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A helicopter drops water from a helicopter bucket onto an area of the forest affected by the Sleeper Lake Fire.

A firefighter dampens the roof of a house in order to prevent it from bursting into flames.

Volunteer campground hosts at J. W. Wells State Park in Menominee County. Campground Hosts assist campers by answering questions and explaining rules.

A conservation officer documents trash illegally dumped on public land as part of the Adopt-a-Forest program. The program is sponsored jointly by the Michigan Coalition for Clean Forests, which includes the Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, Michigan Forest Resource Alliance, and many caring organizations, corporations and individuals. The coalition works with law enforcement to eliminate illegal dumping through its educational campaigns, physical cleanup of dump sites and advocating alternative methods of disposal (such as composting, recycling and annual community-wide cleanups).

Collection of brightly colored fall maple leaves in a stream.

A white-tailed deer yearling in the woods.

Visitors to Holland State Park beach relaxing near the north pier light.

White birch (Betula papyrifera) tree leaves in the sun.

Commercial Fisheries Enforcement Unit patrol boat M.W. Neal in action. This 28-foot vessel is the fastest boat in the fleet, capable of traveling at speeds up to 40 knots (46 mph). This patrol boat services Saginaw Bay. She is named for the state's first female game warden.

Commercial Fisheries Enforcement Unit patrol boat M.W. Neal in action. This 28-foot vessel is the fastest boat in the fleet, capable of traveling at speeds up to 40 knots (46 mph). This patrol boat services Saginaw Bay. She is named for the state's first female game warden.

Three firefighters discuss their assignments.

A young white-tailed deer buck amongst trees.

A flowing river after having its dam removed. Virtually all of Michigan's large rivers had dams constructed on them. Most of these dams were built between 1900 and 1955, with construction activity reaching its peak in 1914. Many of these dams have deteriorated because of age, erosion, poor maintenance, flood damage and poor designs, and many of them no longer serve any useful purpose. Removal eliminates the expenses of future maintenance and repairs, improves public safety and provides several ecological benefits

A conservation officer stands with robotic decoys - a deer and a turkey - used to apprehend illegal hunters. The decoys, which move to look real, are placed along roads where illegal hunting is a problem, and conservation officers are at hand to apprehend people who attempt to shoot them from their cars or the roadside. Robo-deer and robo-turkeys, have helped conservation officers catch hundreds of illegal hunters in Michigan.

DNR employees aboard the Alpena Fisheries Research Station boat Chinook measure fish caught in gillnets for the annual Saginaw Bay fish community survey. Each fish is identified, counted and measured for total length. Target species, where more information is required, also will be weighed and examined to determine sex, maturity, stomach contents and more. Scales or spines are collected to allow the age of the fish to be determined later. The survey requires that most of these fish are sacrificed, but biologists learn an enormous amount about the health of the fish populations and often the same specimens are provided to others for more study; any fish remaining of any consumption value are donated to food pantries.

Early American Willow (Salix discolor) branches showing the emergence of its catkins, commonly known as pussy willows.

DNR employee tagging a walleye (Sander vitreus) with an Internal/PIT tag. These tags are an implanted tag which contains a series of numbers and letters that can be obtained by passing a "PIT Tag reader" over the implanted tag. The tagging program helps biologists to determine movement and seasonal distribution of the species.

Perching peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus).

DNR Fisheries Division employees gather brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) fingerlings to be transferred to a truck for transportation to an Upper Peninsula stream.

Removing a dam from a river. Virtually all of Michigan's large rivers had dams constructed on them. Most of these dams were built between 1900 and 1955, with construction activity reaching its peak in 1914. Many of these dams have deteriorated because of age, erosion, poor maintenance, flood damage and poor designs, and many of them no longer serve any useful purpose. Removal eliminates the expenses of future maintenance and repairs, improves public safety and provides several ecological benefits

Two kids show off their brown bullhead catfish (Ameiurus nebulosus) catch.

DNR employees release an elk with its new radio collar as part of a capture operation for the DNR's four-year research project to evaluate the movement patterns, population characteristics and health of elk near Atlanta in Montmorency County. A helicopter was used to drive the elk into open areas, where an individual animal could be captured in a net fired from a special net gun. Once ensnared, the elk was subdued by field researchers, and then fitted with radio collars, provided a field checkup for basic health signs and given an antibiotic shot. Scientists also took hair, blood and fecal samples. The operation captured 20 bulls and 20 cows, achieving its capture goal.

A young hunter shows off his mallard duck kill in a Pure Michigan Hunt. Pure Michigan Hunt is a program set up by the DNR to raise money to fund wildlife habitat restoration and improvement. Three winners are drawn from the applicants, and these hunters win donated prizes (including a firearm and crossbow) and are able to participate in every limited-access hunt Michigan has, elk, bear, spring and fall wild turkey, and antlerless deer, as well as take first pick in a managed waterfowl area reserved hunt.

A bag of garlic mustard (non-native invasive plant) pulled by volunteers. Pulling garlic mustard is part of the DNR's early detection and rapid response initiative. Garlic mustard impacts forest regeneration by shading-out young tree saplings.

Conservation officer writing a ticket for illegal ORV use on a stream bank. The damage to the bank is clear in the photo, and this type of erosion is why ORV use is restricted along waterways in Michigan.

A Kirtland's warbler, a rare and endangered bird, perched on a tree branch. Extensive work has been done to restore the habitat of the Kirtland's warbler, thereby increasing the population.

A close-up of a praying mantis.

A view of the William G. Milliken State Harbor with the skyline of Detroit in the background. William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor is situated on 31 acres in downtown Detroit. The scenic harbor, dedicated in 2004, includes 52 slips. A harbor light, which is a replica of the Tawas Point Lighthouse, welcomes boaters into this marina. Michigan's 97th state park, William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor is Michigan’s only urban state park.

Outdoor and environmental education coordinator Gary Williams helps a boy fish as part of an introductory fishing program for youth at the Pocket Park at the Michigan State Fairgrounds. The children received a crash course on fishing, a little bit of basic biology, and then were turned loose around the facility's Lower Peninsula-shaped fish pond to target the 5,000 or so hybrid bluegills stocked there.

Aspen going through a field sawmill. The aspen were harvested by the DNR for pulpwood, which is then offered for sale. Sales are conducted for the purposes of harvesting mature and over mature trees, responding to past or predicted insect and disease outbreaks, salvaging fire-damaged trees, enhancing wildlife habitat and improving health of forest trees. All harvests are designed to enhance growth of the residual trees or to promote full and prompt regeneration.

A white-tailed deer doe alert in a clearing.

A flock of trumpeter swans resting in a field near a road.

A woman hunter shows off her ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) kill.

A group of ice fisherman out on the ice.

A sign on the side of a road thanking firefighters for their services in stopping the Sleeper Like Fire.

A group of hunters preparing to head to their hunting grounds on their off-road vehicles (ORVs), with gun cases strapped to the back.

The Marketing and Outreach Division works with partners, using a strategic combination of outreach, communication, education and retention activities, to foster individual growth and engagement in Michigan outdoor recreation and stewardship and create advocates for sound resource management.

A firefighter sprays an area of forest as part of the fire suppression efforts of the Sleeper Lake wildfire. The 2007 lightning-caused fire which burned more than 18,000 acres in the eastern Upper Peninsula. It was the third largest fire in Michigan's history

A man backpacking along a trail in one of the state parks or recreation areas.

Law enforcement vehicle promoting the DNR's "Wear it Michigan!" campaign encouraging boaters to always wear personal flotation devices while on the water.

DNR employees pull a tranquilized black bear (Ursus americanus) out of her den, preparing to attach a radio collar. The radio collar will help DNR biologists track the bear and allow for checkups to aid in their research of the species in Michigan.

A netfull of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) fingerlings raised in a Fisheries Division fish hatchery, ready to be transported to an Upper Peninsula stream.

A conservation officer talks with snowmobilers about safety and regulations for the popular winter pastime.

A crewmember of the DNR's Survey Vessel Steelhead lowers a digital sensor into Lake Michigan. The crew conducts an annual hydroacoustic (sonar) and mid-water trawl survey of alewives and other prey fishes (like the mottled sculpin) in Lake Michigan to get a snapshot of current conditions. Once the survey work is completed, estimates of total prey fish abundance are generated by managers and are used to balance predator-prey dynamics. Fisheries managers then adjust salmon stocking rates to keep alewife abundance in check with lake productivity levels.

A firefighter saturates the ground in order to prevent further fires from starting.

Education historian and BIG History Lesson coordinator Laurie Perkins leads a lesson on Civil War battleflags in the battleflag storage area of the Michigan Historical Center. The BIG History Lesson is a weeklong immersion learning program for third and fourth graders that's held in the galleries and education rooms of the Historical Museum in Lansing.

Removal of a dam on a Michigan river. Virtually all of Michigan's large rivers had dams constructed on them. Most of these dams were built between 1900 and 1955, with construction activity reaching its peak in 1914. Many of these dams have deteriorated because of age, erosion, poor maintenance, flood damage and poor designs, and many of them no longer serve any useful purpose. Removal eliminates the expenses of future maintenance and repairs, improves public safety and provides several ecological benefits

Conservation officer recruits work on their lifesaving and public safety skills, working specifically on learning how to save people who have fallen through ice. Conservation officers are fully commissioned as state peace officers, with full power and authority to enforce Michigan's criminal laws. They are a unique class of law enforcement officer, whose duties include enforcing regulations for outdoor recreational activities such as off-road vehicle use, snowmobiling, boating, hunting and fishing. New conservation officers undergo nearly 10 months of extensive recruit training.

A group of students participating in the National Archery in the Schools Program. As part of the national program, the DNR offers free basic archery instructor courses to educators, predominantly physical education teachers, who wish to implement the program in their school. Today, more than 100 schools representing 37 counties across the state have started a program, with over 5,000 Michigan students taking part this year.

Smoke rising in the distance from the Sleeper Lake wildfire. The 2007 lightning-caused fire which burned more than 18,000 acres in the eastern Upper Peninsula. It was the third largest fire in Michigan's history

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