DNR Get Involved: preventing spread of invasive species, water cleanup and more

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DNR Get Involved - September 2018

lake with wooded shoreline

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

Preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species

Eurasian watermilfoil

Many aquatic invasive species – non-native plants and animals that can disrupt the natural ecosystem, tourism and the economy – are easily spread by boaters and anglers who use their equipment in multiple bodies of water without properly cleaning it.

As part of efforts to manage aquatic invasive species, a habitat enhancement project at Fort Custer Recreation Area in Augusta, Michigan, recently kicked off. The DNR is working with Kieser & Associates, an environmental science and engineering firm in Kalamazoo, on a plan to enhance the recreation area’s habitat by managing aquatic invasive species in its lakes. The project is funded through the Natural Resource Damage Assessment as part of the settlement levied against Enbridge Energy in connection with the July 2010 oil release on Line 6B into the Kalamazoo River.

In addition to aquatic plant surveys, which have found invasive species in all of Fort Custer’s lakes, the three-year project will include several different treatments to control these species. This will help determine the best long-term, cost-effective options for invasive species management in the lakes. The project also involves a public outreach and educational component to help park visitors understand their role in preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species. 

You can help by following these simple steps: 

  • Clean boats, trailers and equipment.
  • Drain live wells, bilges and all water from boats.
  • Dry boats and equipment.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.

Learn more about preventing the spread of invasive species at michigan.gov/invasives.

Help clean up Michigan’s waters

man and woman cleaning up river

Are you passionate about Michigan’s waters?

Consider joining a local public advisory council if you live near one of Michigan’s “Areas of Concern” – waterways that are recovering from historic pollution and environmental effects. Each area’s recovery is supported by a group of community members who provide local expertise and participate in volunteer activities.

In 1987, 14 Michigan sites were designated as Areas of Concern under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Since then, federal, state and local partners have restored two of the areas and are making progress on the others. Local public advisory councils are key to restoring these waters, and anyone can join.

Learn about efforts to restore these places on the Areas of Concern webpage and connect with a local group through your state coordinator.

Give us your input on state forest planning

forester preparing to mark trees for timber sale

Michigan’s 4 million acres of state forest land require a lot of careful planning to keep them healthy and thriving. That’s why the DNR finalizes plans for each forest management unit two years in advance of when any management activities – prescribed burns, timber harvests or tree thinning, for example – will take place.

This summer and fall, forest management recommendations for 2020 are being presented at open houses within those forest management units, giving people the opportunity to speak with foresters, wildlife biologists and other resource professionals. Upcoming open houses include:

  • Roscommon Forest Management Unit  Sept. 12 in Roscommon
  • Sault Ste. Marie Forest Management Unit  Sept. 18 in Naubinway and Sept. 19 in Kincheloe
  • Gwinn Forest Management Unit  Sept. 26 in Ishpeming
  • Crystal Falls Forest Management Unit  Oct. 3 in Crystal Falls
  • Shingleton Forest Management Unit  Oct. 4 in Shingleton
  • Newberry Forest Management Unit  Oct. 16 in Newberry
  • Grayling Forest Management Unit  Oct. 17 in Grayling

About a month after each forest management unit’s open house, a public compartment review meeting also will take place. That’s where the foresters will present their final decisions on management activities for that unit. Compartment review meetings coming up include:

  • Roscommon Forest Management Unit  Sept. 27 in Roscommon
  • Sault Ste. Marie Forest Management Unit  Oct. 2 in Naubinway
  • Gwinn Forest Management Unit  Oct. 17 in Ishpeming
  • Shingleton Forest Management Unit  Oct. 23 in Shingleton
  • Crystal Falls Forest Management Unit  Oct. 25 in Crystal Falls
  • Newberry Forest Management Unit  Oct. 30 in Newberry
  • Grayling Forest Management Unit – Nov. 8 in Grayling

For more information – including a link to the interactive forest map showing details of forest management activities, and the forest open house and compartment review schedules – visit the public input section of the DNR’s michigan.gov/forestry webpage.

Daffodil planting day on Detroit's Belle Isle

Help organizers reach their goal of 650,000 daffodils planted on Belle Isle – one for every Detroit resident – by taking part in a daffodil planting event Friday, Sept. 21. With volunteer support, this year the group will plant the final bulb for this project that began in 2008. 

Forest cleanup in northern Lower Peninsula

Looking for a way to make an immediate, positive impact on Michigan's natural resources? Volunteers are needed Saturday, Sept. 15, to assist with cleaning up an illegal dumpsite in the Pigeon River Country State Forest near Onaway as part of the Adopt-a-Forest program.