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Re: E-M:/ Hartwick Pines threatened by deer

Deer have an impact on forests, sometimes a large impact, no argument there from me. As far as Hartwick Pines, the hardwood is several decades old so the deer impact on the pine stand converting to hardwood is irrelevant. But how many deer are too many? Everyone is an expert on this question. There is the social aspect and biological aspect. If you are feeling adventurous do the following. Go into any bar in the U.P. except maybe hipster bars in Marquette or farmer bars in Menominee County and start talking in a loud voice to your partner or anyone who will listen about how there are too many deer. See how many friends you make. Then go to any other bar except the hipster bars, but the farmer ones are ok now. Start talking about how there are too many wolves. See how many friends you make there. If you don't spend much time in rural upper Michigan, you might be surprised at which bar makes you the most friends.

Jerry Mohlman

Barbara and Tim,

Will the recent increases in wolf and cougar populations help the situation?
Or, if deer are at twice their pre-European population, only when wolves and
cougars get to twice their pre-European populations?  In the meantime, need
to increase hunting?

--Eric Piehl
-----Original Message-----
From: owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net On Behalf Of Barbara Jean Madsen
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2005 1:00 PM
To: Tim Flynn
Cc: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Hartwick Pines State Park Hosts Maple Syrup Day

Tim makes some excellent points here.

With regard to the effects of deer, the overpopulation of deer in especially
the eastern UP is resulting in an almost complete lack of regeneration of
northern white-cedar.  All the white cedar swamps and upland stands have
incredibly complete browse lines; there is absolutely nothing below 5 or 6
feet off the ground.  In some places the deer are so desperate that they
have been eating grossly unpalatable species like Scots pine with the same
intensity.  This loss of reproduction endangers the habitat over large areas
in northern Michigan, including habitat for birds and many rare plants.  It
also makes restoration or reconstruction of white cedar swamps extremely
expensive and difficult, if not impossible.  This is one of the aspects of
land management that must be addressed soon in a meaningful way if we are
not to suffer complete loss of thousands of acres of extremely important

--Barb Madsen