Bear expert to speak at DNR Wildlife Through Forestry forum

Lynn Rogers, principal biologist at the Wildlife Research Institute in Ely, Minnesota, is a Michigan native renowned worldwide for his studies of black bears.

Known to have formed trusting relationships with wild black bears, including mothers with cubs, Rogers is often likened to Jane Goodall for his depth of empirical knowledge gained from “walking” with black bears.

An educator whose materials are carried by media to more than 100 million people worldwide each year, Rogers will speak in Houghton this month as part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ “Wildlife Through Forestry” forum series, which began in the Upper Peninsula last month.

The forum, which is open to the public, is set for 7 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, April 18 in 135 Fisher Hall on the campus of Michigan Technological University in Houghton. A campus parking map is linked here. Parking lots are open to the public after 5 p.m. Fisher Hall is labeled on the map.

“We are quite pleased to have Dr. Rogers coming to Houghton as part of our series,” said DNR service forester Gary Willis. “This forum will take an in-depth look at black bear biology and behavior and provide information on resource management plans for habitat enhancement.”

Rogers has written more than 100 scientific articles on black bear biology and ecology, founded the North American Bear Center and has appeared in documentaries and other television programs, including “The Man Who Walks with Bears,” which was featured on the Animal Planet cable network

The DNR recently launched its forums designed to demonstrate to private landowners that they can accomplish their wildlife habitat enhancement goals and objectives by careful implementation of a well-written resource management plan.

As part of this effort – using funding from a Natural Resources Conservation Service grant – the DNR is offering “Wildlife Through Forestry” forums in the western Upper Peninsula over the next few months.

Each of these forums will include a presentation on an interesting and important wildlife- related topic, with additional information provided to private landowners on the value of a resource management plan.

“Understanding a species of wildlife’s basic needs is the starting point for prescribing management practices that enhance habitat,” Willis said. “Resource professionals will make themselves available to meet with the public one hour (6-7 p.m. EDT) prior to the meeting to discuss management of forest and wildlife resources.”

The DNR “Wildlife Through Forestry” steering committee planned specific goals in holding these forums in the western U.P.

“We want to get folks fired up about sound resource management so that they establish a family legacy with their forest ownership,” Willis said. “We want to show folks the importance of working closely with a resource professional to accomplish their goals and objectives for ownership. We also want folks to have a good time getting together to discuss topics of interest to us all.”

The first forum was held March 8 at the Ewen-Trout Creek School in Ontonagon County. A third Forum will be offered from 7 to 9 p.m. EDT, May 8 at the Ottawa Sportsmen’s Club conference room/banquette hall located on M-38 approximately 7 miles west of Baraga.

Speakers will be researchers from the U.P. Predator/Prey study group.

This study has been a collaborative effort between the DNR, Mississippi State University and Safari Club International. The project aims to provide a better understanding of the major factors affecting white-tailed deer survival.

Two members of the research team, Nick Fowler and Todd Kautz, both doctoral candidates at Mississippi State, will describe the study and review some of its preliminary findings.

More than 150 professional foresters and 20 wildlife biologists develop Forest Stewardship Plans for forest landowners in Michigan. For information about these plans or the Commercial Forest Program, contact Gary Willis, DNR Service Forester, 427 U.S. 41 North, Baraga, Michigan, 49908; 906-353-6651, ext. 122 or