Hunt for crop-eating bears could start early, bill says

Capital News Service
LANSING — In 32 years, there has rarely been a season when lifelong farmer Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, hasn’t found bear damage in his cornfield. Now, he’s fighting to do something about it. McBroom, who raises corn to feed his dairy cows, recently introduced a bill to allow hunters to kill crop-eating bears out of season. But some experts say more discussion is needed on viable solutions to farmers’ crop damage. Concerns include the potential impact of hunting bears out of season on the bear population and if there are alternatives, said Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) resource policy manager Amy Trotter.

Wildlife moves north, south, as climate warms, forest regrow

Capital News Service
LANSING – Bears, porcupines, bobcats and pileated woodpeckers are moving their homes far to the south, while small mammals like mice, squirrels, chipmunks and opossums are moving north, according to the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy. This mutual shift in wildlife distributions and densities – together with an exploding population of certain species – is becoming evident in many locations across the state. John Niewoonder, a Department of Natural Resources(DNR) state wildlife biologist based in Grand Rapids, said the best example is the black bear. “Black bears are rare, even seven years ago in Grand Rapids. Usually they appear in the Upper North, but this year we see them outside the city.”

“People saw bears a couple of years ago in the Lansing area.