The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will offer the latest forum in its popular “Wildlife Through Forestry” series Thursday, Oct. 19 in Ishpeming.
Vince Crichton, of Manitoba, an internationally-recognized expert on moose biology and management and one of Canada’s leading wildlife pathologists, will talk about moose populations and threats the Upper Peninsula herd faces, including chronic wasting disease – an always fatal neurological disease that kills deer, moose and elk.
Dean Beyer, a Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife research biologist, will discuss the status of the U.P. moose herd.
The forum will be from 6-9 p.m. EDT, Oct. 19 at the River Rocks Lanes and Banquet Center (formerly Red Rocks Lanes) in Ishpeming.
In addition, resource professionals will make themselves available to meet with the public one hour prior to the session (5-6 p.m. EDT) to discuss management of forest and wildlife resources.
“Since their reintroduction to the western Upper Peninsula in the mid-1980s, moose have remained one of the most popular wildlife species in the region,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “This will be a fascinating session, allowing attendees to learn more about these beautiful animals and those factors that affect population growth.”
With funding from a Natural Resources Conservation Service grant, the DNR has been offering “Wildlife Through Forestry” forums over the past few months.
This is the fifth forum in the DNR’s highly-successful series, which began earlier this year, in the western Upper Peninsula. These forums link wildlife topics to the numerous ways habitat may be developed and enhanced for a range of species on private lands.
Vince Crichton, known as “Doc Moose,” was born in Chapleau, Ontario and followed the footsteps of his father into the wildlife field. He studied wildlife diseases, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Manitoba and his doctorate at the University of Guelph in Ontario.
In 2012, Crichton retired from Manitoba’s Wildlife and Ecosystem Protection Branch after a career that spanned 40 years. He worked in various capacities including eastern region wildlife biologist, head of surveys and inventories, provincial moose, elk and caribou biologist, forest wildlife biologist, forest tundra wildlife manager, senior scientist and manager for game, fur and problem wildlife.
Crichton has been published in various scientific journals, popular magazines and he wrote two chapters in “The Ecology and Management of the North American Moose.” He is past editor, and currently associate editor, of “ALCES: A Journal Devoted to the Biology and Management of Moose.” He is also a member of editorial panels for various other journals and is co-editor of “The Moose Call” newsletter.
He is past president of the Manitoba Big Game Trophy Association and is currently Canadian vice president of the North American Moose Foundation.
He is a hunter, conservationist, university lecturer, guest speaker and amateur photographer. He was awarded the “Distinguished Moose Biologist Award” by his peers. In September 2016, he was co-chairman of the 50th North American Moose Conference/8th International Moose Symposium in Brandon, Manitoba. There, he was presented with a special award for his long-time contributions to North American moose conferences and international symposia.
Dean Beyer is a wildlife research biologist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and an adjunct professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. He received earned his bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from the University of Vermont and his master’s degree and doctorate in wildlife ecology from Michigan State. His research interests include population dynamics of large mammals, abundance estimation, and predator-prey interactions.
Each of the “Wildlife Through Forestry” forums has included a presentation on an interesting and important wildlife-related topic, with additional information provided to private landowners on the value of a Forest Stewardship Plan.
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 email@example.com.
Many county conservation districts in Michigan have foresters on staff available for a free site visit to private landowner properties. They can discuss landowner wildlife habitat and forestry goals and help decide if there are financial assistance programs that can provide cost sharing for resource management plan preparation and implementation.
In Marquette County, contact Matt Watkeys, district forester, with the Marquette County Conservation District, at 906-226-8871, ext. 128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on moose in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/moose or to find out more on forest stewardship visit www.michigan.gov/privateforestland.