DNR News: Coyote hazing, nature/history learning, virtual meetings and more

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News Digest - Week of April 6, 2020

A young girl and boy kneeling down to explore a stream

Need some good ideas to learn about the state's outdoors and history? Explore Michigan.gov/NatureAtHome.

Some of the items in this week's news digest reflect the impact of COVID-19 and how the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is adapting to meet customers' needs. Public health and safety are our biggest priorities, and we will continue to share news and information about the safest, and sometimes new, ways to enjoy our state's natural and cultural resources in this uncertain time.

Follow our DNR COVID-19 response page for FAQs and updates on facilities and closures/cancellations and stay up to date on the latest public health guidelines and news at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

Here's a look at some of this week's stories:

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at Michigan.gov/DNRPressRoom.

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

How to haze a coyote, reduce wildlife conflicts

head and shoulders image of a coyote facing the camera, in the woods

Forests, fields, farmlands, backyards, neighborhoods and cities … coyotes can be found just about anywhere. These wily creatures may be more visible from January until March during their breeding season, and then also in the spring and summer months as they care for new pups.

Many residents have reported more frequent coyote sightings, probably due in part because coyotes can grow more comfortable living near people – particularly if there are nearby, easy-access food sources available. Smaller mammals, like mice and rabbits, are a coyote’s main source of food.

Do your part to discourage coyotes from visiting your neighborhood and reduce potential conflicts by:

  • Removing trash bins, bird feeders, pet food and other attractants.
  • Never intentionally feeding or trying to tame coyotes.
  • Fencing off gardens and fruit trees.
  • Clearing out wood and brush piles.
  • Accompanying pets (especially smaller ones) outdoors and not letting them roam free.
  • Taking advantage of a coyote’s natural fear of humans and scaring them off. Not sure how? Check out this video to learn how to properly and safely haze a coyote.

Learn more about coyotes and find additional tips on how to handle conflicts with wildlife at Michigan.gov/Wildlife or contact DNR Wildlife Division, 517-284-9453.

Learn about nature and history from home

Nature at Home website screenshot

With Michigan's school-age children now home for the rest of the school year, a lot of families are looking for educational activities and resources to fill the learning gap. DNR educators, with help from many partner organizations, pulled together an extensive list of links and materials focused on the outdoors and history that offer a variety of opportunities for at-home education and fun. These resources are available at Michigan.gov/NatureAtHome.

“DNR educators are here to share natural resources and Michigan history information and to engage students, teachers and families to explore the outdoors and our state’s heritage,” said Kevin Frailey, DNR Education Services manager. “We have already heard from teachers telling us how they’re using the resources in their online lessons with their students. This webpage is a way to keep the learning going while we’re all staying home and staying safe.”

The webpage includes:

  • Nature lesson videos, presented by DNR educators, about Michigan fish, wildlife, trees and more.
  • Easy ways to explore and engage with nature, including scavenger hunts, games and other fun family activities.
  • Virtual field trips and online tours.
  • Indoor and outdoor nature activities and lessons by grade level.
  • Suggested reading materials.
  • Natural resources photos and information to help kids learn about and identify Michigan fish, wildlife, trees and minerals.
  • Lists of free nature apps, social media pages and websites where families can find more learning tools.

More resources will be added to the page as they become available, so check back often. Questions? Contact Natalie Elkins at ElkinsN@Michigan.gov or MiProjectWild@Gmail.com or 517-290-0687.

Some April public meetings go virtual, others canceled

Smiling woman wearing glasses and headphones, in front of a laptop

Every month, the DNR holds public meetings around the state to provide Michigan residents with opportunities to share their ideas and ask questions about policy decisions, programs and other aspects of natural resources management and outdoor recreation opportunities. To help carry out Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order and further protect the health and safety of residents and staff, the DNR has changed some April meetings to teleconference or virtual meetings and canceled others.

Frequently check the DNR boards, commissions, committees and councils webpages for updates. If you need assistance connecting with a DNR program or public body not listed on that page, please contact DNR-Public-Info@Michigan.gov.


Looking for a little reading inspiration? Check out the BookAuthority's list of the 82 best nature books of all time and see where the pages take you!


Just a reminder that Michigan's 2020 fishing season started April 1; if you need to pick up a new license, visit the the DNR's new licensing website.


Here's an easy way to help! When visiting state parks, trails or boat launches, take garbage bags and "carry in, carry out" your trash when you leave. 

DNR COVID-19 RESPONSE: For details on affected DNR facilities and services, visit this webpage. Follow state actions and guidelines at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.

Census 2020 - Be Counted