Posted July 15, 2021.
It’s hard to imagine a Michigan without white-tailed deer, elk, bald eagles, or wild turkeys. But without the efforts of conservationists, volunteers, and partner agencies, these species might be missing from Michigan’s beautiful landscape. In the spirit of these conservation successes, Governor Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed July Wildlife Conservation Month to recognize the work the Michiganders have done for conservation and to draw attention to the work that remains to be done.
“In Michigan, we take pride in our wildlife, waterways and public lands and want to make sure they’re protected for future generations to enjoy,” Whitmer said. “In this Wildlife Conservation Month, we celebrate our long conservation legacy and make a renewed commitment to bringing vital species back from the brink and protecting our state’s natural diversity. “
The many wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities would not be possible without the state’s approximately 4.6 million acres of crown land. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources manages these lands to improve habitat, monitor wildlife populations, prevent the spread of disease, and ensure wildlife thrive.
Sometimes the path to a flourishing species takes a long time. Moose, a majestic animal at the heart of Michigan’s cultural identity, were nearly extinct – or locally extinct – from Michigan by the late 1800s. Due to conservation efforts in the 1980s-1990s, moose can now to be found at two locations in the upper peninsula. Most recently, the Kirtland’s Warbler was removed from the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s endangered species list in 2019 thanks to decades of conservation partnership.
Michigan’s wildlife conservation community has a long history and has grown to meet the evolving challenges of the state. Hunting and fishing licenses provide tens of millions of dollars each year to support the conservation of species like deer, bears, elk, turkeys, ducks and moose. Hunters and fishers contribute $ 11.2 billion annually to Michigan’s economy and create 171,000 jobs, making this aspect of outdoor recreation one of the state’s top 10 job-creating sectors. ; Support from hunters and anglers has been essential to conservation work since the creation of the Department of Conservation, the precursor to MNR.
More and more people are realizing the importance of wildlife management and are getting involved in new activities to support this goal. Whether you’re one of Michigan’s 3.2 million wildlife watchers who love to feed backyard birds, watch the spring migration at your favorite birding spot, or listen to elk bawl in the sky. fall, you saw the results of these efforts.
“We are proud to be part of the conservation community, but recognize that there is still a long way to go,” said MNR Director Dan Eichinger. “We are working with partners to bring arctic grayling back to Michigan and making science-based management and conservation decisions to ensure Michigan’s wildlife remains balanced and thriving for generations to come. Thanks to a strong partnership between government and non-government organizations, there is an abundance of wildlife to hunt in Michigan, from white-tailed deer to ruffed grouse, elk and bear.
See conservation efforts in action
Head north to Mio for a Kirtland’s Warbler tour to learn about this unique songbird brought back from the brink of extinction; visit the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary near Battle Creek to see trumpeter swans in the facility that has partnered with MNR to bring the species back to Michigan; or take a day this fall to hunt in one of Michigan’s wetland wonders, where a world-class waterfowl hunt awaits.
Visit one of Michigan’s more than 100 state wildlife and game areas for a hike away from the hustle and bustle of the city or a day of hunting, or discover 100 ways to celebrate and be a part of DNR’s 100th anniversary Michigan Wildlife Conservation History. https://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/100ThingsPrintable_final_712143_7.pdf