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Kirtland’s Warbler Initiative Sustaining the Success…

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1 Kirtland’s Warbler Initiative Sustaining the Success…

2 Kirtland’s Warblers in MI North America’s rarest songbird Nests almost exclusively in northern Michigan jack pine forests 1987: Less than 200 Kirtland’s warblers in Michigan 2011: Over 1800 Kirtland’s warblers in Michigan Currently under Endangered Species Act protection ESA protection includes federal funding for cowbird trapping and active jack pine management Resulting from strong interagency efforts, ESA recovery goals have been met, but a sustainable plan for continued jack pine habitat management and cowbird trapping is necessary to see Kirtland’s Warblers removed from the ESA and sustain their recovery. First for conservation! No bird species has every been delisted as a result of habitat management efforts.

3 Kirtland’s Warbler Initiative Program launched in 2012 with selection of Huron Pines by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Goal – develop an innovative public-private partnership that begins delisting of species and supports long-term conservation Built on the foundation of work by MDNR, USFS, USFWS and Recovery Team Developed by USFWS, NFWF and other Kirtland’s warbler partners over 5 years Incorporates 3 strategies; Development of stakeholder group – Kirtland’s Warbler Alliance Establish a long-term fund to provide dollars for anticipated funding gaps Conservation objectives outlined in Cooperative Agreements, long-term management plans with agencies

4 Agency Participation 90% of potential habitat in NLP on State or National Forest land Agencies committed to KW conservation for over 40 years Fish and Wildlife Service Forest Service Michigan Department of Natural Resource Agency MOU Kirtland’s Warbler Conservation Plan Long-term strategic plan for KW conservation on breeding grounds Partnerships are key to successful conservation!!! DNR strongly supports Huron Pines and the KW Initiative

5 Economic & Recreational Benefits of Active Jack Pine Management Sustaining the Kirtland’s warbler isn’t just the right thing to do, it also makes sense for the region’s economy and quality of life. Timber Tourism Outdoor Recreation

6 Timber Kirtland’s warblers typically nest in 5 to 20-year old jack pine forests over 80 acres which include numerous openings. Clear-cutting, planting and prescribed fire mimic historical wildlife conditions necessary for forest regeneration. Harvested jack pine is used for pulpwood, construction, boxes, crates, containers, posts, poles, piling, mine timbers, railway ties and fuel. In 2012, 100 acres of jack pine forest could yield up to $70,000 in gross timber and pulpwood sales and provide one full-time private sector job. Michigan currently keeps 150,000 acres of jack pine in rotation to provide 38,000 acres of Kirtland’s warbler nesting habitat.

7 Tourism An estimated 469,000 Michigan residents and 135,000 nonresidents travel away from home to watch songbirds in Michigan according to the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Kirtland’s warbler, as North America’s rarest songbird, has the potential to attract a significant following of these birders. In 2011, 68 organized Kirtland’s warbler tours were conducted. 687 birders participated in organized tours, many of whom lodge, eat, and purchase gas and supplies in the Kirtland’s Warbler region.

8 Outdoor Recreation Approximately 69,000 anglers and 66,000 hunters reside in counties containing Kirtland’s warbler nesting habitat. Management practices like clear-cutting jack pine and allowing regeneration also support game species including whitetail deer, grouse, black bear, wild turkey, small game and furbearers. Young jack pine stands also provide thermal cover for whitetail deer and other game. Kirtland’s warbler habitat also contains some of Michigan’s premier trout waters, such as the AuSable River. The opportunity to view Kirtland’s warblers while trout fishing provides an additional incentive to fish these waters, according to local guides.

9 The Big Picture Recovery effort rooted in Michigan, new program being launched from Michigan Continued KW conservation programs = strong, healthy jack pine forest Wildlife viewing/outdoor recreation growing economic driver – opportunity to promote unique natural asset Public-private partnership model broader implications for conservation

10 Questions? Working to gather a diverse coalition of partners To find out how you can help, contact: Abby Ertel, Kirtland’s Warbler Coordinator Huron Pines 4241 Old US 27 South, Suite 2 Gaylord, MI Tel: ext ext. 14


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