March 2007 Happenings
Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District Tree Sale deadline extended to
Apr. 2; letters of support needed
HOUGHTON -- April 2 is the extended deadline for ordering items from the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District
(HKCD) Tree Sale, the District's major fundraiser. State budget cuts mean the Conservation District needs support in this annual fundraiser more than
ever. The District's budget was recently reduced by 50 percent for the remainder of 2007 and is in danger
of being cut 100 percent for 2008. The 2008 budget cuts could be finalized early
"Right now there is zero funding budgeted for all 79 Conservation
Districts in Michigan for 2008," said Sue Haralson, HKCD administrator.
"Letters (to state officials) could make a difference."
See below to write a letter of support
to Michigan's Governor Jennifer Granholm and local state officials.
To order items from the Tree Sale call Sue Haralson at 906-482-0214 or download the flyer and Order Form at
www.hkconserve.com. Orders can be picked up from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, May 4, or from 9 a.m. to Noon Saturday, May 5, at
the Houghton County Arena, 1500 Birch St., Hancock. During this time
surplus stock will also be sold.
This year HKCD is offering several new items including Basswood, Paper Birch, three varieties of Lilacs and the Rugosa Rose, plus some larger sizes of trees and
|The Houghton Keweenaw Conservation
District (HKCD) sponsors educational tours such as this Kayak/Canoe Botany Class,
taught by botanist Janet Marr and held Sept. 16, 2006, in the Bete Grise
Preserve wetlands. Participants pictured here are Gina Nicholas, HKCD
vice-chair, right, her son Nick Wilson, Bonnie Hay, left, of the Gratiot
Lake Conservancy, and Joe Steinwand. (Photo © 2006 Rex Wilson and courtesy
Sue Haralson and Gina Nicholas. Reprinted with permission.)
Over the past five years, the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District (HKCD) has brought in more than $1 million dollars of grant funding for natural resource projects and services in Houghton and Keweenaw counties. Much of this grant funding comes from Federal sources. HKCD retains local businesses, contractors and professionals
-- as well as a staff, volunteers and partners -- to perform these activities.
Recent projects and services sponsored by HKCD include the
- Forestry Management Assistance including forester and logger referrals. HKCD
manages a private landowner Forestry Program that serves landowners in Houghton,
Keweenaw, Gogebic and Ontonagon counties.
- Forest Pest Monitoring such as the project for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).
HKCD manages this program for Houghton, Keweenaw, Ontonagon and Gogebic
- Land acquisition for public access, education and recreation, including the Bete Grise Preserve
and the Lizzadro Lakeshore Preserve.*
Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District (HKCD) administrator, standing
at right, gives a slide presentation on the District's projects and
recent accomplishments during HKCD's October 2006 Annual Meeting in the
UPPCO Building in Houghton. Here she is describing the partnership that
made possible the acquisition of the Bete Grise Preserve for public access, education and
recreation. (Photo © Michele Anderson)
- Conservation presentations for local schools located in Houghton, Keweenaw, Gogebic and Ontonagon counties.
- Watershed planning such as the Eagle River Watershed project in Houghton
Township, Keweenaw County.
- Native and area hardy plants and trees at the District's Annual Tree Sale.
- Stamp Sand Remediation projects with NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation
Service) including Torch Lake Superfund Project of $15,200,000 (USEPA Torch Lake
Superfund Project Grant of $15,200,000 and $1,520,000 MDEQ match).
- Forestry and agriculture resource library.
- Soil Survey clearing house for Houghton and Keweenaw Counties.
Partners working with HKCD to provide funding and support include these:
- Local units of government in Houghton County and Keweenaw County
- Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)
- Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
- Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
- Michigan State University Extension Service
- Great Lakes Commission
- Michigan Arbor Day Alliance
- The Nature Conservancy
- Keweenaw Land Trust
- Trout Unlimited
- Gratiot Lake Conservancy
- North Woods Conservancy
- South Shore Association
- National Wildlife Federation
- Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC)
- Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA)
- Western UP Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education
- Louisiana-Pacific Corporation
- International Paper
- Tercha and Daavettila Attorneys (pro bono)
- Houghton and Keweenaw County Resident Volunteers
In addition, many local businesses and individuals work on HKCD grant-funded projects.
"The natural resources of our State of Michigan cannot be replaced or
duplicated," writes Marsha Klein, HKCD Chairperson, in a letter requesting
support for the District. "We have some of the
finest natural resources in Houghton and Keweenaw counties and our local economy is dependent on them.
HKCD has demonstrated how grassroots public entities, i.e., Conservation Districts, are the most
effective and cost-efficient way to support natural resources programs for our constituents. HKCD
leverages our small State appropriation into larger funding from federal and state agencies and
non-government organizations to conduct useful projects and employ local services.
"Cutting this State appropriation will be devastating to HKCD and most Districts in Michigan as well as to the citizens and natural resources that depend on us. By keeping the funding in place, we can continue to protect and enhance the natural resources of the State of Michigan."
To show your support for the work of Michigan's Conservation Districts, in
particular the local one, HKCD, please write to:
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, Michigan 48909.
State Representative Mike Lahti, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7514. Phone:
517-373-0850. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senator Mike Prusi, P.O. Box 30036, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7536.
Phone: 866-305-2038. E-mail: SenatorMPrusi@senate.michigan.gov.
Ask them to fully fund Conservation Districts. The small budget granted to
these Districts (formerly only $19,200 a year, now reduced to $9,600 for 2007) is well leveraged and goes a long way toward protecting
the natural resources and serving the citizens of Michigan.
For more information call 482-0214, or check the
Houghton/Keweenaw Conservation District
Click here for
the Tree Sale Order Form.
* Editor's Note: HKCD, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, Keweenaw Land Trust, the South Shore Association and numerous private donors
has contributed to the preservation of Bete Grise South. See "Bete
Grise wetlands, shoreline protected through TNC partnership."
With the help of the Keweenaw Land Trust,
HKCD was awarded a Michigan Coastal
Zone Management Program grant to purchase the Joseph and Mary Lizzadro Preserve,
also known as Dan's Point, a 24-acre parcel with 643 feet of Lake Superior Shoreline in Eagle Harbor Township at the northernmost point of the Keweenaw Peninsula.
See the October 2003 article, "Township, conservation groups seek to preserve Lake Superior dunes,
shoreline, wildlife habitat."
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