LANSING – Michigan is lagging far behind states on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts in exploring innovative markets and uses for wood products and wood energy, experts say.
And with Michigan’s abundant forestlands, identifying and developing new uses has major implications for the economy and employment across the state, not only in the north.
Counties with commercial forests Source: Michigan Biomaterials Initiative.
“People think of the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula as Michigan’s woodbasket, but there are a heck of a lot of trees that grow south of Clare, and a lot of them are dead or dying,” said Warren Suchovski, a logger and forestland owner in Stephenson, Menominee County. Continue reading →
But within the past decade, warming temperatures made the campus an appealing home for this destructive bug.
“It was the canary in the coal mine,” said Deborah McCullough, an MSU entomologist who witnessed the honeylocusts disappear from campus as temperatures warmed and the mimosa webworm moved north into Michigan.
It’s a phenomenon not confined to webworms and honeylocusts as the Earth’s temperature rises and the variability of climate increases, experts say.
LANSING – Removing sand from the Salmon Trout River in Marquette County has helped protect the spawning sites of coaster brook trout, according to researchers.
Coaster brook trout. Photo credit: Casey Huckins, Michigan Technological University
A sand collector was installed upstream last spring to intercept sediment before it reached the endangered trout’s spawning habitat, according to a report from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Marquette Fisheries Research Station.
The machine pumps sand out of the river, preventing it from covering stream-bottom rocks where the majority of coasters spawn. Continue reading →
LANSING – This year’s fishing season is starting on the wheels of stocking trucks, new regulations and programs to attract more participants.
Fish stocking at Red Cedar River. Source: Department of Natural Resources
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said its $9 million program is stocking 19 million fish – 370 tons – including eight trout and salmon species and four cool-water species, including walleye and muskellunge.
This year, DNR’s fish-stocking vehicles will travel nearly 138,000 miles to more than 700 spots around the state. Continue reading →
LANSING — While the Legislature wrestles with a recent House decision not to expand state health care for poor families through the Medicaid program, experts say roughly 20,000 veterans will also be left uninsured if the decision sticks.
“They’re going to be left out in the cold,” said Jan Hudson, a health care policy analyst for the Michigan League for Public Policy, which does research and advocacy regarding social issues like poverty, education and health.
The House recently rejected Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal to expand Medicaid coverage despite available federal funding for the program. Continue reading →
LANSING – A statewide discussion is underway on how students pay for tuition at public, private and community colleges.
College affordability, an ongoing subject of debate, gained considerable momentum when President Barack Obama highlighted the topic while speaking at the University of Michigan last year.
And a State of the State Survey from Michigan State University found that while 95 percent of residents believe a college education is “very important” for success, affordability is a barrier for many. Continue reading →
LANSING — After losing 3 percent of its “green” jobs a year earlier, Michigan became one of the fastest-growing states for environmental employment last year.
According to Environmental Entrepreneurs, a national organization of business leaders, Michigan was among the top 10 states for environmental job growth in 2012, adding 19 projects and about 3,700 jobs. That brings the total to more than 86,000.
The report was a sign of good things to come not just in Michigan, but nationwide, said Hugh McDiarmid Jr., communications director of the Michigan Environment Council, a coalition of conservationist groups. The Environmental Entrepreneurs report estimated an increase of 110,000 green jobs throughout the U.S. Continue reading →