Tag Archives: conservation

Director of MNFI to serve on NatureServe council

Dr. Brian Klatt, director of Michigan State University Extension‘s Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI), was appointed to the U.S. Section Council of NatureServe.

 Sound natural resource management begins with knowing the extent, status and diversity of our natural resources. NatureServe, a non-profit conservation organization, represents an international network of biological inventories known as natural heritage programs. A natural heritage program exists in each of the 50 states, many of the Canadian provinces and a number of Latin American countries.

 The MNFI serves as the natural heritage program for Michigan. As such, MNFI maintains the most comprehensive database on threatened, endangered, and other rare species and high quality habitats in the state and conducts research into a variety of conservation issues. In the best Extension tradition, MNFI uses this information to inform decision makers as to sound conservation practices at individual landowner, local government, non-governmental organization, state agency and federal levels.

 NatureServe aggregates the information maintained by these programs into an international database. As a member of the U.S. Section Council, Dr. Klatt will provide input into the direction and annual goals of NatureServe and help coordinate activities across the network in the U.S. We’re fortunate to have Dr. Klatt’s leadership on behalf of Michigan and MNFI’s connection to MSUE.

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Filed under natural resources

MSU Extension and MDNR—Partners in Conservation

Acception the 2009 Partners in Conservation Award. L to R: Left to right: Keith Charters (chair of the Natural Resources Commission), Ann Nieuwenhuis, Tom Coon, Linda Cronk, Becky Humphries (DNR director). MDNR photo.

Acception the 2009 Partners in Conservation Award. L to R: Left to right: Keith Charters (chair of the Natural Resources Commission), Ann Nieuwenhuis, Tom Coon, Linda Cronk, Becky Humphries (DNR director). MDNR photo.

In MSU Extension, we pride ourselves on being responsive. We seek to be a nimble organization with great relationships throughout the state that make us the go-to people in both good times and bad.

That was evident last year when the first case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) was confirmed in Michigan. In an effort to manage the disease, the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) asked us to lend our expertise to a series of town hall meetings across the state. MSU Extension professionals immediately jumped into action. They did such a fantastic job that the MDNR called on them once again to facilitate another set of meetings to gather feedback from stakeholders on a broader set of issues relating to the public’s view on the future of conservation in Michigan.

Here’s what Becky Humphries, MDNR director, had to say about our teams’ help with these issues:

“During a crucial time in the DNR’s history, in terms of wildlife health and budgetary constraints, MSUE staff [members] stepped up to meet its mission of helping people improve their lives … Staff expertise in facilitating—sometimes facing very passionate crowds—contributed to the successful completion of these meetings.”

And for that, Ann Nieuwenhuis, Steve Yanni, Linda Rossberg, Jeannine Grobbel, Linda Cronk and Karen Dubow were awarded the prestigious Partners in Conservation Award. This employee-nominated award is given by the Michigan the Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Commission. Recipients are recognized for their commitment to conservation, natural resources management and assisting the DNR in carrying out its mission.

I was able to attend the presentation, at which DNR Director Humphries presented a plaque to Ann Nieuwenhuis and Linda Cronk. Director Humphries previously served on the Michigan State Experiment Station and Extension Council and knows MSUE well.  It was great that she and her staff thought to call upon MSUE for assistance with these meetings and just as great that she recognized the role they played.

 Thanks to Ann for providing leadership for these efforts, and congratulations to this tremendous group for their dedication. 

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Filed under Uncategorized

Elshoff is a favorite among students

Dale Elshoff

Dale Elshoff

Congratulations to Dale Elshoff, the recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Faculty Award from the MSU Senior Class Council. Dale, MSU Extension conservation education specialist, shows her constant dedication to the campus community by being an exceptional teacher and leader. While I am always pleased when our faculty and staff members receive awards, it is especially sweet when the award comes from students. They can be a tough group! Dale was nominated by an anonymous student from the 2009 senior class.

Even though Dale’s work with students is separate from her Extension responsibilities, it’s pretty clear to me that what makes her an excellent educator in the classroom makes her an excellent educator in our youth conservation and shooting sports programs.

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Filed under 4-H, Awards