One way the Department of Natural Resources is expanding its efforts to do more for Michigan’s wildlife and hunters is through wildlife habitat grants, specifically designed to enhance food and cover for deer on private land.
Several new grant programs are now available as a result of the new license structure. The Deer PLAN (Private Land Assistance Network) is a grant available for private landowners in a six-county area of northeast Michigan, for the first time, to improve deer habitat.
“Fifty thousand dollars will be divided among the 12 successful applicants,” said DNR habitat biologist Brian Piccolo. “Fruit- and nut-bearing tree species are very popular in this area because they provide a long-term food source for deer and many other wildlife species. On-the-ground habitat work like this will provide great wildlife benefits to the region as well.”
The following organizations will receive Deer PLAN grants in 2014 for deer habitat improvement projects:
- A landowner in Montmorency County will receive $2,000 to plant 300 oak and 300 northern white cedar seedlings.
- Durkee Lakes Hunt Club will receive $3,400 to plant 20 apple trees, 55 American chestnut, 500 white oak, 200 red oak, 250 jack pine, 250 highbush cranberry, 250 nannyberry and 400 hawthorn seedlings.
- A landowner in Alcona County will receive $2,644 to create a 7-acre wildlife opening planted to clover, and 20 apple trees will be planted around the border of the opening.
- A landowner in Crawford County will receive $4,000 to create a series of wildlife openings totaling 16 acres.
- Canada Creek Ranch will receive $2,940 to create a series of wildlife openings that will be planted on over 4 miles of old logging roads.
- A landowner in Presque Isle County will receive $3,440 to regenerate northern white cedar through new protection methods. The new protection methods will be showcased for educational purposes.
- Lost Lake Woods Association will receive $6,477 to plant 25 oak and 50 apple trees and 25 highbush cranberry shrubs.
- No Doe Hunting Club will receive $5,559 to plant 300 oak and 100 crabapple seedlings.
- Black River Ranch will receive $10,000 to plant a series of openings totaling 39 acres.
- A landowner in Presque Isle County will receive $2,130 to create a 3-acre wildlife opening.
- A landowner in Montmorency County will receive $5,559 to plant 200 oak and 100 crabapple seedlings.
- A landowner in Alpena County will receive $2,000 to plant 30 3-year-old apple trees. The trees will have the potential to begin producing fruit the same year they are planted.
Grant recipients submitted qualified grant applications detailing their proposed projects by the May 31 deadline and were scored competitively against other applications. Each grant recipient must provide a minimum of a 25-percent cost share and all work must be completed before Sept. 30, 2014.
“This is an exciting new grant program,” said Piccolo. “Look for the 2015 grant application period to begin later this summer for next year’s Deer PLAN Program.”
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About The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations.