The Chippewa Luce Mackinac Conservation District honors three at their 75th Annual Meeting

(CEDARVILLE, MI) On Thursday, April 4th, 2024 the Chippewa Luce Mackinac Conservation District held their 75th Annual Meeting at the Les Cheneaux Distillers in Cedarville, MI where they announced the recipients of their annual Land Steward of the Year, Cooperator of the Year and MAEAP Landowner of the year. Following the awards there was a key note address by Connor Crank, Project Administrator for the institute of Water Research at Michigan State University (MSU). The meeting also featured a buffet style baked chicken dinner and Director Election.

The 2023 Land Steward of the Year award was awarded to Jayne Roohr and Kristie Sitar from the Newberry DNR Wildlife Division. Jayne and Kristie have been fundamental assets to CLMCD and the Three Shores CISMA programing over a number of years. With their support, Three Shores was able to survey and treat for invasive phragmites at the Blind Sucker Flooding in northern Luce County while also restoring manoomin (wild rice) at the flooding. Jayne and Kristie also used this money to treat a number of other sites in the area as well. In addition to the invasive phragmites treatments, Jayne and Kristie teamed together with MUCC earlier this year to bring the community together for a volunteer day treating invasive autumn olive shrubs and replacing them with 100 mast-producing trees.

Additionally, Jayne and Kristie were one of the founders and lead organizers in the creation and launch of the Shore-to-Shore Birding Trail in 2022. The Shore-to-Shore Birding Trail kick off happened in August 2022 with guided birding tours at Whitefish Point and prizes and giveaways at the Paradise Wild Blueberry Festival. Many of the stops and interpretive information for the trail were completed by Jayne and Kristie and the trail would not have been created without their leadership.

If that isn’t enough, Jayne and Kristie are both active in the Luce County community and host a number of outdoor educational events and topics in the area including with the local 4-H program and Tahquamenon Public Schools. CLMCD is proud to have Jayne and Kristie working in our service area and providing such amazing resources to our community through their careers with the DNR. Congratulations Jayne and Kristie!

The 2023 Cooperator of the Year award was presented to Hessel School House Avery Arts & Nature Center. The Hessel School House has been a wonderful partner and cooperator over the past several years. Kerri Smith and Kristy Beyer, their amazing office staff have been wonderful people to work with. Kerri and Kristy have gone out of their way to include CLMCD as partners in their programing and have allowed CLMCD to partner with them on a number of different programs.

In 2023 the Hessel School House was awarded a Conservation Grant from CLMCD to host their Conservation Education Series. This series provided 13 programs open to the public with 193 attendees, CLMCD was promoted throughout the series so people could learn about CLMCD and its importance in the community.

In addition, CLMCD participates in the Aldo Leopold Festival Planning Committee with the Hessel School House, has hosted programs, worked to source plants for their native garden, and have even provided each other with assistance on other projects and ventures the two organizations have taken on. CLMCD is thrilled to have the Hessel School House as a partner and friend in conservation and we hope to continue our relationship long into the future!

The 2023 MAEAP Landowner of the Year award was presented to Lyle and Krystal Harter of Harter Family Farms in Rudyard. The Harters were first verified with MAEAP in 2017 and have been active participants ever since. They are a pleasure to work with as they are incredibly motivated to implement conservation on their farm; always ensuring they are making the best management decisions for their property and doing so in a timely manner.

In addition, Lyle is committed to continuing this education by attending and even hosting educational events that promote conservation. The Harters are extraordinarily welcoming to others, inviting the community, NRCS, and more onto their property to learn. Lyle is a wonderful advocate for MAEAP, promoting it to other farmers and ranchers at community events. The Harters are certainly wonderful leaders for conservation in their community and CLMCD is proud to present them with the 2023 MAEAP Landowner of the Year award.

EUP News Staff

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