Friday, November 14, 2014

Michigan DNR seeks public input for updating 2008 Wolf Management Plan

Photo of wolf courtesy WolfWatcher.org.

LANSING -- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is updating the 2008 Michigan Wolf Management Plan and is seeking comment on the implementation of the plan. According to the DNR, the plan, and more specifically the four principal goals within the plan, has guided wolf management in Michigan for the last six years.

Anyone interested in wolf management in Michigan can comment by taking an online survey (or requesting it by mail), which includes evaluating DNR actions in wolf management and making suggestions for improvement where needed. (See link below.) 

In 2012 the United States Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the wolf population in the western Great Lakes region (including Michigan) had recovered and the species no longer required the protection of the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). After the removal from the ESA, the State of Michigan had full management authority for wolves.

2006 Michigan Wolf Management Roundtable of stakeholders

To help develop the 2008 Wolf Management Plan, a Michigan Wolf Management Roundtable met 10 times from June to September 2006 to develop principles to guide management of Michigan wolves and wolf-related issues following Federal de-listing. The Roundtable consisted of members from 20 agencies and organizations representing a range of stakeholder interests in wolves -- interests including environment and ecology, hunting and trapping, livestock producer, public safety, tourism and resource development, tribes, and wolf protection.

Nancy Warren, presently Great Lakes regional director and executive director of the National Wolfwatcher Coalition (NWC), served on that Roundtable and has spoken often about the need for sound science in wolf management.* She recommends consulting the 2008 Plan in order to provide public input to the DNR.

"The DNR is asking for your comments on how well they have implemented the Wolf Management Plan adopted in 2008," Warren says. "The plan places a strong emphasis on education and outreach as well as countering misinformation and addressing perceived threats caused by wolves. Your input will be extremely important as the DNR moves towards updating this plan."

Click here to read the 2008 Plan.

The Michigan Wolf Management Roundtable submitted their final report, "Recommended Guiding Principles for Wolf Management in Michigan," in November 2006. It is available as an Appendix to the 2008 Michigan Wolf Management Plan (The Appendix begins on p. 78 of the Plan). The 2008 Plan notes the Roundtable report "outlines guiding principles pertaining to wolf distribution and abundance, benefits of wolves, management of wolf-related conflicts, information and education, funding, research, hybrid and captive wolves, and future plan revisions."

Wolf Management Goals

The Wolf Management Plan was created using extensive public input to identify important issues and assess public attitudes towards wolves and their management, as well as a review of the biological and social science on wolves. The four principal goals within the plan are:
  • maintain a viable wolf population;
  • facilitate wolf-related benefits;
  • minimize wolf-related conflicts;
  • and conduct science-based and socially acceptable management of wolves.
These goals will remain the same in the updated plan. The update will include reviewing scientific literature and including of new information, evaluating implementation based on the action items in the plan, updating action items, and addressing outdated information or clarifications that may be needed.

The DNR is seeking comment from those interested in wolf management to aid in the evaluation of plan implementation so far. Review of the plan update will occur in two distinct phases. The first phase will consist of a 30-day period in which interested parties, DNR staff members and Natural Resources Commission members can provide comment on the implementation of actions in the 2008 Plan. The second phase will be a 30-day period to comment on the Draft Updated Plan before it goes to the Natural Resource Commission for endorsement and the DNR director for signature.

Phase 1: Electronic Survey

The Phase 1 electronic survey is now availaable at this link: www.surveymonkey.com/s/wolfplanupdate. The survey is structured around 12 strategic goals and corresponding actions within the 2008 plan. Those interested in wolf management are encouraged to provide input. Comments will be accepted from Nov. 12 to Dec. 11. Those unable to participate in this survey electronically are asked to contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453 to receive a paper survey.

The DNR hopes to have the wolf plan update completed by spring of 2015.

(Inset photo of Nancy Warren by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

* Editor's Notes:

Click here to see the recent TV-6 interview with Nancy Warren, now on YouTube.

John Vucetich, Michigan Tech associate professor of wildlife ecology and co-director of the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Study, also served on the 2006 Michigan Wolf Management Roundtable. Click here for a short video in which Vucetich states why he was voting "No" on the recent ballot referendum on allowing a Michigan wolf hunt.

Friends of Portage Lake District Library to hold Harvest Book Sale Nov. 14, 15

HOUGHTON -- The Friends of the Portage Lake District Library invite all book lovers to their Harvest Book Sale from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday evening, Nov. 14, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15.

New and gently used books for children and adults will be sold to raise money for library projects and items that the Friends provide. The selection of books is excellent and will make great gifts for the holidays. Shoppers and browsers will have organic chocolates to sample and enjoy.

Projects that the Friends of the Library have done include buying books, furniture, the Children’s Listening Center, computers, and other materials. Proceeds from book sales also pay for annual events sponsored by the Friends of the Library including the Salsa Contest, the Summer’s Bounty Social, Scrabble Tournaments, Blind Date with a Book, and the Friendship Tea. Information on how to become involved with the Friends will be available at the book sale.

For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit www.pldl.org.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Michigan Tech Theatre Company to present "Alternate Realities" Nov. 13, 14, 15

HOUGHTON -- The Michigan Tech Department of Visual and Performing Arts’ Tech Theatre Company will present Alternate Realities -- A Trip Through 20th Century Avant-Garde Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 13, 14, and 15, in the McArdle Theatre.

The production is composed of short Expressionist, DADAist, Surrealist, Futurist, Absurdist, Existentialist, and Neo-Futurist plays by each movement's famous artists. Enjoy the bizarre, funny, ridiculous, and little bit scary romp of leading edge artists who helped shape the modern view of the world.

Director Roger Held explains the evening’s themes: "The theatre, film, and television of today are the descendants of the avant-garde plays of the early 20th Century’s revolt against naturalism. Those plays reveled in fantasies of the mind and both bazaar serious subjects and ridiculous zany humor. Expressionism, Dadaism, Futurism and Surrealism blasted their way through the traditional theatre scene. They shaped the Absurdist, Existentialist, and Neo-Futurist attacks on stuffy style currently in vogue. If you’re looking for something different, join us for Alternate Realities, a startling review of theatre on the cutting edge. You will be whisked along in a fast-paced 90-minute trip through the worm hole of avant-garde theatre and on into our century."

The McArdle Theatre is adjacent to the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, in the Walker Arts and Humanities Center.

Tickets are $13 for adults, $5 for youth (17 and under), and free for Michigan Tech Students. To purchase tickets, call (906) 487-2073, go online at rozsa.mtu.edu, or visit Ticketing Operations at Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex (SDC), 600 MacInnes Drive, in Houghton. SDC box office hours are 8 a.m. - 9 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Saturday and noon - 8 p.m. on Sunday. Please note the Rozsa Box Office is closed during regular business hours and will only open two hours prior to show times. Tickets may also be available at the door of the McArdle Theatre before performances.

Deer Hunters' Widows Craft Show to be held at Copper Country Mall Nov. 15

HOUGHTON -- The Daily Mining Gazette Deer Hunters' Widows Craft Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15, in the Copper Country Mall in Houghton.

At least 53 vendors will be selling handmade arts and crafts items -- great possibilities for Christmas gifts!

Notice to vendors: According to Yvonne Robillard, Daily Mining Gazette advertising manager, additional vendors need to call her at 483-2220 by noon TOMORROW, Friday, Nov. 14, if they wish to sell their crafts at the event. Fees are $25 if you bring your own table, $35 to rent a table and $40 to rent a !2' by 12' space.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rozsa Center to present "An Irish Christmas" Nov. 15

HOUGHTON -- The Rozsa Center will present Kerry Records’ An Irish Christmas at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15. This wildly popular show brings just about everything to the table this year -- joy, hope, laughter, friendship, celebration of life through storytelling, music, song, and dance in a night that sparkles with life and a bit of "magic!"

An Irish Christmas will journey to Bethlehem with Little Drummer Boy, celebrate the great tradition of butter making, chase the wren on St. Stephen’s day, "draw down the half-door" for spectacular dance -- and enjoy superb music-making, singing of Christmas carols and great storytelling in an unforgettable Irish night. So come and refresh your spirit, dust off the cares of the world and dance home with a smile in your heart as this joyful night brings you to a wonderful Ireland that echoes so forcefully in millions of hearts throughout the world. You can be certain of a great Irish welcome!

Also, to help everyone celebrate just a little more, the Shelden Grill, in the Magnuson Franklin Square Inn, will have an Irish Christmas pre-show dinner special on Saturday, Nov. 15, with an exclusive Traditional Irish dinner menu: 3 courses for $17.50, and 20 percent off the regular menu, for anyone with tickets to the show! For dinner reservations, please call (906) 482-4882.

Kerry Records -- an Irish owned production company featuring Irish, American, and international performers, based in Los Angeles -- proudly promotes Ireland and its rich traditions of music, song, dance, storytelling, poetry and literature. As a recording arts label, Kerry Records encourages contemporary Irish music and the spoken arts, while supporting the performance, recording and preservation of Ireland’s priceless music and spoken arts history. Margaret O’Carroll, the owner of Kerry Records, is pleased to have produced hit successes such as "An Irish Christmas," recently seen on PBS, "An Irish Hooley" and "The Heart of an Irishwoman" for her company.

"Our Irish culture matters: we come from it, we are shaped by it, we identify with it, we draw from it and we must celebrate it!" O’Carroll says.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for youth (17 and under), and free for Michigan Tech Students. To purchase tickets, call (906) 487-2073, go online at rozsa.mtu.edu, or visit Ticketing Operations at Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex (SDC), 600 MacInnes Drive, in Houghton. SDC box office hours are 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Saturday and noon - 8 p.m. on Sunday. Please note the Rozsa Box Office is closed during regular business hours, and will only open two hours prior to show times.

Club Indigo to present "The Women" at Calumet Theatre Nov. 14

CALUMET -- Michigan Tech's Mu Beta Psi Music Fraternity presents Club Indigo at the Calumet Theatre, celebrating MGM's 90th anniversary by showing one of the company's entertaining comedies, The Women, on Friday, Nov. 14.

The movie begins at 7:15 p.m. and is preceded by a high society afternoon buffet from Carmelita's in Calumet, at 6 p.m. This event costs $20 for both the film and buffet or $5 for the film alone. Special discounts apply for kids under 10. To purchase the buffet, call the Calumet Theatre at 337-2610 before 5 p.m on Thursday, Nov. 13.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lake Superior Binational Forum to sponsor public meeting: "Lake Superior Ojibwe (Anishinaabeg): Protecting and Restoring the Lake Superior Basin" Nov. 14

Frog Bay Tribal National Park, Red Cliff, Wisconsin, is the nation's first tribal park of its kind. (Photo courtesy Bayfield Regional Conservancy)

ASHLAND, Wis. -- The Lake Superior Binational Forum will sponsor an open public meeting, "Lake Superior Ojibwe (Anishinaabeg): Protecting and Restoring the Lake Superior Basin," from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.on Friday, Nov. 14, at Legendary Waters Resort and Casino, Red Cliff, Wisconsin. A reception celebrating Native American Arts and Culture will follow from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Representatives of Lake Superior Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) on the western side of Lake Superior and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) will share presentations and stories of how they are successfully protecting and restoring natural ecosystems on their reservations and in ceded territories.

As participants in the Lake Superior Binational Program, tribes in the Lake Superior basin are actively engaged in programs and initiatives that meet the goals and visions established in the Lake Superior Lakewide Action Management Plan (LAMP). The LAMP is the binationally accepted outline for how federal, tribal, provincial, and state governments and agencies manage shared land and water resources in the basin.

Speakers from three tribes will talk about a variety of programs they're working on including climate change responses, invasive species controls, managing fish hatcheries and creating sustainable fish populations, wild rice restorations, mining issues and others. Tribal chairs from three Lake Superior Bands of Ojibwe will highlight their tribes' success stories: Bad River Chairman Mike Wiggins, Fond du Lac Chairperson Karen Diver, and Red Cliff Chairperson Rose Soulier.

In addition to presentations, a dozen tribal and regional groups and agencies will offer displays about a variety of lake issues and programs.

Click here for the Agenda.  

Members of the public are invited to an open public comment period starting at 4 p.m. on November 14. Anyone is welcome to express comments about any issues related to Lake Superior. The comments are shared with the agencies that manage the lake.

The Forum is also proud to host an evening of dances, music, storytelling, and updates about regional Native American issues at the evening program celebrating the role of the arts in Anishinaabeg tribes. This presentation is from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Legendary Waters. Here is the schedule of performers:

5:30 p.m. -- Welcome
5:40 p.m. -- Native Expressions: Red Cliff Dance Troupe with Gretchen Morris
5:55 p.m. -- Bad River Chairman Mike Wiggins: The Art and Heart Of Water
6:25 p.m. -- Flute and Storytelling with Michael Laughing Fox Charette, Red Cliff tribal member
6:45 p.m. -- Bad River Youth Group: Save Our Water, a Film Project
7 p.m. -- Adjourn

All Binational Forum meetings are free and open to the public with no need to pre-register.

Contra dance to be at Finnish American Heritage Center Nov. 12

HANCOCK -- Due to popular demand, Finlandia University’s Finnish American Heritage Center is offering contra dancing monthly during the academic year. The next contra dance will be from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. TOMORROW, Wednesday, Nov. 12.

Members of the Thimbleberry Band will provide live music for the dance, and Colin Hoekje will serve as the caller. Hoekje, a student at Michigan Tech, is an experienced contra dance caller.

Instructions with Hoekje will begin at 7 p.m., with the band joining in at 7:30 p.m. The dance is easily learned by anyone regardless of experience. No partner is necessary, and all ages and skill levels are invited to attend.

Contra dances are also set for January 14, February 11, March 18 and April 8 at the Finnish American Heritage Center, which is located at 435 Quincy Street in Hancock, on the campus of Finlandia University.

For more information, call (906) 487-7302.

Swedetown Trails Club meeting for Nov. 11 CANCELLED

CALUMET -- The Swedetown Trails Club meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, Nov. 11, at the Swedetown Chalet in Calumet, has been cancelled because of the weather.

"Yes, we are all snow lovers but at this point in the calendar, we don't want you battling drifts to get to a meeting," says Cynthia MacDonald, Swedetown Trails Club president. "Get your snow tires on, get your skis out, organize your winter wardrobe and we'll all be out on the trails soon enough. We'll post an update when we reschedule."

For info on the Swedetown Trails Club, visit their Web site.