MACD News Blog
The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) congratulates Art Pelon, MACD President on receiving verification for his family's farm under the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) Cropping System.
Art Pelon and his family live in Fenwick, and practice environmental stewardship on their farm which includes cultivated acreage in addition to 400 acres of land featuring pristine woodlands, wetlands, and stands of native prairie plantings. Art and his family are avid hunters, dedicated to providing high quality habitat for wildlife, including deer, turkey and pheasant on their Ronald Township property. Establishment and endorsement of top-quality habitat and sustainable hunting has always been a mission for Art and his family, and participating in MAEAP has been one more way for the Pelon family to show their dedication to environmental stewardship.
Standing proudly by their MAEAP sign on a cold winter day. From left: David Wood, Ionia Conservation District Watershed Coordinator; Rachel Koleda, Ionia Conservation District MEAP Technician; Keith Creagh, Department of Natural Resources Director; Stephen Shine, Pollution Prevention Manager with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development; Pete, Art and Michelle Pelon.
In addition to serving as the President of MACD, Art is the Chairman of the Ionia Conservation District Board, is a state director for the Michigan chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and serves as the Clerk for Ronald Township.
MAEAP is a voluntary, non-regulatory program that helps farmers prevent or minimize pollution occurring on both the farmstead and in the fields. The MAEAP cropping system focuses on nutrient application and management on cultivated fields, to ensure that crops receive the nutrients needed to grow, without adding excess nutrients to the soil or water. By voluntarily adopting best management practices on their fields, MAEAP verified farms actively do their part to reduce the amount of sediment, nutrients and chemicals impacting our water and other natural resources.
The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) recognized Senators Darwin Booher, Tom Casperson, Mike Green and Representative Ed McBroom on November 8, 2013 during the MACD Annual Convention held in Big Rapids. Over 200 attendees recognized these dedicated legislators for their outstanding support of natural resource conservation, Michigan’s private lands forest resource and Michigan’s Conservation Districts.
"These legislators are strong supporters of Michigan Conservation Districts and their work in delivering natural resource programs at the local level. It is our honor to recognize them for their commitment to Conservation Districts and to Michigan's private forestland resource,” said Art Pelon, President of MACD. “These legislators worked diligently toward the final passage of legislation to update the Qualified Forest Program (QFP) and create the Forestry Assistance Program, which now provides forestry assistance to private landowners through Michigan Conservation Districts."
According to Lori Phalen, MACD Executive Director, over 60% of land in Michigan is owned by non-industrial private landowners and therefore the wise stewardship of this land base is critical to the healthy future of Michigan’s natural resources. The Forestry Assistance Program (FAP) is providing forestry information, education and assistance to landowners to encourage them to actively manage their forestry resource for the long term sustainability of Michigan’s forest resource.
"MACD is pleased to recognize these legislators for their support and commitment to Michigan Conservation Districts and the delivery of conservation programs such as the FAP that Conservation Districts deliver to citizens at the local level,” said Lori Phalen. "In our minds, every acre counts, and the work these legislators do on behalf of every acre in Michigan is to be commended."
The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts represents Michigan Conservation Districts at the state level by working with cooperating agencies, legislators and conservation organizations whose programs affect the care and management of Michigan's natural resources, especially on private lands.
Michigan Conservation Districts provide natural resource management services that help private land owners conserve their lands and protect our environment for a cleaner, healthier and economically stronger Michigan.
Sunday July 21st is Lake Superior Day! Developed to highlight the beauty and regional significance of the world's largest freshwater lake, Lake Superior day has been celebrated around the basin since the early 1990's. Celebrations and events to highlight the lake and express appreciation for the many benefits it provides are planned around the basin on this special day.
Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by surface area and holds 10% of the world's fresh surface water. An ecological gem, Lake Superior is managed through a binational agreement involving Canada and the United States, Province of Ontario and the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
With a shoreline length of 1,826 miles, Lake Superior is about 10,000 years old and is a relative newcomer in geological time. It is a wild, beautiful lake that is a strong economic engine for the region and draws tourists, recreational users to its shores.
A true treasure, Lake Superior faces environmental challenges including aquatic invasive species, pollution from the watersheds draining into the lake and toxic contaminants in fish and wildlife that make Lake Superior their home. Michigan is a leader in protecting and restoring the lake and has utilized various funding sources, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Michigan's Coastal Zone Management Program to address challenges to the lake. Michigan Conservation Districts are integral to this work and are very active in the protection, restoration and monitoring of the natural assets associated with Lake Superior. By working to address resource concerns, restore habitats, develop and implement watershed management plans, address invasive species issues, and provide education to land owners, Conservation Districts are the grass roots "boots on the ground" that help Michigan to protect and restore this treasure of a lake.
To learn more about Michigan's Upper Peninsula Conservation Districts, visit the Local Districts page and click on the county you are interested in to link to the local Conservation District's website. To learn more about Lake Superior, visit the Minnesota Sea Grant Superior Facts Web Page and the Michigan DEQ Office of the Great Lakes Web Page. To learn more about Lake Superior Day events, visit the Lake Superior Binational Forum at www.superiorforum.net.
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