Michigan environment roundup: Climate change spells trouble for Midwest farmers

Corn and soybeans in Pittsfield Township, Mich. (Photo by Dwight Burdette via Wikimedia Commons)

Bridge Magazine is committed to sharing the best environmental journalism in and around Michigan, an effort called #EnviroReads.

In Bridge’s Michigan Environment Watch, we share a roundup of recent stories on the Great Lakes or other issues. If you see a story we should include next time, use the hashtag #EnviroReads on Twitter or email Environmental Reporter Jim Malewitz at jmalewitz@bridgemi.com.

Federal climate change report paints grim picture for Midwest

Chicago Tribune

“Rising temperatures in the Midwest are projected to be the largest contributing factor to declines in U.S. agricultural productivity, with extreme heat wilting crops and posing a threat to livestock, according to a sweeping federal report on climate change released Friday,” Tony Briscoe reports. “Midwest farmers will be increasingly challenged by warmer, wetter and more humid conditions from climate change, which also will lead to greater incidence of crop disease and more pests and will diminish the quality of stored grain. During the growing season, temperatures are projected to climb more in the Midwest than in any other region of the U.S., the report says.”

Read the federal report's Midwest chapter here.

Michigan hunting in major decline — why that matters

Detroit Free Press

“Hunting, and to a lesser extent fishing, are on the decline in Michigan — with a particularly alarming drop in hunting that's only going to get steeper, as the baby boomers who have driven the sport for decades age and drop away,” Keith Matheny reports. “This could pose a crisis in how Michigan funds its wildlife and habitat programs; have a huge, negative impact on the state's economy, and raises the specter of deer overpopulation, accompanying animal diseases and increases in car-deer accidents.”

Luring More Women To Fishing In The Upper Great Lakes

NPR

“The percentage of Americans who fish is in decline and that decline has had an impact on conservation projects, because hunting and fishing licenses help fund everything from habitat restoration to clean water programs. So there are efforts to lure more anglers to the sport — and those efforts seem to be working, as more and more young women are taking up fishing,” Morgan Springer reports. “Recently, a whole band of women spread out along the bank of the Two Hearted River in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. They were part of a steelhead fishing class put on by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources called Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW). The goal is to inspire women to fish.”

14 people have died in crashes with dead ash trees. This man wants people to know.

Lansing State Journal

“Warning. If you think potholes, sinkholes and worn pavement are worrisome enough, I’m about to pile on another road hazard: Dead ash trees. The exotic beetle called the emerald ash borer has killed tens of millions of ash trees in Michigan. Many of them are long dead along busy roadways, ready to topple down on motorists, reports Judy Putnam. “Ron Goodger, a retired electrical engineer who lives in Cass County near Cassopolis, began tracking deaths by ash trees after his wife totaled her 2007 Dodge Caravan in March when she hit a downed ash.”

How GM made 'everyone in Washington mad'

E&E News

“General Motors Co. was hoping for a positive reaction when it made an eye-popping announcement last week about boosting electric vehicles. Instead, America's largest automaker was flooded with criticism,” Maxine Joselow reports. “Environmentalists blasted the announcement as a "distraction" meant to burnish the company's green image, while an industry source called it a "thumb in the eye to President Trump." Perhaps more importantly, GM's announcement blindsided its allies in the auto industry, a source familiar with their reactions told E&E News.”

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