60 years of Citizen Action to protect Natural Areas 

                                                                                                                       Updated 15 November 2006

11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. --- December 9, 2006
Room 168, Plant Biology Lab, MSU


State Natural Areas Program Update                     Matt Herbert,  MDNR

MDNR Biodiversity Planning Process                     Phyllis  Higman, MNFI

Washtenaw County Natural Areas Selection           Tom Freeman, Washtenaw Parks and Recreation

(A business meeting of the MNAC will follow the presentations and discussions. Public welcome!)

Message from Phyllis Higman, MNAC Chair

    I’d like to take a moment to update you on MDNR activities relating to Michigan’s Natural Areas.  I am pleased to announce that at long last, there has been some movement in the state Natural Areas Program over the last year.  Three new areas have been nominated for dedication under the Wilderness and Natural Areas Act and are currently under review by the MDNR.  These include Algonac Prairie and Savanna Natural Area, Carney Fen, and Warren Dunes north.

    Coincidently, the development of a “Biodiversity Conservation Planning Process” has been completed and approved by the MDNR Statewide Council and a “Biodiversity Team” is working on an implementation plan.  This process will allow for the designation of important sites, using three new conservation categories:  Special Conservation Areas, High Conservation Value Areas, and Ecological Reference Areas.  Dedicated Natural Areas are included in the category of High Conservation Value Areas.

    The operating relationship between the State Natural Areas Program and the Biodiversity Conservation Planning Process is not exactly clear at this point in time.  Currently, they have separate nominating procedures and presumably, nominations that are reviewed by one program could be referred to the other, if deemed more appropriate.  Specific operating procedures will be sorted out over the next year as both programs move forward.

    Matt Herbert, MDNR-Heritage Program, will join as at our winter meeting to provide an update on the state Natural Areas nominations and share his experience in trying to move these along. We are very glad and excited that he is in the trenches working hard to make dedications happen. I will provide more details on the Biodiversity Conservation Planning Process and the new conservation area categories.

    County level Natural Area designations have been moving forward in some regions of the state as well. Also featured at our winter meeting will be Tom Freeman, Superintendent of Park Planning, Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission.  He will describe efforts to designate Natural Areas in Washtenaw County.  Joining him in this discussion will be Sylvia Taylor and Tony Reznicek

    Please bring a sack lunch and join us on December 9th to learn about the Natural Area nominations and new conservation categories and celebrate our successes!

    We will meet in Room 168 of the Plant Biology Lab at Michigan State University in East Lansing Michigan at 11:00 am. Coffee and snacks will be provided.  Please feel free to join us or not for our business meeting following the speakers.

    The Plant Biology Lab is located on Wilson Road. For a map to the site, click here http://www.msu.edu/dig/msumap/

* Fight Global Warming - Think Snow.

Goals of the MNAC
The Michigan Natural Areas Council is dedicated to the preservation of natural areas of outstanding scenic beauty or scientific value that are representative of the full value of the state of Michigan's natural wealth.

We believe that it is out duty and privilege to pass on to future generations the very best that we can of our natural heritage--this storehouse of interrelating plants and animals which has evolved through the ages in a fascinating and complex equilibrium.

How do we seek our goals?

The council is an advisory and educational body and does not itself own land.

We seek to locate and evaluate choice natural areas and to prepare recommendations for preservation appropriate to their inherent value and suitable use.

We encourage formal dedication as a means of preserving natural areas under legal safeguards guaranteeing their maintenance in perpetuity as natural areas.

We cooperate with state and local governmental agencies, private land owners, and private organizations.

<>We seek to promote public support and appreciation of the importance, character, and function of natural areas.


We invite YOU to join the Michigan Natural Areas Council

The pressures of urbanization and development and the destruction of habitats by uncaring use, call for renewed efforts by citizens to save parts of the natural world for the future.

The MNAC is a non-profit organization and our membership is open to all individuals and organizations interested in furthering our goals.

Membership Application, or send e-mail to: mnac@cyberspace.org

or write to:

Michigan Natural Areas Council
c/o Matthaei Botanical Gardens
1800 North Dixboro
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-9741