July 2023 NRC Recap

July NRC Recap

It was a short Natural Resources Commission Meeting with no items for information or action in front of commissioners. 

Attendees learned what to expect for the rest of 2023 at commission meetings. NRC Chair Tom Baird laid out an outline for the commission over the next few months and what topics to expect on the agenda.

Baird doubled down on his commitment that the NRC is not done talking about deer management in the state and internally the commission and department is working on 2024-2025 deer regs already. 

He also spoke about a desire to modify nuisance beaver control, to protect vulnerable cold-water habitats. A draft policy is expected this fall.

It was announced that a decision tree is being worked on to help the NRC and DNR with processes when or if wolves become delisted again. The plan is to announce the decision tree at the October meeting in Escanaba, Baird said.

Baird said the idea is for the department to continue wolf research and a future commission to have a decision-making system in place.. This could prevent years of inaction with the commission and the department having relevant scientific data. 

“If and when wolves are removed from the endangered species list we can make some informed decisions on the next steps,” he said. “We also agreed there would be a review of the data needed for collection and maintenance to populate that decision tree.”

Acting Department of Natural Resources Director Shannon Lott had three orders up for action:

  • Land Use Order of the Director #2 of 2023 prohibits target shooting at the Cornish State Game Area, Dr. Gordon Guyer Augusta Creek State Wildlife Area, and Three Rivers State Game Area. 
  • Land Use Order of the Director #3 of 2023 proposes a series of changes to parks and recreation division lands.The Board of Geographic Names voted to replace a number of offensive site names with new names identified by the board. The names can be found in Orders 2.105(aa), 2.106(w), 2.108(v) and 5.19(t)(v).
  • Land Use Order of the Director #4 of 2023 makes the Belle Isle alcohol prohibition consistent with other Parks and Recreation Division facilities. 

Director Lott indicated her intention to sign all three orders.

There were six land transactions on the agenda. MUCC reviews land transactions that exceed 80 acres, of which there were two:

  • Land Transaction Case #20220205 is a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) acquisition of 404 acres in Otsego County that will be managed as part of the Pigeon River Country State Forest. 
  • Land Transaction Case #20220237 is an acquisition of 107.5 acres that will be managed as part of the Shiawassee State Game Area. 

The August meeting is scheduled for August 10, at the Grand Valley State University Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences.

To ensure our natural resources remain protected and managed thoughtfully and our outdoor heritage defended, join Michigan United Conservation Clubs today: http://bit.ly/JoinMUCC.  

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