On Saturday, July 20, eight volunteers came out to the Gladwin State Game Area in Harrison to improve habitat for rabbit and small game. This portion of the state game area was recently acquired by the DNR and is beginning to be managed for a variety of wildlife species. Saturday’s project gave volunteers the opportunity to have a direct and immediate impact on wildlife habitat in the area. The goal for the day was to limb the trees downed by the DNR and then assemble three large brush piles.
Teaming up with three DNR Wildlife Division staff and being led by DNR Wildlife Biologist Bruce Barlow, the volunteers quickly spread out across the five-acre landscape and began to cut and assemble the brush piles. Despite the thunderstorms rolling across the region that morning, our volunteers lucked out and remained dry the entire length of the project. The overcast conditions provided relief from the heat as well, and one returning volunteer called it “a perfect July day to be out making a difference”.
Volunteers from a variety of different clubs, organizations, and companies were present. These included Chelsea Rod and Gun Club, Quality Deer Management Association, the Ruffed Grouse Society, MUCC, Consumers Energy, and others. These members came together to improve their natural resources, and their efforts will have a lasting impact in this region. In fact, many volunteers mentioned their interest in returning to the project site in the future for the improved hunting opportunities.
Although three large brush piles were the goal for this project, our volunteers built five in just three hours. As you can see, these brush piles are significantly larger than normal and will serve as excellent habitat for rabbit and other small game species. It’s impressive what a like-minded, motivated group of conservationists can accomplish in just a few hours on a Saturday morning.
We have many events lined up between August 3 and September 6. We will be at Rose Lake State Game Area on August 3 and 27, in the Pigeon River Country State Forest on August 17, and at Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area on September 6. For more information and to register, please visit mucc.org/on-the-ground or contact MUCC Habitat Volunteer Coordinator Makhayla LaButte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-346-6456. Come out and volunteer for wildlife!