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DNR Now Taking Applications For Deer Habitat Improvement Grants

Sportsmen’s clubs and other non-government organizations interested in deer habitat improvement on private land in the Upper Peninsula are encouraged to apply for Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Initiative grants now through Sunday, March 31, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced today.

A total of $50,000 will be available in 2013 through the competitive DHIPI grant process. Project proposals from organizations with a formal mission to promote wildlife conservation and/or hunting seeking between $2,000 and $10,000 in funding are eligible for consideration.

Now in its fifth year, the DHIPI grant program is designed to attract and support proposals from non-government organizations interested in improving deer habitat on non-state-owned land in the Upper Peninsula, including private property and Commercial Forest Act-enrolled land. (Projects that provide foot access to the public are more likely to be successful.)

“There are three primary goals applicants should strive to meet,” said DNR private lands wildlife biologist Bill Scullon. “The projects should produce tangible deer habitat improvements, build long-term partnerships with the DNR, and identify ways to showcase the benefits to the public.”

Scullon said he encourages representatives of interested organizations to contact their local DNR wildlife biologist for help in developing competitive project proposals.

In 2012, six projects were funded in 11 Upper Peninsula counties, improving deer habitat on a total of 691 acres of private industrial forest and federal land.

The projects completed in 2012 ranged from planting red oak seedlings in Mackinac County to creating or improving wildlife openings in Delta, Menominee and Ontonagon counties. In addition to improving deer habitat, successful projects in Delta and Iron counties also provided improved access for youth and disabled hunters.

The DHIPI grant application packet can be accessed online by visiting www.michigan.gov/dnr-grants and clicking on the “Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Initiative” link. Application deadline is Sunday, March 31; successful applicants will be notified by Monday, April 15. For more information, contact Bill Scullon at 906-563-9247 or scullonh@michigan.gov.

DHIPI grants are funded by the state’s Deer Range Improvement Program (DRIP). Created by legislation in 1971, the DRIP fund is supported by a $1.50 allocation from each deer license sold (except for senior licenses), which equals $2.2 to $2.8 million in funding annually. This restricted funding is for the enhancement, maintenance, and acquisition of deer habitat statewide.

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