Michigan is focused on fish and wildlife

Michigan sponsors lots of fish and wildlife projects that would be good to have in Maine.

For example, they just awarded $100,000 in 11 grants for deer habitat improvements on private land. The Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Initiative is a competitive grant program designed to enhance deer habitat on non-state lands in the Upper Peninsula. Now in its ninth year, the initiative is supported by the state’s Deer Range Improvement Program, which is funded by a portion of deer hunting license revenue.

Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources recently announced the availability of Michigan’s Terrestrial Invasive Species State Management Plan, a comprehensive strategy to prevent and control land-based invasive plants, animals, insects and tree diseases and to reduce their environmental and economic effects. The plan also provides a roadmap for coordinating those efforts at the federal, state and local level.

Fourteen habitat restoration projects totaling more than $2 million will be funded this year by several Michigan Department of Natural Resources grant programs in 2018. Nonprofit organizations, government agencies and private citizens submitted a total of 41 applications requesting more than $7.72 million in funding to complete priority habitat projects in their areas. These projects were submitted, evaluated and awarded through three grant processes.

The Aquatic Habitat Grant Program seeks to protect and restore fish and aquatic habitats; the Dam Management Grant Program focuses on dam removal, maintenance and repair; and the Habitat Improvement Account provides funding for habitat projects in the Manistee, Muskegon and Au Sable rivers’ watersheds.

“These projects continue our investment in habitats to sustain healthy fisheries for generations to come,” said Joe Nohner, a DNR fisheries biologist. “We’re excited to award these grants and work with the recipients to improve upon Michigan’s already world-class fisheries.”

Great news from and for Michigan. And perhaps some good ideas for Maine’s new Governor in 2018.