Kirtland's warbler grant boosts effort to end endangerment

Capital News Service
LANSING – State workers and environmental groups will use a federal grant to help get the Kirtland’s warbler off the list of endangered species. The $171,000 grant will go toward a range of activities in Northeast Michigan, including the planting of two million jack pine seedlings, which are the only habitat the bird can nest in. “The Kirtland’s warbler is probably North America’s rarest songbird, and we’re really fortunate here in Northeast Michigan to have the type of forest system that this rare species depends upon,” said Abigail Ertel, the Kirtland’s warbler coordinator at Huron Pines, a Gaylord-based nonprofit conservation group that received the grant. The money is just the latest development in the nearly 40-year-long effort to bring the bird back from the brink of extinction, she said. Michigan’s northern forests contain about 98 percent of the species’ population during breeding season, according to Daniel Kennedy, an endangered species coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources.

Federal grant helps pay for export growth

Capital News Service
LANSING – Michigan received the second-largest amount of federal funding through the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program to help small-to-medium sized businesses increase exporting by promoting activities like trade shows and missions. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) will use its $2.1 million grant to help businesses focus on exporting by incorporating a strategic plan and activities like trade shows and website language translation. Chuck Hadden, president of the Michigan Manufacturers Association, said of exporting, “We cannot do a lot besides encourage and train our members, most of which happens at the federal level.”

He said machine-manufacturing companies represent 71 out of 132 companies in the program. The federal grant is $600,000 more than last year’s.