DNR News: #100in100 forest challenge, The Tick App, Father's Day fishing

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News Digest - Week of June 15, 2020

A scenic view at Black River State Forest Campground

Join the #100in100 cleanup challenge and help keep your favorite forests healthy and beautiful.

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.

Follow our COVID-19 response page for FAQs and updates on facilities and reopening dates. For the latest public health guidelines and news, visit 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 in this email, and others, are available in this folder.

Enjoy, or start, a Father’s Day weekend fishing tradition

Brad Utrup, who works in the DNR Fisheries Division's Research Section, shows off a fish he and his young sons caught

Cast a line. Wait for a nibble. Reel in a keeper, especially your first fish. It’s a scenario played out across the state, year after year. If you’re looking for a great Father’s Day gift for your dad, grandpa or maybe that family friend who’s always there with the perfect fatherly advice, how about a day on the water? Better yet, if you are that dad, tell your family you want to go fishing!

Where to go? With so many world-class fishing opportunities, choosing where to fish may be your toughest decision. Michigan is home to more than 11,000 lakes, tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams, more freshwater shoreline than any other state in the nation and 3,000 miles of water trails.

If you’re new to fishing, the DNR offers many online tools to help you find fabulous fishing spots close to home, plus a lot of easy-to-follow tutorials to get you started. If your plans include a visit to one of Michigan’s 100-plus state parks, take your gear – many locations offer excellent places to fish. (Right now, you don’t need a Recreation Passport for vehicle entry at state parks.) Get more ideas on where to fish and other useful tips and information at Michigan.gov/Fishing.

No matter where or when you fish this Father’s Day weekend, be safe (keep 6 feet apart from people outside your household), have fun and, most of all, make some memories. Download the 2020 Fishing Guide at Michigan.gov/DNRDigests and purchase your license online at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses.

Questions? Contact Suzanne Stone at 517-599-7987.

Join the #100in100 forest cleanup challenge

Two men and a woman clean up dumped trash and debris from state forest land in Grand Traverse County, Michigan

It is well known that regularly spending time in the woods does a body good. A strengthened immune system, reduced blood pressure, increased energy, boosted moods and greater focus – all thanks to trees. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to say thanks? This summer, you can.

Now through Sept. 22, the DNR challenges nature lovers to spend some quality time among the trees and clean up 100 state forest sites in 100 days. It’s all part of celebrating 100 years of the National Association of State Foresters and that group’s work to ensure thriving forests for generations to come.

This cleanup effort is hosted by Michigan’s Adopt-a-Forest program, which tracks sites on public land where trash has been dumped and connects with volunteers to help restore the land. An interactive map shows the locations and type of trash that needs to be cleaned up at more than 600 known sites. If a site has a large amount of debris or items that require special disposal, volunteers can request the assistance of program managers who will coordinate placement of appropriate trash bins.

How to join in:

  1. Visit CleanForests.org to find a dump site, learn about cleanup safety and sign the volunteer waiver.
  2. Gather your crew, get started and do some good!
  3. When you’re done, report the site as clean and spread the word on social media with #trashtag and #100in100 forest cleanup challenge to inspire others.

Contact Conor Haenni with questions and for assistance in coordinating a cleanup.

When getting together for a cleanup, be sure to follow guidance from health experts and practice social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19. It's also important to be on guard for ticks in the forest, so check out the next story for some helpful information.

Questions? Contact Conor Haenni at 989-429-5542.

Help track valuable tick data with mobile health app

close-up view of blacklegged tick, photo courtesy of James Gathany, Centers for Disease Control

Why is it that some people seem to come into contact with ticks more often than others? How can I avoid ticks? Can the tick that has attached to me transmit Lyme disease? With the goal of helping people get answers to questions like these and developing better strategies to prevent tick bites and tick-borne diseases, a team from the University of Wisconsin, Columbia University and Michigan State University created The Tick App – a mobile health app that both provides tips on how to avoid ticks and invites users to share information about their own tick exposure.

Coordinators are hoping people who spend time outdoors will use the app throughout June to share details (and photos) about ticks they see, where they were and what types of activities they were doing. Besides being a handy resource for outdoor lovers, The Tick App also gives people 18 and older the chance to help shape a research study through true citizen science and the contribution of daily “tick log” posts.

Download The Tick App here or through GooglePlay and/or iTunes. You can also participate through the desktop version.

Questions? Send an email to TickApp@Wisc.edu or contact Jean Tsao, an associate professor in the Departments of Fisheries & Wildlife and Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University, at Tsao@MSU.edu.


State-managed trails (including ORV trails and nonmotorized trails for hiking and biking) are open, but some previously postponed maintenance work is now underway. Enjoy the trails, but be alert and put safety first!


Did you know that every time you buy a hunting or fishing license you're supporting conservation and fish and wildlife habitat? Learn more about your license dollars at work and see details about some of our priorities statewide.


How have you changed the way you work, how you interact with people, what you do and where you go? For the first phase of its COVID-19 collecting initiative, the Michigan History Center welcomes your photos, videos and audio files.

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