Mich Enviro Report: Ban on Hunting and Snowmobiling in Huron-Manistee & Avian Botulism

As heard Friday, Oct. 28, 2011, on Q-90.1 FM, Delta College, NPR:
1.

Comments are being taken until Dec. 21 on snowmobile and firearm use in the Huron-Manistee National Forests.
A proposal to ban gun hunting and snowmobiling within certain areas of the forests was prompted by a federal court decision.

The U.S. Forest Service has now developed alternatives related to snowmobile and firearm use in areas of the national forests.

Michigan United Conservation Clubs is encouraging people to attend several public meetings planned to explain the process and submit written comments.

The alternatives include no action, no snowmobiling or firearm hunting in the forest areas, and allowing firearm hunting and snowmobiling use to continue as is.

Meetings are planned for Birch Run, Oscoda, Mio and other locations.

2.

The Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy is looking for help from citizen scientists.

The Bay City-based conservancy says people can help improve the Great Lakes ecosystem by reporting sightings of injured or dead birds, and algal blooms, to the federal Wildlife Health Monitoring Network.

The reports can help with research on avian botulism and protecting birds from the disease.

The reporting system was funded by a grant through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Injured or dead wildlife, and evidence of algal blooms, can be an indication that an area is being affected by a Botulism outbreak, which can kill waterfowl.

In recent decades, incidences of botulism in the Great Lakes have increased steadily, according to federal sources. Thousands of birds died from 1998-2001 in Lakes Huron and Erie.

— Photo by Paul Williams
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