U.S. Forest Service

ALGER COUNTY, MI--   A land exchange between the federal government and Alger County has been accomplished. 

The U.S. Forest Service has transferred Hanley Field from the agency to the county. The same exchange also transferred land to Alger County that will become part of the Munising Township cemetery in Wetmore.

In return, the Forest Service gained four non-federal tracts of land from local resident John Madigan through partnership with Munising Township, City of Munising, and Munising Lands, Inc.

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.  

GLADSTONE, MI--   The Hiawatha National Forest has released maps of prime blueberry picking areas.

Official say U.S. Forest Service land managers clearcut and use low-intensity prescribed fire to mimic natural wildfire patterns. They also revitalize worn out blueberry bushes.

ST. IGNACE, MI (AP)--   A parcel of Lake Michigan shoreline has been added to the Hiawatha National Forest. 

The U.S. Forest Service acquired the 11.25-acre property in December from The Conservation Fund, a nonprofit group. Senior associate Peg Kohring says the area is small but contains an ecologically significant dune and wetland ecosystem.

Making it part of the forest's Research Natural Area eliminates a gap in a broader conserved landscape, with alternating sandy ridges and marshy troughs. It hosts the Pitcher's thistle, a threatened species.

ESCANABA, MI--   Two “Super Scoopers” practiced drops at the Delta County Airport Tuesday. 

The Canadair CL-415 is designed and built as a water bomber for aerial firefighting. It can scoop up to 1,600 gallons of water from a nearby source and drop it on a fire. There are only four such aircraft in the U.S.

Due to spring wildfire season the Forest Service has the tankers, a helicopter, and an air attack plane stationed at the airport. At 9 a.m. the tankers conducted proficiency tests, which included scooping water from Lake Michigan and dropping it at the airport.

MADISON, WI (AP)--   An environmental organization and the U.S. Forest Service are working together to harvest timber in northern Wisconsin. 

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the 2014 Farm Bill has allowed the two groups to enter into a stewardship agreement. The Nature Conservancy will hire loggers, sell timber and use the proceeds for projects the Forest Service can't afford to do.

DELTA COUNTY, MI--   The U.S. Forest Service is planning a prescribed fire on the Stonington Peninsula. 

Officials are notifying local residents of possible burning opportunities in the near future. The targeted location is approximately 5 to 6 miles south of US-2 and adjacent to or east of County Road 513. The area is directly south-southwest of Schaawe Lake and one mile northwest of Little Bay de Noc Campground.

Prescribed burning is weather-dependent. If conditions aren’t right the fires will be postponed until more favorable conditions occur.

GLADSTONE, MI (AP)--   The U.S. Forest Service is planning prescribed burns on nearly 1,200 acres of land in the Upper Peninsula this year as a way of helping the environment.

The 10 fires are scheduled from this spring and summer to early fall, depending on the weather. They will be set in both the eastern and western swaths of the Hiawatha National Forest.

Rangers caution that smoke may be visible at times from the fires, and residents who live nearby can be alerted in advance if they have health concerns.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Activities honoring veterans are being held across Michigan Friday—Veterans’ Day. 

At Michigan Tech a brief ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. at the Husky statue.  The community is then invited to stop by several locations on campus to sign “thank you” cards to be sent to Tech alumni veterans.  And vets will be honored at Michigan Tech’s hockey game with Lake Superior State University Friday night.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites through Sunday.