Safari Club International Foundation donates $40,000 for winter deer habitat management.
Deer in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula usually have a rough time during the region’s harsh winters. But that may start to change with Safari Club International Foundation’s donation of $40,000 to the Upper Peninsula Habitat Work Group, an organization formed in response to severe winters and declining deer numbers in the region.
In all, 57 different deer winter habitat complexes will benefit from the donation. These habitats are in areas not managed by the Michigan department of natural resources, such as private forest lands and U.S. Forest Service commercial forests.
The DNR praised SCIF’s donation and the efforts of the UPHW in a press release. “The partnership and commitment on the part of the SCIF to move this project forward are remarkable,” DNR Regional Wildlife Supervisor Terry Minzey said. “It is exciting to see the dedication groups have to the resource and to Michigan.”
It is not the first time SCIF has donated for the wildlife of the U.P. “SCIF has already invested more than $350,000 in the U.P. predator-prey study over the last five years,” said UPHW leader and retired DNR biologist Jim Hammill.
The UPHW states on their website that the high snowfalls of the U.P. force deer to seek shelter in conifers to survive the harsh conditions. The Upper Peninsula does not have the farmlands and food resources for deer that the southern part of the state does, so areas where a good balance of food and shelter can be found are vital.
The release also states that technical assistance and incentives may be available to private landowners as a result of the donation in order to encourage enhancements and maintenance to winter deer habitat areas.