DNR News: 2019 deer patch, Tree City USA deadline, land auction reminder

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News Digest - Week of Dec. 17, 2018

A row of boys and girls using rope to practice lining up their archery shots

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.

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

Deer cooperator patch always a keeper; help create design for 2019

Deer patch

Since the early 1970s, the Michigan Deer Management Cooperator Patch – with a new look and design every year – has been a collector’s item for many hunters around the state. The DNR again is asking the public’s help in designing the next patch.

“We had a great response last year with over 200 submissions,” said DNR outreach assistant Emilie O’Grady. “We’re expecting this year’s contest to bring in even more creative designs.”

The DNR provides the patch as a thank-you to hunters who bring their deer to check stations during hunting seasons. At check stations, DNR staff members collect valuable data about the state’s deer population for a given season – things like the age and sex of the deer taken, locations where hunters have been successful, and an overall look at herd health.

The contest is open to everyone. Those interested in participating in this year’s contest should submit their designs by Feb. 1. Patch designs may be done in any medium, but must be hand-drawn or printed and include a maximum of seven colors.

Complete contest information and submission guidelines are available at michigan.gov/deer under Cooperator Patches.

The winner will be contacted in early March.

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

Communities, campuses and utilities invited to apply for Tree City USA designation

Tree-planting volunteers pose around a newly planted tree in Lake Odessa, Michigan

Time is running short for Michigan communities, college campuses and utilities seeking Tree City, Tree Campus or Tree Line USA designation. Interested? Apply or contact the DNR by the end of the year.

These annual programs are sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation and administered by forestry agencies in each state. Applicants must meet criteria established by the foundation, which can be found online at arborday.org/programs/.

Specifically, communities wishing to be certified as a Tree City USA must have met these standards during 2018:

  • A tree board or department responsible for public tree management.
  • A public tree ordinance.
  • A tree-care program and annual budget of at least $2 per capita.
  • An Arbor Day observance and formal proclamation.

This program began in 1976 as a bicentennial project to promote tree planting in urban areas and call attention to the economic, health and aesthetic benefits trees provide.

“Michigan has seen a steady increase in the number of communities, utilities and, most recently, college campuses being certified,” said Kevin Sayers, the DNR's urban forestry program coordinator. “Last year, 117 communities, two utilities and five campuses achieved designations.”

Michigan currently ranks ninth among all states in total number of certified communities. They range in size from the village of Richland (fewer than 1,000 residents) to the city of Detroit (nearly 700,000 residents).

Online and paper application materials for Tree City USA are available at: arborday.org/programs/treecityusa/.

Send completed paper applications to DNR, Forest Resources Division, P.O. Box 30452, Lansing, MI 48909.

Questions? Contact Kevin Sayers at 517-284-5898.

ICYMI: DNR's winter land auction under way now

a curving, wide trail through a forested area

If you're looking for a little (or large) spot to get away, maybe with woods or water, check out the DNR's winter surplus land auction, which kicked off last week. 

In case you missed it, 81 individual land parcels in Michigan – ranging in size from less than an acre to 160 acres – are available for sale by sealed-bid auction. The auction is part of the DNR's overall strategy to efficiently manage public lands while maximizing outdoor recreation opportunities. Bids will be accepted through Jan. 9.


Eager to spend more quality time outdoors over the holidays, but not sure where to start? Check out our winter activities webpage – skiing, fishing, fat-tire biking & more – and get inspired!


Since you can book your campground and harbor reservations up to six months in advance, it's time to start planning your next outdoor adventure! Explore the reservation site today.


Give the gift of your experience: Become a volunteer safety instructor and help develop the next generation of safe, responsible boaters, hunters, snowmobilers and ORV riders.

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