Fish and Wildlife Habitat Volunteer Opportunities Available Statewide
LANSING—Michigan United Conservation Clubs has announced its 2013 Michigan On-the-Ground project schedule. Michigan On-the-Ground is a public-private partnership between Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to increase the state’s volunteer capacity and conservation stewardship ethic through on-the-ground fish and wildlife habitat improvement projects.
The first Michigan On-the-Ground project improved rabbit habitat – called “rabbitat” – by building brush piles at the Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area on March 11, 2013. 32 volunteers from as far away as Livonia and Grand Rapids showed up to build 43 large brush piles, providing cover for rabbits and other small game.
The next project will be July 27 at the Allegan State Game Area. Volunteers will access wetlands using canoes, flat-bottomed boats and waders to clean and repair wood duck boxes. The Allegan State Game Area contains one of Michigan’s premier managed waterfowl units, including three wildlife refuges. This project will also be part of the Michigan Waterfowl Legacy, an initiative to improve awareness and habitat for Michigan’s waterfowl and waterfowl hunting heritage.
“Hunters, anglers and trappers have long supported conservation efforts through license sales and surtaxes on equipment, but they also contribute their time and effort to physically improving habitat,” said Drew YoungeDyke, grassroots manager for Michigan United Conservation Clubs. “They say that the predator husbands its prey, and the Michigan On-the-Ground initiative is all about putting that maxim into effect and giving outdoorsmen and women opportunities to do some good work.”
The remainder of the 2013 schedule includes:
- August 10: Building rabbitat at Crane Pond State Game Area, with a follow-up youth rabbit hunt planned for winter;
- August 17: Improving Hunter Access and Clearing Invasives at Harsen’s Island State Game Area (with Harsen’s Island Waterfowl Hunters);
- September 14: Installing large woody debris to create fish habitat in the Rifle River (with Huron Pines);
- Fall 2013: Planting crabapple trees in the northern Lower Peninsula (donated by National Wild Turkey Foundation); and
- Winter 2013-2014: Building muskie structures on western Upper Peninsula inland lakes.
Additional projects may be added throughout the year. Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to contact YoungeDyke at (517) 346-6486, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1937, Michigan United Conservation Clubs is the largest state-specific conservation organization in the nation. Its mission is to unite citizens to conserve, enhance and protect Michigan’s natural resources and outdoor heritage.