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E-M:/ DNR Launches Public Review of Wildlife Conservation Strategy

Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>

Contacts: Amy Clark Eagle 517-373-1263, Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014

DNR Launches Public Review of Wildlife Conservation Strategy 

A presentation before the Natural Resources Commission today marked the kick-off of the public review period for Michigan's Wildlife Conservation Strategy. The strategy provides a framework and information that can be used by anyone interested in wildlife conservation.
"In Michigan, the conservation and management of wildlife often has focused on game species or threatened and endangered species," said Department of Natural Resources Director Rebecca Humphries. "The result is a conservation gap with the species of greatest need - those in not dire enough circumstances to be endangered but not necessarily abundant either. The Wildlife Conservation Strategy we are developing addresses those species we feel are in the greatest need of conservation."

Examples of species of greatest need include bald eagles, moose and lake sturgeon; or lesser known species, such as Mitchell's satyr butterfly, marbled salamander or pugnose minnow.

Michigan currently receives between $1.5 million and $1.7 million annually from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund to be used as matching funds for species and habitat work. The Michigan Wildlife Conservation Strategy will guide the department in how to spend those funds. The strategy must be submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Oct. 1, 2005. Public comment will be sought in May through a series of public meetings, with the final document submitted to the USFWS this summer.

The public meetings will be held in four locations starting on May 10. They include:

* Grayling: From 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, at the Holiday Inn located at 2650 Business Loop South I-75.

* Plainwell: From 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, at the Gun Plain Township Hall located on 8th Street between M-89 and 106th Street, next to the fire department in Plainwell.

* Marquette: From 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, in the Embers Room at the Northwoods Supper Club located on Northwoods Road.

* Novi: From 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at the Michigan State University Extension Service's Tollgate Conference Center located at 12 Mile and Meadowbrook roads.
The strategy will provide information on location and general condition of habitats used by wildlife in Michigan; threats to these habitats and the species that use them; conservation actions, and research, survey and monitoring efforts needed to address these threats; priorities for implementing these conservation needs; and distribution and abundance of species of greatest conservation need in Michigan. Additionally, the strategy identifies the necessity for cooperation between agencies, businesses, organizations and individuals interested in Michigan's wildlife diversity.

The DNR has been coordinating this effort in compliance with its legal mandate to protect and conserve the state's natural resources. The strategy's development and implementation is a collective endeavor of Michigan's conservation partners, which include state, federal, and tribal agencies, local governments, conservation organizations, universities, and private landowners.

Copies of the draft of Michigan's Wildlife Conservation Strategy are available on the DNR Web site at http://www.michigan.gov/wildlifeconservationstrategy or a CD-ROM can be requested by contacting Amy Clark Eagle at (517) 373-1263.

Comments and feedback will be accepted through June 5, 2005 and can be submitted via e-mail, U.S. mail, online at the DNR Web site, or in person at public meetings.

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.


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