MICHIGAN NATURAL AREAS COUNCIL
60 years of Citizen Action to protect Natural Areas
Updated 15 November 2006
WINTER* 2006 MEETING
Message from Phyllis Higman, MNAC Chair
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. --- December 9, 2006
Room 168, Plant Biology Lab, MSU
State Natural Areas Program
Matt Herbert, MDNR
MDNR Biodiversity Planning
Phyllis Higman, MNFI
Natural Areas Selection
Tom Freeman, Washtenaw Parks and Recreation
business meeting of the MNAC will follow the presentations and
discussions. Public welcome!)
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
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
We believe that it is out duty and privilege to pass on to
the very best that we can of our natural heritage--this storehouse of
plants and animals which has evolved through the ages in a fascinating
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
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.
History and Status
The Michigan Natural Areas Council began in 1946 as a conservation
committee of the Michigan Botanical Club, Southeastern Chapter,
becoming a separate state-wide organization a few years later.
At the outset, the Council recognized that the most effective means
to save native species is to preserve the habitat: whole ecosystems.
Under the leadership of Stanley A. Cain and other outstanding field
botanists, a framework of principles was developed to serve as a guide
in the evaluation of natural areas and recommendation as to their
management. Over the years, the Council has seen to the dedication of
over 100,000 acres in Michigan. The publication of reports on field
surveys continues to serve as an informational resource for interested
MNAC has ties to other Michigan environmental organizations and
agencies. MNAC members have been involved in providing information and
advice for the Michigan
DNR Natural Areas Program. MNAC is also a member organization
of the Michigan Environmental
Council and supports the efforts of other Michigan conservation
Land Trusts to preserve natural areas. (For links to these go to the
of the Little Traverse Conservancy
and select "Other Env. Links" in menu.)
MNAC is a non-profit charitable Michigan corporation tax exempt
as a 501(c)3 organization. Donations to MNAC are deductible in accord
with IRS tax regulations. It is governed by an Executive
Committee elected by the members, in accord with the provisions of
its Constitution and Bylaws.
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
Membership Application, or send
e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
or write to:
Michigan Natural Areas Council
c/o Matthaei Botanical Gardens
1800 North Dixboro
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-9741