conservation

People stand in the water, holding both ends of a large net.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, hear how citizens are becoming scientists on the Great Lakes.

Plus, a cheesy grits casserole recipe with a special ingredient: family history.

Bronte Cook / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, the U.S. Forest Service tried to ban alcohol on three popular northern Michigan rivers, but they backed off after public outcry. Now they say they will ramp up enforcement and education to curb drunken behavior.

Plus, how the Nordhouse Dunes in the Huron-Manistee National Forests is dealing with summer tourism.

Kaye LaFond

Over four million people crossed the Straits of Mackinac last year. But they are also one of the busiest migration spots for raptors, or birds of prey, in the United States.

Larry Martin puts another arrow on his bow string at FPS Archery shop in Cadillac.
Dan Wanschura

 

Deer hunting is declining in Michigan. In the late 1990’s, almost 800,000 people were hunting deer in the state. Twenty years later, that number has dropped by around 25 percent.

A new ban on deer baiting is likely to further that trend. 

But the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the ban is necessary for the long-term health of the state’s deer herd.


Morgan Springer

Residents will continue funding improvements in Traverse City schools. Voters passed a $107 million bond for Traverse City Area Public Schools. According to unofficial election results, 67 percent (15,679 residents) voted yes, while 33 percent (7,662) said no.

The money will go towards things like building reconstruction, safety and technology improvements and bus replacements. 

“I mean you have to educate your kids or you’re going to be nowhere," says Kathleen Ziege who lives in Interlochen and voted for the bond.

Dan Kennedy / Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Environmentalists will celebrate the return of the Kirtland’s warbler this weekend.

The small songbird has been on the brink of extinction since 1973. It was put on the endangered species list that same year.

"Lost Lexicon" is a collection of poetry by Holly Wren Spaulding. The collection consists of 20 poems who's titles are taken from words deleted by the "Oxford Junior Dictionary."
Dan Wanschura

The "Oxford Junior Dictionary" is aimed at kids seven and up. It’s not meant to be a comprehensive book – that’s why it has a limited space for word entries.

So, when the publishers added words like "analog," "broadband" and "chatroom" – other words like "ash," "beech" and "crocus" got the boot.

Does killing coyotes make things safer for livestock?

Last winter, Stateside did a story about a sporting goods store near the Irish Hills that held a bounty hunt on coyotes. The store said the hunt came in response to customers who expressed worry about their chicken coops and family dogs.

Megan Draheim, a lecturer in conservation biology and human dimensions of wildlife at Virginia Tech, joined Stateside today with a differing perspective. She said there’s no evidence that killing coyotes makes livestock safer. In fact, she said it can make the coyote-human problem even worse.

Hunting Works for Michigan

Hunting boosts the Michigan economy by $2.3 million annually, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. And Hunting Works for Michigan estimates 34,400 hunting jobs are created in the state.

The Next Idea

 

Many Michiganders enjoy walking in our outdoor spaces, whether private or public, being rejuvenated by the sights and sounds they encounter. But how many know what they are experiencing? Are they just seeing “walls of green?” Are they merely hearing a sound coming from somewhere high in a tree? And do they know whether the animals and plants they see are healthy?


More and more of us are choosing to "go green" in our everyday lives. 

We recycle, repurpose, conserve, and reduce our energy use.

But what about when we die? Does it really matter what sort of casket or burial method you choose?

Increasingly, people are deciding yes, it does. And those people are choosing so-called "green burials".

Merilynne Rush is a home funeral guide and a green burial consultant. She says the concept of "green burials" means a natural way of going back to the earth.

"No expensive casket, no non-biodegradable materials, no cement vault, and just being put in the earth," says Rush.

Currently, only one cemetery in Washtenaw County is offering the natural burial. You can find out about upcoming green burials events on the website

* Listen to our conversation with Merilynne Rush above.

State officials want to hear what you think about fracking.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality wants to update the state’s rules on hydraulic fracturing. The DEQ is holding two public hearings this week on the proposed changes.

Hal Fitch is the chief of the DEQ’s Office of Oil, Gas and Minerals.

“Starting about 2008, we started hearing increased public concerns. So we met with the environmental community, we met with the public in over 200 different forums and heard those concerns and formulated these rules based on what we were hearing,” he says.

The farm bill heading to the U.S. Senate could help farmland preservation efforts in northern Michigan. The bill allocates $1.3 billion to preserve farms over the next five years. That is similar to the last one, but the new bill includes a provision that conservancies say will make it easier to get projects done with motivated farmers.

Audio Postcard: Foraging for Garlic Mustard

May 16, 2013

You may be aware that morel season is upon us, but perhaps you didn't know that prime garlic mustard picking season is just coming to a close.  While no one would want to over-harvest morels, the goal with the also edible garlic mustard, is to get rid of it. The plant can get out of control to the point where it makes it difficult for native plants to thrive.  That's happened in some parts of southern Michigan.