Michigan Department of Natural Resources

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Off-road vehicle enthusiasts can explore Michigan's 3,700 miles of trails and five "scramble" areas that are open to them for no charge this weekend.

All rules pertaining to ORVs still apply. But riders on designated routes and trails will not need an ORV license or trail permit Saturday and Sunday.

Ron Olson of the Department of Natural Resources' Parks and Recreation Division says it's the perfect opportunity to get a look at Michigan's off-road riding areas.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

IRONWOOD, MI--   The Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the 39th cougar sighting in the state since 2008.

A mountain lion was caught on a landowner’s trail camera July 7 northwest of Ironwood in Gogebic County. A DNR wildlife biologist visited the location Thursday. The image was reviewed and verified by the DNR’s cougar team, composed of wildlife biologists.

The DNR has now confirmed 39 cougar reports in the past 11 years. All but one were in the Upper Peninsula. Officials say reports may include multiple sightings of the same animal.

ST. IGNACE, MI (AP)--   State and federal agencies are gearing up for a Michigan celebration of Smokey Bear's 75-year legacy of preventing forest fires. 

Smokey will join staffers with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and other partners Friday at Straits State Park in St. Ignace.

A family-friendly birthday party is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. It will feature a fire truck open house, displays of wildland fire equipment, fire-prevention games, refreshments and an opportunity to meet the iconic bear.

Smokey Bear

(UNDATED)- Multiple Michigan governmental departments are gearing up to celebrate the birthday of an American forest-preservation icon. Smokey Bear’s 75-year legacy of promoting safe, responsible enjoyment of the nation's forests will be celebrated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and other partners next Friday (Aug. 9) at the Straits of Mackinac.  

MARQUETTE COUNTY, MI--   The Iron Ore Heritage Trail has been selected as a Pure Michigan Designated Trail.

The 47-mile, year-round, multi-use, interpretive trail stretches across the Marquette Iron Range from Harvey to Republic.

The designation is an effort between Pure Michigan and the Department of Natural Resources to raise awareness of Michigan’s strong position as the nation’s Trail State.

DNR warns of electrocution on water-swollen lakes

Jun 19, 2019

INTERLOCHEN, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says current high water levels increase the risk of electric shock drowning. 

Interlochen Public Radio’s Dan Wanschura reports that’s when a person comes into contact with an electric current in the water.

That electric current is caused by faulty or exposed wiring from boats and docks.

Things like frayed electrical cords or household extension cords that aren’t meant for use on the water.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Some of Michigan's trees are likely to suffer attacks from leaf-munching gypsy moths in the coming weeks. 

The Department of Natural Resources says the invasive pest caused widespread defoliation in the state from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s.

The moth feasts on foliage during its caterpillar stage. Officials say lots of caterpillars are hatching this spring.

Leaf loss has been reported in Barry, Ionia and Washtenaw counties. The problem is expected to spread.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Research crews are conducting fish population surveys on Michigan's Great Lakes waters this summer and fall. 

The state Department of Natural Resources says the teams are working from vessels based in Alpena, Charlevoix, Macomb County's Harrison Township and Marquette.

The research vessel Tanner focuses on Lake Huron, Saginaw Bay and the St. Marys River and their lake trout, walleye and forage fish populations. The Channel Cat studies walleye, yellow perch and lake sturgeon on Lakes St. Clair and Erie.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

LANSING, MI--   The Department of Natural Resources is giving residents around the state a “three-fer.” 

The DNR has brought back its “Three Free" weekend—two days when anyone can grab a fishing pole, ride off-road trails, and visit state parks, all free of charge.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering grants to local and tribal governments, nonprofit groups and others interested in improving dwelling places for wildlife. 

About $1 million is available this year under the Wildlife Habitat Grant Program. Each grant will be worth at least $15,000. The recipient must match 10% of the state funding.

The program was started in 2013 and is funded through sales of Michigan hunting and fishing licenses.