Sept. 24, 2021
This week, Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials from Lansing visited the Upper Peninsula to meet with constituent groups at key meetings.
DNR Natural Resources Deputy Shannon Lott and Wildlife Division Chief Jared Duquette attended meetings Wednesday of the Upper Peninsula Habitat Workgroup in Ishpeming and the DNR's Western U.P. Citizens' Advisory Council in Marquette Township.
"The U.P. stakeholders are among our most passionate, and seeing them in person means a great deal to all of us," Lott said. "I have missed traveling throughout the U.P. over the last 18 months, and my time here was well spent to get reconnected to all of them."
Lott is entering her 25th year with the department and has worked previously in the DNR's Wildlife and Forest Resources divisions, and Duquette was hired in November 2020 as the department's wildlife division chief, moving recently to the Michigan from Illinois.
Both have ties to the Upper Peninsula. Lott did prior forestry research in the eastern U.P., and Duquette worked here on a multiyear predator-prey study conducted jointly between the DNR and Mississippi State University.
At the habitat workgroup meeting, Duquette was introduced and Lott discussed a pilot project aimed at crafting long-term harvest and retention plans for deer yards and associated food sources, to be more transparent internally and externally.
The project will cover nine U.P. deer wintering complexes on state-managed land each greater than 15,000 acres.
Organized under the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, the habitat workgroup is a forum for various interests, including the DNR and the Safari Club International Foundation, working to preserve and improve wintering habitat for white-tailed deer across the region.
At the citizens' advisory council meeting, Lott provided an update on DNR initiatives currently underway. Duquette said he is looking to partner with a wider group of interests in the outdoors, beyond traditional hunters and anglers, to provide more seats at the table and new opportunities for ecosystem conservation and management.
Lott and Duquette took questions from workshop and council members. Wednesday's sessions were the first held in person since before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
"As staff, we are thankful to have the opportunity to be able to meet face to face with the public, for the first time since early 2020," said Stacy Haughey, the DNR's U.P. field deputy. "We also appreciate having our resource deputy and wildlife chief involved on the ground in those discussions."
Duquette and Jay Wesley, of the DNR's Fisheries Division, will also attend Saturday's meeting of the Upper Peninsula Sportsmen's Alliance in Menominee County.
"It is wonderful to be back in the U.P. and have conversations about the future of wildlife and habitat management with our passionate sportsmen and women," Duquette said. "I am certainly looking forward to open discussion with those attending the UPSA meeting."
For more information on the DNR, visit Michigan.gov/DNR.
Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Caption information follows. Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, unless otherwise noted.
Council: Shannon Lott, the natural resource deputy for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, speaks at a meeting of the DNR's Western Upper Peninsula Citizens' Advisory Council in Marquette Township.
Duquette: Jared Duquette, chief of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Division, is shown.
Lott: Shannon Lott, natural resource deputy for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, is shown.
Workgroup: Jared Duquette, chief of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Division, speaks at a meeting of the Upper Peninsula Habitat Workgroup this week in Ishpeming.