DNR awards deer habitat grants
Wildlife Unlimited of Iron County received deer habitat grant monies from the DNR, but the organization’s largest fundraiser is the annual banquet. This year’s event was held on April 6 at the Iron County Armory in Iron River.
MARQUETTE—The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has awarded a total of $100,000 in deer habitat improvement grant funding to a dozen entities for projects in the Upper Peninsula.
The Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Initiative is a competitive grant program designed to enhance deer habitat on non-state lands in the Upper Peninsula.
“I think we have a good crop of projects this year, and some new partnership and project opportunities,” said Bill Scullon, DNR wildlife field operations manager and administrator for the grant initiative. “These projects will allow us to continue making deer habitat improvements on private lands, which is an important component of our Upper Peninsula deer management strategy.”
A 25 percent match is required for the projects, which allows the DNR to reach beyond the original grant investment to accomplish more important habitat work.
“With this latest round of grant awards, we have funded 95 projects over the past decade,” Scullon said. “The total match dollars generated by those projects exceeds half a million dollars.”
The total match for this year’s projects was $62,123.
Two groups from Iron County received funding.
Iron-Baraga Conservation District
The DNR has approved $15,000 for the Iron-Baraga Conservation District to focus on habitat improvement within deer wintering complexes in Iron and Baraga counties. The district plans to plant a total of 525 oaks, 3,850 white pines, 1,550 wildlife shrubs, 255 apples, and provide 780 tree protectors to participating landowners.
Distribution will be based on selection criteria for location, habitat suitability, and other factors. They will be allocated on a per-share basis within six different package options, depending on the habitat focus and scale (i.e. options ranging from large-scale conifer cover to small-scale wildlife shrub plantings). The number of shares offered (50) could equal up to 50 landowners participating. The district will contribute a $7,170 (25 percent) match. Total project value is $22,170.
Wildlife Unlimited of Iron County
Wildlife Unlimited of Iron County has been awarded $4,595 for its project which will maintain 10 food plots and hunter walking trails totaling 21.9 acres. The plots and trails were established with previous Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Initiative grants and as part of the DNR’s Gold Mine Grouse Enhanced Management Site. Additionally, 15 5-foot apple trees will be planted at five plots with protective fencing. Projects are part of a Mentored Youth Hunting Program for WUIC. Plots will be planted using clover mix and mowed in late summer as needed. The group is contributing a match of $1,531.50 (25 percent). The total project value is $6,126.