MACD News Blog

Conservation Districts and Michigan's Dam Removal Efforts

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Recently, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced grant awards for several dam removal projects across Michigan.  One of the grant awards went to the Ionia Conservation District for the Lyons Dam Removal Project.  

This isn't the first Conservation District that has been involved in dam removal activities, other dam removal projects over the last several years have been spearheaded by Districts.  Districts, with their close connections in local communities, along with their technical expertise and ability to bring partners together for a cause, are sought out for projects like this.

Makes me pretty darn proud of the amazing variety of work they accomplish across our state! 

Several articles on Michigan dam removals have been published since the announcement of this most recent round of grants.  The latest from the Center for Michigan is an interesting read.

Conservation Districts Awarded Cleanup Grants

Friday, April 05, 2013

Michigan Conservation Districts Rock!

"Wow" was my first thought when I received the April 4th DEQ and Great Lakes commission press release which announced the 2013 River, Stream and Creek Cleanup grants. 

I am proud as punch of Michigan's Conservation Districts and the amazing work they do.  As the local providers of natural resource management services, they provide the technical, educational, financial and just plain good old inspiration to help landowners, land managers and communities to conserve our lands and waterways.  

The announcement made by the DEQ and Great Lakes Commission is confirmation that Michigan Conservation Districts are ready once again to take the lead, in this case to dive in to address the trash in our treasured waterways.

Check out the many Conservation Districts in the list of groups selected to receive funds in 2013: 

·         City of Charlotte, “9th Annual River Cleanup Day” - $838.65
·         Germfask Township, “Manistique River Clean Up” - $845
·         City of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Services, “A2 Keeping the River Clean” - $3,254
·         Tuscola Conservation District, “5th Annual Cass River Cleanup” - $600
·         Barry Conservation District, “18th Annual Thornapple River Clean Up” - $1,800
·         Macatawa Area Coordinating Council, “Macatawa River Volunteer Cleanup” - $1,000
·         City of Evart, “Muskegon River Cleanup” - $2,175
·         St. Joseph County Conservation District, “River Cleanup Project 2013” - $2,750
·         City of Grand Rapids, “10th Annual Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup” - $4,500
·         Hillsdale Conservation District, “Headwaters River Clean-up Project” - $2,653
·         Van Buren Conservation District, “River Rescue 2013” - $2,360
·         Shiawassee County Health Department, “16th Annual Shiawassee River Clean-up” - $1,875
·         City of Battle Creek, “2013 Global Citizens River Conservation Day” - $1,500
·         Calhoun Conservation District, “Klean the Kazoo” - $2,570
·         Jackson County Drain Commissioner, “Portage River Volunteer Cleanup” - $1,145
·         Monroe Conservation District, “River Raisin Rubbish Removal” - $2,538.91
·         Kent Conservation District, “Rogue River Cleanup” - $1,615.75
·         Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission, “Flint River Clean Up” - $2,900
·         Grand Traverse Conservation District, “9th Annual Boardman River Clean Sweep 2013” - $1,150
·         Mason-Lake Conservation District, “Pere Marquette Paddle Down-River Cleanup” - $945

Districts Get it Done!

Additional information on the Volunteer River, Stream, and Creek Cleanup Program is available online at

State Confirms Bovine TB in Alpena County Dairy Herd

Thursday, January 03, 2013

The State Announced today that Bovine TB has been confirmed in an Alpena County Dairy Herd.  In order to inform the local community a producer meeting will be held on Thursday January 10, 2013 at 7:00pm.

State Press Release:

State Confirms Bovine TB in Alpena County Dairy Herd 

Producer meeting will be held on January 10, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

LANSING - Routine bovine Tuberculosis (TB) surveillance testing conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently confirmed a medium size dairy herd as bovine TB positive in Alpena County.  Bovine TB is an infectious bacterial disease that affects cattle and white-tailed deer in Michigan’s northeastern Lower Peninsula.  

A public information meeting will be held on January 10, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. at Wilson Township Hall, 3746 King Settlement Road, Herron, MI  49744.

Since the bovine TB eradication effort began, all of Michigan's 14,000 cattle farms have undergone TB testing. Since 1998, MDARD and USDA have detected and 55 TB positive cattle herds and four privately owned cervid operations in the northern section of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

To receive information regarding disease outbreaks, or regulatory changes that impact your livestock, please join our Animal Health Listserv by visiting

Michigan Conservation Districts Celebrate 20 Years of Wetlands Reserve Program

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Michigan Conservation Districts, local partners with the USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Services, celebrate the 20 year milestone of the USDA-Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP). 

The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is administered by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).  In Michigan, NRCS works closely at the local level with Michigan Conservation Districts to provide landowners and managers with information, skilled technical assistance and financial assistance to allow for the better management of Michigan’s natural resources.

WRP is a federal program, made possible through the Farm Bill.  WRP has proven to be a successful restoration and protection tool, restoring 2.6 million acres of wetlands habitat across the United States and over 41,000 acres in Michigan. 

“WRP is an outstanding opportunity, providing technical and financial assistance to help private landowners to voluntarily restore and protect wetlands,” said Lori Phalen, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts.  “This program is a powerful tool in our toolbox and has been used successfully to protect vital wetland resources in Michigan.”

The program provides restoration and protection opportunities, through either a permanent or limited time frame easement, with the landowner retaining ownership of the land once the easement is in place.  In the 20-year history of WRP, more than 11,000 landowners across the nation have participated.

Lands eligible for WRP include prior converted cropland, pasture or forest productions lands where the hydrology has been altered, riparian areas that link protected wetlands, certain lands that have the potential to become a wetland as a result of flooding, and lands adjacent to protected wetlands that would contribute significantly to wetland function and values.

“I encourage those interested in learning more about WRP and the benefits of wetland restoration and protection to contact their local Conservation District and NRCS office,” said Phalen.  “Restoring a wetland is definitely worth exploring and the end result is, well an amazing thing to see.”

To learn more about the opportunities available through the Wetland Reserve Program, contact your local Conservation District and USDA-NRCS office.  

For further information on the Wetland Reserve Program, check out the following links: