Michigan Coalition for Clean Forests
April 2002 Newsletter
To contact us:
( Call the DNR at 989-275-5151 or USFS at 1-800-821-6263;
+ E-mail us at takacsa@michigan.gov; or
- Send a note to Adopt-a-Forest, 8717 North Roscommon Rd, Roscommon, MI 48653

Snow on the ground for five months does not mean that the Adopt-a-Forest program hibernates! We have been working with our partners to improve the program. Here's what's happening…

     If this newsletter was mailed to you, you will notice an identification number on your address label. This number is used to enter cleanup statistics on our database when you return progress reports. This label will speed up the data entry process immensely

wpe23.jpg (2279 bytes)Volunteering Just
Got Easier

     The Department of Natural Resources received a $5,000 materials grant from Home Depot. This grant was used to purchase tools such as shovels, rakes, and wheelbarrows.

     Members of the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts have agreed to house these tools and loan them out to volunteer groups working on community projects for a nominal deposit.

     The goal is to one day have tool banks available in every county. Contact these Conservation Districts for information in your area:

  • Clare
  • Crawford-Roscommon
  • Gladwin
  • Ingham
  • Manistee
  • Marquette
  • Montmorency
  • Oakland
  • Ogemaw
  • Ottawa

For information to educate and inform the forest landowner, visit:
Forestry Forum

Orphaned No More

Twenty-five percent of our "orphan sites" were cleaned last year not bad for the first mailing!

Major trash sites left unattended for years, those not officially adopted, and areas with special needs (like large equipment) are listed on the Orphan Sites List. Each spring, these lists are sent to every known volunteer in the county asking for their help in removing trash.

If you are aware of orphaned sites, please let us know. In the meantime, a big THANKS to Tracy Henning, DNR, for compiling last year’s information.


Have you seen what looks like foam, yellow paint, or oil-like films floating on your lake or river in the spring? These are more than likely naturally occurring phenomena.

Contact the DEQ Environmental Assistance Division at 1-800-662-9278 for further information.

Volunteer, Rick McShane applied for and received a VIP grant from his employer, Consumers Energy. $300 was donated to the Adopt-a-Forest program because of Mr. McShane’s efforts to keep his adopted area in Manistee County clean. This is the second VIP grant Rick has received for taking an interest in our program. Thanks to Rick and to Consumers Energy for making a difference!!!


FREE CAMPING is available this summer to outdoor lovers who volunteer as hosts at State Forest Campgrounds!

The Campground Host Program allows individuals to camp in a state forest campground at no charge in return for providing assistance in the campground.

Hosts direct visitors to their campsites, answer questions about the state forest, and perform light maintenance and other services depending on the host's talents and interests.

Individuals interested in serving as a host at a state forest campground should contact Duane Hoffman at 989.732.3541, ext. 5045 in the Lower Peninsula or Al Keto at 906.228.6561 in the Upper Peninsula.

Litter-Known Laws

Many volunteers have reported finding juice and water containers strewn about on public land. An amendment to the deposit law, HOUSE BILL NO. 4096, was introduced in January 2001, which would provide for deposits on non-carbonated soft drinks. To track this Bill, visit http://www.michiganlegislature.org/ or contact your local legislator.

Public Enrichment Foundation

books.gif (9104 bytes)Free books are available to non-profit groups such as churches, schools, governmental agencies, and so on who cater to children or less fortunate adults.

A wide variety of topics including audio books, how-to, gardening, nature, educational, and health are available free of charge. To fill out an application for your group, visit www.publicenrichmentfoundation.com or call 1-800-843-2711.


National River

Cleanup Week

May 11-18, 2002

Contact America Outdoors at 865-558-3595 or go to www.americaoutdoors.org
to register your project.

Grants for scrap tires abandoned on public land were received for the following locations:

Allegan - Alpena

Atlanta - Baldwin

Grayling - Harrison

Indian River - Manton

Marquette - Newberry

Oscoda -Sanford

These grants expire in July. For further info, call Ada at 989.275.5151, ext. 2049


Michigan contributes over 7.5 million scrap tires annually to the waste stream. Currently, more than 12 million scrap tires can be used annually by Michigan’s marketplace, primarily in re-treading, tire-derived fuel, and manufacturing of cement.

Source: State of Michigan’s Environment 2001


to the next  “Trash Team” meeting. Wednesday, May 8, 2002, at the USFS Supervisor’s Office in Cadillac at 10:00 a.m.  For directions, contact the USFS Office at 231-775-5023. Your input is very important. This is your chance to make a difference.


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     RSVP stands for Retired and Senior
      Volunteer Program.
  If you are 55 years
       or older, your volunteer time can also be
       counted under the RSVP program.
       Mileage reimbursement is available to
       those who feel they need it.  For further
       information, contact Carol Stouffer at
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 If you find large quantities of these items
during your cleanups, please DO NOT TOUCH! Call 1-866-METH-TIP and your local law enforcement agency.  These may be indicators of an illegal drug lab:

Aluminum foil                                    Anhydrous ammonia                                   Antihistamines/Decongestants
Camera batteries (Lithium)                Coffee filters                                               Iodine
Lye (Includes Drain Cleaners)           Matchbooks/Flares (Phosphorous)             Solvents


Jay’s Sporting Goods invited Ada Takacs to be interviewed on their radio show, Otsego Outdoors, June 23, 2001.   The Adopt-a-Forest program and many of its volunteers were highlighted.

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A new 240-pound railroad tie is now on the market.  It’s made of a steel beam core filled with concrete and encased in 80 pounds of ground-up scrap tires and discarded plastic bottles.  Testing shows that it is 230% stronger than creosote-soaked wood ties allowing for fewer ties per mile.  Railroads are beginning to install these throughout the country.  These ties are also projected to last 60-90 years compared to 5 to 30 years for wood railroad ties.

What the hands-on people have to say:

*    What’s gonna happen when everyone has to pay to have propane tanks retrofitted?
*   The one piece of litter we found most often was empty cigarette packages.
*   Our group really felt that they were making a difference in the appearance of our local forest.
*   The [construction] men saw the children cleaning and stopped their work and pitched in.
*   We all enjoyed the day together cleaning up and had some people stop to help us.
*   The Boy Scouts camped at the site the night before…with all the comforts of home from the
     couch, toilet, T.V., stove, frig, chairs and even the kitchen sink.


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Ornaments that adorned the U.S. Capitol Holiday Tree this Christmas will be sold at auction.  Nearly 6,000 artists from Michigan donated hand-made ornaments with the theme "Hope Takes Flight"decided long before the attacks of September 11th.  The ornaments that made it through the weather and return shipping will be auctioned on this site during the next two months.  All proceeds will be split between the Arts Council and Habitat for Humanity in Michigan.   Check it out:



Environmental Justice

The Michigan Coalition for Clean Forests has applied for a twenty thousand dollar Environmental Justice Grant through the U.S. EPA.  If approved, the grant will be used in conjunction with our community service programs.  Funding will be available to purchase much needed supplies like trash bags, work gloves, and to pay for large equipment rental needed at some sites.

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For the Birds

  • You can create a bird-friendly backyard…
    Re-create the multiple layers of plant growth found  in natural areas
             Select plants to provide nutritional foods during different seasons
             Plant shrubs and small trees in same-species clumps for adequate pollination of fruits
             Provide at least one clump of conifers
             Leave dead trees, standing or fallen, to provide nesting and foraging sites
             Leave vines, or plant native additions
             Limit the size of your lawn for less mowing, less fertilizing, less watering and less pollution
             Avoid invasive exotic (non-native) plants
             Supply a source of water – dripping or running is a better attractant
             Provide and monitor nest boxes of various sizes
             Leave some leaf litter on the ground
             Stop using pesticides

Source:  Bird Gardens: Welcoming Wild Birds to Your Yard

Three Fourths of the people in the United States live on 16 percent of the land.

            Source: U.S.D.A Urban Resources Partnership

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Are you and your home prepared for wildfire?Three quarters of wildfires are caused by people being careless and are preventable.
Give your home a check-up:
Clearly mark the entrance to your property for emergency personnel

Cut grass short around your buildings

Clear a 3-foot strip right down to sand or gravel around all buildings

Remove dead wood, leaves and other potential fuel from around your home and out buildings

Landscape with fire retardant plants

Store flammable items away from the main building

Put skirting or mesh around open foundations

Use fire retardant siding such as fiberglass or metal instead of wood

Close in the ends of eaves and put metal screens on vents

Insulate chimneys, put spark arresters on them Keep roofs and eaves clear of debris

Keep fire extinguishers, shovels, buckets, and hoses readily available

Develop a fire escape plan

Install smoke detectors and alarms and test them regularly

Keep emergency numbers handy

             Source: Great Lakes Forest                                             Fire Compact