MACD News Blog

National Stewardship Week

Monday, April 25, 2011

This week is National Stewardship Week!  

Sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts, this year's theme " Forests for People - More than You Can Imagine" promotes our nation's trees and forests and the vital services they provide!  Learn more

Celebrate Earth Day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

On Friday April 22nd people around the world will celebrate Earth Day.  Honorary events such as planting trees, special hikes, biking trips, schoolyard clean ups and tours of green technology projects will help earth's citizens learn about the world they live upon.

Michigan Conservation Districts make every day Earth Day by helping Michigan's citizens learn more about the natural world around them by working with them to address natural resource issues in their local communities. Through workshops, field days, technical assistance and cost share opportunities, Conservation Districts provide an amazing variety of programs and assistance targeted toward the specific needs of their communities.

Hands on, hard working and dedicated the wise management of Michigan's natural resources Conservation Districts are your natural resource, resource!  Join them as they celebrate Earth Day every day, by putting on your boots, grabbing your gloves as you head outdoors to enjoy the natural world.  And, when you get back in, give your local Conservation District a call to see what you can do to really make a difference in the world around you!

2011 Think Green Raffle Begins!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

MACD is pleased to announce the start of the 2011 Think Green Raffle! Tickets will be mailed out to Districts that participated in the 2010 raffle. If your District did not participate in prior raffles and you would like to participate this year, please contact MACD. Not a District and interested in purchasing a raffle ticket? Click on the Think Green banner on the MACD home page for information on where you can obtain tickets.

Working Together to Restore Pheasants and Habitat in Michigan

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Working Together to Restore Pheasants and Habitat in Michigan

Local Conservation Districts have partnered with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Pheasants Forever, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to restore habitats for Michigan pheasants. They are participating in the new Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative, which began in early 2011.

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry has voiced her support of this program. "Hunting and outdoor recreation is part of our way of life in Michigan,” she said. “This program lets our farmers and landowners get added value from their property while opening up access for hunting."

Conservation Districts are excited about the potential of this program to improve habitat, increase wildlife populations and improve small game hunting opportunities to Michigan's hunters," said Lori Phalen, Executive Director of the Michigan Assocation of Conservation Districts. "Districts are local units of state government that provide natural resource management services to Michigan's non-industrial private landowners.  The Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative (MPRI) provides an excellent opportunity to focus landowners on the benefits of quality grassland habitats that are critical to robust pheasant populations, as well as to many other game and non game species."

The beginning project will focus on three pilot zones:

    1) Huron, Sanilac, and Tuscola counties

    2) Hillsdale, Lenawee, and Monroe counties

    3) Gratiot, Saginaw, and Clinton counties

Michigan Conservation District staff will take the lead on financial and technical assistance. They will seek eligible landowners and provide guidance and assistance on habitat prescriptions for pheasants. To be eligible, landowners must work together to devote large blocks of land that could serve as a patchwork of different privately owned lands set aside for habitat. This is a cooperative initiative that requires a group of property owners to voluntarily agree to work together in "Neighborhood Cooperatives" to implement habitat projects.

Staff will also assist cooperatives in identifying federal, state, and private assistance for funding or implementing habitat projects. NRCS and Farm Service Agency (FSA) will provide funding to landowners through conservation cost-share programs to install these habitat restoration practices. Chapters of Pheasants Forever will provide free seed to landowners. In some cases, the MDNRE will donate the use of farm implements and planting equipment, and release live pheasant if the area is suitable. The MDNRE will also partially fund technicians for this project in the three pilot zones.

Landowners can also sign up for funding through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)a program is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in March and April. CRP is administered by the FSA with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) providing technical assistance through conservation planning. Created in 1985, the CRP has been a useful tool for creating habitat for pheasants and other wildlife. CRP offers annual payments for 10-15 year contracts to participants who establish grass, shrub and tree cover on their environmentally sensitive lands.

If you are interested in participating in the Pheasant Restoration Initiative, form your own Neighborhood Cooperative, or find out where you can join a Cooperative please contact your local Conservation District found on the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts on the local districts page of this website.
. You can read more about the initiative on the wildlife page.

Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD), a non-profit organization that represents the interests of Michigan Conservation Districts and works to strengthen Districts through leadership, information and representation at the state level.

Michigan’s 79 Conservation Districts are the local providers of natural resource management services that help our citizens conserve their lands and our environment for a cleaner, healthier, economically stronger Michigan.