Federal Dollars Ignite New Partnership For Kirtland’s Warbler Conservation

Friday, August 16, 2013
Male Kirland Warbler
Male Kirland Warbler
- photo by Gene McGarry, Woodstock, NY

Federal dollars are igniting a new conservation partnership in Northeast Michigan. Huron Pines, a nonprofit organization, received $171,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Joint Venture Habitat Restoration and Protection Program (Joint Venture Program). The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding will be used to plant two million jack pine seedlings in Kirtland’s warbler management areas, streamline community outreach programs and offer landowners cost-share opportunities.

The Joint Venture program specifically funds projects that use innovative partnerships to complete conservation work in priority bird areas. This project marks a new method of collaboration with the State of Michigan in that Huron Pines, acting as the fiduciary, will provide funds to MDNR offsetting the annual costs of jack pine planting. Michigan Audubon Society (MAS) has a long history of involvement with Kirtland’s warbler education efforts, and will also be a key partner in completing the proposed scope of work. Their experience will be central to increasing awareness and support of the warbler’s incredible story throughout the state and Great Lakes region.

Through its Private Lands Program, Huron Pines will provide landowners living in areas of jack pine ecosystems technical guidance, better planning tools and cost-share opportunities to achieve their individual stewardship goals while blending ecosystem-appropriate strategies. 

This strategic partnership falls in line with the goals of the Kirtland’s Warbler Initiative, a program developed to usher the warbler off of the Endangered Species List and into a future of successful, sustained survival. Once delisted federal funding specifically provided through the Endangered Species Act for Kirtland’s warbler programs will be allocated to the needs of other endangered species.

“Recovery of the Kirtland’s warbler has been rooted in partnership and this opportunity to work closely with Huron Pines to develop an innovative funding strategy like the Joint Venture proposal demonstrates that continued support for the warbler can be garnered through the Initiative and that nonprofit organizations have the ability to lead the way,” said Russ Mason, MDNR Wildlife Division chief.

Joining intensive and dynamic community outreach with on-the-ground restoration efforts rounds out the scope of work and provides built in sustainability for the programs. Commitment from all partners has been underscored by their agreement to provide matching dollars from the value of staff time, travel costs and seedlings to be planted.

“The commitment by MDNR and MAS to provide in-kind match means we’ve already increased the investment in Northeast Michigan to over $300,000 with this grant award,” stated Abigail Ertel, Kirtland’s Warbler coordinator for Huron Pines. Daniel Kennedy, Endangered Species coordinator with MDNR Wildlife Division added, “The Department understands that management of public lands is a key factor in the quality of life and economy of Northeast Michigan and is excited to provide this up-front commitment to the area.”

Huron Pines is a conservation nonprofit working to conserve the forests, lakes and streams of Northeast Michigan. With a proven track record of bringing together multiple partners to complete high-impact conservation projects the organization leveraged investment in the region to over 2M dollars annually.  

Funding for the Kirtland’s Warbler Initiative is made possible through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. For more information on the work Huron Pines is completing as part of these grants or to find out how you can become involved and support the Kirtland’s Warbler Initiative please visit www.kirtlandswarbler.org or call Abigail Ertel at 989 448-2293 ext. 14. 



Bridgestone Donates 6,000-Acre Tract Near Sparta, Tn., To The Nature Conservancy

Bridgestone has donated a 6,000-acre tract in White County, Tn., to the The Nature Conservancy. The property is near Sparta about 80 miles east of Nashville. The tract will be called the Bridgestone Nature Reserve at Chestnut Mountain.  It represents the largest donation received by The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee. The donation will offset some of the carbon ... (click for more)

Reflection Riding Holds Spring Native Plant Sale This Weekend

Reflection Riding is holding its Spring Native Plant Sale selling the region's best selection of trees, shrubs, and perennials.  Here is the schedule: Friday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. - Public Sale Saturday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. - Public Sale and Earth Day Festival.  Native plants, grown for a variety of garden conditions, are beautiful, sustainable, and contribute ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Arrest Robbery Suspects Within Hours Of Holdup; Citizen Takes Quick Photo Of Suspect Vehicle

Chattanooga Police officers arrested two suspects involved in an armed robbery within hours of the incident. Officers responded to an armed robbery call at 5966 Brainerd Road  at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The victim told police she was exiting her vehicle when she was approached by a white male pointing a handgun at her demanding her purse and cell phone. The victim ... (click for more)

WACKER-Charleston Taking Initial Steps To Restart Polysilicon Production After Explosion Shut Facility Last September

WACKER-Charleston announced Thursday it has resumed operations for the production of polysilicon. Using a phase-in approach, WACKER has begun the initial start-up of the site, beginning with distillation. The initial production of polysilicon is targeted to begin in the next few weeks. WACKER anticipates the Charleston site will reach full capacity in the fourth quarter ... (click for more)

Keep The Gifted Program In The Hamilton County Schools - And Response (2)

I currently have a daughter in fourth grade at Lookout Valley Elementary and a daughter in the eighth grade at Lookout Valley Middle High School. Both of my daughters are very good students, as well as being very good people. I am writing today with a concern. I was made aware that the Hamilton County Department of Education is considering cutting the gifted program ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Remarkable Diane Black

As I was introduced to Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Diane Black on Thursday afternoon, I told her that one of my favorite stories is about her when she was a young, single mother in Baltimore. Her nursing job required her to sign on no later than 6:30 a.m. for work in the emergency room each day but … she had to bathe, dress, and feed her three infants and get each to a different ... (click for more)