DNR awards grants to help improve deer habitat

What's happening: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has awarded deer habitation grants to 12 applicants. The grants will help foster a stronger and more diverse deer population in the Upper Peninsula. The program awarded more than $100,000 in grants to 10 of the U.P.’s 15 counties; all of the grants benefit non-state land projects. The total value is estimated at $201,541 and will help improve more than 10,000 acres. 

What is the success of the program: Now in its 15th year, the program has given back more than $1 million through the Deer Range Improvement Program. Funds for the program come from a portion of deer hunting license revenue. While only 10 counties had winning projects this year, all 15 counties have won grants in the past. They've been given to private landowners, sportsman clubs, conservation districts and industrial landowners.

What they're saying: “These grants will produce positive impacts in Marquette, Alger, Delta, Dickinson, Iron, Baraga, Ontonagon, Gogebic, Schoolcraft and Mackinac counties,” said Bill Scullon, DNR field operations manager and administrator for the grant initiative. “The planned match for the 12 grants is valued in excess of $79,000 (well in excess of the required 25%) further expanding the impact of the projects.” 

What's next: Winning groups will work on growing and improving deer habitats in their areas, including forestry programs to create appropriate wooded areas for deer, plant more nutritional shrubs for their diet and create areas with more sunlight for deer to become more accustomed to well-lit areas. 
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