DNR News: Wildlife jobs, hands-on outdoors classes, rec safety certificates

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News Digest - Week of Feb. 17, 2020

A female DNR employee shows kids using binoculars where to look on a wetland area, sun reflecting off the water

Interested in working at the DNR? Explore seasonal and full-time opportunities at Michigan.gov/DNRJobs.

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 below, and others, are available in this folder.

Join the DNR's wildlife team; apply now for summer spots

A man and woman, both dressed in waders, standing knee-deep in water, hands raised, releasing banded ducks into the sky

If you or someone you know is seeking valuable experience working in wildlife conservation – or just an interesting job that gets you outdoors – consider applying for one of 70 summer positions with the DNR Wildlife Division.

The division regularly hires additional people to work with staff at DNR field offices, customer service centers and state game areas. These seasonal employees help in a variety of ways, including:

  • Assisting with wildlife habitat maintenance and improvement, which may include cutting clearings and adjusting water levels.
  • Mowing, landscaping and facility maintenance duties.
  • Handling tasks related to wildlife surveys, nuisance animal control and equipment operation and maintenance.

“These positions are perfect for college students, anyone looking to re-enter the workforce, and seniors or retirees who want to be more involved in the outdoors,” said Jennifer Schafer, DNR Wildlife Division human resources liaison.

Learn more about seasonal wildlife positions – and other openings throughout the department – at Michigan.gov/DNRJobs; scroll to the Seasonal and Temporary Positions section.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Schafer at 517-284-6163.

Traveling soon? Don't forget your recreation safety certificate

Someone's finger pointing to the "replace lost certificate" button on the DNR recreational safety webpage

Taking an out-of-state hunting trip? Planning to rent a personal watercraft (such as a Jet Ski) on spring break? Don’t forget to take along a copy of your safety certificate, demonstrating your participation in an appropriate safety program, because many states require such proof.

Misplaced your certificate? Don’t worry. If you’ve previously completed a Michigan hunter, bow, marine, ORV, snowmobile or trapper education course, simply request a duplicate safety certificate through the Michigan.gov/RecreationalSafety webpage. That page also provides information about upcoming safety courses and opportunities to get certified as a volunteer safety instructor in a variety of recreation specialties – a great way to share your love of the outdoors with a new generation.

Requests for duplicate safety certificates can take seven to 10 business days to process. These certificates cannot be emailed or faxed, and the DNR cannot share certificate numbers over the phone.

Questions? Contact the DNR Recreational Safety Section at 517-284-6000.

Hands-on classes for ice fishing, turkey hunting, bluebirds and more

Side view of an eastern bluebird perched on a weathered wood railing

March is full of outdoor-themed learning opportunities, especially for those curious about ice fishing, backyard bluebirds, snowshoes and more. Registration is now open for the following DNR Outdoor Skills Academy classes:

  • Spring Turkey Hunting Clinic, March 7 at Waterloo Recreation Area in Chelsea – This class looks at the basics of hunter safety, shotgun patterning, turkey hunting tactics, calling, decoys and blinds. Participants will get insider intel on turkey habitat in the park and help with mapping out a successful hunt. Cost is $25, which includes lunch.
  • Hard Water School (ice fishing class), March 7-8 at Mitchell State Park in Cadillac – This two-day class covers everything from how to set up equipment and how and where to fish to ice safety and rules and regulations, with a focus on panfish, walleye and pike. Cost is $25.
  • Bluebird and Nest Box Basics, March 14 at Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon – Learn to attract bluebirds with carefully maintained nest boxes. This class will cover how to discourage predators and parasites, pros and cons of different box designs, and how and where to mount them. Cost is $40 and includes lunch, a nest box kit, a book and other materials.
  • Snowshoe Tying Workshop, March 21 at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Ontonagon – This all-day workshop is dedicated to helping participants weave their own traditional wood-framed snowshoes. Cost is $200 per person, which includes one pair of wood frames, tubular nylon lacing, boot bindings and step-by-step instruction.

The Outdoor Skills Academy offers in-depth, expert instruction, gear and hands-on learning for a range of outdoor activities at locations around the state. See a full calendar of classes at Michigan.gov/OutdoorSkills.


Sign up for the Feb. 29 Haywire Grade snowmobile event in Manistique, the first of four riding events in 2020 to mark the 50th anniversary of Michigan's first rail trail. 


Back-country camping, modern lodging, mini-cabins, harbor slips and more; did you know that you can book reservations at your favorite spots up to six months in advance?


Pulling invasive plants, cleaning up dump sites, building wildlife habitat ... There are many ways to protect our state's natural and cultural resources – find your favorite today.

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