DNR Get Involved: state park volunteer opportunities, input on state forests

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DNR Get Involved - August 2019

Group of park stewardship volunteers with garbage bags in field

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

State park stewardship volunteers needed in August

state park stewardship volunteers pulling knapweed

The DNR will host several volunteer stewardship workdays in August at state parks in Berrien County.

Workdays are an enjoyable way to spend time outdoors while restoring Michigan's ecosystems and learning about its inhabitants.

August stewardship workdays:

  • Saturday, Aug. 3: Grand Mere State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 10: Warren Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 17: Grand Mere State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 24: Warren Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 31: Warren Dunes State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Workday details (including meeting locations, the stewardship volunteer registration form and links to individual park maps and directions) are available on the DNR website at Michigan.gov/DNRVolunteers. Volunteers are asked to register either by using the form or by emailing freih@michigan.gov.

Open houses scheduled for review of forest management plans

skidder in the woods

Prescribed burns, timber harvests and tree thinning all are carefully planned to keep Michigan’s 4 million acres of state forests healthy and thriving.

The DNR finalizes plans for management activity in each forest management unit two years in advance. This summer and fall, recommendations for 2021 are being presented at open houses within various forest management units across the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula. 

Open houses give people the opportunity to talk to foresters, wildlife biologists and other DNR professionals regarding these plans. 

Open houses coming up during August include:

  • Cadillac Forest Management Unit: 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6 at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center, 6087 M-115, Cadillac.
  • Roscommon Forest Management Unit: 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21 at the Roscommon Field Office, 8717 N. Roscommon Road. 
  • Escanaba Forest Management Unit: 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28 at the Stephenson Field Office, West 5420 River Road, Stephenson.

See a full open house schedule

About a month after each open house, a public compartment review meeting also will take place. That’s where foresters present their final decisions on management activities. Upcoming compartment review meetings include: 

  • Atlanta Forest Management Unit: 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7 at the Tri Township Fire Department, 11700 M-32 West, Atlanta. 
  • Pigeon River Country Forest Management Unit: 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14 at the Pigeon River Headquarters, 9966 Twin Lakes Road, Vanderbilt.

See a full compartment review schedule

For more information, including a link to the interactive forest map showing details of all forest management activities, visit the public input section of the DNR’s Michigan.gov/Forestry webpage. 

Pitch in for upcoming habitat improvement projects

MUCC On the Ground volunteer group

Want to help improve fish and wildlife habitat? Michigan United Conservation Clubs’ On the Ground program, which brings together volunteers from across the state to participate in wildlife habitat improvement projects on state-managed lands, offers several upcoming volunteer opportunities:

  • Saturday, Aug. 3, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Rose Lake State Game Area in Clinton County
    Help remove invasive honeysuckle that is negatively impacting native vegetation and wildlife habitat quality. Removal will enable native vegetation to reestablish and provide habitat for wildlife. Meet at the old DNR headquarters at 8562 Stoll Road in East Lansing. Register for Rose Lake Aug. 3 workday.
  • Saturday, Aug. 17, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., in Pigeon River Country State Forest in Otsego County
    Join us to perform an oak-release project by clearing out early successional tree species that are inhibiting oak growth in the understory. These oaks are a hard mast-producing species that will benefit an abundance of wildlife once matured. Meet at Pickerel Lake State Forest Campground (GPS coordinates: 45.155874, -84.505648). Register for Pigeon River workday.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 27, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Rose Lake State Game Area in Clinton County
    A continuation of the Aug. 3 project to remove invasive honeysuckle and improve wildlife habitat within the state game area. Meet at the old DNR headquarters at 8562 Stoll Road in East Lansing. Register for Aug. 27 Rose Lake workday.
  • Friday, Sept. 6, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area in Saginaw County
    Help improve water quality and flow through the wetland by removing woody brush from along the edges of the dikes. A popular destination for a variety of hunters, this area has become overrun with woody brush that is preventing the dikes from being properly maintained. This is an important step in dike maintenance needed to continue to provide quality habitat for waterfowl and furbearing species, and the stacked woody brush will serve to further enhance habitat for a variety of wildlife species. Meet at the old DNR headquarters at 13350 S. Meridian Rd in Brant. Register for Gratiot-Saginaw workday.

For more information, please contact MUCC habitat volunteer coordinator Makhayla LaButte at mlabutte@mucc.org or 517-346-6456, or visit MUCC.org/On-the-Ground

Take 10 minutes to check your trees

August is Tree Check Month – show your trees some appreciation and check them for invasive Asian longhorned beetles and the damage their larvae leave behind.

Give feedback on state park and trail planning

Public input is an important part of the planning process for state parks, trails and boating access sites. See opportunities to provide feedback on in-progress plans.