On July 30, Michigan United Conservation Clubs partnered with the Genesee Conservation District (GCD) on a habitat day. GCD put on the event at a local landowner’s property and also included US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and USDA/NRCS. This event showcased what partnership conservation projects look like and how a landowner would go about doing one.
This particular landowner completed a wetland restoration project with the local Conservation District and USFWS. The shallow wetland reflects what the land historically was and by restoring it, the wetland is serving many aquatic loving species. This includes turtles, insects, marsh birds, waterfowl and many others. A representative from USFWS that help with the project in 1991 was present to talk about the process and how the project was designed to maximize its benefit.
The site also had a small woodlot that is currently enrolled in an NRCS foresty program. While visiting this portion of the property Haley, GCD’s Soil Conservation Technician, explained the cost-share programs and ways that landowners can determine forest health on their own.
One of the most unique parts of this property was that is had an example of almost every habitat type, including grasslands. Representation from Genesee Pheasants Forever was there to talk about the basics of grassland management and how the landowner could improve the fields on his property. During that time I explained how working with a wildlife cooperative is the best way to have the largest impact on grassland-using species. Pheasants, for example, need food, cover and travel corridors. They need an adequate amount of space per bird to be impacting the local population as a whole.
Overall, it was a very successful day. The conversation that was happening between landowners and professionals was constant throughout the event and is a great way to judge their interest level. Our participants were conservationists at heart and wanted to do their part!
Thank you to GCD for inviting MUCC to be a part of this day. Until next time ~