Last weekend, a group of 12 volunteers improved wildlife habitat in the Dansville State Game Area. The project goals were to improve hunter access trails and build brush piles in the area for rabbitat. A total of ten large brush piles were built using the trees cleared from the pathway. The volunteers completed a project connecting a forest road from the Hewes Lake DNR access lot to the lot at Seven Gables Rd. Some of this road will be open for vehicle use, but it will primarily serve as a walk-in hunting trail to the public, but offer access to Conservation Officers or Emergency Response vehicles.
The Hewes Lake area located in the middle of the Dansville State Game Area was a very nice place to see. I’ve hunted turkey and deer in the Dansville SGA, but had not yet seen that part near Hewes Lake. The areas DNR Wildlife Assistant, Joe Belmont, has put in many years of work there. Some of that work has included this trail connection that volunteers with OTG helped complete! Belmont has spent a lot of time building a road through one of the floodings to make this trail connection possible. The trail from parking lot to parking lot runs close to three miles through a nice variety of habitat.
People frequently hunt or walk the area, but now have a trail to connect the two access points. Walking in from the Hewes Lake access lot, a variety of habitat is present including openings planted with corn or a mix of soybeans, beats and clover, hardwood forest, aspen stands, oaks-pine savannas and a marsh/flooding in the middle of the unit. This location presents great opportunities for several game seasons including waterfowl, deer, turkey, and small game alike. This group of volunteers got the privilege of seeing this area first at its completed state.
Thank you to the volunteers that dedicated their Saturday to improve wildlife habitat! Volunteers included brothers Ryan and Jordan Rogers with the Pheasants Forever Eaton County Chapter, Alex Shaffer from Dexter, MI, Austin Motte and Courtney from Haslett, MI, as well as locals Jeff Ruest and his grandson- Warren Quinn.
This habitat work was collaborated with DNR Wildlife Assistant Joe Belmont along with DNR Wildlife Technician Chad Krumnauer and Wildlife Assistant Jaime Salisbury from the Rose Lake Field Office. Keep up with On the Ground’s event list at www.mucc.org/on-the-ground and RSVP to volunteer at an upcoming event near you!
Coming Up Next:
On Saturday, April 7th from 9am-2pm, volunteers will continue wildlife habitat improvements in the area by building brush piles for rabbitat. This project has been completed in the region each year since the start of the program in 2013!
On Saturday, April 21st from 10am-2pm, volunteers will be planting 300 tree seedlings in 3-gallon pots at the Crane Pond SGA DNR Field Office. These trees will be monitored and cared for until they are large enough to plant in wildlife openings in the area to provide browse and thermal cover for the area’s wildlife-see more details and RSVP to volunteer here!
On Sunday, April 22nd from 9am-3pm, volunteers will be planting mast producing trees in openings and along roads in the Huron-Manistee National Forest near Baldwin, MI. This project is partnered with the National Wild Turkey Federation. See more details and RSVP to volunteer here!
MUCC’s On The Ground Program is supported by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division