Earth Day

Written by David Green.

Today is Earth Day. It’s also a great day for Michigan United Conservation Clubs to remind everyone that, for the outdoor community, every day is Earth Day.


“Hunters, anglers and trappers are the original conservationists. We were “green” before green was cool,” said MUCC spokesman Dave Nyberg. “The outdoors community celebrates Earth Day today – but we won’t forget about the natural world around us tomorrow. We live in the outdoors and, most importantly, we insist that conservation practices take center stage every day of the year.”


Today’s celebration of Earth Day promises to be dominated by discussions of emerging environmental challenges championed by many non-sportsmen groups. But for more than 70 years, MUCC has represented the interests of America’s true conservation community – the outdoors community.  It’s the hunting, fishing and trapping community that most often speaks for conservation and, in fact, is one of very few groups footing the bill for wildlife and fisheries habitat protection, restoration and management, and conservation research, which benefits all wildlife species and the state conservation departments including Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources.


“Today it’s cool to be green, to be pro-environment and that’s a good thing in many ways. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that the wise use of our resources is the pillar of conservation,” Nyberg said “Hunting, fishing, trapping and outdoor recreation, are time-honored traditions that propel Michigan’s tourism industry and economy, and are the state’s primary funding source for conservation programs.  “Conservation is not as much ‘green’ as it is ‘camo,’” Nyberg said.


On Earth Day, MUCC wants to remind Michigan residents about the primary role sportsmen and women have in sustaining quality wildlife habitat, clean water, and prime recreational opportunities based on the use of our tremendous natural resources.”


MUCC also points to quality forest management and partnership with Michigan’s forest industry as an essential component of habitat improvement and quality outdoor recreation opportunities.  “Often times when people think about Earth Day, it’s easy to assume that cutting down trees is anti-environment; it’s quite the contrary.  Through responsible forest management, commercial and private land owners can help regenerate new, early successional forests which provide outstanding habitat for deer, birds, and other game animals.  Commercial Forest Landowners also provide over 2 million acres in hunting access to sportsmen in Michigan.  Without quality habitat and access, Michigan stands to realize a continuing loss of hunters and anglers who spend $3.4 billion annually in the state, of which creates a $5.9 billion ripple effect on the Michigan economy,” said Nyberg.


The topic of “green,” renewable energy also has implications on wildlife habitat.  Nyberg said that as Michigan moves to lead the charge on renewable energy, MUCC will encourage progress, but the organization also believes policymakers must pay attention to the implications that these new energy sources may have on wildlife and habitat.  “There truly are some great opportunities that lie ahead – and the sportsmen and women of MUCC look forward to continuing the organization’s tradition of conserving, protecting, and enhancing our natural resources and outdoor heritage.”

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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