Michigan Nature Association Summer 2021 Volume 69 Issue 1
michigan nature Michigan Vernal Pools Partnership Research Using Camera Traps A Precious Piece of Michigan’s Natural Heritage
“Worm in the Mud” Photo by Jeremy Salo
Nature Needs Everyone and Everyone Needs Nature Help protect Michigan nature, for everyone, forever: • • • •
Join or renew your membership Become a monthly supporter Honor a loved one with a memorial gift Remember MNA in your will or estate plan
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Features Pool Partners Q & A: Nick Haddad, Author of “The Last Butterflies”
We can demonstrate that corridors connecting natural areas can increase plant and overall biological diversity. - Nick Haddad page 33
In this Issue MNA 360
Temporary Closure of Twin Waterfalls Eastern Massasauga Recovery Grant
MNA Supports Keweenaw Peninsula Land Protection Campaign to Protect Land & Water Species Spotlight: Fairy Shrimp
An Urban Oasis: Dauner Martin Nature Sanctuary Protecting a Precious Piece of Michigan’s Natural Heritage New Technology Helps Protect Rare Snake
Conservation Superhero: Dan Burton
Communications Interns Make a Difference
Recommended Reading from MNA
Remembering Betty White
On the Cover: Fairy shrimp by Steven David Johnson
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Michigan Nature Association
Walking Paths & Protected Areas of the Keweenaw is a guide that features publicly accessible nature and wildlife sanctuaries, preserves, and parks located in Houghton and Keweenaw Counties on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula that have been protected through citizen action and private initiative.
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We envision a future where Michigan’s rare, threatened and endangered species and imperiled natural communities thrive, and where they are valued by people of all walks of life who embrace and benefit from Michigan’s natural heritage.
Board of Trustees
Garret Johnson Executive Director
Yu Man Lee President
Kurt Brauer Vice President
Andrew Bacon Conservation Director
Ruth Vail Treasurer/Secretary
Rachel Maranto Stewardship Coordinator, L.P.
Aubrey Golden Trustee-at-Large
Zach Pacana Regional Stewardship Organizer, E.L.P.
Garret Johnson Executive Director
Robb Johnston Regional Stewardship Organizer, W.L.P.
Bill Atkinson Regional Stewardship Organizer, Thumb Nancy Leonard Regional Stewardship Organizer, Keweenaw
David Cartwright Kara Haas Maureen McNulty Saxton
Natalie Kent-Norkowski Land Protection Technician
Outreach & Education Julie Stoneman Outreach & Education Director Lauren Ross Communications & Events Coordinator
Order your copy by visiting michigannature.org or calling 866-223-2231
Carol Schulz Finance & Administration Director
Lorenzo Kleine Membership Services & Administrative Coordinator
Please direct questions about this magazine to Communications and Events Coordinator, Lauren Ross at email@example.com or 866-223-2231. © 2021. Except where used with permission, entire contents copyright 2019 Michigan Nature Association.
From the Executive Director On the page opposite this column, you will find the stated vision of MNA. It speaks to nothing less than a future where there are no, or at least very few, rare, threatened and endangered species or imperiled natural communities because nature itself is recognized and valued for the important benefits we derive from healthy ecosystems.
So how do we reach that vision? Especially in the face of a crisis in nature and over one million plants and animals threatened with extinction according to a 2019 UNESCO report. Certainly, MNA’s decades long advances in building a system of over 180 Nature Sanctuaries throughout Michigan is one piece of the answer here in our home state as we, and other conservation organizations, protect what we can. But land protection alone is insufficient to turn the tide. What gives me hope are the partnerships and collaborations we undertake on a daily basis, and a few of them are highlighted in this issue of Michigan Nature magazine. It is a point of pride that MNA is a lead partner in the Michigan Vernal Pool Partnership (MVPP) as shared in our feature story, along with the Michigan Natural Features Inventory and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. MVPP is a public/private partnership dedicated to increasing awareness, understanding and protection of vernal pools, a special wetland that lacks any real regulatory protection or even awareness of their importance to healthy forests. Partnerships give us the leverage to make our land protection work something even bigger, whether it is collaborating on the recovery of the massasauga rattlesnake or lending support to a coalition seeking to ensure public ownership of thousands of acres in the Keweenaw that connect and support a broader landscape of protected lands, including MNA nature sanctuaries. Through partnerships, we can turn to the scientific researchers, such as Dr. Nick Haddad in this issue’s Q&A, for answers to vexing questions about the needs of rare butterflies. Through partnerships, we quite simply reach and engage more people with our vision. Our most valuable partners and collaborators? You. With your support, you have a seat at the table in our business of protecting some of Michigan’s rarest plants and animals, and even common ones in decline. As you learn more about our partnership work in this issue, know that you are one of those essential partners who will help us strive toward our vision. You are an essential partner to whom we owe our deepest gratitude for working to protect nature forever, for everyone.
Our Values Integrity | Commitment | Collaboration | Diversity and Inclusiveness | Accountability and Transparency | Respect
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James and Alice Brennan Memorial Nature Sanctuary Photo © Jason Steel
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Inside | MNA
People • Land • Legacy Temporary Closure of Twin Waterfalls Memorial Plant Preserve Perhaps one of the most well-known and recognized of MNA Nature Sanctuaries in the entire state, Twin Waterfalls Memorial Plant Preserve is a gem of a natural treasure. Anyone on a hunt for waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula has probably made it a point to stop by this special place and may recognize the sanctuary’s falls by other names - Memorial Falls, Rudy M. Olson Falls, and Tannery Falls. This past spring, the Michigan Nature Association temporarily closed the Twin Waterfalls Memorial Plant Preserve to all visitors. MNA is taking this action to make the following improvements to the preserve: • Reroute the walking trail system • Address erosion sites • Install new trailhead infrastructure and alter access sites • Upgrade trail and signage
The re-opening date of the Nature Sanctuary will depend on several factors including contractor timelines, weather, and others, but is anticipated to be re-opened in 2022. During this time, visitation to Twin Waterfalls Memorial Plant Preserve will be strictly prohibited. But other quality waterfall features to visit in the Munising area include Munising Falls, Wagner Falls, and Mosquito Falls. MNA appreciates your cooperation and understanding during this time. Please visit michigannature.org for the latest information and updates.
These improvements seek to balance the need for protecting the Nature Sanctuary and enabling visitors to access and enjoy the falls long into the future. Increased visitation in recent years has led to significant erosion of the natural features of this sanctuary. Photo by Andrew Bacon.
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Memorial Falls. Photo by Mike Zajczenko.
Inside | MNA
Photo by Sherri Laier.
MNA and Partners Secure Grant for Eastern Massasauga Recovery Named as a species of greatest conservation need in Michigan and listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, the growing rarity of the Eastern massasauga rattlesnake - the only venomous snake found in Michigan - is cause for serious concern. Seeking to reverse the decline, MNA and its partners, the Michigan Natural Features Inventory and Grand Valley State University, sought and received first and second year funding of $343,661 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to aid in the conservation and recovery of priority Eastern massasauga populations in the state. The Eastern massasauga can be found in a variety of wetland types throughout Michigan’s Lower Peninsula with a northernmost population found on Bois Blanc Island in the Straits of Mackinac. According to the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, populations in southern Michigan are typically associated with open wetlands, particularly prairie fens, while those in northern Michigan are known from open wetlands and lowland coniferous forests, such as cedar swamps. Some populations of Eastern massasaugas also utilize open uplands and/or forest openings for foraging, basking, gestation and giving birth to young. Several of MNA’s Nature Sanctuaries are home to this elusive and docile species. MNA will coordinate and facilitate the work among the partners, which includes massasauga population surveys and monitoring, habitat connectivity analysis, risk factor assessments, and education and outreach efforts to increase public support and tolerance for the snake. Risk assessments will target four key population stressors: climate change, woody plant encroachment/canopy cover in prime habitat areas, flooding, and snake fungal disease. MNA will also conduct habitat management and restoration at areas occupied by the rattlesnake in the Upper Shiawassee River watershed in Oakland County. Management will occur at known rattlesnake population sites and on neighboring private properties at sites owned by Springfield Township (Oakland County), and state public lands managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
“The grant will help us strive to meet our vision of healthy populations conserved in sufficient numbers as we apply what we learn at several initial sites into the development of a comprehensive strategy for other priority sites throughout the state,” says Andrew Bacon, MNA’s Conservation Director. “We recently received second year funding, which puts us in an excellent position for additional funding of $327,000 over the next few years. That could have a significant impact on our ability to recover this notable animal.” The massasauga does not benefit from an appreciative public, who tend to gravitate toward more charismatic wildlife. Nonetheless, its presence contributes to Michigan’s rich biodiversity and its decline is a sign that wetland loss and habitat fragmentation, to mention just two threats to the snake, have serious impacts not only for this species but many others as well. Watch for further progress updates on the project as field work commences in spring and summer 2021.
Historic distribution map of Eastern massasauga rattlesnake. Courtesy MNFI. michigan nature| summer 2021
Online | MNA
michigannature.org MNA Supports Campaign to Secure Nearly 16,000 Acres at Keweenaw Tip Earlier this year, the Keweenaw Outdoor Recreation Coalition (KORC) led a campaign of individuals, businesses, and outdoor recreation, conservation, and community organizations, including MNA, to nominate Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) purchase of more than 15,800 acres at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula in Upper Michigan using funds from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. MDNR ownership would secure permanent, public access to these recreational and conservation lands that are now in private ownership and at risk for development.
A snapping turtle suns itself at MNA’s Keweenaw Shores #2 Nature Sanctuary. Photo by Nancy Leonard.
The MDNR is exploring options but does not plan to apply for a Trust Fund grant this year. MNA supports the KORC initiative; these lands link and support many of our Nature Sanctuaries in this spectacular, relatively undeveloped landscape and are an important part of the Keweenaw’s tourism economy.
Michigan Legislators Bolster Campaign to Protect Land and Water A national movement is underway to protect 30% of U.S. lands and 30% of our ocean areas by 2030. The 30 X 30 campaign is designed to help address the alarming loss of nature across the globe given the growing awareness that plant and animal species are rapidly declining. Within a week of taking the oath of office, President Biden signed an Executive Order to put the country on track to meet that goal. In a show of bipartisan support for conservation, State Senator Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) and others recently introduced Senate Resolution 72. SR 72 mirrors previously introduced House Resolution 25, sponsored by Representative Sarah Lightner (R-Springport). Both resolutions call on the Governor to set a 30 X 30 conservation goal for Michigan’s lands and waters. Currently 7.7 million acres, or 21% of Michigan’s land base is publicly held (local, state and forest) but not all those acres are necessarily conservation lands. Lands permanently protected by the state’s private land conservancies total 672,967 acres, or just under 2% of the state’s land base, but that figure also includes some agricultural lands. 12
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Photo by Lauren Ross.
Online | MNA
Species Spotlight: Fairy Shrimp (Eubranchipus sp.) Photo by Leo Kenney
A vernal pool fills with water around the springtime, bringing new life. Here, a small crustacean hatches; a lesser known relative of the lobster. This crustacean’s common name, fairy shrimp, is the perfect nod to its graceful demeanor in the water and its small, delicate body. These aquatic dancers glide through the water on their backs by slowly rippling their eleven pairs of legs to create propulsion. They vary in size but are typically around three quarters of an inch long. The fairy shrimp would not be able to survive without the protective habitat created by the emergence of vernal pools each year. Though the ephemeral nature of vernal pools makes them a safe place for fairy shrimp to live without fish predators, surviving in such impermanent conditions is no small task. Fortunately, fairy shrimp are well adapted to do just that. Once their eggs hatch, fairy shrimp have relatively short life cycles, only about a few weeks, allowing them to age and usually reproduce within the short window provided by the pool. In the case that the vernal pool dries up too quickly for the fairy shrimp to reproduce, these clever crustaceans have a backup strategy. Each spring, only a segment of the fairy shrimp eggs that had been laid the previous year will hatch, leaving the rest to remain dormant for potentially several years. That means that the fairy shrimp population can continue to survive, even if the pool doesn’t fill with water one year. The presence of fairy shrimp is a sign of a healthy ecosystem, as it is considered an indicator species to confirm the presence of a vernal pool; and is exciting to behold if you are lucky enough to witness it.
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Sanctuaries | MNA
An Urban Oasis: Dauner Martin Nature Sanctuary
Sunrise at Dauner Martin Nature Sanctuary. Photo by Zach Pacana.
Within the city limits of Fenton, Michigan, MNA’s Dauner Martin Nature Sanctuary is an unlikely refuge for local plants and animals. This sanctuary, which is well-known to locals, was once used to grow hops for the Dauner Brewery. Passed down through the family, it was eventually acquired by Robert Martin, the great-grandson of Phillip Dauner who operated the brewery. Building a Community Resource As an asset to the residents of the city of Fenton, Dauner Martin is an urban escape, which includes nearly four-and-a-half miles of trails with benches along the way for visitors to pause and appreciate the sanctuary’s unique landscape and wildlife, including mourning warblers, blue-winged warblers, and black-billed cuckoos. Dauner Martin is also a popular sanctuary for community service and research projects by Eagle Scouts, the Sierra Club, and the local Audubon chapter among others. It was the site of a paid internship program in 2017 thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. The grant paid for two interns who worked to build volunteer capacity around the sanctuary, and to improve the visitor experience to the sanctuary with parking area improvements and invasive plant removal. Ecological Importance While Dauner Martin Nature Sanctuary exists in a highly developed area, it serves an important function as a habitat refuge for local plants and animals. While some portions of the sanctuary suffer from invasive species infestations and the negligence of visitors, other areas remain less disturbed. As a natural area adjacent to 14
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Dauner Martin Nature Sanctuary Facts: Size: • 155 acres • Dry-mesic Southern Forest Habitats: • Mesic Southern Forest • Prairie Fen Notable • Blanding’s turtle Species: • Big and Little Bluestem Notable Landscape • Vernal Pools Features:
Sanctuaries | MNA
development, the sanctuary provides needed habitat and allows for natural groundwater recharge. Among Dauner Martin’s many natural communities, a keen-eyed visitor will find several vernal pools throughout the sanctuary. These ephemeral wetlands (see feature story beinning on page 18 for more information) are important breeding grounds for a variety of amphibians including wood frogs and spotted salamanders, as well as a miniature creature in the crustacean family – fairy shrimp (see Species Spotlight on page 13). Restoring Wild Places Out of all of MNA’s more than 180 Nature Sanctuaries, Dauner Martin is truly a gem. While it may not carry the intrigue of an old-growth forest, or the breathtaking views of a lakeside bluff, its contributions to ecosystem health and provided natural area access to the community cannot be understated. And while it may seem like a relatively average woodland from the outside, it is home to some very interesting plants and animals. It is for this reason that it is so important to protect. Prior to its donation to MNA in 1997, the land had been re-zoned for high density housing. We have the generosity and forethought of the Martin family to thank for saving it from that fate. But threats still remain – high volumes of visitation cause stress on the land. Invasive species creep in, and occasional misuse cause disturbances to the wildlife and peace normally found at this sanctuary, as with many other natural areas. And so MNA must work diligently to communicate with sanctuary visitors and the broader community about the importance of these spaces – Dauner Martin provides that opportunity as well. “Dauner Martin is a backyard sanctuary” says Regional Stewardship Organizer Zach Pacana, “this woodlot serves not only as a safe haven for plants and animals but also to those seeking refuge from their everyday life.”
An Eagle Scout crew install a boardwalk section in 2016. michigan nature| summer 2021
Wood frog at Dauner Martin Nature Sanctuary. Photo by Zach Pacana.
Sanctuaries | MNA
A Precious Piece of Michigan’s Natural Heritage As the third most densely populated county in the state, Oakland County is not often associated with expansive nature preserves, which makes Lakeville Swamp Nature Sanctuary all the more unique. Sanctuary number five, as it is referenced in MNA’s files (owing to the order in which it was originally acquired) is a rare 78-acre wetland complex in northeastern Oakland County. Originally donated to MNA in 1963 as a one-acre parcel by Cecil and Hazel Dunn, the sanctuary expanded with several more donations by extended family in 1969 and 2012. “The expansion of Lakeville Swamp over the years is an excellent example of the legacy that can be created by multiple generations of landowners,” MNA reported in the Spring 2012 issue of Michigan Nature magazine. It is also a testament to the importance of protecting even a small Nature Sanctuary; it can serve as an inspiration to others to make a commitment to donate and conserve land for the benefit of wild plants and animals. Lakeville Swamp is home to hundreds of native plants and animals, some of which are listed by the State of Michigan as threatened, endangered, or of special conservation concern. Surveys conducted over the years have identified hundreds of different species of native plants throughout the sanctuary. This incredible amount of diversity is owed in part to the number of different habitat types found here. At the western edge of the sanctuary, visitors will find an oak barrens bordering the rich conifer swamp that runs alongside Rochester Road. On the east side of the road, a sedge meadow easily conceals the headwaters of Stony Creek, one of five major tributaries of the Clinton
River. This creek meanders through the Nature Sanctuary to the east toward a rare plant community known as a prairie fen - which occur on well saturated organic soils, dominated by sedges and grasses, and are ideal habitat for the federally endangered Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake.
Work being conducted at Lakeville Swamp Nature Sanctuary includes prescribed burning of invasive species such as phragmites, which outcompetes native plants for essential nutrients. Shown on the left is an area that was recently burned, and on the right, the remaining population of phragmites. Photo by Zach Pacana. 16
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Sanctuaries | MNA
Stony Creek winds its way through the sedge meadow of Lakeville Swamp Nature Sanctuary. Photo by Sanctuary Steward John Behnke.
Like many other wetland habitats however, Lakeville Swamp Nature Sanctuary is vulnerable to nearby hydrological alterations including housing and roadway construction, as well as threats from encroaching invasive species. In 1986 the Oakland County Road Commission announced plans to build a new road through the cedar swamp. MNA mobilized its volunteers and other local supporters to write letters, testify at hearings, make signs, take photos, count plants and animals, and do traffic studies to suggest alternatives. After 18 months of field work, negotiation, and persuasion, the threat was averted by an amicable compromise on a restrained improvement of the existing roadway. It was recognized that this swamp was a precious piece of Michigan’s heritage that no one wanted to lose. The Road Commission even provided visitors with a parking area and put up signs along the road that identify the swamp. Beginning in 2019 and continuing through 2021 thanks to the Consumers Energy Foundation’s recent Planet Award, Lakeville Swamp is benefiting from invasive species management activities. The award provided necessary funding to protect, restore, and enhance 575 acres of critical habitat at or adjacent to eleven of MNA’s Nature Sanctuaries, including Lakeville Swamp. More on the award and the projects it is helping make happen is in the Fall 2019 issue of Michigan Nature magazine.
Native sedge grasses sprout new growth quickly in this post-burn followup visit, one week after the prescribed burn shown on the opposite page. Photo by Sanctuary Steward John Behnke. michigan nature| summer 2021
A wood frog floats at the surface of an ephemeral or vernal pond, hoping to attract a mate. A sure way to locate these unique wetlands in Michigan forests is to listen for the chorus of frogs croaking loudly in the early spring. Photo by Lauren Ross. 14 18
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Michigan Vernal Pools Partnership Seeks to Protect a Unique Wetland There are treasures to be found in Michigan forests ... none quite so fascinating as vernal pools.
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Feature | MNA
A spring peeper croaks in search of a mate for the season. Photo by Steven David Johnson.
There are treasures to be found in Michigan forests, none quite so fascinating as vernal pools. (See inset next page). Sometimes called ephemeral pools, these special wetlands typically appear in the spring and disappear in the summer. They occur throughout Michigan forests, but can also be found in fields, marshes, and bogs. But what really captures the imagination about these hidden gems - and the interest of scientists - is the distinctive assemblage of animals that depend on these “disappearing” ponds for habitat and breeding. According to Yu Man Lee, a herpetologist with the Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI), it has only been in the last few decades that scientists have begun to understand and fully appreciate these special ecosystems. They have been called the “coral reefs of the northeast forest” because they serve as important nurseries for vernal pool indicator species, including the wood frog, spotted salamander, blue spotted salamander, and fairy shrimp (see Species Spotlight, page 13) - all highly dependent on vernal pools for part or all of their life cycles. Other plants and animals also depend on vernal pools - over 500 species have been found at vernal pools in northeastern U.S. forests. But as more is learned about vernal pools, the urgent need for their protection grows. The pools are very vulnerable to disturbance, 20
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alteration, and outright destruction due to their small size and seasonal nature. Myriad threats exist, ranging from the impacts of land use changes such as development to a general lack of understanding and awareness about them. Furthermore, vernal pools receive little or no direct protection under federal and state wetland regulations. Finally, their ephemeral nature makes them difficult to identify on the landscape, a real challenge to conservation efforts. In fact, Lee says, limited information is available on the status, distribution, and ecology of vernal pools across the state of Michigan. Using models from other states, and with Lee’s vision and leadership, a remarkable public/private partnership emerged in 2016 to take on the necessary tasks of mapping, research, conservation, and outreach and education to build greater understanding and awareness of vernal pools. The Michigan Vernal Pool Partnership (MVPP) unites agencies, organizations, businesses, and interested individuals to increase protection of vernal pools. Co-led by the Michigan Nature Association, MNFI, and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, 25 original partners joined the effort, including nature centers, land conservancies, conservation groups, local governments, natural resource agencies, and universities.
Feature | MNA
What is a Vernal Pool?
by Emma Kull, MNA Communications Intern
As winter’s cold clutch slowly relinquishes each spring, what was once a gathering of ice on the forest floor now melts into - what seems to be - an unusually large puddle. At first glance this transformation is easily dismissed as anything but exceptional. However, a closer look will reveal a whole new world brought to life. The newly emergent pool of water is an oasis for species of all kinds, some of which can only survive here in the pool’s unique protection. Though it will not last forever, it is a vital ecosystem: a vernal pool. Vernal pools are temporarily-flooded wetlands in depressions with unique physical attributes that provide a host of critical ecological benefits. Most vernal pools will fill up with water each spring, only to dry up entirely or almost entirely during the summer. This explains their name, since the word ‘vernal’ means ‘spring’. Some vernal pools behave slightly differently than most by filling with water earlier in the year or by drying up in early fall rather than the summer. It is even possible for a vernal pool to be semipermanent, meaning it may not dry up every year. Because the physical appearance of a vernal pool varies throughout the year, they are not always easy to identify. So, what does a vernal pool look like? During the wet season, they appear as a shallow pond; in the dry season they become exposed basins. Typically, a vernal pool is no more than 1 hectare, or approximately 2.5 acres. For reference, one hectare is roughly the size of the average baseball field. You may have the best luck finding a vernal pool in one of Michigan’s forested areas. However, they are not exclusive to this single setting and can be located elsewhere, like in grasslands or thickets. An important defining feature of a vernal pool is that it lacks continuously flowing inlets and outlets, as well as connection to any permanent bodies of water. Due to this unique attribute, combined with the fact that they dry up on a regular basis, vernal pools are not sufficient habitats for fish species. Without the presence of fish, vernal pools become essential habitat for many different creatures and plants. Coming across a vernal pool in the springtime is a chance to view a number of unique and rare species. Among them are those known as indicator species, which are the particular species that depend on the vernal pool for all or part of their life. Some vernal pool indicator species in Michigan include fairy shrimp, wood frogs, spotted salamanders, and blue spotted salamanders. Without vernal pools, we cannot expect these indicator species to survive. This loss is preventable through important conservation work that will protect the fragile yet crucial vernal pool ecosystem. Vernal pools are a key ingredient in the larger environmental cause which seeks to promote and advocate for the protection of threatened and endangered species.
Photo by Lauren Ross michigan nature| summer 2021
Feature | MNA The MVPP is a dynamic approach to protecting these enigmatic ecosystems, leveraging the knowledge and experience of multiple partners - experts in forestry, mapping, regulation and policy, environmental education, biology, and botany - to apply toward vernal pool conservation. The Vernal Pool Patrol Recognizing the success of using citizen or community scientists for scientific data collection, the MNFI (a program of Michigan State University Extension) launched the Michigan Vernal Pool Patrol in 2012. Now under the umbrella of the Vernal Pools Partnership, the Patrol is Michigan’s vernal pool mapping and monitoring program, engaging teachers, students, and enthusiastic volunteers who are aided by program coordinators throughout the state. Patrollers identify and map locations of vernal pools in their local communities and collect information about them using a standard protocol. The data collected by these community scientists is added to a statewide vernal pools database that can be used by a variety of stakeholders to assess and track the status and distribution of vernal pools, leading to their protection and management. Over 681 vernal pools have been confirmed in Michigan at this writing, another 4,562 have been identified as potential but need verification. The actual number of vernal pools in the state most likely numbers many thousands more.
Finding the Pools: Adding Remote Sensing Protection and conservation strategies depend on knowing where vernal pools exist on the landscape - quite challenging for small wet depressions that dry out in the summer. An exciting development is the combination of sophisticated technology to map potential vernal pools and then using community scientists to verify them in the field. Dr. Laura Bourgeau-Chavez, a Senior Research Scientist with Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) and co-chair of the MVPP Mapping and Research Subcommittee, knows firsthand the challenges of locating and mapping these special wetlands. Because they are often hidden beneath tree canopies, woodland vernal pools are difficult to detect via conventional optical remote sensing, which can also be prohibitively expensive over large geographic areas. MTRI instead uses a hybrid technology of canopy penetrating satellite imagery radar and LiDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging using lasers, to detect water features below the tree cover to identify potential vernal pools. “Remote sensing can be used to detect and map these small wetlands within forests. But at that point, they are still only labeled ‘potential’ vernal pools,” she says. “Field surveys are essential to verify that the features we can identify do indeed meet the definition of vernal pools - fishless, seasonally flooded, and/or contain indicator species. But the hybrid technology enables
MNFI herpetologist Yu Man Lee holds a spotted salamander while monitoring a vernal pool at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute. Photo by Fauna Creative. 22 22
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Feature | MNA
“We’re building the tools ... to bring the wonder of vernal pools to learners of all ages.” - Dr. Georgia Peterson, Natural Resources Extension Specialist
MNFI herpetologist Yu Man Lee holds a newt in a net while educating an elementary school class on the importance of vernal pool conservation. Photo by Lauren Ross.
us to create high probability targets for confirming the presence of vernal pools - a way of shrinking the proverbial haystack to find these important needles.” This methodology - using hybrid radar remote sensing with LiDAR, followed by ground truthing in the field - has been developed and tested in areas around Michigan, funded in part by grants from federal agencies, but currently limited to a few national parks and other public lands. Hoping to expand the mapping over larger areas in Michigan and throughout the Great Lakes, MTRI and other partners, including MNFI and MNA, are actively searching for funding to address both the need for wider deployment of remote sensing mapping of potential vernal pools in the Great Lakes region and the establishment of a robust, Great Lakes region-wide community (citizens) science program to confirm their presence in the field. Conserving Vernal Pools: No Clear Regulations
Results of the satellite radar imagery and LiDAR overlaid on an aerial photograph with pink polygons showing potential vernal pools. Courtesy of the Michigan Tech Research Institute.
Vernal pools are a distinct wetland type, and because of their small size and ephemeral nature, are not always directly covered by Michigan’s wetland protection statute. If a vernal pool is unusually large (greater than five acres) it would meet the statutory definition of a wetland regulated by the state. Other examples that could trigger state protection would be the documented presence of a state or federally listed threatened or endangered species or if the pool has a michigan nature| summer 2021
Feature | MNA
A group of researchers peer into a ephemeral pond in search of indicator species to determine whether or not it is a vernal pool as part of the Vernal Pool Patrol training program in 2019. Photo by Lauren Ross.
permanent, seasonal, or intermittent surface water connection with an inland lake or pond, a river or stream, one of the Great Lakes, or Lake St. Clair. However, the latter exception however does not align with the definition of a true vernal pool. Consequently, vernal pools often fall through the regulatory cracks and are therefore at greater risk of disturbance or decimation from land development. Greater potential for conservation exists through local wetland protection ordinances - even for those pools smaller than five acres - provided the ordinance meets state wetland law. For small vernal pools, it must be determined that they are “essential to the preservation of the community’s natural resources,” again following a set of criteria outlined by state statute. The Conservation Subcommittee of the MVPP focuses its efforts on providing guidance to local and regional governmental agencies, including local ordinances; developing or providing Best Management Practices for land managers and others; providing outreach, trainings and resource materials to local governments, land managers, and other professional audiences; and encouraging state programs to fully use current tools for protecting vernal pools while exploring additional tools. 24
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Getting the Word Out Effective vernal pool conservation on any level requires an informed citizenry who recognize and value the importance of these special wetlands. The tasks of promoting awareness, understanding, and protection of vernal pools fall to all the MVPP partners but specifically to members of the Education and Outreach Subcommittee with objectives that include expanding the Vernal Pool Patrol. “We’re building the tools - websites, social media, videos, communication pieces, lesson plans, and more - to bring the wonder of vernal pools to learners of all ages,” says Dr. Georgia Peterson, the Subcommittee’s Co-Chair and Natural Resources Extension Specialist with Michigan State University Extension. “But the greatest return is when people explore vernal pools first hand through the Vernal Pool Patrol or other programs. There is just no substitute for the excitement and enthusiasm people get from that experience and seeing, perhaps for the first time, the magical life found in a healthy vernal pool.” One of the best parts of exploring a vernal pool, Peterson adds, is that the vernal pool season is in the early spring, just as winter
Feature | MNA
The MVPP includes partners affiliated with these agencies, local governments, nonprofits, businesses and many other organizations, including:
Matt Dykstra, Field Station Manager at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, surveys salamanders at a vernal pool in southwest Michigan. Photo by Fauna Creative.
recedes and everything is coming back to life. “But well before the mosquitoes are out!” Supporting Vernal Pools The work of the MVPP partners and the community vernal pool patrollers bring much needed attention to the importance of these small ecosystems to a growing audience. And through connections with other states and their vernal pool programs, there is a vision to build a vernal pool partnership throughout the Great Lakes Region. Today, however, thousands of vernal pools go undetected in backyards, parks, natural areas, and forest lands throughout Michigan, putting them and the plants and animals they support at risk. The Vernal Pool Patrol and the MVPP are great ways to learn more and get involved in vernal pool conservation, and MNA is proud to co-lead the MVPP. As an early spring walk in the woods can confirm, there are gems to be found in these tiny wetlands that do not look like much more than a puddle on the forest floor - natural treasures worthy of our attention and protection.
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Research | MNA
New Technology Helps Protect Rare Snake
Photo courtesy Michigan Natural Features Inventory.
MNA’s Nature Sanctuaries benefit in many ways from the numerous partnerships it has established over its nearly 70-year history. One of those benefits is a unique field research project between John Ball Zoo and Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI). At a nearly 200-acre MNA Nature Sanctuary located approximately two miles from the Ohio border, the researchers will be monitoring for the copperbelly watersnake in Michigan. This medium-sized nonvenomous snake is currently listed as endangered and critically imperiled at the state level, due to habitat loss and fragmentation, and this sanctuary is the only known protected site with a copperbelly watersnake population in the state.
But it is also because of their use of such broad habitats that they are at such risk. Surveys conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and other partners, of the copperbelly watersnake in its northern range – southern Michigan, northwestern Ohio, and northeastern Indiana – have shown a steady decrease in numbers over the past two decades. The most recent estimates show only a few hundred individuals left in the wild. The major contributing factors to their decline are habitat loss and fragmentation, illegal collection for the pet trade, and increased risk of predation when they must cross cleared areas like roads and farmland to move between wetlands and hibernation spots.
Copperbelly watersnakes are unique in their extensive range of habitat use – during summer and breeding seasons, the snakes will use forested floodplains and shrubby wetlands adjacent to shallow lakes and ponds, including ephemeral (vernal) pools, and slowmoving rivers. As the seasonal ponds and wetlands begin to dry in the summer, they will migrate to more permanent bodies of water using forested corridors.
MNA has been involved in reforestation and other restoration efforts for the copperbelly watersnake through the USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife program since 2007, resulting in more than 20 acres of hardwood trees planted on former agricultural lands. MNA has also conducted wetland restoration at this sanctuary by searching out and breaking old drain tiles, which restores the natural soil drainage and retention to the sanctuary.
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Research | MNA The research being conducted by MNFI and John Ball Zoo at MNA’s Nature Sanctuary will utilize an emerging method for tracking and identifying the snake populations – Adapted-Hunt Drift Fence Technique (AHDriFT), which combines commercially available game cameras and traditional drift fences to survey reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals. This technique allows the researchers to increase their field observation time while also minimizing human presence and disturbance in the habitat. This survey method will also have the indirect benefit of offering researchers the opportunity to more closely observe the snakes, giving them greater ability to distinguish the copperbellies from other similar looking, but more common watersnakes. Another secondary outcome is the potential to survey species diversity at the sanctuary, with photos being captured all throughout the day of any number of other mammals, herps, and more that wander through the camera trap. Conservation Director Andrew Bacon explains, “In this unique partnership we are using new technology to better survey for the elusive copperbelly watersnake. As we implement this survey we will also be able to gather data to learn about many other reptiles, amphibians, and small creatures which call this sanctuary home, and their presence and abundance will help to inform us on the greater ecological health of these locations.” The Michigan Nature Association is committed to the protection and restoration of habitat for the state’s most vulnerable species, and it is through partnerships like these that MNA is able to accomplish its mission. MNFI herpetologist Yu Man Lee (left) and Bill Flanagan from John Ball Zoo scout the Nature Sanctuary for camera trap locations. Photo by Rachel Maranto.
A buttonbush depression like this one makes ideal habitat for copperbelly water snakes. Photo by Rachel Maranto michigan nature| summer 2021
Natural Flooding Area Photo by Lauren Ross 28 michigan nature| summer 2021
Help Michigan Nature and Receive Income for Life A charitable gift annuity is a planned gift that can support MNA while providing steady, annual payments — an annuity — for you and up to one additional beneficiary for a lifetime.
Consider a charitable gift annuity When you transfer an irrevocable gift to MNA, we commit to making a fixed annual payment during your lifetime. The remainder of the gift then passes to MNA. The benefits include the security of additional income, potential tax savings, and the satisfaction of knowing your gift will benefit MNA long into the future. To learn more, please return the attached card, visit www.michigannature.org or call (866) 223-2231.
Make a gift for nature that pays you back
Michigan Nature Association
michigan nature| summer 2021
Stewardship | MNA
Conservation Superhero: Dan Burton Dan Burton looks for any opportunity to go outside and discover something new about nature. Along the way, Dan has become an active citizen scientist, learning as much as he can about plants and animals - a list that includes aquatic bugs, birds, butterflies, turtles, botany, amphibians, wetland ecosystems and so much more. Becoming an MNA Sanctuary Steward seemed a natural fit, even after only one visit to an MNA nature sanctuary. “After I finished Michigan State University’s Conservation Steward Program, I might have volunteered once for a workday at Butternut Creek Nature Sanctuary before I was invited to help out at the Palmer Memorial Nature Sanctuary,” says Dan, “I became a Steward almost immediately. It just seemed like a great opportunity to learn more about the natural world. And I really enjoy the physical work of restoration.”
to share his conservation enthusiasm leads to much greater protection of these special places.”
These days, Dan is the Steward for both Photo courtesy Dan Burton. Palmer Memorial and Wilkie Memorial Nature Sanctuaries in southwest Michigan. A food scientist by profession, Dan especially enjoys learning new restoration techniques and the science behind maintaining vital habitat. “I’m always looking to learn more, especially something I didn’t know anything about like fens,” he says, “And the scientist in me likes to tinker and test, and to see where restoration work goes.” Since his start with MNA, Dan has achieved “rock star” status as a Sanctuary Steward. Leading hikes and canoe trips, conducting species surveys, removing invasives, donating sanctuary tours for our silent auction, and volunteering for events are just some of the reasons he earned MNA’s Volunteer of the Year award in 2017. He’s especially happy with a multi-year spotted turtle survey he recently completed, which helps inform MNA’s management activities. But Rachel Maranto, MNA’s Stewardship Coordinator, says Dan’s work stands out for another important reason. “Because of Dan, there is a network of neighbors around the Palmer and Wilkie sanctuaries who know about our work and why we do it,” Rachel explains. “He makes an effort to communicate to them what we’re doing. The neighbors understand the importance and, in turn, are motivated to address some of the invasive species on their properties, which helps the sanctuaries. Dan’s willingness to share his conservation enthusiasm leads to much greater protection of these special places.”
“Hanging Out”. Photo by Dan Burton at Wilkie Memorial Nature Sanctuary.
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Dan describes his conservation passion as a ‘symbiotic relationship’ with the places he stewards, grateful for all the benefits he receives while helping to restore native plants and animals. For anyone wanting to get outside, learn more, and give something back, Dan says MNA’s stewardship model is great. “I like the freedom as a Steward, I like the flexibility of working a couple of hours or all day, I can spend as much time or as little as I want. MNA provides the guidance and training if needed. And I can feel good about doing the environment some good.”
Education | MNA
Help Connect Children to Nature By Donating to MNA’s
Environmental Education Fund Help Michigan’s next generation of conservation leaders with a gift to the Environmental Education Fund. All donations support MNA’s education programs, including outreach efforts like our minigrants to teachers for nature field trips. Other education programs include opportunities for the whole family, like guided hikes and tours, youth volunteer projects, educational publications, and more.
Donate Today Use the enclosed envelope or call (866) 223-2231 to make a contribution to MNA’s Environmental Education Fund. Lewton Global Studies/Spanish Immersion Magnet School Fall 2018 Photo by Marynia Lorencen
Communications Internship Program Flourishes For the past several years, MNA has been host to more than a dozen interns who have helped to share the important work that we do with people around the state. This year, we are pleased to introduce two current Communications Interns: Jayli Husband joined MNA in the fall of 2020, after graduating from Okemos High School in the spring. This internship satisfies her passion for nature and environmental science and aligns with her academic interests. As a freshman at Michigan State University, Jayli is now pursuing a double major in Environmental Geoscience, and Global and International Studies. Emma Kull joined MNA in December 2020, shortly after graduating from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Sustainable Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. Since then, she has accepted an offer to the University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School in their Environment and Sustainability program. Outside of work, she loves animals - especially her two kittens Bailey and Panda - dance, and going for long hikes at Woldumar Nature Center. MNA is proud to work with these two talented individuals, and looks forward to helping them achieve their professional goals in the future.
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Booknotes | MNA Recommended Reading Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors Carolyn Finney University of North Carolina Press Paperback, $27.95
Why are African Americans so underrepresented when it comes to interest in nature, outdoor recreation, and environmentalism? Carolyn Finney looks beyond the discourse of the environmental justice movement to examine how the natural environment has been understood, commodified, and represented by both white and black Americans. She argues that the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, and racial violence have shaped cultural understandings of the “great outdoors” and determined who should and can have access to natural spaces. Drawing on a variety of sources from film, literature, and popular culture, and analyzing different historical moments, including the establishment of the Wilderness Act in 1964 and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Finney reveals the perceived and real ways in which nature and the environment are racialized in America. Looking toward the future, she also highlights the work of African Americans who are opening doors to greater participation in environmental and conservation concerns.
Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures Merlin Sheldrake Random House Hardcover, $28
When we think of fungi, we likely think of mushrooms. But mushrooms are only fruiting bodies, analogous to apples on a tree. Most fungi live out of sight, yet make up a massively diverse kingdom of organisms that supports and sustains nearly all living systems. Fungi provide a key to understanding the planet on which we live, and the ways we think, feel, and behave. Fungi throw our concepts of individuality and even intelligence into question. They are metabolic masters, earth makers, and key players in most of life’s processes. They can change our minds, heal our bodies, and even help us remediate environmental disaster. By examining fungi on their own terms, Sheldrake reveals how these extraordinary organisms - and our relationships with them - are changing our understanding of how life works.
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New & Noteworthy The Star in the Sycamore Tom Springer Arbutus Press Paperback, $17.95
In the “wild nearby,” we can still discover places rich in natural mysteries. Through a collection of essays organized by seasonswithin-the-seasons, Tom Springer finds them in secret urban fishing holes, motherly old trees and even the curious link between stars, trees and souls.
World of Wonders
Aimee Nezhukumatathil Milkweed Editions Hardcover, $25 From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction—a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us.
L. David Mech and Greg Breining University of Minnesota Press Hardcover, $24.95 Wolf Island recounts three extraordinary summers and winters Mech spent on Isle Royale National Park, tracking and observing wolves and moose on foot and by airplane - and upending the common misperception of wolves as destructive killers of insatiable appetite.
Voices | MNA
“Our work ties directly to MNA’s work - protecting the land, restoring and sustaining habitat... to reintroduce butterflies back into the wild. ”
Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, MSU Kellogg Biological Station & Author of “The Last Butterflies: A Scientist’s Quest to Save a Rare and Vanishing Creature” Since you published “The Last Butterflies” in 2019, what has been the response? It’s been great to find out people’s excitement and interest in butterflies. Even with the book’s focus on the very rarest, people are excited to learn more to find out what they can do for conservation. And because I wrote the book before coming to Michigan, I’ve spoken to lots of groups across the state and have been able to connect with people right here who want to get involved. It’s clear I moved to a hotspot state for rare butterflies - the Karner blue’s status is a success story, the Mitchell’s satyr is tenuous, and the Poweshiek skipperling is downright frightening given the population crash in a few short decades despite a historically broad range. How has that affected your students and the research done through your lab? One of my students just received a postdoctoral for Mitchell’s satyr and will be looking at how to achieve the needed genetic diversity for successful captive breeding. A Research Assistant, Dave Pavlik, is helping to develop another captive breeding site for the Poweshiek at the John Ball Zoo. Our work ties directly to MNA’s work - protecting the land, restoring and sustaining habitat, and then captive breeding to reintroduce butterflies back into the wild. Anything we can do to secure the butterflies and expand their populations.
Through your work, you like to apply landscape science for people and nature. What does that mean to you? How can we have a win-win situation for nature, specifically biodiversity conservation, in ways that benefit people as well? How do we do it? Here at the Kellogg Biological Station, we try to understand the ecological effects of agriculture. Or put another way, how can we use ecology to improve agriculture? How can we preserve landscape diversity in a working landscape and have both crops and habitats that benefit nature and people such as natural areas close to agricultural fields that serve as sources of pollinators and natural enemies to crop pests.
demonstrate that corridors connecting natural areas can increase plant and overall biological diversity.”
What other research is underway? When you think about the Mitchell’s satyr, we explore all kinds of questions relative to a rare butterfly - how to preserve wetlands and fens, how to keep out pesticides, how do we manage the habitat? For the latter, the lessons learned from rare butterflies tell us that disturbances like prescribed fire are critical. And there is so much more to be known.
How else can we achieve biodiversity and help people? Landscape corridors - let’s make corridors, between protected areas. We have a lot of corridors that have nothing to do with biodiversity in mind but are already popping up. The first reason to protect riparian corridors for example, is to preserve water quality for people, but that can also benefit biodiversity. Hedgerows and urban greenways are other examples. One of my corridor research projects is now in its 30th year. We can demonstrate that corridors connecting natural areas can increase plant and overall biological diversity.
Now that you’ve been in Michigan for awhile, what makes it a great place for your research? As a conservation scientist, it has been easy for me to fall in love with a place that is home to so many interesting butterflies. I’m captivated by our rare butterflies and also by our common butterflies. It is a treat to be in a place with so many resident and migrating Monarchs. Even beyond butterflies, our forest and wetland natural areas provide endless opportunities for study, exploration, and conservation. michigan nature| summer 2021
Legacies | MNA
One Woman’s Love for the Keweenaw Betty and Elmer White truly loved Copper Harbor, especially in October, long after the tourists left. Elmer was a forestry student at Michigan Tech University. After meeting and marrying Betty in 1954, when they both worked for the Department of Natural Resources, he introduced her to the beauty of the Keweenaw. They returned over and over again for many, many years. That love of place led to over 30 years of support for MNA that started after their first trip to the Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary. Elmer, a World War II Vet, photographer and fly-fisherman, passed away in 2010 and Betty earlier this year. Besides the DNR, Betty also worked as a clerk, then secretary with the Lansing Municipal Court and Capitol Savings. Even when she was well into her 90s, Betty and her nephew Thom took a long road trip to the Upper Peninsula in 2017 where she got a last look at Estivant Pines and other beloved places in the Copper Harbor area. “She lived her life interested in her surroundings and the people - awake, aware, alert,” says Thom. “She had a wonderful memory and knew all the branches of the family tree, along with most other trees! She will be remembered as a lively, caring and concerned neighbor by her many friends in her neighborhood.”
Betty White. Photo courtesy Thom Peterson.
MNA staff and Board will remember Betty for her amazing spirit and stalwart support, including as a Guardian of the Future. When Board of Trustee member Ruth Vail called her in 2019 with the good news about meeting a goal to add more land to Estivant Pines, she was thrilled with the news and told Ruth she was “proud to be a member of MNA and proud of what we do.” “Aunt Betty and Uncle Elmer were special people and encouraged my own environmental activism,” says Thom. “And I know where their final resting place will be - somewhere around the Montreal River in their beloved Keweenaw.”
Memorials and Honoraria
December 1, 2019 - May 30, 2020
Donations given in memory or honor of MNA members and friends appear here in tribute. To learn how you can honor a loved one, call (866) 223-2231 or visit www.michigannature.org.
In Memory of:
Joan Clift by Jennifer Webb Earl Fray Croll by Susan Babcock Bertha Daubendiek by Dan Hardie Tom DesRochers by Ruth Baker Annajean Elvery by Paul Finn Mrs. Mary Howard by Carol Sue Martin Mr. William “Bill” Howard by Carol Sue Martin Kal A. Jabara by Abdeen Jabara and Holly Maguigan Peggy Keeney by Laura and Stephen Witkowski Douglas and Marilyn Lang by Anonymous 34
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Lois Ledford by Carol Branch and Deb Ledford Patricia Lince by Carol Sue Martin Fran McCauley by Virginia Weingate Harvey George Moger by Susan Babcock Edward Lawrence Peters by Marjorie Bausmith by Adine Regan Donald Poli by Carol Sue Martin Alan Sawinski by Beverly Baker Inge and Albert Shaerer by Elly Sullivan Irma J. Schwark by Kamelle Allen and Tim Palazzola Mike Taylor by Elinor Taylor
Corneila Blaga Robert Brody Thomas Buescher Mrs. Paige Curtis Mary Cloutier Schmitt Mrs. Cheryl (Chickie) Dwoskin Dr. Louis Egnater Sam N. Frank Melvin Glaser Phyllis Gugel Henry Gutenkunst Nancy Hartman Jane James Rita Keywell Patricia Lince Neil Margolis Mrs. Emma Minasian Robert Moers Yona Nivy Milton Ring Frances Schneider by Dr. Lewis Rosenbaum
In Honor of:
Dan Burton by John and Patricia Bradtke Betsy and Stan Dole by Joseph and Marilyn Martin The Helen and Michael Grossman Family Winter Holiday by Frann Grossman Stephen Kelley by Brian and Anita Kelley Al and Jenny McDade by John Swicegood Dr. Sylvia Taylor by Ray Ziarno Ruth Vail by Alice and Dale Valaskovic Deb and Ron Van Proeyen by Joelyn Pawenski Bev Walters by Donn and Kris Kipka
“MNA has made an extraordinary commitment to excellence, permanence, and trust.” Land Trust Accreditation Commission Special commendations given on renewing MNA’s accreditation in 2019
Photo by Winnie Chrzanowski 35 michigan nature| summer 2021
Photo by Michigan Nut Photography
MNA’s Statewide Network of Nature Sanctuaries For over 65 years, MNA’s members, donors and volunteers have built an unparalleled statewide network of nature sanctuaries. Today there is at least one MNA nature sanctuary in 59 of Michigan’s 83 counties.
Handford Memorial Twin Waterfalls
Allegan County Allegan Valley Wade Memorial
Alpena County Colby Peter Memorial Gull Island Grass Island Bird Island Morris Bay
Harvey’s Rocks River Bend Four Macomb County Carey Memorial Huron County Ladies Rocky Point Wetland Sonnenberg Memorial Pepperidge Dunes Vermilion Point Saginaw Wetlands Trillium Ravine Clare County Kernan Memorial Beck Memorial Alta Warren Parsons
Branch County Kope Kon
Campbell Memorial Pennfield Bog Fish Lake Bog Flowering Dogwood
Dowagiac Woods Riley-Shurte Woods Radebaugh Memorial Wilding
Cedar River Green River
Baraga Old Growth Lightfoot Bay
Thornapple River Thornapple Lake
Benzie County Hart
Red Cedar River
A Looking Glass Frinks Pond Sanctuary
Martin Bay Three Wilderness Islands Bertha K Daubendiek
Dauner Martin White Cedar Swamps Zahrfeld Memorial
Pat Grogan Briggs Cox Memorial Munuscong Lake Hillsdale County Lake Superior Sarah Jane’s Lake Huron Sand Dunes Hobert Memorial Zeerip Memorial Sand Creek Prairie Soo Muskeg Schafer Family at Roach Houghton County Point Robert Thorson Brown Carlton Lake Wetlands Rockafellow Memorial
Jackson County Columbia Lefglen
Kalamazoo County Wilkie Memorial Flowerfield Creek Barton Lake Palmer Memorial Brewer Woods
Kent County Dolan
Dean Webster Memorial Estivant Pines Upson Lake Keweenaw Shores I Keweenaw Shores II Klipfel Memorial
Rooks Memorial Echo Lake Hylton Memorial Myrtle Justeson Memorial Gunn Memorial Mason County Grinnell Memorial Franklin F. and Brenda L. Holly Eagle Harbor Red Pine Midland County Dunes Bullock Creek Cy Clark Memorial Black Creek Monroe County Redwyn’s Dunes Swan Creek Gratiot Lake Overlook Montcalm County John J. Helstrom Krum Memorial Mariner’s Preserve at Silver Muskegon County River Falls Five Lakes Muskegon Ruth E. Johnson Memorial
Petite Wetland Zucker Memorial
Martin Beland Miller Robert Powell Memorial Willow Lake Prairie Slough Goose Creek Grasslands McCulley-Bastian Broehl Memorial 1 Broehl Memorial 2 Tiffin River
Bullard Lake Fen Lyle and Mary Rizor Hudspeth Memorial H.E. Hardy Memorial
Brooks Oak Pine Barrens Karner Blue Newaygo Prairie
Lambs Fairbanks Clifford and Calla Burr Memorial Lakeville Swamp Timberland Swamp Yntema Wildlife Oasis Rose Center Wetlands Brandon Township Morgan Porritt Big Valley
Ogemaw County Lost Lake
Theodore Hunt Memorial
Two Hearted River Swamp Lakes Moose Osceola Woods Refuge Oscoda County Trout Lake Kenneth R. Luneack
Stratton Memorial Beaver Dam Fred Dye Scherer Epoufette Bay Bois Blanc Island Beavertail Point Michigan Meridian Hiawatha
Otsego County Frost Pocket
Presque Isle County Mystery Valley Karst Spitler Shore
Leatherleaf Jack Pine Bog Jackson Memorial
Fox River Huntington Memorial
Wilcox Warnes Braastad
Walker Memorial Cedar Lake Manistique Dune and Swale
Chen Memorial Prairie Ronde Savanna Hildegard Wintergerst
St. Clair County
Van Buren County
Leonatti Memorial Louis G. Senghas Polovich Memorial Bertha A. Daubendiek Trillium Trail Galbraith Ray Memorial McGaw Memorial Jasper Woods Memorial Brennan Memorial Edna S. Newnan Alice W. Moore Woods St. Clair Lakeplain Forest
St. Joseph County Prairie Banks White Pigeon River Sauk Indian Trail
Wood Duck Domain Phillips Family Memorial Black River Butternut Creek Hultmark Memorial Barvicks Sand Dunes Bankson Lake Bog Great Bear Swamp
Joan Rodman Memorial
Michigan Nature Association 2310 Science Parkway, Suite 100 Okemos, MI 48864 www.michigannature.org
Share Your Love of Michigan Nature Submit your best nature and wildlife photos taken in Michigan to our
Annual Photo Contest!
Since 2011, professional and hobbyist photographers have been invited to submit their best images of nature from all around the state of Michigan. These photos help us tell the story of why protecting Michigan’s natural heritage is so critical. The categories for entry are: Landscapes • Flora & Fauna • People in Nature Photos may have been taken anywhere within the state of Michigan, and should highlight natural beauty in some way. MNA encourages photos taken at its sanctuaries to be submitted for consideration, and will take into account the subject matter, composition, and location of each photo during judging.
Deadline: September 1, 2021 Visit michigannature.org for more information and submission guidelines.
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“Pollinators Get the Job Done” by Greg Bodker. Overall Winner, 2020 MNA Annual Photo Contest.