Sara Swanson

DNR seeks input on Sharonville State Game Area Master Plan

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Hens low's Sparrow is an endangered grassland bird found in the Sharonville State Game Area. In addition to protecting game birds, one of the DNR's goes is to protect this and other species popular with birders.

Henslow’s sparrow is an endangered grassland bird found in the Sharonville State Game Area. In addition to protecting game birds, one of the DNR’s goals for the Sharonville State Game Area is to support and grow the population of henslow sparrows and populations of other other grassland species popular with birders.

State game area managers with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are seeking public input on a draft master plan for the Sharonville State Game Area in Jackson and Washtenaw counties.

Tim Payne, supervisor for the DNR Wildlife Division’s Southeast Region, said that master plans are important in guiding habitat management, based on both the featured species selected for management at each state game and wildlife area and use of the areas for recreation such as hunting and wildlife viewing.

“In crafting master plans, we also take into consideration how management of the state game and wildlife areas affects local economies through activities like timber sales, agricultural production and wildlife-based tourism,” said Payne.

In the plan, in addition to increasing and decreasing the size of specific ecosystems, the plan lays out five goals with accompanying rationales, metrics and actions to take to meet each goal during this ten-year planning cycle. Goals include:

  1. Increasing and supporting sustainable populations of Ring-necked Pheasants (featured species) and associated grassland birds.
  2. Providing habitat for sustainable populations of Eastern Wild Turkey and White-tailed Deer.
  3. Providing habitat to support populations of American Woodcock and Ruffed Grouse.
  4. Providing habitat for sustainable populations of Eastern Cottontail Rabbit.
  5. Providing suitable habitat conditions for the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake.

The draft master plan in it’s entirety is available online here. Copies also will be available at the DNR Waterloo Wildlife Office, located at 13578 Seymour Road in Grass Lake (open Monday-Friday, hours vary; call 517-522-4097 for more information).

This plan will be available for review through October 31st. Comments should be submitted to Kristin Bissell at BissellK@michigan.gov. After October 31st, authors will review comments and make updates, if necessary. Once the plan is approved it will be placed on the Michigan DNR website, and will be reviewed again within 10 years of the approved date.

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