MUCC Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator: Anna MitterlingPartnership Between DNR, Pheasants Forever, QDMA, MUCC to Improve Private Land HabitatLANSING – Private landowners and hunters have a new resource available to them. Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), in partnership with Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), and Pheasants Forever (PF) have collaborated to fund a new wildlife cooperative coordinator position, housed at MUCC. Anna Mitterling, who is filling this position, will assist in creating, implementing, and maintaining wildlife cooperatives of private landowners around the state to create, maintain, and improve wildlife habitat.
“We are excited to have Anna Mitterling join our team and take on the wildlife cooperative coordinator role” said Dan Eichinger, Executive Director for Michigan United Conservation Clubs. “She brings a good understanding of wildlife cooperatives and their social networks to the table. Her experiences with deer cooperatives equip her to assist existing wildlife cooperatives in meeting their management goals, as well as coordinating with landowners looking to initiate their own cooperatives.”
“We are enthusiastic and excited to have a full-time wildlife cooperative coordinator,” said Russ Mason, wildlife chief of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “We are confident that Anna will do a wonderful job supporting and growing landowner co-ops for both deer and pheasant habitat.”Wildlife cooperatives are increasing in size and number throughout Michigan. These groups are vital to private land and wildlife management. They have the capacity to bring together large groups of hunters and landowners to talk about management, hunting strategies for the coming season, and look at these factors from a larger perspective than single property parcels. This program will assist in gathering ideas for cooperative development, habitat projects, and voluntary wildlife harvest management.
“The QDMA is proud and excited to be a part of this unprecedented partnership,” said Michael Goyne, president of the Michigan QDMA Chapter. “Cooperation between the DNR and like-minded conservation organizations uniquely leverages financial and intellectual resources to achieve common goals. Hunter management and habitat management are two of QDMA’s key cornerstones. This new position directly impacts both, and will ultimately improve the experience of Michigan deer hunters.”
“Pheasants Forever is pleased to be a part of the coalition supporting the new Landowner Cooperative Coordinator, with the common goal of accelerating wildlife habitat development on private lands,” said Bill VanderZouwen, region representative for Pheasants Forever.Mitterling earned her Masters’ Degree at Michigan State University in Fisheries and Wildlife. Her thesis was on deer cooperatives and the influence social networks within those groups had on hunting behavior. She worked with the DNR Wildlife Division from 2007-2010 and assisted with wildlife management planning and stakeholder engagement.
“I am thrilled to have this position, as well as the privilege to work with such a great set of organizations,” said Mitterling. “Cooperatives are a passion of mine, and I am honored to be able to work with hunters and landowners to take such pride and ownership of their natural resources.”Landowners interested in learning more about wildlife cooperatives can contact Anna Mitterling, Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 346-6454.
Founded in 1937, Michigan United Conservation Clubs is the country’s largest state-specific conservation nonprofit organization. Its mission is to unite citizens to conserve, protect, and enhance Michigan’s natural resources and outdoor heritage.