outdoors with Pheasant Friday, July 8 at Sterling State Park in Monroe and July 15 at Seven Lakes State Park in Holly. Emphasizing firearm safety and Pheasants Forever’s efforts to restore pheasant habitat, these events offer the opportunity to shoot a BB gun in a safe environment with expert instruction. There also will be hands-on activities to learn about grasslands and birds, butterflies and other pollinators that support healthy wildlife habitat.

Delve into family history research

Whether you are looking to get started researching your family history or you are already deep into genealogy, the Barbara J. Brown Family History Seminar – at the Archives of Michigan in Lansing July 8-9 – is for you. Held each summer, the seminar promotes family history awareness and teaches genealogy research skills. This year’s featured speaker is Dr. David McDonald, CG, a professional genealogist with more than 45 years’ research experience. Registration deadline is July 6.

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!

Lake Michigan experiencing seasonal alewife die-off

Lake Michigan experiencing seasonal alewife die-off

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DNR News

June 22, 2022
Contact: Jay Wesley, 616-490-5090 or Gary Whelan, 517-242-2764

Lake Michigan experiencing seasonal alewife die-off

AlewifeAlewife, small prey fish that reach 2 to 9 inches in length, are experiencing a seasonal die-off in Lake Michigan, an  event that frequently occurred 20 to 60 years ago but has been rare in recent times.

Not native to the Great Lakes, alewife migrated from the Atlantic Ocean into the Great Lakes through the Welland Canal in the 1920s.

Alewife spend most of the year in deep, cold waters. In the spring and summer, they migrate to nearshore areas to spawn and search for food. Some alewife come out of winter in a weakened state and don’t tolerate changing conditions such as large temperature swings. The combination of poor over-winter condition, temperature changes and spawning stress cause the die-off.

“The die-off is larger than normal this year and something we have not seen in years,” said Jay Wesley, Lake Michigan basin coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “We are seeing the die-off extend from Muskegon all the way up to Cross Village and out to the Beaver Island complex.”

The DNR is fully aware of the situation and believes this is a natural event and not caused by pollution or disease. Both state and federal agencies annually collect alewife to evaluate their condition and abundance in Lake Michigan.

For more information on die-offs (also known as fish kills) in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/FishHealth. The public is welcome to report fish kills at Michigan.gov/EyesInTheField; such reports are valuable to the DNR’s ability to manage the state’s aquatic resources.

If you suspect a fish kill is due to non-natural causes, call the nearest DNR office or Michigan’s Pollution Emergency Alert System at 800-292-4706.


Note to editors: An accompanying photo is available below for download. Caption information follows.

  • Alewife: Alewife, small prey fish that reach 2 to 9 inches in length, are experiencing a seasonal die-off in Lake Michigan, extending from Muskegon all the way up to Cross Village and out to the Beaver Island complex.

 

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!
DNR News Digest – Week of June 6, 2022

DNR News Digest – Week of June 6, 2022

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News Digest – Week of June 6, 2022

Two adult men, both with dark skin, proudly show off their catch.

“Three Free” Weekend is coming up June 11 & 12!

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: Lovely Ludington light

A lighthouse stands tall against the backdrop of purple-gray dusk as gentle waves lap at a sandy shore.Want to see more pictures like this, taken by Michigan state parks photo ambassador Marybeth Kiczenski at Ludington State Park in Mason 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.


The most important tree? Your family tree!

A close-up of several peoples’ hands laid on the trunk of a tall tree.Whether you’re wondering how to get started researching your family history or you’re already deep into genealogy, you can gain new skills and understanding at the Barbara J. Brown Family History Seminar, July 8-9.

Attend online or in person at the Archives of Michigan, part of the DNR’s Michigan History Center in Lansing. Designed to promote family history awareness and teach genealogy research skills, the annual event is hosted by the Archives in partnership with the Michigan Genealogical Council and with the generous support of the Abrams Foundation. The two-day seminar is $45.

Dr. David McDonald, an older man with pale skin and light blue eyes, smiles in a portrait. This year, the Barbara J. Brown Family History Seminar welcomes Dr. David McDonald, CG, as the featured speaker. A professional genealogist with more than 45 years of research experience, McDonald has shared his expertise at state and regional conferences across the United States and in the United Kingdom. He will offer three sessions during the seminar, including strategies for locating records from closed or extinct congregations and communities of faith.

As always, the event brings together a slate of state and local experts who share their knowledge in sessions that look at a variety of genealogy topics and resources, ranging from the 1950 U.S. Census to coroners’ records – plus, there is a behind-the-scenes tour of the Archives of Michigan.

The deadline to register is July 6. Check out the complete schedule and registration information and book your spot today.

Questions? Contact Kris Rzepczynski, senior archivist/head of reference, at 517-335-2595.


Pheasant Fridays: pollinators, wildlife habitat and more

A field of black-eyed susans and coneflowers during golden hour.If you’re looking for a fun way to spend half a day outdoors, mark the calendar for an upcoming Pheasant Friday: special events hosted at different state parks in southern Michigan throughout June, July, August and September.

The DNR is partnering with Pheasants Forever on the program. It is open to kids and adults, though younger guests must be at least 6 years of age to participate. Pheasant Fridays will emphasize firearm safety and Pheasants Forever’s effort to restore habitat for these beautiful birds.

Everyone will get the opportunity to shoot a BB gun in a safe environment with expert instruction. There also will be hands-on activities to learn about grasslands and birds, butterflies and other pollinators that support healthy wildlife habitat.

Pheasant Fridays are offered on these dates at the following locations:

No reservations are needed, and all Pheasant Fridays are free. Visit each event’s webpage for information on start times and meeting locations. Please note that a Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry into Michigan state parks. Events will be canceled in the event of rain or lightning.

Questions? Contact Bill Fischer, Pheasants Forever, at 989-395-5945.


Natural Resources Commission meets Thursday in Lansing

A flock of black cormorants fly over vegetation and dunes on the shore of a bright blue lake.Both the fisheries and wildlife subcommittees will convene at the next meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, scheduled for Thursday, June 9, in Lansing, with presentations on Michigan fish health and cormorant control efforts. The agenda also includes a Partners in Conservation Award presentation, the 2021 deer harvest survey report, and several land transactions and land use orders.

The day starts at 9 a.m. in West Campus Rooms M119-121 at Lansing Community College, 5708 Cornerstone Drive, in Lansing. See the draft meeting agenda at Michigan.gov/NRC.

For more information or to request time to speak at the meeting, contact Victoria Lischalk at 517-599-1067 or NRC@Michigan.gov.


THINGS TO DO

“Three Free” Weekend – two full days when residents and nonresidents can fish, ride Michigan’s off-road trails or visit state parks and state-managed boating access sites at no cost – is set for June 11-12. Regulations still apply, and always put safety first.

BUY & APPLY

Summer is prime time for outdoor fun; if you’re looking to get away locally or somewhere a little further, make sure to get your Recreation Passport. It’s just $12, and gives you access to all 103 state parks, state forest campgrounds, harbors, trails and more!

GET INVOLVED

Review and comment on the state land review for Delta, Kent, Livingston, Menominee, Montcalm, Oakland, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Saginaw or Tuscola county by June 24. Public meetings are scheduled for June 15 and June 16.

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!

DNR Get Involved – June 2022

DNR Get Involved – June 2022

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DNR Get Involved – June 2022

group of volunteers with full trash bags in grassy field

Here are a few ways to get involved in taking care of Michigan’s natural resources in June. For more opportunities to volunteer, contribute and provide input, visit Michigan.gov/DNRVolunteers.


Help restore natural areas at state parks

volunteer hauling branch out of forestSeveral state parks in southern Michigan will host volunteer stewardship workdays in June. Volunteers are needed to help with removing invasive plants that threaten high-quality ecosystems or collecting native seeds for prairie restoration.

Please note that registration is required for all volunteer workdays.

Workdays will take place:

  • Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Brighton Recreation Area (Livingston County)
  • Sunday, June 5, 10 a.m. to noon at Saugatuck Dunes State Park (Allegan County)
  • Friday, June 10, 1 to 4 p.m. at Waterloo Recreation Area (Washtenaw County)
  • Saturday, June 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Highland Recreation Area (Oakland County)
  • Saturday, June 11, and Saturday, June 25, 10 a.m. to noon at Warren Dunes State Park (Berrien County)
  • Sunday, June 12, and Saturday, June 26, 9 a.m. to noon at Fort Custer Recreation Area (Kalamazoo County)
  • Tuesday, June 14, 4 to 6 p.m. at Bald Mountain Recreation Area (Oakland County)
  • Saturday, June 18, 10 a.m. to noon at Muskegon State Park (Muskegon County)
  • Saturday, June 25, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Island Lake Recreation Area (Livingston County)

More details about each workday can be found on the DNR volunteer events calendar.


Tell us what you think about your state forests

trees in summer forestIt’s time to talk about your state forests.

Prescribed burns, timber harvests and other activities are carefully planned to keep Michigan’s nearly 4 million acres of state forest healthy and thriving.

Plans for these activities are currently being made for 2024, but public comment is welcome now, before those plans are finalized. In-person open houses were suspended during 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many forest management units are returning to in-person open houses this season; you may also comment online or in writing.

To find out what activities are planned, choose the geographic area you are interested in on the interactive map. Submit online comments through the map during designated 30-day periods. If you’d prefer to attend an open house in person, scheduled dates are listed below.

Once public comment has been received, a meeting called a compartment review is held. That’s where plans are finalized. Contact the unit manager for details on how to attend an in-person open house or compartment review. The DNR’s Forest Resources Division welcomes public comment on all forest activities.

Units with comment periods in June are:

  • Atlanta: Comment period is June 12-July 12; open house is July 12; compartment review is Aug. 4. Contact Cody Stevens, 989-785-4251.
  • Gaylord: Comment period is through June 16; open house is June 15; compartment review is July 14. Contact Lucas Merrick, 989-732-3541, ext. 5440.
  • Gladwin: Comment period is June 13-July 13; open house is July 13; compartment review is July 19. Contact Patrick Mohney, 989-426-9205, ext. 7640.
  • Pigeon River: Comment period is June 20-July 20; open house is July 20; compartment review is Aug. 16. Contact Mark Monroe, 989-983-4101.
  • Traverse City: Comment period June 6-July 7; open house is July 6 in Traverse City and July 7 in Kalkaska; compartment review is July 12. Contact Dave Lemmien, 231-922-5280.

See all scheduled comment periods, open houses and compartment review meetings for the 2022 season.


Give your opinion on latest state land review recommendations

woman and young girl on trail through forestThe DNR is hosting virtual public meetings to provide information on the state land review process and opportunities for feedback on recommendations on whether to keep, exchange or sell DNR-managed public land in 10 counties: Delta, Kent, Livingston, Menominee, Montcalm, Oakland, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Saginaw and Tuscola.

The state land review stems from the 2013 DNR-managed public land strategy and involves review of certain parcels of state land to determine whether they are contributing strongly to the department’s mission. The review process involves DNR-managed lands that are 200 acres or less in size or that, due to an irregular boundary, may be difficult to manage.

The meetings will be held:

  • Wednesday, June 15, at 6 p.m. – Join Microsoft Teams meeting or call (for audio only) +1 248-509-0316, 631562135#, Conference ID: 631 562 135#
  • Thursday, June 16, at 2 p.m. – Join Microsoft Teams meeting or call (for audio only) +1 248-509-0316, 66705848#, Conference ID: 667 058 48#

Participate in either meeting by following the given Microsoft Teams link. You don’t have to have Microsoft Teams on your computer or smart device to join, but please note that each link is specific to its meeting date and time, and the links will not be live or accessible until each meeting is “opened” by the moderator. Anyone without access to a computer may call in using the phone number provided.

Visit the DNR’s land review webpage for more information or contact Kerry Heckman at 517-643-1256.


Get trained to be a community scientist, help find resilient ash trees

group of people around table with ash tree branch on itFor over 10 years, scientists have been assessing large, resilient ash trees for their tolerance to the invasive emerald ash borer, but they need your help to find more of these lingering ash trees in forested areas. Finding more of these trees will improve the USDA Forest Service ash breeding program, which is breeding native ash for increased resistance.

You could find the next ash tree for the breeding program by searching in public forested areas or your own woodland. The DNR is hosting an event to help you learn how.

Lingering Ash Tree Training Workshop:

Thursday, June 9, 6 to 8 p.m.
Maybury State Park, 49601 Eight Mile Road, Northville
Meet at the Hickory Shelter

Friday, June 10, 6 to 8 p.m.
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, 6585 Lake Harbor Road, Muskegon
Meet at the Picnic Shelter

This training is open to forestry professionals, community volunteers and private woodland owners. It will focus on lingering ash found in either public or private forested settings. Resources related to private woodland management will be shared, but the training will focus on the background story of lingering ash, how to identify ash trees, how to survey public areas or your own forested land, and how to identify and report lingering ash.

We will cover how to report your findings with or without smartphone apps TreeSnap, Avenza and Anecdata. If the location allows, we will go on a walk to see a remnant ash population.

Please contact Kelsey Dietz at DietzK2@Michigan.gov with any questions. Preregistration by emailing Kelsey is preferred. The workshop will be held outdoors under a covered shelter.


Explore fishing, ORV riding, state parks – and find your ‘why’! – during ‘Three Free’ Weekend

collage with photos of ORVs, mom and young son fishing and dock over a lakeSometimes the first step to getting involved is experiencing the resources for yourself! If you’re new to fishing, ORVing or exploring state parks, next weekend could be a good start to seeing all of Michigan’s valuable natural resources and great recreation opportunities and why the DNR, many partners and volunteers work so hard to keep our outdoor places healthy and beautiful.

“Three Free” weekend – two full days when residents and visitors can fish, ride Michigan’s off-road trails or visit state parks and state-managed boating access sites at no cost – is set for Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12.

The weekend includes:

  • Free fishing. Grab your gear and cast a line! Twice a year, you can enjoy two days of fishing without a license. All other regulations still apply.
  • Free ORV riding. Ride more than 4,000 miles of state-designated ORV routes, trails and scramble areas. No ORV license or trail permit required.
  • Free Passport. The Recreation Passport requirement is waived, so you can build state parks and boating access sites into your itinerary.

While you’re out exploring, avoid giving invasive species a ride by cleaning mud, seeds and debris from vehicles, gear and clothing. Clean, Drain, Dry watercraft and trailers. Find more ways to take action at Michigan.gov/Invasives.

If the weekend inspires you to give back, check out Michigan.gov/DNRVolunteers to see which opportunities are right for you!


Find out what you need to know about didymo

The December 2021 discovery of didymo, an aquatic nuisance algae species also known as “rock snot,” in Michigan’s Upper Manistee River is a cause for concern for all river and stream users. Join us for the NotMISpecies webinar “Didymo: What you need to know” from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, June 9. It will provide an overview of didymo’s ecology, potential impacts on cold-water organisms, and what researchers are doing to better understand its spread, impacts and potential triggers.

Join our state parks team for $15 an hour

Looking for a summer job with flexible scheduling, a woods-and-water workplace and the chance to make memories with a great team? We’ve increased the starting hourly rate for seasonal state park workers to $15, and we’re looking for about 400 more people to to complete the ranks of the 1,300 workers needed every year to meet the needs of the summer travel season. Get started by expressing your interest at the seasonal park workers webpage or by texting “Hire” to 80888.

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!

Free fishing, off-roading, state park entry-Weekend June 11-12

Free fishing, off-roading, state park entry-Weekend June 11-12

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DNR News

June 2, 2022
Contact: Jessica Holley-Roehrs (ORV), 517-331-3790; Sierra Williams (fishing), 517-230-8788 or Ron Olson (Recreation Passport), 517-243-1477

Free fishing, off-roading and state park entry – enjoy it all during Michigan’s ‘Three Free’ Weekend June 11-12

Mother and son fishing The Michigan Department of Natural Resources encourages everyone to take advantage of “Three Free” Weekend – Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12 – two full days when residents and out-of-state visitors can grab a fishing rod, ride the off-road trails and visit state parks and boating access sites, all free of charge.
ORV“We have three big reasons for you to enjoy some of Michigan’s best outdoor recreation opportunities,” said DNR Director Dan Eichinger. “Whether you’re already an avid outdoors-person or someone just beginning to explore all the options, our ‘Three Free’ Weekend makes it easy to discover a new hobby, visit a new park or introduce friends to an outdoor experience you love.”

These two days include:

  • Free Fishing Weekend. Fish for all in-season species, all weekend long, without a license. All other fishing regulations apply. To get more details or find a local event, visit Michigan.gov/FreeFishing.
  • Free ORV Weekend. Legally ride 4,000 miles of designated routes and trails and the state’s six scramble areas without purchasing an ORV license or trail permit. Visit Michigan.gov/ORVinfo for the latest ORV trail, safety and closure information.
  • Free state park entry. To encourage people to pursue free fishing and other outdoor fun, the DNR waives the regular Recreation Passport entry fee that grants vehicle access to Michigan’s 103 state parks, 1,300 state-managed boating access sites and many other outdoor spaces. Learn more about all the Passport provides at Michigan.gov/RecreationPassport.

Free Fishing and Free ORV weekends each take place on back-to-back days twice a year, but the “Three Free” Weekend happens only in June.

Protect yourself and the outdoors

For the best outdoor experiences, the DNR urges everyone to put safety first when enjoying Michigan’s woods, water and trails.

  • Helpful safety tips – for ORV, boating, beach, fire and other topics – are available at Michigan.gov/DNREducation in the Safety Information section.
  • Boaters can help prevent the spread of invasive species by removing mud and debris from all surfaces, draining water from all bilges, wells and tanks, and drying all equipment.
  • The DNR also encourages anglers to review fishing safety tips and other helpful information at Michigan.gov/HowToFish.

Additionally, the DNR encourages people to #RecreateResponsibly. Before you head out on the trails or water, visit our Do Your Part website to learn more about how you can stay safe and protect the health and beauty of our great state.


Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Caption information follows. Credit all photos to Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

  • Fishing: Residents and nonresidents can enjoy two days of free fishing without a license during “Three Free” Weekend. Get more details or find a local event at Michigan.gov/FreeFishing.
  • ORV: Michigan residents and nonresidents legally can ride 4,000 miles of designated routes and trails and the state’s six scramble areas without purchasing an ORV license or trail permit. Visit Michigan.gov/ORVinfo for ORV trail, safety and closure information.
  • Fishing pier: The Recreation Passport provides vehicle access to 103 state parks, some 1,300 boating access sites and parking for other outdoor spaces all year long. During “Three Free” Weekend, the Recreation Passport won’t be needed for state park entry.

 

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