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DNR awards Deer Habitat Improvement Grants in UP

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has awarded a total of $100,000 in deer habitat improvement grant funding to 11 entities for projects in the Upper Peninsula.

A planting crew works on a 2017 deer habitat improvement project near the Dead River Basin in Marquette County.The Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Initiative is a competitive grant program designed to enhance deer habitat on non-state lands in the Upper Peninsula.

“These grants will produce positive impacts on 850 acres in Menominee, Marquette, Alger, Luce, 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 11 grants is valued in excess of $61,000.”

A 25 percent match is required for the projects, which allows the DNR to get more “bang for the buck” on these deer habitat improvement projects by providing further reach beyond the original grant investment to accomplish more important habitat work.

Check out a full list of this year’s grant recipients and project descriptions.

Groups eligible for these grants include organizations with a formal mission to promote wildlife conservation and/or hunting, such as sportsmen’s clubs, conservation districts, land conservancies, industrial landowners with more than 10,000 acres, or private land affiliations where two or more unrelated persons jointly own 400 or more acres.

Primary goals for each of the projects include producing tangible deer habitat improvements, building long-term partnerships between the DNR and outside organizations and showcasing the project benefits to the public.

Scullon said the total amount of grant funding available is $100,000. The maximum amount of individual grants is $15,000 and the minimum is $2,000.

A group of deer stands in a March field in Mackinac County.Now in its ninth year, the initiative is supported by the state’s Deer Range Improvement Program, which is funded by a portion of deer hunting license revenue.

“With this year’s crop, we will have made available $650,000 to U.P. partners for 83 projects to improve deer habitat. The value in partner match over the years has exceeded $447,535,” Scullon said. “The reach of the program has been to hundreds of landowners, on several thousand acres, involving all of the U.P.’s 15 counties.”

Availability of the grants was announced in January, with a March 1 deadline to apply. There was a total of 13 applicants in this year’s grant cycle. Awardees were notified by March 19.

For more information on the grant program, please contact Bill Scullon at 906-563-9247 or scullonh@michigan.gov

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