Note: Cover photo by Jonathan Schechter. A Brief History of Fire in Michigan Despite being best known for its abundant forest and water resources, Michigan’s natural history has also been molded by fire. Many fire-adapted ecosystems like jack pine forests, oak savannas and grasslands all rely on fire for optimal health and regeneration. Before the…

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Happy Holidays from the On the Ground (OTG) program! Although 2020 was filled with its fair share of challenges, we still had a very impactful season when it comes to wildlife habitat improvement in Michigan. Thank you to the dedicated volunteers that have helped shape OTG into the award-winning program that it is. We are…

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The On the Ground (OTG) program is already adding wildlife habitat improvement events to the 2021 calendar, and we are looking forward to returning to the field with fellow conservationists in the new year. Despite limitations early last field season due to COVID-19, the OTG program was able to end the field season with seven…

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Although 2020 has had its fair share of hardships, there is still much to be celebrated and grateful for. This is especially true for the On the Ground (OTG) program, which faced an uncertain fiscal future and limited habitat improvement hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we are now ending the year on a…

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Oak wilt is a fungal disease that is carried to oak trees by small beetles that feed on the sap produced from fresh wounds to the tree (i.e. pruning, storm damage). The spores of the fungus then move through the vascular system of the infected tree, which is responsible for transporting water throughout the tree.…

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Despite limitations early in the field season due to COVID-19, the On the Ground (OTG) program was still able to improve habitat across the state of Michigan during the 2020 fiscal year (October 2019 through September 2020). While a typical field season usually includes 20-25 habitat projects, the OTG program hosted eight in 2020. Volunteers…

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This past Saturday, the MUCC 2020 field season wrapped up with an On the Ground native tree planting near Kalkaska. It was a crisp fall day, and I am thankful that it was dry because it was a very good day to be outside planting trees. This particular project was funded in part by a…

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