News & Notes - 5/10/23 Fraser-Clinton Chronicle

Fraser-Clinton Chronicle | Published May 11, 2023

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MCHD issues Lyme disease, tick warning
MACOMB TOWNSHIP — As the days grow longer and summer draws closer, the Macomb County Health Department is issuing a warning to watch for ticks and Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria and is spread through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. The health department has determined that ticks with the bacteria are in Macomb County.

Ticks can attach to any part of the body but require 36-48 hours or more before Lyme disease can be transmitted. Ticks can be found by doing full-body checks after spending an extended amount of time outdoors. They should be removed with fine-tipped tweezers as close to the skin as possible, pulling upward.

Lyme disease symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and usually a “bull’s-eye” skin rash.


DNR asks people to not prune oaks
STATEWIDE — As spring gives way to summer, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is asking people to let the state’s oak trees grow.

“Oak trees should not be pruned between April 15 and July 15. These pruning guidelines can help keep infection from spreading,” said Simeon Wright, forest health specialist in the DNR’s Forest Resources Division, in a statement. “Once a tree is infected, there is no cure. Without expensive treatments, the disease spreads to other trees and may in time kill all nearby oaks.”

During the April to July period, beetles actively carry fungal spores from tree to tree, putting oak trees at high risk for oak wilt infection. Oak trees with wounds in their bark are susceptible to oak wilt, which can weaken white oaks and kill red oaks within a few weeks.

If a white oak or red oak near you is damaged during the period, the DNR recommends immediately covering all wounds with tree-wound paint or latex-based paint. Painting tree wounds is not recommended for other tree species, as it can reduce the effectiveness of the healing process.


Stamp out hunger May 13
MACOMB COUNTY — The annual U.S. Postal Carrier “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive will be held May 13.

Residents wishing to participate can leave nonperishable, unexpired food items in a bag near their mailboxes before their letter carriers arrive on Saturday.

From there, the postal carriers will pick up the food while delivering mail and bring it back to the post office where it will then be transported to a local food program.


58 species added to Michigan endangered list
STATEWIDE — A recent update to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources threatened and endangered plants and animals list sees 58 species added and 36 species removed, bringing the total number of threatened and endangered species to 407.

The list was updated with the help of experts from universities, the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, other conservation organizations and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources recommended changes to the list based on recent data. It was the seventh update to the list in 50 years.

“When people come together to collaborate on conservation, we can recover rare species,” said Jennifer Kleitch, a DNR endangered species specialist. “For instance, trumpeter swans were just removed from Michigan’s threatened and endangered species list. Their populations have grown as a result of significant conservation efforts by many partners over decades.”

Three bat species — little brown, northern long-eared and tri-colored — have been listed as threatened due to significant population declines in the state resulting from white-nose syndrome. Rusty-patched bumblebees and American bumblebees were added to the endangered species list because, like many pollinator species, their populations are seeing large declines.

“Many threatened and endangered species rely on high-quality natural areas that benefit all of us by providing clean water, clean air and places for us to enjoy nature,” Kleitch said. “When species are struggling, it can indicate declines in the functioning of those natural areas, which in turn can impact our quality of life.”


Garfield Road extension work begins
MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The extension of Garfield Road from 22 Mile Road to 23 Mile Road in Macomb Township is anticipated to start May 1 and last through the end of September. Construction operations will take place within the Garfield Road right of way, but disruptions to traffic are anticipated in the vicinity of 22 Mile and Garfield Road. Drivers should expect delays and are encouraged to seek alternate routes when possible.


DNR rejects Camp Grayling expansion
STATEWIDE — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has declined a proposed 20-year lease of around 162,000 acres of state forest to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

The DMVA sought to lease the land, located around the National Guard training camp in Grayling, to accommodate low-impact military training activities.

“We appreciate the many comments we received on this proposal and the commitment people have to public lands,” Acting DNR Director Shannon Lott said in a statement. “Public concerns and feedback from Tribal governments, coupled with our own review of the proposal, led us to decide against a 20-year lease on such a significant portion of state-managed land.”

According to a statement from the DNR, Michigan military leaders last winter proposed a lease of up to 162,000 acres of state forest land around Camp Grayling to conduct training for cyber and electronic warfare, and the operation of space and communication systems.

Protecting water and maintaining public land access were common concerns expressed by fishing, hunting and conservation groups throughout the public comment period, which ran from June 2022 to February 2023. The DNR and DMVA also hosted tribal consultations to get feedback from governments about the DMVA’s proposed use of additional state-managed public land.


County officials plant trees for Arbor Day
MACOMB COUNTY — Officials from Macomb County and the Village of Romeo came together on Friday, April 28, to plant 29 trees at Trailside Park in Romeo for Arbor Day.

Trailside Park is located along the Macomb Orchard Trail near 32 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue. The park is a former Macomb County Road Commission storage site, which was redeveloped into natural space. By planting trees in the park, the site is able to further become a recreation destination.

“With the addition of these new trees at Trailside Park, we’re continuing to make this outdoor space a beautiful and welcoming place for residents and visitors,” Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said. “I am so pleased to mark Arbor Day in this manner and to once again demonstrate the county’s commitment to improving our environment and taking care of our community.”

The event was led by Macomb County Planning and Economic Development, which will host several plantings this season through its Green Macomb Urban Forest Partnership. Launched in 2016, the program aims to double the tree canopy in Macomb County. With the support of Second Nature Brands, other plants planted at the park included hawthorns, crabapples, maples, sycamores, redbud and cypress trees.