12-04-08: News From the DNR, Muzzleloading Hunting Tips and an Interview with Richard P. Smith

Adam’s interview with hunter/author Richard P. Smith.

Part 1…

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…and part 2.

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A muzzleloading hunting tip:

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Part 1 of Adam’s report on the DNR’s Trust Funds Board recommendations (full text from the DNR follows)…

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…and part two.

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Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board Recommends 81 Projects and Acquisitions Totaling $48.5 Million

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) Board of Trustees on Wednesday recommended to Governor Jennifer M. Granholm that 81 recreation projects and land acquisitions totaling $48.5 million be funded for 2008. The board had considered 159 applications for projects and acquisitions totaling $83.5 million, which were competitively evaluated based on scoring criteria developed by the board.

This is the largest amount the MNRTF board has recommended for grants in the history of the program.

“Michigan is blessed with natural resources and special places that should be protected and enjoyed for generations to come,” said Governor Granholm. “These recommendations represent ways that we can ensure that Michigan citizens and visitors will be able to enjoy outdoor recreation now and in the future. I am pleased that many of the recommendations are designed to increase accessibility to outdoor recreation around the state.”

The trust fund was established in 1976 to provide a source of funding for public acquisition of lands for resource protection and public outdoor recreation. The funding is derived from royalties on the sale and lease of state-owned mineral rights. In 1985, Michigan voters chose to make the MNRTF part of Michigan’s constitution, ensuring this program’s future.

“The recommendations made today by the Trust Fund board will provide important outdoor recreation opportunities for Michigan families and help protect some of the places that make Michigan a conservation leader,” said Department of Natural Resources Director Rebecca Humphries. “The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund helps enhance the quality of life in our state for citizens and visitors, making Michigan a national leader in creating prime outdoor recreation opportunities for all.”

This is the second year that some development projects were recommended to receive up to one-half of their proposed local match funding from the Recreation Access Initiative. The initiative is partnership between the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Midwest Community Foundation Ventures, the Michigan Park and Recreation Association and the DNR. The initiative is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The purpose of the initiative is to fund the development of outdoor recreation facilities that are accessible to all people of all abilities and to promote education and awareness of accessibility issues.

The initiative is comprised of $1 million granted to the DNR to award in conjunction with the MNRTF to local projects that demonstrate universal accessibility. This year, the projects selected for funding from the Recreation Access Initiative include the Chief Wawatam Park project in St. Ignace, the Oriole Park Site Development in Wyoming, the Reeds Lake Waterfront Park Development in East Grand Rapids, and the Rolling Hills Park Accessibility Enhancements in Washtenaw County.

The next step is for Governor Granholm to forward the recommendations to the Legislature for appropriation of the funds from the MNRTF. Typically, this part of the process is completed by the end of the summer following the board’s recommendations.

2008 Development Project Recommendations:

Village of Port Austin, Veterans Waterfront Park Improvements, $500,000. This project includes a new pavilion, beach volleyball courts, beach area improvements, a playground, pedestrian walkways connecting the park, downtown and marina area, a visitor center, drives and parking areas and landscaping.

DNR, Alpena to Cheboygan State Rail-Trail Surface Improvements, $500,000. This project includes surfacing improvements to over 70 miles of state rail-trail, and includes surface, grading, drainage, bridges, culverts, surface amenities and signage.

DNR, Ocqueoc Falls Trailhead and Scenic Overlook Improvements, $500,000. This project includes expansion of a parking area, improved surfacing, an observation deck, natural stone stairway to Ocqueoc River, designated picnic areas, a new well and information station at the Ocqueoc Falls Trailhead and Scenic Overlook in Presque Isle County.

DNR, Bald Mountain Shooting Range (Oakland County), $500,000. This project will develop an accessible sporting clays course, clay target and equipment storage building, renovate the current trap and skeet range and renovate the clubhouse to an accessible condition.

DNR, Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center Improvements, $500,000. This project is continued development of the MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon County. The project includes a new classroom building and new lodging facilities that are accessible and have electrical and sewer upgrades, as well as a new parking area.

City of East Grand Rapids, Reeds Lake Waterfront Park, $490,000. This project includes accessible trails, lake viewing areas, fishing piers, floating boardwalks along 2,225 feet of Reeds Lake, along with parking, historical and environmental interpretation, and habitat protection.

Bear Creek Township (Emmet County), Jones Landing Park, $487,600. This project includes a boat launch area, roads, parking lot, restroom building, pavilion, viewing deck and beach area.

City of Pontiac, Clinton River Trail Pedestrian Bridge, $485,000. This project will construct a new pedestrian bridge, approach and ramps.

City of Saginaw, Andersen Water Park Project, $480,000. This project will develop a splash pad, picnic pavilion and overlook area at the park.

Oscoda Township, Oscoda Beach Park Observation and Fishing Pier, $460,000. This development would add 175 feet of boardwalk leading across the beach to Lake Huron, to a 16-foot wide, 475-foot long fishing pier. These new structures would be added to the existing 1000-foot boardwalk system at Oscoda Beach Park.

Redford Township (Wayne County), Bell Creek Park Non-Motorized Trailway, $450,000. This project includes development of 600 feet of elevated boardwalk across a floodplain of the Bell Branch of the Rouge River, connecting two sidewalk ends. A 75-foot long bicycle/pedestrian bridge will span the river.

City of Williamston, McCormick Park Improvements, $391,100. This project includes renovations of outdoor courts, activity area, canoe/kayak launch, fishing/observation structures, landscaping and a lighted pathway.

City of Wyoming, Oriole Park Site Development, $378,900. This project will redevelop the 12.9 acre Oriole Park to include parking and access improvements, a walking trail, new basketball and tennis courts, children’s playground and splash pad, shade structure, oak habitat and landscaping and interpretative signage.

Jackson County, Sparks County Park Urban Fishing Project, $360,000. This project includes an accessible urban fishing pond and stream, picnic shelter, sidewalks, signage, benches, tables and fishing platforms.

City of Ishpeming, Iron Ore Heritage Trail, $354,800. This project includes construction of 2.2 miles of non-motorized trail from Brownstone to Winthrop Junction in the City of Ishpeming as part of the 45-mile Iron Ore Heritage Trail.

DNR, State Park Infrastructure Repairs, $350,000. This project will renovate and repair obsolete and deteriorated infrastructure at various state parks statewide.

City of Roseville, Huron Park Accessibility Upgrade, $320,800. This project includes a paved pathway, access routes to facilities, widening fence openings and restroom doorways and improving the parking lot.

Powell Township (Marquette County), Thomas Rock Scenic Overlook, $319,100. This project includes development of a scenic overlook at a natural rock outcrop providing views of Lake Superior, a natural trail, observation deck, accessible toilets, a parking lot and picnic area.

Huron Clinton Metropolitan Authority, Kensington Metropark-Milford Trail Connector, $315,000. The project would include 1.2 miles of paved trail from the Kensington Metropark loop trail to the Milford-Kensington Trail.

City of Grand Haven, East Grand River Park Improvements, $300,000. This project includes a barrier-free boardwalk with fishing piers along the Grand River, a playground and gazebo.

City of Sault Ste. Marie, Rotary Park Development, $299,700. The project includes universal accessibility improvements to an island park on the St. Mary’s River to develop scenic and natural viewing areas, a play area and fishing and kayaking opportunities.

Port Huron Township, Bakers Field Park Development, $282,200. This project will include an access drive, parking, boat launch, picnic area, shoreline protection, fishing access, paved trails, fencing, landscaping, signage and lighting at the park.

City of Portland, Portland Trail Connector Loop, $284,800. This project will develop 3,000 feet of 10-foot wide asphalt trail which would connect two existing trails and complete a loop around the city.

City of Greenville, Baldwin Lake Beach Improvements, $277,900. This project will incorporate the Fred Meijer Flat River Trail with the Baldwin Lake Beach and provide improvements to the beach facility and parking lot.

Newaygo County, Sandy Beach Park Improvement, $267,500. The project will include improvements to Sandy Beach Park on Hardy Pond that include paving the entrance and interior road, upgrading 22 campsites to full electrical hookups, add two camping cabins, a courtesy ramp at the boat launch and a day-use picnic shelter with walkway.

City of East Lansing, Hawk Nest Park Development, $262,500. This project will include a one-third mile spur of the Northern Tier Trail, a playground, picnic pavilion, accessible walkways and signage.

City of Algonac, Lions Field Park Pool House Improvements, $255,100. This project will develop a two-level pool house to provide universal accessibility to the park’s pool house and pool.

DNR, Inland Fishing Piers in State Parks and Recreation Areas, $250,000. This project will include expanding recreational fishing access to inland lakes by constructing fishing piers at Bald Mountain, Ionia, Rifle River, Waterloo and Yankee Springs state recreation areas.

DNR, Building Demolition Initiative, $250,000. This project will demolish abandoned, vacant and surplus buildings on DNR properties statewide to reclaim the sites for recreational and resource protection uses.

Delta Township (Eaton County), Sharp Park East-West Connector, $244,700. This project includes a 10-foot wide, 7,042 lineal feet bituminous paved shared use path between Creyts Road and Elmwood Road within Sharp Park, plus a connector to a senior housing facility.

Barry County, McKeown Bridge Park Development, $215,300. This project includes fishing/overlook decks, wetland boardwalks, paved walkways, a canoe launch, parking improvements, picnic and restroom facilities and natural plantings.

Marquette County, Perkins Park Improvements, $198,400. This project includes universally accessible improvements, such as a new park entrance building, campsite redevelopment, trails, universal access to Lake Independence and native landscaping.

Crystal Falls Township (Iron County), Gibson Lake Park Improvements, $179,500. This project includes accessibility improvements to Gibson Lake, such a fishing pier and beach access, restroom/changing facility, pavilion, site improvements, campsites and an accessible trail.

City of Niles, Riverfront and Plym Park Trail Development, $170,500. This project will include development of a 1.79 mile extension of an existing trail within Riverfront Park northward to Plym Park and southward to the city limits.

City of Iron Mountain, Millie Mine Bat Viewing Site Trail, $158,400. This project includes a scenic overlook, trail construction, road and parking lot, fence, site restoration, lighting and signage for the Millie Mine Bat Viewing Trail.

City of Wakefield, Sunday Lake Trail and Eddy Park Improvements, $147,700. This project will develop a trail around Sunday Lake from downtown Wakefield to Eddy Park. It will include upgrade to a picnic area, restrooms and new playground equipment.

City of St. Ignace, Chief Wawatam Park Development, $134,000. This project will improve universal accessibility by developing a walkway, fishing dock, children’s educational areas, interpretative signage, picnic facilities, aesthetic fencing, landscaping and sprinklers.

City of Tawas City, Gateway Park Renovation, $134,000. This project will develop a 300-foot fishing pier along the Tawas River between US-23 and Tawas Bay.

City of Ludington, Streams Park Breakwall Improvements, $125,300. This project will build an accessible pathway over a new breakwall on Lake Michigan.

City of Gladstone, Van Cleve Park Harbor Point Revitalization, $100,000. This project will revitalize Van Cleve Park and includes restrooms, a fish cleaning station, a façade lighthouse, walkways, paved parking, shoreline protection and landscaping.

Washtenaw County, Rolling Hills Park Accessibility Enhancements, $96,000. This project will provide universal accessible amenities to include playground equipment, picnic pavilion, observation treehouse, fishing dock, a pier at a three-acre pond, signage and trail improvements.

Ingham County, Burchfield Park Fishing Dock, $60,000. This project includes a 10-foot wide, 550-foot long fishing dock and pathway. It will also serve as a boardwalk.

City of Ironwood, Hiawatha Rotary Skate Park, $46,300. This project will construct a 100 by 100 foot skate park.

Calumet Township (Houghton County), Lions Club Park Nature Trail, $20,400. This project will develop a half-mile nature trail around the north end of Calumet Lake.

2008 Acquisition Project Recommendations:

DNR, Southeast Lower Peninsula Eco-Regional Consolidation, $4 million. This project will acquire various properties within the southeast eco-region of the state.

DNR, Wolf Creek Corridor and Flooding Complex Acquisition, $3.3 million. This project will acquire 1,635 acres of land within the Au Sable State Forest in Roscommon County, which includes 3.5 miles of Wolf Creek and the West Branch of Wolf Creek frontage, 200-acre flooding, 400 acres of winter deeryard and 1,100 acres of wetlands.

Acme Township (Grand Traverse County), Acme Waterfront Park Acquisition, $3,006,200. This three-phase acquisition involves the purchase of 11.5 acres and 2,000 feet of lake frontage as an addition to Bayside Park, along the east arm of Grand Traverse Bay. Recreational opportunities will include fishing, wildlife viewing, picnicking and swimming.

DNR, Superior Forest Partnership Project – Phase I, $3 million. This project will acquire a working forest conservation easement on approximately 14,560 acres of forestland in northern Marquette County. This funding will be part of a project that ultimately will acquire the easement on 25,000 acres of working forest.

DNR, Waterloo Recreation Land Initiative, $2.5 million. This project will acquire approximately 617 acres of critical lands within the Waterloo State Recreation Area in Washtenaw and Jackson counties.

Monroe County, Academy Preserve Acquisition, $2,192,500. This project will acquire approximately 128 acres of open space in the City of Monroe with a portion of Frenchtown Township. The site includes an oak savannah, oak-hickory forest, lowland forest, farmland and a forested island in the River Raisin.

Ingham County, Lake Lansing Park North Expansion, $1,982,200. This project will acquire 75 acres of forest and 45 acres of wetlands to expand Lake Lansing Park North.

West Bloomfield Township (Oakland County), Michigan Air-Line Railway Acquisition, $1,452,500. This project will acquire approximately 17 acres, or 2.5 miles, of railway corridor that connects the existing West Bloomfield trail to Arrowhead Road.

Scio Township (Washtenaw County), Sloan Property Parkland Acquisition, $1,405,000. This project will acquire 67 acres of parkland with 3,740 feet of frontage on Mill Creek, a tributary of the Huron River, to be used for nature study, environmental education and active recreation.

Cascade Township (Kent County), Cascade Natural Park Acquisition, $1.2 million. This project will acquire 197 acres of undeveloped land with an unnamed tributary to the Grand River, mature beech and maple forest, and open field and grassland areas. The property contains habitat for the Eastern Box Turtle, a species of special concern in Michigan.
Village of Elberta, South Elberta Dunes Natural Area Acquisition, $1,158,800. This project will acquire 58 acres with critical dunes and 1,425 feet of Lake Michigan frontage to be used for hiking, surf-fishing, wildlife viewing and cross-country skiing.

DNR, Mitchell Creek Land Acquisition, $1 million. This project will acquire 28.79 acres of land adjacent to Traverse City State Park and provide recreation and fishing access to Mitchell Creek.

DNR, Pigeon River Country Acquisition Initiative, $1 million. This initiative will acquire various properties within the Pigeon River Country State Forest, as well as parcels to create a habitat buffer to the forest.

DNR, Northern Lower Peninsula Eco-Regional Land Consolidation, $1 million. This project will acquire various parcels within the northern lower eco-region of the state that will improve DNR ownership by eliminating in-holdings within state project areas.

DNR, Grand River Edges Rail-Trail Acquisition, $850,000. This project would acquire .85 miles of inactive railroad corridor along the Grand River in the City of Grand Rapids, which will connect the city to the State Trail Network and over 200 miles of state rail-trail.

City of Lansing, Hunter’s Ridge Land Acquisition, $785,300. This project will acquire 28.47 acres of land with 500 feet of frontage on the Grand River.

Grant Township (Keweenaw County), Hunter’s Point Park Phase II, $720,000. This second phase will add 122 acres to Hunter’s Point Park with 830 feet of frontage on Lake Superior and 1,900 feet of frontage on Copper Harbor. This parcel is adjacent to property previously purchased by the trust fund.

Emmet County, Emmet County/Maple River Acquisition, $675,000. This project will acquire 128 acres and approximately 4,500 feet of undeveloped river frontage along the West Branch of the Maple River.

Casco Township (Allegan County), Casco Township Nature Preserve Phase II, $668,800. This project will acquire 8.62 acres of property for the township’s nature preserve.

DNR, Manistee River Deeryard and Bog, $600,000. This project will acquire 280 acres of land in Wexford County surrounded by the Pere Marquette State Forest, including 1,000 feet of Manistee River frontage and 1,000 feet of frontage on a tributary of Fife Lake Creek and a 90-acre bog complex.

City of Flint, Grand Traverse Greenway Property Acquisition, $525,000. This project will acquire abandoned rail corridor for the development of a three-mile regional trail extension that will connect to Riverbank Park in downtown Flint and the 12.5 mile Flint River Trail. The total area of the corridor is 36.76 acres.

DNR, Southwest Lower Peninsula Eco-Regional Consolidation, $500,000. This project will acquire various properties within the southwest eco-region of the state to improve DNR ownership by eliminating in-holdings within state project areas.

DNR, Mitchell State Park Bear Marsh Acquisition, $500,000. This project will acquire 293 acres of wetlands/upland wild area that adjoins the north edge of Mitchell State Park in Wexford County.

DNR, Upper Peninsula Eco-Regional Land Consolidation, $500,000. This project will acquire various properties within the Upper Peninsula eco-region of the state to improve DNR ownership by eliminating in-holdings within state project areas.

Almira Township (Benzie County), Ann Lakefront Park Acquisition, $478,100. This project will acquire 1.65 acres of property, including 175 feet of frontage on Ann Lake for a public park and swimming beach.

City of East Lansing, White Park Expansion, $429,000. This project will acquire 2.93 acres adjacent to White Park to expand the park, eliminate a private property in-holding, and provide a location for a trailhead/park entry plaza and additional connections to the pedestrian/bicycle trail system.

Muskegon County, Meinert County Park Property Acquisition, $428,300. This project will acquire 95.17 acres of critical dunes, woodlands, wetlands and small inland ponds near Lake Michigan and adjacent to Meinert County Park.

City of Dowagiac, Youth Sports Park Acquisition, $100,000. This project will acquire 17.83 acres, including five existing baseball fields, ADA restrooms/concessions/parking area for use as an active sports field complex.

Silver Creek Township (Cass County), Silver Creek Area Youth Sports Park, $100,000. This project will acquire 18 acres for development of youth soccer and football facilities, a picnic pavilion, roadway and parking, and a Sister Lakes to Dowagiac bike path.

City of Petoskey, Skyline Trail Acquisition, $99,000. This project will acquire 65 acres of land to link together over 800 acres of city and State of Michigan lands to provide a route for a new trail section of the national North Country Trail.

City of Kentwood, North Stanaback Park Acquisition, $85,000. This project will acquire 17.3 acres of natural, wooded and preserved area with ravines adjacent to Stanaback Park.

Sanilac County, Evergreen Park Addition, $79,600. This project will acquire 26.5 acres contiguous to the existing 86-acre Evergreen Park to provide nature trails, a pond area, wildlife viewing opportunities and relocation of 43 campsites now in a floodplain.

St. Joseph County, Cade Lake County Park Expansion, $79,500. This project will purchase 40 acres with 250 feet of frontage on Cade Lake containing woodlands and wetlands contiguous to the existing 52-acre county park for natural resources-based recreation.

City of East Lansing, White Park Expansion #2, $68,500. This project will acquire 1.75 acres adjacent to White Park to provide future pedestrian access to the park from the north.

City of Bangor, Veterans Park and Kiwanis Park Additions, $37,800. This project will acquire 4.3 acres to add a trail connecting Veterans Park and Kiwanis Park, and providing scenic viewing opportunities.

Republic Township (Marquette County), Republic Iron Ore Heritage Trailhead, $32,300. This project will acquire .1 acres to serve as a trailhead facility for the Iron Ore Heritage Trail.

City of Houghton, East Houghton Greenspace Property, $22,000. This project will acquire .77 acres for a neighborhood greenspace park.

Bluegrass Cut of the Day: Rob Ickes – Can’t Find My Way Home
Flyin’ Blind Song of the Day: Linda Rhea – That’s Just Me Gettin’ Over You
Outlaw Country Cut of the Day: Tennessee Earnie Ford – 16 Tons

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