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Points North: Where are all the martens?

Yankech gary on Flickr

There was a plan to release hundreds of pine martens — a slender, furry predator native to the Upper Midwest — in Michigan's lower peninsula over several years.

That never happened.

Instead state biologists introduced a few dozen animals over a couple months in the 1980s, and none others since. 

Their descendants have struggled to recover, while martens in the Upper Peninsula have thrived.

Research led by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians has monitored martens near the Manistee National Forest for years and looked at what they might need to come back. Read the full story here

Also, how to decipher tracks left by birds hunting in the snow. 

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Peter Payette is the Executive Director of Interlochen Public Radio and has managed the news department since 2001. For more than a decade, he hosted the weekly programPoints North and has reported on a wide range of issues critical to the culture and economy of northern Michigan. His work has been featured on NPR, Michigan Radio, Bridge magazine and Edible Grande Traverse. He has taught journalism and radio production to students and adults at Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is also working on a book about the use of aquaculture to manage Great Lakes fisheries, particularly the use of salmon from the Pacific Ocean to create a sport fishery in the 1960s.