1/6/09: Natural Resources Commission Meeting, Elk Hunt and More

Five-Day Elk Hunt to be Held Jan. 14-18

The Department of Natural Resources today announced a five-day elk hunt to be held Jan. 14-18.

The DNR’s management goal is a winter herd of approximately 800 to 900 elk in Montmorency, Cheboygan, Presque Isle and Otsego counties. Although elk numbers are close to that level, the herd has expanded outside the traditional four-county elk range and the animals are often found in Alpena, Alcona, Emmet, Charlevoix and Oscoda counties.

“The January hunt is designed to address an increasing elk presence outside the traditional four-county elk range,” said Tim Reis, Northeast Wildlife Management Unit supervisor. “We need to manage the distribution of elk in the outlying areas.”

Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason said the January hunt is the best way to address the issue.

“Hunting has been an effective management tool in maintaining both the elk population and distribution of elk in Michigan,” Mason said. “These special seasons are instrumental in managing elk outside the traditional elk range.”

This is only the third time since elk hunting began 25 years ago that a January hunt will be held. All hunters that applied for the regular elk season, and were not drawn, were eligible. An additional 40 hunters have been selected for the January hunt. All selected hunters have been notified by the department.

Natural Resources Commission to Meet Jan. 8 in Lansing

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission will meet on Thursday, Jan. 8, in the Lansing Center located at 333 E. Michigan Ave. in Lansing.

Prior to the regular business meeting, the NRC Crossbow Discussion Group will meet at 10:30 a.m. in Room 202 to discuss current crossbow rules and regulations in Michigan and to explore if there is a need to change the regulations. The group will discuss options to present to the NRC Committee of the Whole at a future meeting.

At 12:45 p.m., the NRC Policy Committee on Technology, Information, Marketing and Education will meet in Room 202 to get an overview of the Office of Communications and a presentation on recruitment efforts for nontraditional and new users.

The NRC Policy Committee on Wildlife and Fisheries will meet at 1:45 p.m. in Room 202. The committee will receive updates on viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS), bovine tuberculosis and chronic wasting disease surveillance, deer and elk season, proposed new taxidermy regulations, technical amendments to the rehabilitation regulations, and finalization of the 2009 wildlife and fisheries calendars.

At 3 p.m., the NRC Committee of the Whole will convene in Room 201. The committee will receive an update on 2008-2009 state park events, receive a legislative report and the 2009 bear cooperator patch will be presented. Public appearances before the commission will begin at 4:30 p.m. Persons who want to speak to the commission during public appearances, should contact Teresa Gloden, executive assistant to the NRC, at 517-373-2352, by email at glodent@michigan.gov or at the meeting site. At 5 p.m. there will be a presentation of a Partner in Conservation Award to the Lansing Motorcycle Club.

Among the action items for DNR Director Rebecca Humphries at the January meeting are proposed oil and gas leases in Mason County and authorizing several land transactions. The NRC has an action item to make a technical amendment to recently approved regulations for wildlife rehabilitators.

More information about the NRC, including agendas and past meeting minutes, are posted on the DNR’s Web site at www.michigan.gov/nrc.

Fayette Historic State Park Offers Winter Nighttime Fun on Jan. 31

The Department of Natural Resources today announced that Fayette Historic State Park will host its third annual “GO-Get Outdoors” winter activity event on Saturday, Jan. 31, from 6 to 8 p.m.

“This is a great chance to get out and experience Fayette in a whole new ‘light,’ whether you choose skis, snowshoes or your mukluks – all are welcome,” said DNR Park Supervisor Randy Brown. “The Bluff Trail will be groomed and track-set for the traditional cross-country skier, as well as hard-packed for the walker or snowshoe user.”

The event includes old fashioned, kerosene lantern-lit, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking around the unique Bluff Trail, with hot chocolate and marshmallows around a crackling campfire. Visitors are asked to park in the plowed area behind the contact station. From there, a friendly fire will mark your starting point.

Make the experience truly unique by renting the Furnace Hill Lodge for this, or any, winter weekend. This modern, heated lodge is fully furnished, and sleeps 10. The lodge is available for rent Sunday through Thursday at $100 per night; Friday and Saturday at $125 per night. To reserve the Lodge, call the park at 906-644-2603.

Fayette Historic State Park is located at 13700 13.25 Lane in Garden in Delta County. For more information about this event, the park, accessibility, or persons needing accommodations to attend this event, contact the park supervisor at 906-644-2603 (or TTY/TDD711 Michigan Relay Center for the hearing impaired) at least seven days prior to the weekend, or visit the web site at www.michigan.gov/fayette.

Campsite reservations can be made on-line at www.midnrreservations.com or by calling 800-447-2757.

All motor vehicles entering a state park or recreation area must display a Motor Vehicle Permit, available for purchase at the entrance. Cost is $24 for resident annual and $6 for resident daily. A non-resident annual is $29 and a non-resident daily is $8.

Volunteer Hosts Needed at Michigan State Parks and State Forest Campgrounds

The Department of Natural Resources is offering free camping this summer for outdoor lovers who volunteer as campground hosts at Michigan state parks or state forest campgrounds. The Campground Host Program, established by the Department of Natural Resources, allows individuals to camp in a state park or state forest campground at no charge in return for providing visitor assistance in the campground.

“Being a campground host combines the fun of camping, with the satisfaction of helping fellow campers,” said Ron Olson, DNR Parks and Recreation Division chief. “Hosts stay as our guests and, in return, help welcome other campers to our beautiful state parks, recreation areas and state forest campgrounds.”

Hosts direct visitors to their campsites, answer questions about the park or state forest, arrange campground activities and perform light maintenance and other services, depending on the host’s talents and interests. Retired couples, teachers and students, as well as families, are just some of the people who have enjoyed volunteering as campground hosts.

Campground hosts can be individuals or teams. Hosts must be at least 18 years old, provide services five days/30 hours per week (including weekends and holidays), serve a minimum of four consecutive weeks and furnish their own camping unit, equipment and personal items. State park hosts must attend a training session on May 6-7 at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon. This training is not required of state forest campground hosts.

Campground hosts are chosen by park and forest managers who may require an interview or request additional information. Selection is based on the individual’s familiarity with the state park or state forest system, their camping experience, special skills, availability, knowledge of the area and the needs of the specific park or forest campground.

Hosts especially are needed during the busy camping season, which can begin as early as April in state parks located in southern Michigan. Many of last year’s campground hosts will be returning this year; however, vacancies still exist at park and forest campground locations throughout Michigan.

Many rustic campgrounds found throughout Michigan’s six state forests located in the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula are also in need of hosts. Information and applications are available from the DNR’s Web site at: www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers. Persons interested in being a campground host at a state park should apply directly to the park of their choice. For more information on campground host positions in state parks and recreation areas, contact Maia Stephens at 517-373-8378. Individuals interested in serving as a state forest campground host should contact Ada Takacs at 989-275-5151 ext. 2049.

Upper Peninsula Citizen Advisory Council to Meet Jan. 15 in Powers

The Western Upper Peninsula Citizen Advisory Council (CAC) will meet from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Central Time Thursday, Jan. 15,  at the North Central Jr./Sr. High School , located at W3795 US 2 & 41, Powers.   The council will meet in the cafeteria.

Topics slated for discussion include:
-U.P. Non-industrial Landowner Resources
-Crossbow Discussion
-2008 Deer Season

The CACs were formed to give U.P. citizens more input into Department of Natural Resources regional programs and policies. The councils, both an Eastern U.P. and Western U.P. one, have a wide array of outdoor recreation interests represented and help us identify where the DNR can be more effective.

CAC meetings are open to the public. For more information, contact Stacy Welling at 906-228-6561.

Adam takes calls as listeners try to figure out the common thread of all of the songs during the 4:00 hour. James is completely wrong and emotionally crushed.

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