Arbor Day grows on campus

Michigan State’s campus is known for its trees… over 25,000 of them. A red autumn maple tree was planted this afternoon in the Brody neighborhood to celebrate the 147th Arbor Day. MSU is recognized for the second consecutive year by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA Institution. Spectators received a free tree to plant themselves and to motivate them to learn about Arbor Day.

The coffee you buy could produce more birds at your feeder

Capital News Service

LANSING — Blackpoll warblers are on a 12,400-mile trip to their breeding grounds in Canada and Alaska from the Amazon Basin and northern South America — with tiny backpacks. What sort of luggage did they take? Tiny backpacks with geolocators given to them by researchers hoping to understand their migration paths and the pit stops they make to refuel. They’ll be here in the Great Lakes Basin, a crucial stop, around mid-May, according to a recent study, “A Boreal Songbird’s 20,000 km Migration across North America and the Atlantic Ocean,” published March 19 in “Ecology.”

Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Ontario are the only substantial stopover points that blackpoll warblers make during their spring migration, according to William DeLuca, one of the researchers on this study and an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts. The warbler stops here in early and mid-May to indulge in insects before making the final push to Alaska and northern Canada, DeLuca said.

Paddling partners blaze trail through northern Michigan waterways

Capital News Service

LANSING — Rolling hills, beautiful beaches, great sunsets and a lot of water are just a few things you’ll find in Leelanau County, according to Jon Constant. “People need to see this,” the Leelanau County resident said.  “It’s just so pretty.”

It was his love for the area that inspired Constant to write “Leelanau by Kayak,” a love story to the Michigan county. Leelanau County is the little finger of Michigan, about 30 miles north of Traverse City. The cover of “Leelanau by Kayak” describes the book as containing “day trips, pics, tips and stories of a beautiful Michigan peninsula.”

The first edition was published last spring by Mission Point Press, and can be purchased for $22.

Alarm cues and fish sorters are new weapons in lamprey fight

Capital News Service

LANSING — How a sea lamprey responds to the threat of predators could be another key to keeping their population under control, according to researchers. Using a sharp-toothed, jawless sucker mouth, sea lampreys suck blood and bodily fluids from other fish. A single sea lamprey feeds on about forty pounds of fish in its lifespan, making it a damaging invasive species. It’s sensible to research a variety of methods to keep their numbers in check, said Michael Wagner, an associate professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. Ongoing research at Hammond Bay Biological Station off Lake Huron investigates using sea lamprey odors to do that.

Indigenous group concludes 310-mile walk to Capitol for safe water

Native water protectors walked 310 miles from the Mackinac Bridge to the State Capitol to protest Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. The group concluded its walk on March 30. People of Three Fires, the Anishinaabe alliance of Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi indigenous tribes, gathered at Adado Riverfront Park on Saturday afternoon. They marched to the Capitol yelling, “Shut Down Line 5” and “Water is Life.”

“Water is a precious thing for life,” said Dennis Durfee of Lansing. “Every part of Earth is dependant on that water for its survival.

Copper culture shapes ancient history

Capital News Service

LANSING – The allure of copper. The power of copper. People in the prehistoric Hopewell civilization of southern Ohio managed to get copper from distant points – the Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale and Ontario’s Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior – as much as 750 miles away. And as far back as 2,000 years ago. What made copper so treasured that it motivated gargantuan efforts to obtain and use it for such items as tools, headpieces, beads and breastplates?

Michigan groundwater threatened by silent crisis

Capital News Service

LANSING — A “silent crisis” is brewing beneath Michigan that threatens what experts say could be considered the sixth Great Lake. It’s hard to imagine a state that enjoys 3,288 miles of freshwater coastline, 242 streams and 11,000 lakes and ponds could be in danger of droughts like those in the western United States. But if groundwater management trends continue, that’s precisely what’s on the horizon for Michigan, according to Liz Kirkwood, the executive director of the water advocacy organization FLOW: For Love of Water based in Traverse City. Among the threats that worry Kirkwood are deep-well injections that store hazardous chemicals underground. “Even though those injected wells are confined, there’s room for error and contamination,” Kirkwood said.

Six new wolves may mean Isle Royale trees can grow

Capital News Service

LANSING — The recent transfer of six starving wolves to Isle Royale benefits not only them but the island’s entire forest ecosystem, experts say. For the past three years only two wolves populated the 207-square-mile island in the northwest of Lake Superior, according to the National Park Service.  The male is the female’s father as well as half-brother, said Sarah Hoy, an assistant professor at Michigan Technological University who studies how the increasing moose population affects the island. Though there were multiple attempts by the highly inbred pair to breed, Hoy says that none of the offspring survived past the year due to deformities. Six wolves from the Canadian island of Michipicoten located in the northeastern portion of Lake Superior faced starvation.