DNR News: Land for sale, Big Tree Hunt, fish surveys & more

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News Digest - Week of June 18, 2018

Girls playing in the spray at Bay City State Park

Here's a look at some of this week's stories from the Department of Natural Resources:

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

Looking for forested, lakefront property? Land auction starts July 10

Several DNR-managed, forested land parcels go up for auction starting July 10

Interested in property in northern Michigan’s beautiful Presque Isle County? Don’t miss the DNR’s upcoming land sale, starting July 10, where parcels ranging in size from an acre to 32 acres will be available by sealed-bid auction. There are 41 land parcels available, all in Rogers Township.

Scott Goeman, manager of DNR Real Estate Services, said these properties are being offered to the public because they’re better suited for private ownership.

“The properties being offered in the July auction are isolated from other DNR-managed land, are difficult to manage, or provide limited outdoor recreation benefits to the public,” Goeman said. “Plus, all of these parcels are forested or have lake frontage – or both – making them attractive to a lot of potential buyers who are interested in a little land ‘up north.’”

Property listings will be available for bid once the auction starts. At that time, instructions for submitting a bid and printable bid forms will be provided at michigan.gov/landforsale. Information on the auction, including minimum bid prices, property descriptions and conditions of sale, is available on the website, too. Properties unsold from previous auctions also can be explored at this webpage.

Sealed bids must be postmarked by midnight July 20, and will be opened Aug. 1. Proceeds from the sale of these lands helps the DNR provide future outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the state.

Printed property information may be requested from the DNR Real Estate Services Section, P.O. Box 30448, Lansing, MI 48909-7948. For more information about the auction or other state-managed public land, contact Michael Michalek at 517-284-5950.  

Fish survey crews heading to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Crews will use netting gear this summer to conduct fish survey work in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Visitors this summer to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, on the south shore of Lake Superior, might see DNR staff surveying a number of waterbodies in the area. It’s all part of an effort to better understand what kind of fish make their home in these waters. 

“Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore welcomes more than 1.5 million visitors every year, and many of those folks have questions about fish locally,” said Cory Kovacs, DNR fisheries biologist out of the DNR’s Newberry office. “We started sampling in 2017, and that information is important in helping us inform the public about what’s here, as well as in making decisions about managing those fish populations.”

In 2017, staff 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. Crews will use netting gear in lakes and electrofishing gear in streams. Visitors should use caution if encountering those crews on the water. 

Additionally, the DNR has always worked with the National Park Service to sample water and take stream water temperatures, and will do that again this year, too. Five streams were selected for temperature monitoring in 2018.

For more information, contact Cory Kovacs, 906-293-5131, ext. 4071 or Elyse Walter, 517-284-5839 

Paws in the parks: Pets love outdoor fun, too

A visitor brought a buddy to South Higgins Lake State Park in Roscommon County.

When you're planning to pack up the family for an adventure in Michigan's great outdoors, does your plan include Fido or Fluffy, too? 

In case you missed it, a recent Showcasing the DNR story covered the ins and outs of bringing pets to Michigan state parks, campgrounds, trails, harbors and other spots. If you're hoping to travel the state this summer with pets in tow – whether for the day or a longer stay – be sure to first check out individual locations' pet policies so that everyone has a great time. Don’t forget that pets need to be on a 6-foot leash at all times.

Wanted: Sightings of state's largest trees for Big Tree Hunt

Residents are asked to be on the lookout for Michigan's largest trees in this year's Big Tree Hunt

Whether you’re out in the woods or skateboarding through city streetscapes this summer, keep your eyes open – you may spot one of Michigan’s largest trees!

The 14th Big Tree Hunt runs through Sept. 3, 2019. Started by ReLeaf Michigan in 1993, it takes place every two years and helps catalog the state’s biggest trees. Your assignment: Seek out the most majestic trees in your area and report them, because tree-spotters can earn certificates and prizes.

“This is a really fun reason to get out and enjoy nature,” said Melinda Jones, executive director of ReLeaf Michigan. “It also helps raise awareness and enjoyment of the trees in our landscape.” 

The Big Tree Hunt is one way to discover candidates for the National Register of Big Trees, which so far includes 19 Michigan trees. The biggest tree spotted on the last hunt is a sycamore in Lenawee County with a 315-inch girth.

ReLeaf Michigan is a nonprofit that encourages planting trees. Additional Big Tree Hunt sponsors include the DNR, the Arboriculture Society of Michigan, the Consumers Energy Foundation, the DTE Energy Foundation and the Michigan Botanical Club. Learn more about the DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program at michigan.gov/ucf.

Entries, either online or hard copy, will be accepted until Sept. 3, 2019. Find out how to participate by visiting bigtreehunt.com, calling 800-642-7353 or emailing ledwards@ReLeafMichigan.org 

Note to editors: High-resolution versions of the above images (and others) are available in this photo folder. 

Events button

Looking to get active and see more of the Michigan landscape this summer? The Michigander Bicycle Tour July 14-21 features some of the best scenery in the state. Sign up today!

buy and apply

Want to really get away from it all? Try some backcountry camping in our state forests! Just be sure to have a camp registration card prominently displayed at your campsite. 

get involved

Old letters, diaries, photos and other things cluttering your house? Consider donating these and other original materials to the Archive of Michigan to help tell our state's stories!