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Planning updates

Winter 2022 updates

Since our last communication in August, here is what the MWHA Planning Team has accomplished:

  • Initiated two new data collection efforts:
    • Historical data since 2000 – compiling data such as waterfowl numbers, harvest numbers, hunter use, permits, non-hunter recreation use of areas, etc. will provide context and support in setting plan priorities and direction
    • New hunter database – by tracking individual hunters, we can now evaluate how many times each hunter uses the area, where they come from, and other demographics to better understand how the areas are used and by whom
  • Developed a Communications Plan to guide both internal and external outreach efforts throughout the planning process
  • Began sending out the MWHA Planning Workgroup’s biweekly meeting notes to MWHA staff to keep them informed and included in the planning process
  • Identified Structured Decision Making (SDM) as the planning method to identify and recommend objectives for the next 10 years
    • Created an internal SDM subgroup to coordinate the process
    • Increased capacity for SDM process and incorporation of other social science by partnering with experts:
      • Dr. Kelly Robinson (Michigan State University), Dr. Mauri Liberati (Michigan State University), and Dr. Emily Pomeranz (MDNR)
    • Conducted Issue Scoping and Prioritization meetings with MWHA staff to identify important issues to address in the planning process
    • Invited waterfowl hunters and non-waterfowl hunting outdoor recreationists to participate in focus groups to share thoughts so that we can understand the important issues related to MWHAs and to inform goals and objectives for the MWHA plan


Next Steps in the coming months:

  • April/May - Conduct seven focus group meetings to understand stakeholder thoughts about MWHAs
    • Two focus groups will be held in each of the three “regions” (Saginaw Bay, Southeast and Southwest) – one for hunters and one for non-hunters
    • One focus group will be held for MWHA groups/clubs
  • July - Host a SDM workshop with MDNR staff to develop draft objectives and alternatives
  • August/September/October - Collect feedback from MDNR staff and stakeholders on draft objectives and alternatives via press releases, survey, and/or webinars
  • Fall – Send out another planning update
  • January/February 2023 – invite feedback on draft MWHA plan