Archive for the ‘dnr’ Tag

DNR announces name of new hiking and bicycling trail from Belle Isle to Ironwood

We asked and you answered – to the tune of nearly 9,000 name suggestions for Michigan’s planned, statewide hiking and bicycling trail stretching from Belle Isle Park in Detroit to Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula. The Department of Natural Resources today announced this showcase trail will officially be called Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail.

“This name effectively captures the beauty and strength of our state’s exceptional natural and cultural resources,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “Along the route from Belle Isle to Ironwood, Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail will ultimately connect communities, provide a variety of recreation opportunities, and showcase our great state to residents and visitors alike.”

Creagh said it’s important to note that while Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail is a work in progress, significant portions of the trail already exist throughout both peninsulas and are open right now for public enjoyment and exploration.

“The hard work and thoughtful vision that have for years gone into Michigan’s existing trail system and future connectors help to lay the groundwork for completion of this important cross-state trail,” Creagh said.

The DNR in September hosted a contest inviting residents and visitors to submit their best ideas to help name the trail. More than 8,800 submissions were received and then evaluated by a team representing partner organizations – the Michigan Trails Advisory Council, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Recreation and Park Association and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance – involved in the trail’s establishment.

DNR Director Creagh chose the final name based on recommendations from that committee.

The trail-naming contest ran for three weeks (Sept. 22-Oct. 13, 2014), with entries submitted via online survey, Facebook and paper entry form. Contest participants also showed their support by sending hand-drawn logo concepts, personal stories about their connections to trails and even a stack of entries from elementary students.

The DNR received hundreds of variations of the final name. To determine contest winners, three names were randomly drawn from that smaller pool of entries: Amanda Mailer (Rochester, Michigan), Matthew Husted (Jerome, Michigan) and John Meikle (Lapeer, Michigan). Each will be awarded (via drawing) one of three vacation prize packages at locations along the trail:

– The Henry Ford and Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit

– The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island

– Kaug Wudjoo Lodge at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Ontonagon

First proposed as a “showcase trail” by Gov. Rick Snyder in November 2012, Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail will stretch across Michigan and link numerous existing trails to provide both a 1,259-mile hiking route and a 774-mile bicycling route. One end of the trail lies in Michigan’s newest state park, Belle Isle Park (Wayne County); the other is more than 900 miles away in Ironwood (Gogebic County).

The Parks and Recreation Division of the DNR, as well as other partners, currently is seeking private and public funding to secure and develop trail corridors for Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail. Temporary connectors already are in place along much of the trail and will be made permanent as resources become available. For more information about the development of the trail, please contact DNR state trails coordinator Paul Yauk at 517-284-6141.

Additional segments of Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail will open throughout 2015, with ceremonial events in communities along the trail to locally mark the occasions.

Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail follows the existing North Country National Scenic Trail for most of its length in Michigan (1,085 of 1,259 miles). North Country Trail extends to the New York/Vermont border to the east and central North Dakota to the west. Spanning 4,600 miles, it is the longest National Scenic Trail in the nation.

Michigan – a national leader in designated trail miles and plentiful opportunities for hiking, bicycling, snowmobiling, kayaking and other trail pursuits – continues to cement its reputation as the nation’s Trails State. The state offers more than 12,000 miles of recreational trails total.

An extensive Michigan State Trails system provides broad public access to low-cost, healthy recreation opportunities and strengthens communities’ appeal by boosting quality-of-life amenities.

The Department of Natural Resources works each year with local communities and partners to celebrate and promote Michigan’s excellent public trail offerings during Michigan Trails Week – which this year runs Sept. 19-26, 2015. The website offers many planning tools and ideas for participating community projects.

Visit the DNR website http://www.michigan.gov/dnrtrails to sign up for email updates and to learn more about Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail and other recreation trail offerings.

As read on: http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MIDNR/bulletins/ebca61

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Safe Bowhunting Tips

Michigan’s bowhunting season opened, Oct. 1, and the Department of Natural Resources conservation officers are sharing tips for a safe bowhunting experience.

“Bowhunting is a popular pastime in Michigan and we want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable hunting season,” said Sgt. Tom Wanless, supervisor of the DNR’s hunter education program. “There are some common-sense safety tips every hunter should review before heading to the woods.”

The top safety tips for bowhunting are:

– Before you go out, inspect equipment, including your tree stand. If anything is worn, frayed, cracked or peeling, replace it or get it fixed. If using a compound bow or crossbow, make sure the cables and pulleys are in good working order.

– When sharpening broadheads, be careful and take your time.

– Practice tree-stand safety. Nearly every year, a Michigan hunter is killed or seriously injured because he or she fell out of a tree stand. The DNR recommends using a full-body safety harness to get into and out of your tree stand.

– If using a tree stand, always use a haul line to raise and lower your gear.

– Keep arrows in the quiver until you are ready to use them. A common injury is to stab or injure yourself or a hunting companion while carrying arrows in your hand or nocked on your bow.

– Obtain permission from a landowner before hunting on his or her land, or using their land to access public land.

– Never take a shot at a deer that is beyond the maximum effective range at which you are comfortable shooting.

– If you are successful, field dress your deer and cool its meat immediately. Michigan’s unpredictable weather means we sometimes have warm October days. Warm temperatures can cause the meat to spoil quickly.

– When heading out to the woods, make sure you tell someone reliable where you are going and what time to expect you back. This information is valuable in helping conservation officers or sheriff’s deputies to find you if you are lost.

– Also, think about carrying a cell phone, a compass, a flashlight and other small safety items when in the woods.

For more information about Michigan’s conservation officers, go to http://www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers. For more information about hunting in Michigan, go to http://www.michigan.gov/hunting.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to http://www.michigan.gov/dnr.

Read more at: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153–338544–rss,00.html

Enjoy Perseid meteor shower at state parks Aug. 9-16

Enjoy Perseid meteor shower at state parks Aug. 9-16

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources invites residents to grab their blankets and head to participating Michigan state parks Aug. 9-16 to enjoy one of the biggest and most visible astronomical events of the year: the Perseid meteor shower.

Some state parks in Michigan are staying open late and offering “Meteors & S’mores” events in honor of this natural light show. Many of these events feature astronomy presentations, as well as – you guessed it – s’mores. A few participating parks also will offer free movies to complement this natural light show.

Meteors & S’mores events are scheduled at the following state parks (counties). Parks with an asterisk next to the name will offer a free movie before the meteor shower:

Saturday, Aug. 9

Sunday, Aug. 10

Tuesday, Aug. 12

Wednesday, Aug. 13

  • Young State Park (Charlevoix), 10 p.m. (park baseball field across from loop 4)

Thursday, Aug. 14

Friday, Aug. 15

Saturday, Aug. 16

 

For more information about Meteors & S’mores events at Michigan state parks, please check the state park event listings at www.michigan.gov/gogetoutdoors, or contact Elissa Dennert at 989-313-0000. For specific information about a state park, please contact the park directly.

There is no charge to attend Meteors & S’mores, but a Recreation Passport is required for any vehicle entering a Michigan state park.

The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking “YES” for the $11 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, non-motorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. In addition, Recreation Passport holders can experience real savings at businesses and retailers that participate in the Passport Perks discount program.

The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($31 annual; $9 daily) at any state park or recreation area or (annual passes only) through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.

Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan’s outdoor recreation and natural resources at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport. For information on Passport Perks shopping discounts or how businesses and retailers can enroll in the program, visit www.michigan.gov/passportperks.

DNR waives fees for recreation activities during Summer Kickoff, June 7-8

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced the 2014 Summer Kickoff, with a variety of recreation activities across the state. During Summer Kickoff, fees will be waived for some of the state’s most popular outdoor activities, making it a great time to grab a fishing pole, ride an ORV or enjoy a day in the outdoors at a state park. The DNR Summer Kickoff includes:
–    June 7-8 is Free Fishing Weekend, when all fishing license fees are waived for two days. Residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing on both inland and Great Lakes waters for all species of fish. All fishing regulations still apply. Learn more at http://www.michigan.gov/freefishing.
–    June 7-8 is Free ORV Weekend, when ORV license and permit fees are waived for off-road vehicles. Anyone (resident or nonresident) may ride an ORV for free, but all ORV laws still apply. Find a trail at http://www.michigan.gov/orvtrails.
–    June 8 is free entry to all 102 Michigan state parks; no Recreation Passport required. Pack a picnic, bring some sand toys and make a day of it. This is the only day of the year when there is no vehicle entry fee for the state parks. Camping fees still apply for overnight visitors. Find a park near you at http://www.michigan.gov/stateparks.
In addition to waiving fees for recreation activities, the DNR will offer more than 50 fun outdoor programs and events throughout Michigan during Summer Kickoff, including:
–    National Trails Day – Saturday, June 7. Take a Walk in the Park with Blue Cross Blue Shield and the DNR in honor of National Trails Day. With events taking place statewide, this is a great opportunity to enjoy a scenic walk with friends, family and neighbors. All events are part of the MI Big Green Gym campaign. Learn more at http://www.mibiggreengym.org.

–    Michigan Boating Week – June 7-14. This weeklong campaign offers many opportunities to get started with boating or get back into it. Michigan Boating Week also aims to educate boaters about how to become stewards of the water. This is a partnership between the DNR, the Michigan State Waterways Commission and the Michigan Boating Industries Association. Learn more at http://www.michigan.gov/boating.
The DNR calendar lists hundreds of events throughout the summer, most of which are free with a Recreation Passport. Be sure to check out all the event listings at http://www.michigan.gov/dnrcalendar.

The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking “YES” for the $11 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at http://www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, nonmotorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($31 annual, $9 daily) at any state park or recreation area or (annual passes only) through the Michigan e-Store at http://www.michigan.gov/estore.

Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan’s outdoor recreation and natural resources at http://www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.