This July celebrate the newly minted Michigan Wildlife Conservation Month and visit a slice of Michigan’s 4.6 million acres of public lands. This month’s News to Us provides tips on how to mindfully recreate on trails and how to report potential invasive species sightings. Also included are pieces about the Southeast Michigan water infrastructure investment gap and efforts in Cleveland to integrate equity into local climate action.

‘A lot to celebrate’: July designated as Michigan Wildlife Conservation Month
Governor Gretchen Whitmer, along with the Michigan Senate, proclaimed July as Wildlife Conservation Month to raise awareness of efforts to protect Michigan’s wildlife, waterways, and public lands. Wildlife Conservation Month aims to celebrate Michigan’s 4.6 million acres of public lands and the work of conservationists and state agencies in protecting wildlife for future generations.

Recent flooding in Southeast Michigan underscores the need for federal infrastructure flooding. Photo credit: Michigan State Police

Detroit-area floods mean sewage backups. Fed dollars won’t fix issue soon.
Even with billions of federal dollars recently directed towards infrastructure investments, it will take years to see improvements in the water and stormwater systems to mitigate flooding. According to projections from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, southeast Michigan is in need of $1 billion in annual investments until 2045 to substantial improve the area’s stormwater system.

Trail etiquette: 8 rules to remember while exploring Michigan’s great outdoors
In this piece, four park professionals from around the state share their insights on how to enjoy trails while also respecting nature and other visitors. With the growth in visitors during the pandemic, many outdoor spaces are feeling the impact of larger crowds, making trail etiquette increasingly important. Understanding specific trail types and uses as well as  leave no trace principles can ensure an enjoyable outing for all.

How to report suspicious fish and aquatic plant sightings
The United States Geological Survey’s Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database and the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network database are two resources for the general public to report invasive species to conservation agencies. This article from Michigan State University Extension outlines how to successfully report questionable organisms to agencies using different apps and websites.

The White House wants to flight climate change and help people. Cleveland led the way
Even at the federal levels, efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change are integrating components of environmental justice and community equity. This article from NPR spotlights the work in Cleveland to explicitly link climate policy with social equity priorities via the city’s climate action plan. The challenges and success of Cleveland can serve to inform local efforts across the nation to jointly advance equity and climate.