Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan officials are taking feedback on a long-term plan for managing Lake Michigan fish populations and future stocking activities. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is hosting the last of three public meetings on the topics Thursday in Grand Haven. Others were held this week in Manistique and Traverse City. 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteers to serve as campground hosts in state parks, recreation areas and rustic state forest sites. Hosts can stay in the campgrounds free of charge. In exchange, they perform 30 hours of service per week. 

Among their duties are helping campers find their sites, answering camper questions, planning activities and light maintenance chores. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and provide their own camping equipment, food and personal items. Volunteer assignments begin as early as April and last through October.

DNR: Forget shopping, get outdoors this Black Friday

Nov 24, 2017

If fighting the Black Friday shopping crowds isn't your thing, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources encourages you to hit the trail. The state is celebrating the day after Thanksgiving by waiving the usual Recreation Passport fee required for vehicle entry to state parks, trails and boating access sites. It's part of a nationwide initiative called #OptOutside that encourages spending at least part of Black Friday outdoors. 

State DNR to auction surplus public land in Michigan

Nov 24, 2017

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is hoping to sell surplus public land to help provide future outdoor recreation opportunities in the state. A sealed-bid auction will be held between Dec. 12 and Jan. 10, 2018. Property listings will not be available for bid until Dec. 12. 

The auction features 80 parcels primarily in the central and northern Lower Peninsula and in the Upper Peninsula. They range in size from an acre to 146 acres.


State Attorney General Bill Schuette says the Legislature cannot fund projects from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund that have not been recommended by the fund.

In an opinion released Monday and dated Nov. 3, Schuette also says lawmakers lack the authority to require the fund to spend a mandated amount of development funds on a specific type of development.

The opinion was issued in response to questions from a state senator and the director of the state Department of Natural Resources.

An elk is replacing the common loon on Michigan wildlife license plates.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the change starts Dec. 1 and will help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the reintroduction of elk to the state. Nov. 30 is the last day to buy common loon plates. Funds from the sale of elk license plates will continue to help wildlife management.

Pexels | CC BY 2.0 / Pexels.com

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is looking for private companies to operate concession areas at state parks and other locations. Parks chief Ron Olson says the possibilities range from food service to renting boats or bikes and operating campground stores.

Concessionaires can enter into a contract lasting up to seven years. Those interested in submitting bids are expected to have prior business experience and adequate cash to fund the concession of their choice.

Wildlife biologists are stepping up efforts in southern Michigan to monitor ospreys. The birds of prey had all but disappeared from the area because of pesticide pollution but are coming back. Four osprey chicks were fitted this year with "backpack" GPS units enabling scientists to track the birds' movements and seasonal migration patterns. 

If you're a hunter who shoots deer or related animals in other states, be advised that there are new rules about bringing their parts into Michigan. The tougher regulations are intended to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease among Michigan's deer, elk and moose. The illness attacks the central nervous system of animals in the deer family and can eventually kill them. Nine free-ranging deer in Michigan have tested positive since April 2015.

Grants available to support urban forestry projects

Aug 15, 2017
Pine trees at the Ottawa National Forest in Michigan.
Joseph O'Brien | Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / USDA Forest Service

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is taking applications for grants supporting tree plantings and other activities that boost urban and community forest growth. Officials say up to $90,000 in federal funds is available for projects around the state. Applicants can seek up to $20,000, depending on the project type. All grants require a one-to-one match of funds. They can be cash contributions or services.