Michigan –-(Ammoland.com)- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Audubon Great Lakes have announced a new bird conservation partnership. A joint position, which has been filled by former Audubon Important Bird Areas program coordinator Caleb Putnam, has been tasked with establishing a new conservation outreach program in Michigan with a special focus on birds.
Putnam has worked for Audubon since 2006, overseeing the identification and protection of 102 Important Bird Areas throughout Michigan. These areas are sites critical to the long-term conservation of birds. He brings a wealth of experience in the birding and bird conservation communities, as well as a diverse background in ornithology and wildlife management.
“I’m extremely excited to work on behalf of both organizations to engage the public in conversations related to bird conservation across various landscapes, including state-managed land,” said Putnam.
One aspect of the position is to communicate bird conservation actions, policies and priorities of the DNR and Audubon to the public and stakeholder groups through a variety of means – including the creation of a steering committee. The committee will consist of conservation groups within the birding and hunting communities that will be tasked with guiding this program.
As the appointed managers of Michigan’s wildlife, the DNR Wildlife Division has the potential to affect more than 10 million acres of public and private land statewide.
“This partnership makes good sense, because there are many wildlife watchers who enjoy DNR state game areas. However, because these folks traditionally haven’t been part of our daily discussions about managing these lands, we could be missing out on good ideas and critical input,” said Russ Mason, DNR Wildlife Division chief.
“We have strong relationships with the hunting community. We want to bridge these two communities so they appreciate each other. This partnership could have an outstanding impact on this state.”
Audubon is focused on conserving ecosystems and habitats for both wildlife and people. In the Great Lakes region, Audubon has a particular focus on coastal wetlands and watersheds that provide critical habitat for breeding and migratory birds while also filtering and storing water.
“Audubon is thrilled to partner with Michigan Department of Natural Resources to foster collaborations between the birding and conservation communities and to introduce new audiences to the birds and public natural areas of Michigan,” said Audubon Great Lakes Executive Director Rebeccah Sanders. “Michigan’s vast lakeshores and centralized location within the Great Lakes make it an integral location to focus regional bird conservation efforts.”
Together, these two organizations plan to change the conversations between Michigan’s conservation groups.
Now in its second century, Audubon’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity. Audubon has two state chapters in Michigan: Michigan Audubon and Detroit Audubon Society.
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