by Anna Mitterling, Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator, MUCC
To say that the past 12 months went by quickly, would be an extreme understatement. The past year, my first year in this new role, has been one of the most rewarding, exhausting, and overall wonderful years. On top of the excitement of this new role, my husband and I also purchased a home on 12 acres and enjoyed the challenges and benefits of managing the habitat and hunting in our own backyard.
In the first year of Michigan Wildlife Cooperatives, we watched three pheasant cooperatives start, and are in conversations with other groups to start up seven more cooperatives in the next year or two. In addition, at least seven deer cooperatives started this year! I am honored to be part of the start of these groups, and the continued growth of the other wildlife cooperatives here in Michigan – over 90 wildlife cooperatives statewide.
While working with cooperative leaders to start up cooperatives, I also traveled the state attending Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) branch habitat days, QDMA and Pheasants Forever (PF) banquets, many cooperative meetings, Conservation Reserve Program and Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative (MPRI) promotion events, cooperative leader workshops, the Deer Rendezvous, (with a date for our first Pheasant Rendezvous coming up on February 6), MPRI Coalition meeting, and many other great events.
The best part of my job is working with all of you – cooperative leaders, interested landowners, QDMA staff and members, PF staff and members, DNR staff, Farm Bill Biologists, and the list goes on. The passion, excitement, and commitment to bettering our habitat, hunting, and wildlife inspires me to step up my game, and do all I can to support your efforts. The potential in what we can all accomplish working together has barely been touched. By working together, I know we can make Michigan one of the best places around to hunt. Here’s to 2015!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!
Yours in Conservation,