Explore our November News to Us to learn about recent wins for land protection in the Huron River watershed and beyond as well as new figures on the economic benefit of outdoor recreation. Included are articles with updates on deer consumption safety and the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.

Land preservation taxes win big in Washtenaw County in Nov. 8 election
On election day, a trio of Huron River communities voted to establish or renew millages for funding local land protection efforts. Voters in Northfield and Dexter Townships approved the creation of new land preservation millages whereas Scio Township voted to renew its existing one for another ten years. Since its establishment in 2004 and renewal in 2012, Scio Township’s land preservation millage has protected nearly 1,600 acres of land largely within the Honey Creekshed. Click here to learn more about what you can do to protect land.

Despite the continued Do Not Eat Fish Advisory, deer living in the Huron River watershed remain safe for consumption. Photo credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The impact of ‘forever chemicals’ on Michigan’s fish and wildlife
With last week marking the start of deer firearm hunting season, WEMU’s David Fair chatted with National Wildlife Federation’s Jennifer Hill about the current state of health advisories for game animals due to PFAS chemicals. Despite an ongoing Do Not Eat Fish Advisory for the Huron River, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says deer in the Huron River watershed are safe for human consumption. However, it is recommended by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services not to eat deer organs due to toxic chemicals. Audio is also available for this piece! 🎧

To fight climate change, Canada turns to indigenous people to save its forests
Northern Canada’s First Nations are working to protect large swaths of boreal forest. In collaboration with academic, government, and nonprofit partners, over 50 of Canada’s indigenous communities have established a network of protected areas to help curb deforestation and conserve carbon sinks. Despite the Canadian government’s historic undervaluation of traditional ecological knowledge and indigenous leadership in conservation, First Nations have recently received over $125 million to lead land, water, and ice protection programs.

Michigan’s outdoor recreation boom is becoming a business boom
According to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, outdoor recreation contributed 109,595 jobs, $5 billion in wages, and $10.8 billion in total GDP to Michigan’s economy in 2021. Compared to 2020 the state’s outdoor recreation industry grew by 15.4 percent, which is over double the growth rate experienced by Michigan’s total economy. The nation as a whole saw a $173 billion, or 18.9%, increase in outdoor recreation spending. The outdoor recreation boom also brought changes in preference of outdoor activities. Paddling and bicycling are growing in popularity, whereas snow sports and hunting are waning.

50 years ago, the Clean Water Act promised to fix America’s water. Did it succeed?
October 17, 2022 marked the 50 year anniversary of the Clean Water Act in the United States. This article investigates at the impact of the Clean Water Act in regulating pollutants and cleaning up U.S. waters and the challenges still ahead. It specifically discusses the limitations in regulating nonpoint source pollution as well as the need for greater support to disadvantaged communities in mitigating environmental burdens.