Michigan Department of Natural Resources receives 2021 MSU Extension Key Partner Award

MSU Extension honored the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for longtime partnership in advancing goals and statewide programming during the annual Fall Extension Conference held virtually on Sept. 28.

Michigan State University Extension awarded the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) with a 2021 Key Partner Award on Sept. 28. The Key Partner Award recognizes those that have made significant contributions to support and promote MSU Extension programs.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) is a state agency entrusted with the stewardship of Michigan’s natural resources, managing them for the long-term benefit of the people of Michigan, and providing economic activity and opportunities for recreation. It uses the best stewardship practices available, many co-developed through partnerships between the MDNR and Michigan State University such as the Partnership for Ecosystem Research and Management and in cooperation with MSU Extension’s Michigan Natural Features Inventory.

The MDNR and MSU Extension have statewide programmatic presences and administrative homes that share geographic locations, with MDNR staff located on campus and MSU Extension staff sharing space in Lansing. This geographic overlap is emblematic of a deeper relationship. They share similar missions that contribute to the quality of life for Michigan residents and visitors. The organizations team to generate evidence-based information used by individuals and organizations and applied in day-to-day activities to improve the lives of the people of Michigan.

Over the decades, the MDNR has provided considerable financial support for programming as well as provided facility space, shared expertise of their staff, shared staff positions, and co-hosted webinars, seminars, and events.

The partnership is one of the premier natural resource conservation partnerships in the U.S. It has resulted in innumerable opportunities for outdoor recreation for Michiganians and visitors, supporting a vibrant tourism sector. It has supported and enhanced fisheries and timber industries important to the economy. It has resulted in hundreds of research studies helping to conserve the rare species of the state and has enhanced the environmental literacy of generations.

MSU Extension’s close interactions with MDNR are somewhat unique compared to other university-state agency relationships. This strong relationship advances Extension goals. MDNR is deserving to be recognized as an MSU Extension Key Partner.

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