VIDEO: Non Skid Paint for Boats, RVs & More

Enjoy this 4:21 video from Mark Polk of RV Education 101 on "Non Skid Paint for Boats, RVs & More."

Here's what Mark Polk had to say about his video:
In this informative how to video Mark Polk with RV Education 101® demonstrates how to apply a non-skid paint to a baot floor. This non-skid paint, by Monster Paint Products, comes available in several colors and can be used on wood, fiberglass, aluminum, metal and concrete surfaces. The paint comes available in water base roll-on and solvent base areosol sparay cans. make sure you use the right product for your application.

Michigan DNR reminds residents and travelers: Don’t let a fire ruin your camping weekend

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is asking all recreationalists to use caution while enjoying their campfires.

“Campfires and outdoor cooking are very popular this time of year,” said Ada Takacs, DNR fire prevention specialist. “We can all do our part and make sure our families and natural resources are safe by taking a few simple precautions.”

Takacs said the following tips for fire safety should be kept in mind during the summer:
  • Keep campfires small. 
  • Always have a water source available. 
  • Never leave a fire unattended. 
  • Do not dump coals from barbecues until they are completely extinguished and cold.
  • Before you go to bed, flip over logs and stir water into embers to ensure the fire is truly out. 
Bill O’Neill, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division, said these tips are particularly important because the majority of wildfires in Michigan are human-caused.

“No one wants an escaped campfire to ruin a weekend that’s supposed to be relaxing and fun,” said O’Neill, who also serves as state forester. “Recreationalists are urged to make sure their campfires are completely out before leaving them unattended.”

So far this fire season the DNR has responded to 159 wildfires, which have burned 524 acres. For more tips and information about wildfire safety, visit

Wisconsin State Park campground electrification project update

The campsite electrification projects at Devil’s Lake and Peninsula state parks in Wisconsin are progressing.

Devil's Lake State Park
On Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 9 a.m. Central Time, the following campsites at Devil’s Lake State Park will be available for reservation. The reservations will be available for dates beginning May 31, 2013 through June 30, 2013. These sites were available previously for reservations starting July 1, 2013. . Northern Lights: 104 through 149, 163 through 264, A2and A3. This completes the project at Devil’s Lake State Park

Peninsula State Park
On Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 9 a.m. Central Time, the following non-electric campsites at Peninsula State Park will be available for reservation. The reservations will be available for dates beginning May 31, 2013 through June 30, 2013. These sites were available previously for reservations starting July 1, 2013.

Tennison Bay: 201, 202, 203, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 215, 219, 450, 452,454, 455, 456, 457, 458, 459, 460, 461, 462, 463, 464, 465, 467, 469, 470, 471, 472, 473, 474, 475, 476, 477, 479, 480, 481, 483, 484, 485, 487, 489, 490, 491, 492, 493, 494, 495, 496, 497, 498, 499.

These campsites are all non-electric campsites and generators are not allowed at Peninsula State park. For more information search for "Campground electrification project" on the Department of Natural Resources website

RV Product: KRUPS FBC413 Toaster Oven

Author's note: Besides being a pretty decent graduation gift, this KRUPS toaster oven looks like it would be a nice addition for RVers who don't have a fully-equipped kitchen. Here's their press release telling us all about it.

Easily preparing toasted pizza, muffins, and more just got easier with the newest launch from KRUPS, worldwide leader in kitchen appliances.

KRUPS latest kitchen innovation is the FBC413 Toaster Oven ($199.99), which will launch May 2013.

With 5 functions to select from including: Toast, Bake, Convection Bake, Broil, and Defrost, this machine has the large capacity to accommodate 6 slices of toast, a 12” pizza, 6-cup muffin pans, a Pryex11 cup baking dish, and much more!
  • Bake: 25°increments from 150°to 450°;
  • Convection Bake: 25°increments from 150°to 450°; Convection Bake function circulates heated air around food for faster and even cooking results
  • Toast: 9 levels of browning with countdown timer
  • Broil: uses top elements only, high / low options
  • Defrost: gently and evenly defrosts using convection fan
Patented dual sets of quartz heating elements (one set above, one below) cause food to heat 30% faster and offer ultra-precise temperature control, while patented quartz cycling technology alternates 1,600 watts of power to each set of heating elements to produce maximum radiant heat.

The machine’s design features a stainless steel, high-end finish on both the sides and top of the unit with door accents, along with an illuminated LCD control panel featuring easy-to-use controls and high quality, soft-touch buttons. The machine’s non-stick interior surface is durable and easy-to-clean.

The machine’s design features a stainless steel, high-end finish on both the sides and top of the unit with door accents, along with an illuminated LCD control panel featuring easy-to-use controls and high quality, soft-touch buttons. The machine’s non-stick interior surface is durable and easy-to-clean.

Volunteers needed for summer stewardship in southeastern Michigan; June schedule

Residents in southeast Michigan are invited to join in the effort to protect high-quality natural areas. The Department of Natural Resources recently announced the June schedule of volunteer stewardship activities.

Volunteering for these workdays is a great way to Go Get Outdoors in many of Michigan’s state parks, breathe some fresh air, have fun and get a bit of exercise – all while enjoying beautiful scenery and learning about plants and animals.

Help is needed to hand-pull garlic mustard, an aggressive, invasive, non-native plant. June is the last chance to pull this plant before it releases its seeds for the year. Later in the month, volunteers will cut invasive, non-native shrubs like autumn olive, honeysuckle and buckthorn, and hand-pull spotted knapweed, an invasive, non-native plant that takes over in prairies. Removal of garlic mustard and spotted knapweed, similar to weeding a garden, is an enjoyable way to spend time outdoors. Volunteers of all ages are invited to participate, including youth and scout groups, service clubs, etc.

Volunteers should wear appropriate clothing for outdoor work, including long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes, and bring gloves and drinking water.

Workday dates, locations (counties) and times are:
  • Saturday, June 1 - Waterloo Recreation Area (Washtenaw), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Sunday, June 2 - Pinckney Recreation Area (Washtenaw), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, June 5 - Waterloo Recreation Area (Washtenaw), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Saturday, June 8 - Bald Mountain Recreation Area (Oakland ), 9 a.m. to noon 
  • Sunday, June 9 - Island Lake Recreation Area (Livingston), 9 a.m. to noon 
  • Saturday, June 15 - Brighton Recreation Area(Livingston), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Saturday, June 22 - Highland Recreation Area (Oakland), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Sunday, June 23 - Brighton Recreation Area(Livingston), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Saturday, June 29 - Island Lake Recreation Area(Livingston), 9 a.m. to noon 
  • Sunday, June 30 - Algonac State Park (St. Clair), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Sunday, June 30 - Waterloo Recreation Area (Washtenaw), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
All volunteers are asked to register using the form available on the stewardship workdays calendar Web page. For registration information or questions about the volunteer stewardship workdays in Southeast Michigan, please contact Laurel Malvitz-Draper at 248-359-9057 or

The DNR’s Volunteer Steward program is part of the Parks and Recreation Division, Stewardship Unit’s mission to “preserve, protect and restore the natural and cultural resources present within Michigan state parks for this and future generations.”

To get information about the activities on each workday, find directions or park information, or check the Volunteer Steward program calendar of events, visit and link to the Calendar of Volunteer Stewardship Workdays.

'Rock my RV" premieres tonight on the Travel Channel; plus a contest to win an RV

From the creators of Overhaulin’ and the producers of Extreme RVs comes a new series on The Travel Channel called Rock My RV! The host of the show is legendary rocker Bret Michaels.

Here's a link to the Travel Channel's website about the "Rock My RV" show.

The new original series “Rock My RV with Bret Michaels” premieres on Sunday, May 26 at 9 p.m. ET with back-to-back episodes, as part of Travel Channel’s “We Are Summer” multiplatform programming campaign. Each of the sixteen episodes (15 half-hours; one-hour finale) will feature rock icon and RV enthusiast Bret Michaels as he, along with a design team including master fabricator Bodie Stroud and lead builder Jake Scott, transform dilapidated RVs into the most luxurious, over-the-top, insane motor coaches on the road. The high-octane and innovative new series showcases Michaels, a hands-on RV aficionado and the ultimate road dog, like you’ve never seen him before, sharing his passion and expertise with travelers and RV fans everywhere.

“Rock My RV with Bret Michaels” is produced by BCII Productions for Travel Channel. For BCII, the executive producers are Bud Brutsman and Bret Michaels. For Travel Channel, the executive producer is Patrick McManamee.

Hope you tune in and set your DVRs! Premieres Sunday, May 26 at 9 p.m. EST.

A Lucky Fan Will Win an RV Custom-Built and Designed By Bret Michaels and his Team PLUS An Appearance On The Series’ Season Finale
Travel Channel’s new original series “Rock My RV with Bret Michaels” is hooking up one lucky fan with the ultimate prize: a shockingly luxurious RV custom-built and designed by Michaels and his “Rock My RV” design team, PLUS an appearance on the show’s special one-hour finale.

Beginning Monday, June 3, fans can log onto and enter the “Rock My RV with Bret Michaels: Epic RV Giveaway Contest” for their chance to win this unprecedented opportunity. The contest runs from Monday, June 3 through Monday, July 15. The grand prize RV is being provided by Camping World Inc., the presenting sponsor of the “Epic RV Giveaway Contest,” as well as the series.

As in the series, Michaels and the design team will overhaul and customize a mystery RV into a “rocked out” coach ready to hit the road in style – an over-the-top transformation that includes never-before-attempted design elements.

To enter, fans must submit an original video, no more than two minutes in length, explaining why they want this RV. Three finalists will win a trip to Los Angeles to take part in the show’s finale episode, where they will witness the unveiling of the transformed vehicle and one lucky winner will be handed the keys. will feature additional web-exclusive material, including behind-the-scenes elements of the RV build.

For more insider news and content, follow Travel Channel and “Rock My RV with Bret Michaels” on Twitter (@travelchannel #RockMyRV) and Facebook.

'Summer in Northern Michigan' collaborative video focuses on traditions of water, friends and craft beer in the Great Lakes State

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – North Peak Brewing Company in Traverse City is longing for warm summer days filled with fun in the sun. In anticipation of such days to come, they’ve introduced a true Michigan collaboration!

Michigan artist/singer/songwriter Jetty Rae lends her words and gritty vocals to an inspiring new video by filmmaker Evan Joling – featuring the high-in-the-sky aerial skills of local kiteboarding icons Matt and Keegan Myers (aka “The Broneah Brothers”) and their M-22 branding, paired with North Peak’s seasonal brew Archangel Summer Wheat.

“Everyone at North Peak is READY for summer,” says Greg Lobdell, who – along with Jon Carlson, Ron Jeffries and Mike Hall, are the managing partners of Northern United Brewing Company. “We think this video is a great representation of Summer in Northern Michigan – passionate and creative individuals having fun with family and friends. We can’t wait to share it with everyone!”

The complete video (1:48), shot in the skies over the sparkling waters and along the shoreline of West Grand Traverse Bay, is available for online viewing here.

The North Peak is part of Northern United Brewing Co., which also encompasses the Grizzly Peak and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales craft beer brands, as well as the Civilized line of spirits. NUBC’s philosophy focuses on a dedication to conservation, inspiration and locally sustainable practices. Find NUBC products at stores, restaurants, and bars all throughout Michigan, including: North Peak Brewing Company, Mission Table and Jolly Pumpkin Brewery, all in Traverse City; Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak, in Ann Arbor.

Ohio DNR Anticipates Good Fishing at Lake Erie in 2013

Lake Erie anglers should enjoy diverse fishing opportunities in 2013, according to the Ohio Department of
Natural Resources (ODNR).

“When you consider the mix of species and sizes that are seasonally available to Ohio anglers, we are optimistic about the fishing prospects this year,” said Jeff Tyson, Lake Erie fisheries program manager for the ODNR Division of Wildlife. “Weather is always a wild card at Lake Erie, but if conditions are similar to those in 2012, anglers should have excellent seasonal opportunities this year to catch walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, white bass and steelhead.”

Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch fisheries are managed through an interagency quota system that involves Ontario, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio jurisdictions. Each jurisdiction regulates their catches to comply with quotas and minimize the risk of over-fishing these species. Quotas for the upcoming fishing season are determined through consensus agreement by these jurisdictions through the Lake Erie Committee of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, which were recently announced for 2013.

The walleye daily bag limit is four, and the yellow perch daily bag limit is 30 per angler in Ohio waters until April 30. The daily bag limit will be six walleye from May 1 through Feb. 28, 2014. From March 1, 2014, through April 30, 2014, the daily walleye bag limit will be four. A 15-inch minimum size limit is in effect during the entire season for walleye. The yellow perch daily bag limit is 30 from May 1 through April 30, 2014, with no minimum size limit. 

Ohio walleye anglers in 2013 will catch fish mostly from the 2010, 2009, 2007 and 2003 hatches. Walleye from the 2011 hatch continue to show good growth based on 2012 fall surveys and many individuals will be near or over the 15-inch minimum size limit during the 2013 fishing season. Walleye from the moderate 2010 hatch will range from 17-22 inches, while walleye from the 2007 hatch will range from 18-25 inches. The 2003 and 2007 hatches are likely to carry most of the Central Basin fisheries. These walleye will complement the larger 22- to 30-inch fish from the strong 2003 hatch. Large walleye from strong hatches in the mid-1990s will provide “Fish Ohio” opportunities (greater than 28 inches).  

Yellow Perch
Expect good perch fishing in 2013, with the largest fish in the eastern areas of the Central Basin. Perch anglers should encounter fish ranging from 7- to 13-inches from the 2011 through 2007 hatches in this year’s fishery, with major contributions from the 2007 and 2008 year classes. Fish from the large 2003 year class are still present, particularly in the central basin, and will provide some of this year’s trophy perch opportunities.  

Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth bass fishing in 2013 is expected to be fair. Bass catch rates in 2012 were the highest observed since the mid-1990s. Smallmouth bass caught should be excellent size (14 to 22 inches, weighing up to 6 pounds). Bass fishing is best in areas with good bottom structure, which is the available habitat across much of the entire Ohio near shore area. All black bass (smallmouth and largemouth) must be immediately released from May 1-June 28. Beginning June 29, the daily bag limit for bass is five, with a 14-inch minimum length limit.  

Steelhead anglers should enjoy another year of great fishing in 2013 in Ohio’s Lake Erie open waters and in tributaries. Peak summer steelhead action on Lake Erie can be found offshore from June through August between Vermilion and Conneaut, with catches measuring 17 to 29 inches. Most Lake Erie anglers troll for steelhead in deep waters using spoons with dipsy divers or downriggers until fish move close to shore in the fall. The daily bag limit remains at five fish per angler from May 16-Aug. 31, and two fish per angler between Sept. 1 and May 15, 2014. A 12-inch minimum size limit is in effect throughout the year.  

White Bass
White bass continue to provide excellent seasonal fishing opportunities in the Maumee and Sandusky rivers and in the open lake. The 2013 catch will be dominated by fish from the 2010 and 2011 year classes. Fish from 2005 could be as large as 16 inches. Anglers should focus on major Western Basin tributaries during May and June and near shore areas of the open lake during the summer. There is no white bass daily bag limit or size limit.  

Other Species
Largemouth bass fishing efforts and catch rates have increased significantly. Bays, harbors and main lake shorelines offer excellent fishing for panfish, as well as largemouth bass. Anglers may also catch an occasional northern pike or muskellunge in vegetated areas.

Anglers are reminded that fishing conditions on Lake Erie can change hourly and adjustments are often necessary to improve success. Anglers should take into account factors such as water temperature, cloud cover, water clarity, boat traffic, wave action, structure, currents and the amount of baitfish in the area. Anglers are also reminded to carefully monitor Lake Erie weather and to seek safe harbor before storms approach.

Updated Lake Erie fishing reports are available at or by calling 888-HOOKFISH (888-466-5347). Information is available from ODNR Division of Wildlife staff from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the Fairport Harbor station (440-352-4199) for the Central Basin and at the Sandusky station (419-625-8062) for the Western Basin.

Information on the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s Lake Erie research and management programs, fisheries resources, fishing reports, and maps and links to other Lake Erie Web resources are available at

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

Clinton River Watershed Council making a difference for fisheries conservation

A student takes a water sample as part of the Clinton River
Watershed Council's Adopt-A-Stream program.
Odds are you’ve never heard of the Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC). Formed more than 40 years
ago, the non-profit conservation organization is dedicated to education, stewardship and watershed-management planning. The group has quietly and effectively gone about its tasks, so much so that it has recently been recognized by the Department of Natural Resources with a “Partners in Conservation” Award, an honor bestowed upon groups and individuals who go above and beyond to foment conservation of Michigan’s natural resources.

Fisheries Division’s Lake Erie Management nominated the council for the award.

“They’ve got a lot of on-going information, education and outreach work throughout the watershed,” said Jim Francis, a DNR fisheries biologist in southeast Michigan, who works with the CRWC regularly. “We have a really good relationship with this group.”

The Clinton River Watershed consists of about 760 square miles, mostly in Oakland and Macomb counties, that includes 80 miles of Clinton River and about 1,000 miles of streams.

Francis said two projects that the council took on – removal of dams that have outlived their original purposes on the North Branch of the Clinton River and on Paint Creek – are excellent examples of how a citizens’ group can have a positive effect on conservation.

“On the North Branch, they received the grants to do the work – one from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and one from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation,” Francis explained. “They conducted the project oversight and administration, and the DNR did the actual work with our heavy equipment crew. That was a really good collaboration.

“Removal of that dam restored fish access to 21 miles of the mainstream, including 15 miles of trout water as well as another 18 miles of tributaries and 54 miles of intermittent tributaries. Just the fish passage alone is huge, but to me, removing the dam allowed for important stream-bank restoration. That’s where you get the fish habitat.”

Students sample for aquatic insects as part of the Clinton
River Watershed Council's Stream Leaders program.
The second project was recently completed on Paint Creek, which is a noted trout-fishing destination for
anglers in southeastern Michigan, where trout water is rare.

Removing the dam at Paint Creek was a difficult, Francis said, as some landowners were opposed to it. But the CRWC stuck to its guns and worked through the system to prevail.

“The council got the grant, it hired the engineering firm, it oversaw the project from start to finish,” Francis said. “They took their lumps, but they knew they were doing the right thing for the resource.”

The dam at Paint Creek was causing erosion that resulted in the deposition of 46 tons of sediment into the stream every year, Francis said.

“Think about that – that’s like taking dump-truck load after dump-truck load of sediment into the creek,” Francis said. “That sediment is settling over the gravel that the trout and aquatic insects need. So while we focus on the fish passage when we talk about dam removal, it’s the overall health of the stream that’s being restored.

“Both of these projects had a direct benefit on rare and important resources in southeast Michigan.”

Formed in 1972 as an association of local governments under the auspices of the Local Rivers Management Act of 1964, the CRWC coordinates the efforts of local governments, businesses and community groups to improve water quality and celebrate the value of the Clinton River as a natural and recreational resource.

In 1994, the CRWC reorganized as a non-profit organization, which allowed it to apply for funding from governmental agencies and private entities. The CRWC is funded by dues from county government members; business partnerships; state, federal, and private grants; and individual donations.

Anne Vaara, who joined the CRWC in 2007 and serves as executive director, said the group was thrilled when it heard it would receive an award from the DNR.

DNR personnel reconstruct the stream bed after the dam
removal on the North Branch of the Clinton River.
“We’re deeply honored,” she said. “The DNR has been a great partner for us for years. We wouldn’t be
able to do much of our work at all without partnerships, and having a partnership with the DNR has been essential.”

Although Francis specifically cited the dam removal projects as the reason the CRWC was nominated for the DNR award, the group maintains a number of on-going programs for the betterment of the watershed.

Stream Leaders, for instance, is an educational program designed to give local students an in-depth knowledge of how natural systems operate. The program gives youths a background in water-quality monitoring, data interpretation and citizen action, while producing information for local officials about the watershed’s qualities. Students and teachers get into the river to understand the chemistry, physical conditions and land uses that impact the river. Students take water-quality samples and survey the biological communities to help evaluate the health of the river.

About 4,500 middle school and high school students participate each year, Vaara said.

The Adopt-A-Stream Program is designed to empower community members to help protect local rivers and streams. Volunteers are assigned to teams and are equipped to gather information on the habitat and invertebrate communities. Twice a year (May and October), Adopt-A-Stream members visit assigned sites to collect invertebrates that live in the streams and adjacent vegetation. The data collected is used by the council as well as municipalities and the state of Michigan to assess stream health and make recommendations for protection and restoration of the habitat. Volunteers of the Clinton River Coldwater Conservation Project, for instance, have collected data that has been used to select sites for trout habitat restoration.

There are 55 sites, each about 200 linear stream/feet, in the program, Vaara said. Some 220 volunteers are involved.

The CRWC is one of numerous organizations that partners with the DNR in fisheries conservation programs.

For more information and the Clinton River Watershed Council, visit

National Parks Promotion Council salutes one of its partners: Forever Resorts

The National Parks Promotion Council (NPPC), a non-profit membership organization, brings together
public and private resources for the purpose of assisting the National Park service in its mission to “… promote National Parks as one of the world’s premiere travel destinations in order to increase visitor appreciation and use of these treasured landscapes and educational resources.”

I encourage you to visit their website. It's loaded with great information, videos, feature articles, research and special offers on the National Parks and their surrounding communities.

Another feature on its website is a list of the organization's partners, including Forever Resorts. The NPPC featured Forever Resorts in its most recent newsletter.

Here's the story:

Headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, Forever Resorts owns and operates more than 65 vacation and entertainment properties in or near national parks, recreation areas and national forests across the United States. 

Established in 1981 by Rex Maughan, the Forever Resorts' first acquisitions were the Callville Bay Resort & Marina and Cottonwood Cove Resort at Lake Mead NRA in Nevada. The company then added leisure service operations at Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton, Isle Royale, Mammoth Cave, Lake Amistad, Badlands, Lake Meredith, Blue Ridge Parkway, Big Bend, Padre Island and Olympic National Parks.

Today, it operates 26 lodging and tour operations at eight properties in national parks, seven houseboat marinas, five small boat marinas and 38 resort properties, many of which are located in Europe and Africa.

"Most people in parks and tourism think of us as a leisure business, but we're much more than that," said Kathy Kratzer, Forever's national director of sales. "The Forever Family, and that's how we refer to ourselves, as we truly are a family, includes 10,000 associates, worldwide and 9.5 million distributors of Forever Living products in 150 countries. 

"We are involved in ranching, agriculture manufacturing and distribution." Ms. Kratzer continued, "Sixty percent of all aloe vera products sold in the world are produced by us. Our Texas manufacturing facility is the state's largest exporter. We work directly and closely with our customers and that's bred a reputation for quality products and exceptional customer service. That same culture exists throughout Forever Resorts." 

"It all comes from Rex Maughan, our founder and president." She continued, "His word is gold. Despite all he's accomplished, he's down to earth. Rex loves animals and takes a personal interest in protecting the places we serve. If ever we say something needs changing, he supports us, doesn't cut corners, and gives us the tools to do it right." 

Forever holds many distinctions and kudos. It manufactures its own houseboats, from small family rental boats to 75-foot luxury houseboats. Forever Resorts was the first houseboat rental company to have all of its fleet compliant to U.S. Coast Guard recommendations for carbon monoxide certification on every operating unit. It recently won an OSHA award for a voluntary protection program that innovated ways to keep guests safe. And, at Lake Mead NRA, Forever designed and built a 70-foot houseboat, called Forever Earth, that was donated to the non-profit Outside Las Vegas and the NPS for use on the lake as a floating research lab and classroom dedicated to protecting Lake Mead's water quality. Forever Resorts was the first and remains the only U.S. multi-location hospitality, marine and lodging company to earn ISO 14000 certification for each of its properties.

At International Pow Wow 2013, Forever Resorts will be one of the national park partners exhibiting on Federal Row.

Wisconsin residents honored for their work to collect information about natural resources

Wisconsin's Ozaukee County’s fish passage program and a key volunteer in documenting how fish are
responding to efforts to restore their migration routes along Lake Michigan tributaries were among the groups and individuals recently recognized for outstanding achievements in citizen-based monitoring of Wisconsin’s natural resources.

Other honorees for the Citizen-based Monitoring Awards include two volunteers with Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center, a key volunteer in surveys to collect data about dragonflies, and Dave Redell, the late Department of Natural Resources bat ecologist, who built the Wisconsin Bat Conservation Program.
Separate Wisconsin Stream Monitoring Awards were given by the University of Wisconsin-Extension and DNR to recognize volunteers, employees and teachers for their commitment to monitoring, collecting data, raising awareness and sharing knowledge about Wisconsin streams.

Recipients of those awards included a leader of the Central Wisconsin Trout Unlimited Riverkeepers, a Racine high school student, a teacher at Menominee Indian High School in Keshena, a Crawford County stewardship group and the coordinator of stream monitoring for Milwaukee Riverkeeper.

“Wisconsin is fortunate to have so many people who care so deeply about our natural resources,” says Owen Boyle, who coordinates the Citizen-based Monitoring Network for DNR.

“We appreciate the efforts of each and every one of those volunteers. Our conference offered us a chance to honor in particular some of the groups and individuals who have provided outstanding service and leadership.”

Kris Stepenuck, volunteer stream monitoring program coordinator for DNR and UW-Extension, says the recipients were “inspirational.” It’s a pleasure to be able to learn from these leaders in volunteer stream monitoring,” she says.

The awards were given out during the Citizen-based Monitoring conference in Wisconsin Rapids on April 5-6, which was jointly hosted by the Water Action Volunteers and the Citizen-based Monitoring Network. More than 135 people from nature centers, schools, colleges, friends groups, and state and county agencies attended the convention.

A list of award winners and short descriptions of their work follows.
  • Ozaukee County Fish Passage Program was named the Citizen-based Monitoring Program of the Year. Ozaukee County’s Parks and Planning Department has procured nearly $8 million in federal, state, local, and other funding since 2006 to carry out fish habitat restoration work. That department has worked with municipalities, consultants, conservation corps, non-profit organizations, and volunteers to remove 180 impediments to fish migration in the county and restore habitats, and to document the effects of their work and provide information that can be used in future planning decisions by state and local governments.
  • Rick Frye received the Outstanding Achievement in Citizen-based Monitoring award for his leadership role within the Ozaukee County Fish Passage Program’s fish surveys. He has volunteered almost 30 hours at five electrofishing survey events and helps guide new volunteers into the labor intensive process.
  • Robin Squier received the Outstanding Achievement in Citizen-based Monitoring for her work with the Urban Ecology Center bird banding program, donating more than 150 hours of her own time in 2012 alone. She also led the effort that made Milwaukee the largest city in Wisconsin to receive the Bird City designation.
  • Dan Jackson received an Outstanding Achievement in Citizen-based Monitoring for his work as a citizen volunteer participating in dragonfly surveys and helping build the Web presence of the new Wisconsin Dragonfly Society. Since 2009 he has contributed 4,051 Odonata records to the Odonata Survey, including a first state record of a striped saddlebags (Tramea calverti).
  • Ethan Bott received an Outstanding Achievement in Youth Monitoring for his volunteerism with the Urban Ecology Center. Now 17, the White Fish Bay High School senior has volunteered more than 300 hours since joining the organization at age 12. He has devoted most of his time to the center’s bird banding project but has also collected information for monarch, snake, and turtle monitoring surveys.
  • David Redell posthumously received a Lifetime Achievement in Citizen-based Monitoring for his work to build the Wisconsin Bat Conservation program after becoming DNR’s first bat ecologist in 2004. He worked to enact vanguard regulations to protect Wisconsin bats and developed a plan that will guide the state’s response to white-nose syndrome, a disease devastating hibernating bat populations in North America. Redell also helped created citizen-based monitoring efforts that now involve nearly 500 volunteers. All future lifetime achievement awards will be named the “David N. Redell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Citizen-based Monitoring.”

Wisconsin stream monitoring awards
  • John Gremmer of Winneconne was recognized as the outstanding adult monitor for the Wisconsin Stream Monitoring program. Under his leadership, Central Wisconsin Trout Unlimited Riverkeepers has grown to support 25 teams who monitor across a six-county area including Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, and Marquette counties. Gremmer does media outreach about Riverkeepers’ activities, seeks funding to support the group’s efforts, and participates in stream improvement work days.
  • Crawford Stewardship Project, based in Crawford County, was recognized as the outstanding group. They began in 2007 to address concerns about the effects of land use on water quality in rural Crawford County and the lower Kickapoo River Watershed. Their monitoring has identified some stream sites with runoff pollution issues. The group started a statewide network to foster clean water and organized a community educational workshop about potential impacts of sand mining on surface and ground waters.
  • Joe Rath was recognized as the outstanding employee of the year. He has been the monitoring coordinator for Milwaukee Riverkeeper since 2010. By 2012 this network had grown to support 63 volunteers monitoring 100 sites. He was instrumental in pilot testing a volunteer phosphorus monitoring effort in streams across the watershed, the largest volunteer phosphorus monitoring initiative ever carried out in Wisconsin.
  • Maya Dizack of Racine was recognized as the outstanding student monitor. Dizack is completing her freshman year at The Prairie School in Racine and began testing a site near her home seven years ago. Today, she and her family monitor three different locations and Maya is an integral member of the Prairie Stream Consortium – a local alliance of community members, She has made presentations to local officials and at the statewide Volunteer Stream Monitoring Symposium.
  • Dan Hannen-Starr was recognized as the outstanding teacher. A high school science teacher at the Menominee Indian High School in Keshena, he worked with tribal elders and community members to bring his students to the streams to monitor them and to assist with sturgeon rehabilitation efforts. In 2011 he and the Menominee Indian High School received a technology grant that allowed students at the high school to increase their participation in volunteer stream monitoring.

VIDEO: RV Roof inspections by Mark Polk of RV Education 101

Enjoy this 45-second video from Mark Polk of RV Education 101 on inspecting the roof of your RV.

In this 30 second RV how to video Mark Polk with RV Education 101 offers some RV roof inspection and maintenance tips.

RV training DVDs available at

Pure Michigan Campaign Results in $1.1 Billion in Visitor Spending in 2012

The Pure Michigan campaign had its biggest impact to date in 2012, attracting 3.8 million out-of-state
visitors to the state, who spent a record high of $1.1 billion at Michigan businesses according to a just-completed report by Longwoods International.

The report, released at this year’s Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism being held in Detroit, found the Pure Michigan campaign generated 580,000 more trips to Michigan in 2012 than in 2011. $79.1 million in new state tax revenues were generated as a result of the $1.1 billion spent by these visitors at Michigan businesses.

The return on investment for the award-winning Pure Michigan campaign also continued to climb in 2012. When compared to the $13.7 million spent on out-of-state advertising for the Pure Michigan campaign in 2012, the $79.1 million in tax revenue received by the state resulted in a return on investment of $5.76. The cumulative return on investment since the Pure Michigan campaign began in 2006 is now $4.10, up from $3.70.

“The Pure Michigan campaign plays a vital role in growing our tourism industry by consistently attracting new visitors to Michigan and delivering a strong return on investment for the state,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “These impressive results showcase the power of Pure Michigan, and demonstrate the vast potential we are seeking to tap into with our efforts to expand this campaign into international markets.”

Of the 3.8 million out-of-state visitors the Pure Michigan campaign attracted last summer, 2.3 million came from the Great Lakes region and 1.5 million came from distant markets around the country. In 2011, the Pure Michigan summer advertising campaign motivated a total of 3.2 million trips from out-of-state – 2 million from the Great Lakes region and 1.2 million from distant markets.

The 2013 Pure Michigan national advertising campaign launched March 18 and is currently airing on more than 25 cable channels. The national campaign television ads, which include national partner ads from Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Mackinac Island, The Henry Ford and Traverse City, will air more than 5,000 times through June. The total budget for the 2013 national campaign is $13 million.

“The positive impact of the Pure Michigan campaign, illustrated by this data, provides a strong foundation for our efforts to raise awareness of Michigan as a national travel destination through our largest advertising campaign to date,” said George Zimmermann, Vice President of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “With a new five-year, statewide tourism industry strategic plan in place and a high level of engagement at the local level, we are in a terrific position to capitalize on this growing number of out-of-state visitors choosing Michigan as their vacation destination.

Michigan's 2012 National and Regional Tourism Advertising Campaign Evaluation and Image Study is available on the reports page of

Longwoods International is a research firm specializing in tourism advertising return on investment.

Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, markets the state’s tourism industry and provides valuable visitor information services. For Michigan travel news and updates, go to

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) serves as the state's marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs, with a focus on helping grow Michigan's economy. For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit:

Guest Post: Apollo RV relocation programs lets you go RVing for as little as a dollar a night

Author's Note: Enjoy this guest post from Apollo RV.

The Recreation Vehicle (RV) Relocation Programs offered by Apollo RV, the world's largest privately owned RV operator, lets enthusiasts with flexible vacation schedules hit the open road without taking a big hit to the wallet.

The rental cost to enjoy a brand new Apollo RV can be as little as one dollar per night.

The factory relocation program features brand new Class C RVs that can be picked up in Decatur, Indiana. Final destinations include Las Vegas, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles. As a limited quantity of these relocation RVs are available, Apollo suggests that interested vacationers visit as soon as possible.

To help with travel expenses from the airport to Decatur, Apollo RV also provides a cab allowance of $100. The nearest airport is Fort Wayne International Airport.

Current pickup dates are May 1-4 and June 2-4, 2013. Auto racing enthusiasts may want to take into consideration the 97th Indianapolis 500, which takes place on Sunday, May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, when planning their trips.

Apollo invites guests to choose from four brand new RV models available on the relocation program. These
RVs range in size from 25 feet to 31 feet in length. All of the relocation RVs are “ready-to-go” and come with a full tank of gas, complete kitchen items, including pots and pans, dinnerware, silverware and more, plus two sets of bedding items, including bed coverings, sheets, pillows and towels. A full propane tank is provided, as well.

Each RV in the program comes with up to 2,500 free miles. The maximum rental period for this valuable special is 14 days. Additional days will be charged standard fees per night. Other fees and charges may apply, please visit for details.

“We’re delighted that our need to shift vehicles to specific destinations to meet our rental needs translates into heavily discounted relocation specials for our guests,” said Apollo RV CEO Luke Trouchet.

For more information about Apollo RV’s year round Recreation Vehicle Relocation Program and the RVs that are offered, visit For the Factory Relocation special, go to

Volunteers boost wildlife habitat improvement efforts in big way

Disabled veteran Jason Webb and Kyra Dewyer, from Westland,
drove 100 miles to help out at the Gratiot-Saginaw work day.
Some 30 volunteers met up with Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Division employees on a recent
Sunday at Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area for a first-ever work day, building brush piles to provide habitat for rabbit and other wildlife species.

Recent changes in state law allow for volunteers to work alongside DNR staffers on habitat improvement projects on state-managed land. The “rabbitat” project – as it’s come to be known -- was a follow-up effort to similar work done a few years back by DNR employees.

“Wildlife Division employees built some brush piles in this area about three years ago. It worked out so well, we decided to try it with volunteers this time because we really wanted it done but our personnel have too many other priority projects right now,” said Doug Reeves, assistant chief of the DNR Wildlife Division.

Beyond the mounting duties and responsibilities facing Wildlife staff, Reeves said the number of staff in the division has decreased in the last 10 years due to attrition, budget cuts and rising costs; so this new option allowing volunteers is a great help.

Volunteers creating “rabbitat” brush piles
at the Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area were
assisted by DNR wildlife assistant Jeff Corser.
In his 2013-14 budget proposal, Gov. Rick Snyder outlined a restructured package of hunting and fishing licenses that would generate additional revenue to better support Michigan’s fish and wildlife habitat programs.

Right now, volunteers partnering with the Wildlife Division are making a significant difference that translates into increased on-the-ground improvements for the state’s woods and water.

“I live nearby, so I’ve come out here to check and there are always rabbits here,” Reeves said. “I’ve seen pheasant tracks going into these piles, robins, catbirds, all kinds of birds. I’ve even seen a chipmunk sitting on one of these piles.

“The brush piles are doing what we intended them to do – attract wildlife.”

The volunteers heeded a call from Michigan United Conservation Clubs to participate in the work day. MUCC’s Drew YoungeDyke, grassroots manager for the organization, said he spread the word through the group’s magazine and email lists, as well as at various sports shows and sporting goods stores.

“We’re going to be doing this all around the state for both fisheries and wildlife,” YoungeDyke said. “It’s about building a statewide stewardship ethic as well as improving the habitat.

“We had about 30 people say they’d come and that’s how many showed up,” said YoungeDyke, who is working with DNR staff to identify appropriate volunteer projects. “Hunters, anglers and outdoorsmen keep their word; they said they’d show up and they did.”

Work-day volunteers created 43 new brush piles at the
Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area, improving wildlife habitat
and small game hunting opportunities.
The volunteers were divided into work groups with a handful of chain-sawyers who dropped appropriate
trees to make the brush piles. Reeves spent a previous evening marking the trees to be cut – dead or dying ash trees, aspens that were encroaching on open fields, and other trees that aren’t especially valuable wildlife habitat – in places in or near openings that attract wildlife.

“We’re also getting rid of invasive species at the same time -- autumn olive and scotch pine,” Reeves said.

The work is relatively simple. After the trees are dropped and sawed into pieces, the volunteers build a lattice with the larger logs and then pile additional tree tops and brush atop it. The base gives small game animals a way to get into the pile and away from predators, creating an area where they can den and shelter young.

Jason Webb, 30, a disabled veteran, brought his girlfriend and drove 100 miles from his home in Westland after reading about the work day in Michigan Out-of-Doors magazine.

“We thought we’d come give a hand,” said Webb. “I try to stay outside as much as possible; it’s better than sitting in front of the darn TV.”

Roger Fowler of Vestaburg, who was running a chainsaw, showed up after meeting YoungeDyke at a
A handful of volunteers used chainsaws to drop marked trees
for the brush piles. The trees used for brush included dead or
dying ash, aspens encroaching on open fields, and invasive
species such as autumn olive and scotch pine.
Cabela’s store.

“I thought it would be a good learning experience for me,” said the 67-year-old, self-employed timber man. “I thought I could learn something to apply to my 30 acres. I think it’s a great idea.”

Donald Eldridge, a co-director of the Friends of Gratiot-Saginaw, said he was tickled by the turnout.

“This is wonderful,” he said. “This is just beautiful public hunting land, 16,000 acres, and anything we can do to improve on it enriches the area and provides benefits to us and future generations. I’m pleased with the turnout and hope we can do more of these projects in the future.”

John VanHaaren, assistant scoutmaster of Troop 305 in St. Charles, brought half his Boy Scout troop along with a couple of other adults to participate.

“We offered them a chance to give something back to the community,” he said. “A lot of them wanted to come out here. It’s a good service project and it helps [the Scouts] to advance in their rank.”

The work day lasted about six hours, including a lunch break for hot dogs and hamburgers, purchased by MUCC and cooked by a volunteer from the Saginaw Field & Stream Club.

YoungeDyke said MUCC is currently reviewing a list prepared by the DNR of potential habitat projects to
Volunteers drag cut trees into brush piles that become valuable
wildlife habitat by providing shelter from predators and cover
for young animals.
see what the group can tackle next.

“We want to make sure we cover all areas of the state and multiple species of fish and wildlife,” he said. “This first year we’ll go a little bit slow, maybe do five or six projects, and then evaluate how we can do things most efficiently. In future years we’ll probably speed up the pace of the projects.

“We built 43 brush piles – ranging from 8 to 10 feet in circumference to some much bigger piles – to give small game and other species a place to escape from predators and get out of the weather.

“We had a lot of comments afterward from volunteers who said they had fun and are looking forward to doing more. They wanted to know when the next project is scheduled.”

For anyone who wants to make a positive difference for wildlife, there are plenty of ways to volunteer. As MUCC’s volunteer program grows, the DNR fully anticipates more opportunities for volunteers to boost the number of boots on the ground at habitat improvement projects.

For more information, contact Drew YoungeDyke at 517-346-6486 or To learn more about the DNR’s wildlife and habitat improvement efforts, visit

Pure Michigan Hunt shoots to score big with help from hunting industry, sportsmen's groups

The hunting industry and sportsmen’s groups are once again stepping up to support hunting and wildlife
management in Michigan by contributing to the fifth annual Pure Michigan Hunt.

“We have the greatest sportsman groups and hunting industry right here in Michigan,” stated Wildlife Outreach Technician Katie Keen. “It’s great that we can work together to help the resource, as well as making the dreams of three lucky hunters come true.”

Every year three winners are chosen by random to win hunting licenses and gear. Each winner is awarded an elk, bear, spring and fall turkey, and antlerless deer license and first pick opening morning at any managed waterfowl area.

If the licenses weren’t enough, prize packages donated by sportsmen's groups and the hunting industry have totaled approximately $4,400 in value for each winner. Shotguns, rifles, crossbows, camouflage clothing, pop-up blinds, guided hunts, hunting vests, knives, rear-window hunting graphics and memberships to sportsmen's groups are just some of the prizes seen in the past.

To date, this year’s Pure Michigan Hunt sponsors are:
  • Ameristep in Clio
  • Ducks Unlimited - Michigan Chapter 
  • Michigan Trappers Association
  • National Wild Turkey Federation - Michigan Chapter
  • Quality Deer Management Association - Michigan Chapter
  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation - Michigan Chapter
  • East Lake Outfitters in Essexville
  • Safari Club International - National and Mid- Michigan Chapter
  • Steel Skinz Graphics in Howell
  • The Trophy Room Taxidermy Studio with RJ Meyer in Jays of Clare 
The most recent winners – Jason Webb of Westland, Jim Bosscher of McBain and Dave Gittins of Kawkawlin – are all currently getting ready for their golden-ticket spring turkey hunt. As Pure Michigan Hunt winners, they can hunt in any open turkey unit in the state any day turkey hunting is allowed in that unit. Each winner also will be able to take advantage of the guided two-day turkey hunt with food and two nights lodging, donated by East Lake Outfitters in Essexville. Look for future information about their 2013 hunting adventures in future press releases.

All dollars generated from the Pure Michigan Hunt fund wildlife and habitat management work in Michigan.

“The Pure Michigan Hunt is an exciting way to showcase everything Michigan has to offer,” said Keen. “This is a wonderful opportunity for hunters to show their support and to also have a shot at the hunt of a lifetime.”

Those who would like to be in the running for the next Pure Michigan Hunt can purchase unlimited $4 applications anywhere hunting licenses are sold or online at (look for item #300). Applicants can enter as many times as they would like until Dec. 31. Winners will be drawn in January 2014. Visit for more information.

Michigan DNR says fish kills common in spring

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone that after the ice melts on Michigan's
lakes, it is not uncommon to discover dead fish or other aquatic creatures. Typical Michigan winters with heavy snow and ice cover create conditions that cause fish and other creatures such as soft-shell turtles, frogs, toads and crayfish to die.

"Winterkill is the most common type of fish kill," said DNR Fisheries Division Production Manager Gary Whelan. "It is particularly common in shallow lakes and streams. These kills are often localized and typically do not impact fish populations or fishing quality."

Winterkill occurs during especially long, harsh winters. Shallow lakes with excess aquatic vegetation and mucky bottoms are particularly prone to this problem. Fish and other aquatic life typically die in late winter, but may not be noticed until a month after the ice leaves the lake because the dead fish and other aquatic life are temporarily preserved by the cold water.

"Winterkill begins with distressed fish gasping for air at holes in the ice and often ends with large numbers of dead fish that bloat as the water warms in early spring," Whelan explained. "Dead fish and other aquatic life may appear fuzzy because of secondary infection by fungus, but the fungus was not the cause of death. The fish actually suffocated from a lack of dissolved oxygen under the ice."

Dissolved oxygen is required by fish and all other forms of aquatic life. Once the daylight is greatly reduced by ice and snow cover, aquatic plants stop producing oxygen and many die. The bacteria that decompose organic materials on the bottom of the lake use the remaining oxygen in the water.

For more information on fish kills in Michigan, visit If you suspect a fish kill is caused by non-natural causes, please call your nearest DNR office or Michigan's Pollution Emergency Alert System at 1-800-292-4706.

Michigan Iron Industry Museum packs music, history and family fun into summer events schedule

The Michigan Iron Industry Museum, located in Negaunee, will host a full schedule of family fun and
educational activities for visitors of all ages this summer. Whether tastes run from music to classic cars to artillery demonstrations to historic bike tours on the Iron Ore Heritage Trail, visitors to the museum can expect a "Pure Michigan" experience.

In addition, a July/August weekday program series will cover presentations on the Copper Strike of 1913-14, local antique bottles, U.P. folk music, Iron Mountain's Cornish pumping engine, and iron ore pelletizing pioneer Tsu Ming Han. All weekday programs begin at 2 p.m. in the museum auditorium.

Located in forested ravines nine miles west of Marquette, the Michigan Iron Industry Museum tells the story of Michigan's three iron ranges and the hard-working immigrants who helped build modern America. Overlooking the Carp River and the site of the region's first iron forge, exhibits and outdoor trails interpret the large-scale capital and human investment that made Michigan an industrial leader. The 22-minute, high-definition film "Iron Spirits – Life on the Michigan Iron Range," shown seven times daily, presents the colorful story of immigrant and community life in the Upper Peninsula.

Visitors will also find a wide selection of unique books, games, jewelry, apparel and other Michigan-related specialty items at the Museum Store.

Museum events are funded in part by visitor donations and the Michigan Iron Industry Museum Advisory
Board. Scheduled activities for 2013 include:
  • May 19 – Museum Open House, with "White Water" in concert at 1 and 2:30 p.m., featuring traditional music from Michigan's past. Light refreshments.
  • June 16 – "Iron, Steel and the Automobile: 24th Annual Antique Auto Exhibit," featuring more than 50 vintage automobiles and light trucks from the 1910s to 1969; live jazz and Swing performances by the "Bluffs Orchestra."
  • July 9 – Lecture Series: "Community in Conflict: A History of the 1913-14 Michigan Copper Strike and the Italian Hall Tragedy," presented by author and labor historian Gary Kaunonen.
  • July 11 – Iron Ore Heritage Bike Tour. Registration required. 
  • July 16 – Lecture Series: "Antique Bottles of Marquette County," presented by Bill Van Kosky.
  • July 18 – Iron Ore Heritage Bike Tour. Registration required.
    July 23 – Lecture Series: "Alan Lomax and Collecting U.P. Folk Music," presented by Daniel Truckey, director of Beaumier Heritage Center at Northern Michigan University (NMU).
  • July 25 - Iron Ore Heritage Bike Tour. Registration required.
    July 30 – Lecture Series: "Iron Mountain's Cornish Pumping Engine and the Mines it Dewatered," presented by Iron Mountain historian William Cummings. 
  • Aug. 3 and 4 - "Iron Ore and the Civil War," a living history encampment featuring military and civilian camp life during the Civil War; campfire cooking demonstrations; music; and children's activities. 
  • Aug. 6 – Lecture Series: "Bats and the Mines: An Update on White Nose Syndrome," presented by Bill Scullon, biologist with the Department of Natural Resources.
  • Aug. 13 – Lecture Series: "Archaeology on the Cusp of a Changing World: An Early Fur Trade Era Archaeological Site in Marquette County," presented by Dr. John Anderton, NMU.
  • Aug. 20 – Lecture Series: "Tsu Ming Han: Pelletizing Pioneer," presented by Dr. Russell Magnaghi, NMU. The Michigan Iron Industry Museum is one of 11 nationally accredited museums administered by the Michigan Historical Center, an agency within the Department of Natural Resources. It is located at 73 Forge Rd. in Negaunee Township, overlooking the site of the Carp River Forge, a pioneer industrial site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information about museum programs call (906) 475-7857 or visit online at

In May, the museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Starting June 1, the museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free; donations are encouraged.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

Michigan DNR advises leaving wildlife in the wild

Most fawns, though by themselves, have not been abandoned.
According to the DNR, people are more likely to see baby
animals alone in the springtime, and it's best to leave them
right where they are.
It happens every spring. Someone finds an “abandoned” fawn and takes it upon themselves to “rescue” it.

The Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Division staff has a word of advice: Don’t.

“When young fawns are born, they’re not very mobile and don’t appear to have much scent to them so their best defense is to just stay still, on their own, apart from their mother,” explained Brent Rudolph, the deer and elk program leader for the DNR. “Predators can’t track them down by following mom around, so she stays away and the fawns stay alone – that’s their best defense during their first few days of life.”

For the most part, does know exactly where their fawns are.

“Sometimes what mom sees as a safe place to stash a fawn is a flower bed at the edge of the house or maybe underneath a deck,” Rudolph said. “So people think ‘That’s a weird place for a fawn – it must be an orphan.’ Generally they’re not orphaned. Through those first few weeks, mom will feed them, clean them, check up on them, then take off again so she’s not drawing attention to them. So we encourage people to let them be.”

There are times – say, you find a dead doe by the side of the road with a nearby fawn – when fawns have been orphaned. Remember it is illegal to take them into your home. Call a licensed rehabilitator if you feel the need. For a list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators, visit

DNR wildlife biologists want people
to know that it's best to leave baby birds, such
as this pheasant chick, alone in the wild.
The same advice applies to other animals as well. Though many young animals are adorable as babies –
raccoons, for instance -- they grow up to be less adorable as adults.

According to DNR wildlife biologist Erin Victory, wild animals do not make good pets and once habituated to humans, they generally do not do well when returned to the wild. They also pose the possibility of bringing disease or parasites that could affect you or your pets into your home. Raccoons, for example, are not only potentially rabid, but they can carry canine distemper, not to mention round worms, fleas and mange.

“Please resist the urge to try to help seemingly abandoned fawns or other animal babies this spring,” Victory said. “We appreciate the good intentions of those who want to help, but animals are better off left alone than if they are removed from the wild.”

Tari Howard, a licensed rehabilitator in Benton Harbor, said she always tells people who have picked up young animals to check and make sure mom’s not around, especially in the case of fawns. "People say, ‘Well, I’ve already touched it,’ but that generally doesn’t seem to matter. I think it’s a myth.”

Howard said she gets a fair number of baby rabbits and squirrels that come to her “eyes closed and hairless.” It’s a 50-50 proposition as to whether they live, she said.

As for birds, the advice is the same. Remember when you were a kid and someone told you that if you touched a baby bird, its mother would either abandon it or kill it?

Baby birds, like these geese, will usually continue to be fed
by their parents, even if it appears they've been left alone. The DNR
advises that if you find baby animals in the wild, it's best to leave them there.
"Not true,” said Karen Cleveland, the DNR’s all bird biologist.

“If it’s completely defenseless and can’t move on its own, the short version is: Stick it back into the nest, if you can. If it’s got little feathers on it and it looks like a bird rather than a ball of fluff, odds are it already tried to fledge from its nest before it was ready to fly. Generally, mom and dad will continue to feed it.”

Young birds that appear grounded may be found a good distance from the nest, Cleveland said, because they walk and search for from predators.

“It’s probably not ready to fly but it thinks it is, and then it ends up on the ground, because its feathers can’t get it airborne,” Cleveland said. “Little birds have been coming out of the nest too early since little birds have been around.

Cleveland said the DNR regularly fields calls from homeowners who have found ducks – mostly mallards – nesting in their shrubs or gardens.

“The thing to do is enjoy it. Back off. Leave them alone. Keep the dogs and cats and kids away from it,” she said. “They’ll be a very quiet neighbor and if the nest fails on its own – something that happens regularly – just wish her luck on her next attempt. If a nest is unsuccessful she’ll try to find someplace else to nest. And if she’s successful there, she may come back."

Though small, this young mallard is capable of making it on
its own - and mom is probably right nearby.
Cleveland reminded folks that it is illegal to take birds, just as it is mammals, into their homes without permits
to do so.

“There are licensed rehabilitators who can work with them if necessary,” she said. “But it’s better for the bird to be raised by their parents, to learn all they need to know to live in the wild rather than to be raised by a human.”

For more information about specific species or wildlife viewing opportunities, visit