I have to thank a friend of Maine’s outdoors for sharing this story. Ed Meadows served for a time as Commissioner of Maine’s Department of Conservation before moving to Michigan where he served as the Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which includes fish and wildlife programs. Ed’s back in Maine and has been sharing news of Michigan’s hunting and fishing programs and initiatives on a regular basis, and I have to say that they are very impressive.
One that recently drew my interest is Michigan’s Deer Private Land Assistance Network (Deer PLAN). In the most recent round of grants, $50,000 was available to support deer habitat improvement projects on private land.
“The focus area concentrates habitat projects in a region to provide greater benefits to deer hunters in areas where Deer PLAN funding results in immediate, on-the-ground efforts to improve deer habitat. Funds will be given across these six counties based on a competitive grant application scoring process,” the agency reported in its announcement.
Two new criteria were added to the program this year, for additional points toward a final score:
- Form or join a cooperative, or create partnerships with neighbors. This includes having at least two properties with at least 150 acres combined in the application.
- Deer management: harvesting deer, especially antlerless, having deer tested for bovine tuberculosis, and completing a deer camp survey on the applicant’s property.
“The new changes will encourage more partnerships and increase the amount of habitat work in the area,” said DNR wildlife biologist Shelby Hiestand. “The deer management criteria will help to decrease the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis, which is a top priority for this area of the state.”
Might be a great idea for Maine!
PHOTO: My Dad, Ezra Smith, with one of his big bucks.