An important public symposium “Managing our Forests and Wildlife for Sustainability” will be held on the Island on June 28 from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Beaver Island Community Center. The symposium is sponsored by the Natural Resources / Eco-Tourism Commission (NRETC) and is part I of a series of symposiums on understanding and managing Beaver Island’s ecosystems.
The Commission’s goal is to develop an island-wide consensus on a management plan for the island’s resources. This first seminar will include the following topics:
- Information on the forests of the Island and regulation and management practices as they are today, including the schedule of state land for logging Forests of the future,
- managing threats including Beech Bark Disease, the newest threat to our forest land
- Private Land Management – Logging Contracts and Conservation easements
- Wildlife Management – deer, grouse, woodcock, wood duck, turkey and beaver
Song Birds and Ecotourism
- Roundtable Discussions for island input into resource management issues
The increase in logging activity on the Island and the current discussions about managing deer on the Island make the symposium a timely event. It is designed not only to inform about Island issues but also to give an opportunity for participants to express their thoughts.
Other on-going projects of the NRETC include cleaning up garbage dumps on Garden Island, preparing an Island map of nature trails with guides to birds, animals, plants and trees, preparing a self-guided driving tour of the Island’s resources,
assisting the Phragmites coordinator, Jacque LaFreniere, with this year’s phragmites treatment. The commission is also participating with off-island environmental groups in several grant requests.
Beaver Island’s Natural Resources/Eco-Tourism Commission is a joint commission of the two townships established to promote understanding and preservation of our natural resources and opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment. The Beaver Island Association is represented on the commission by Jim Jones.
The Commission is comprised of a 17 member board representing the Island’s government, plan commissions, trails committee, BI Community School, wildlife club, historical society, DNR, Little Traverse Conservancy, the Tribes, and several businesses focusing on tourism: Beaver Island Eco-Tours, Beaver Island Music Festival, Paradise Dive Shop and Inland Seas School of Kayaking. The individual members representing those organizations include scientists (biologists, zoologist, foresters, park managers), environmentalists, planners, hunters and consultants. The commission’s officers are Sandy Birdsall, chair; Jacque LaFreniere, vice-chair, and Pam Grassmick, Secretary.