The inaugural meeting of the Northern Lower Regional Deer Advisory Team (NLRDAT) is set for Saturday, Feb. 11. The meeting will be held at the Ramada Inn Conference Center, 2650 I-75 Business Loop, Grayling, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
With the approval of the Michigan Deer Management Plan on May 6, 2010, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) committed to establishing Regional Deer Advisory Teams (RDAT) for each Michigan region. Each RDAT corresponds to the boundaries of the DNR Hunting and Trapping Zones ? Zone 1 being the Upper Peninsula, Zone 2 the Northern Lower Peninsula, and Zone 3 the Southern Lower Peninsula.
The NLRDAT will serve as an advisory team to the DNR on deer management in the Northern Lower Peninsula. The goal of the team is to serve as a conduit between the public and the DNR to better understand the major concerns surrounding white-tailed deer.
"This is a great opportunity to engage members of the public about deer-related issues," said DNR Deer Biologist Ashley Hippler. "We are looking forward to working closely with this group."
The NLRDAT is made up entirely of volunteers who have been appointed by the Natural Resources Commission and the DNR, for either two or three years; team members will attend local open houses, which will be public meetings for sharing information and gathering public input in their region.
"The Regional Deer Advisory Teams are a critical connection between the public and the DNR," said DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. "Understanding the public's views on deer management is the only way we can have successful deer management in Michigan."
Members of the public are welcome to attend as observers, although the meeting is not open for public comment. If time permits, the NLRDAT will take questions and comments from the public.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr .