Michigan –-(Ammoland.com)- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced that the application period is now open for the Deer Private Land Assistance Network (Deer PLAN) grant program.
A total of $50,000 is available, through a competitive grant process, to support private-land deer habitat improvement projects in the northern Lower Peninsula. The focus area for 2017 will include Alcona, Alpena, Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle counties.
“The focus area concentrates habitat projects in a region to provide greater benefits to deer hunters in areas where habitat issues have been identified,” said DNR Deer Program biologist Ashley Autenrieth.
Deer PLAN funding results in immediate, on-the-ground efforts to improve deer habitat. Funds will be given across these six counties based on a competitive grant application scoring process.
For 2017, two new criteria will be added for additional points toward final score:
Form or join a cooperative, or create partnerships with neighbors. This includes having at least two properties with at least 150 acres combined in the application.
Deer management: harvesting deer, especially antlerless, having deer tested for bovine tuberculosis, and completing a deer camp survey on the applicant’s property.
“The new changes will encourage more partnerships and increase the amount of habitat work in the area,” said DNR wildlife biologist Shelby Hiestand. “The deer management criteria will help to decrease the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis, which is a top priority for this area of the state.”
Grant proposals for $2,000 to $10,000 will be considered for deer habitat improvement projects on private land. A 25-percent match of funds is required in the form of any one or more of the following: financial match, cost share, volunteer labor, material contributions or other in-kind support.
Project applications are due by Sept. 1, and successful applicants will be notified by Oct. 1. Proposed projects will be evaluated and competitively scored on a range of criteria by a selection committee.
The Deer PLAN is funded by the state's Deer Range Improvement Program funds. To learn more and apply, visit www.michigan.gov/dnr-grants and follow the Deer PLAN link at the bottom of the page.