The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has made a plan for pheasant habitat restoration.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, with the help of its partners, will be rebuilding pheasant habitat in Michigan. Partnering with Enbridge Energy Partners and Pheasants forever, the state will receive $550,000 from Enbridge.
The improvements are scheduled to take place over the next three years. Various areas of Michigan will be subject to the restoration activities, with emphasis on the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative priority landscapes and oak savanna restoration.
The agreement comes from a deal struck between the DNR and Enbridge. In 2013, Enbridge replaced a 30 inch pipeline running two miles across the Crane Pond State Game Area (pictured below). During the construction and permitting process, the two worked to improve pipeline infrastructure as well as the habitat. Talk about a win-win.
Chicago Region Enbridge director John Gauderman has said about Michigan:
"Operating in the state for more than 60 years, Enbridge considers Michigan home and we are committed to protecting it's abundant natural beauty and wildlife."
Enbridge will provide $500,000 for habitat activities in mutually agreeable locations in order to finalize the work needed on the Crane Pond State Game Area Pipeline. The habitat work will be administered by Pheasants Forever as well as provide direct oversight. The DNR will provide an additional $50,000 for the restoration efforts.
Hopefully, this will help turn the corner in Michigan pheasant recovery. Michigan's pheasant hunting and populations have been in a state of decline since the 50s. Changes in agricultural and land use have been the leading cause of habitat loss, in tandem with declining food sources.
The decline has prompted the Michigan Pheasant Recovery Initiative in the DNR. In its first five years, the DNR has improved 7,400 acres of grassland and 3,160 acres of food plots. There is still more work to do, but this news is an encouraging move in the right direction.