DNR News: Wildlife Habitat Grants, vintage campers, Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week

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News Digest - Week of June 3, 2019

side to front view of a vintage camper, with the canopy up and camp chairs surrounding it

Get a look at vintage campers during events at Hoffmaster, Interlochen and Port Crescent state parks.

Here's a look at some 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 in this email are available in this folder.

Tin Can Tourists events add vintage flair to state parks centennial

A woman and man stand in front of a colorful vintage camper, with other campers in the wooded background

When it comes to enjoying the great outdoors, there might be no better combo than state parks and camping. That's one reason it doesn't seem like a coincidence that this year both Michigan state parks and the Tin Can Tourists are marking their centennial anniversaries!

Leaders of the Tin Can Tourists say the organization is committed to the preservation and celebration of classic trailers and motor coaches. The original Tin Can Tourists organized in Tampa, Florida, in 1919 and would travel to Michigan to enjoy the beautiful summer weather. Today, the group welcomes all make and model vintage trailers and motor coaches and holds regional rallies throughout the U.S. and Canada. Anyone who wants to get a peek at these classic beauties can come to any of three upcoming vintage camping events:

Learn more about the Tin Can Tourists by emailing tincantourist@gmail.com. For more on the Michigan state parks centennial, visit Michigan.gov/StateParks100.

$1 million in Wildlife Habitat Grants available; apply by July 26

A fire crew staffer helps guide a prescribed burn on an open field, smoke billowing to the right

Converting farm land into pheasant and small game habitat, conducting prescribed burns to restore native grasslands, cutting and planting oak trees to restore forest land – these are just a few examples of past Wildlife Habitat Grant Program-supported projects. Those interested in securing grant dollars from this DNR program for future projects are encouraged to apply for the next round of funding. Projects to enhance game species habitat will be given priority.

“This is an exciting opportunity to partner with others in the state to increase the habitat available for game species in Michigan and to enhance the existing habitat for the benefit of hunters, trappers and wildlife viewers,” said DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason.

Local, state, federal and tribal governments, for-profit and nonprofit groups, and individuals all are welcome to apply through an open, competitive process. The minimum grant amount is $15,000. The maximum is the total funding available for the current grant cycle. This year that amount is approximately $1 million. A minimum match of 10% is required.

Launched in October 2013, the program is funded from the sale of Michigan hunting and fishing licenses. It is aimed at improving the quality and quantity of game species habitat in support of the Wildlife Division’s strategic plan.

Applications must be postmarked no later than July 26. The DNR will announce successful grant applications by Oct. 1.

For more information, review the detailed program handbook and application at Michigan.gov/DNR-Grants or contact Clay Buchanan, 517-614-0918 or Chip Kosloski, 517-284-5965.  

ICYMI: Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week is underway

A young boy in a bathing suit balances amid the rushing water at Ocqueoc Falls, greenery in the background

Easy access to lakes, rivers and streams is a big part of Michigan’s draw for people who love to fish, paddle, swim, boat or just relax on and near the water. Beyond access, though, the quality and health of our water are just as important to the people, animals and fish that depend on it.

In case you missed it, June 1 marked the start of Michigan’s “Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week” – aimed at getting more people outside to enjoy and care for our shared water resources. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer supported the effort with an official proclamation highlighting the week.

With more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline and thousands of rivers, wetlands and inland lakes, there are limitless ways to connect with the water. You could catch a fish during Free Fishing Weekend, travel a water trail, play in the sand or start a beach cleanup team. Get ideas at Michigan.gov/GreatLakesWeek.

This week and all year long, take time to celebrate your local waters by learning about them, finding new ways to enjoy them and making sustainable choices to protect them. Follow the conversation on social media with #MiGreatLakesWeek.


Get ready to run: Trivium Racing has partnered with the DNR for the centennial Michigan State Park Race Series, the perfect way to explore state parks throughout this anniversary year. 


Don't miss Michigan's "Three Free" Weekend June 8-9. It's your chance to enjoy free fishing, ORV riding and state park entry – no permits or licenses or Recreation Passport needed!


Curious about recently proposed updates to U.P. deer baiting and feeding regulations? There still are upcoming public listening sessions in June and July. More information available at Michigan.gov/CWD.

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