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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 02 FEB 04
Contact: John Lerg, 269-685-6851

Public comment sought on Karner blue butterfly plan

Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials today announced they are seeking public comment to help develop a Habitat Conservation Plan for the federally-endangered Karner blue butterfly.

The Karner blue butterfly lives in oak savanna habitats in west Michigan, where its caterpillars feed exclusively on the leaves of wild lupine. The amount of oak savanna has declined in recent decades. These areas have converted to forestland or are being utilized for agriculture and residential development. The overall vision for this plan is to provide habitat for this butterfly by restoring and managing oak savanna in west Michigan.

In seeking public comment, the DNR is particularly interested in identifying issues, concerns, and opportunities associated with development of a statewide Karner Blue Butterfly Habitat Conservation Plan. The DNR would like to also identify any other associated environmental factors and effects on the environment as a result of implementing the Plan.

The DNR will host two public meetings in addition to accepting written comments. These meetings will consist of a short presentation followed by an opportunity for questions and input on the Plan. Additional information on the butterfly and the planning process, as well as opportunities for comments, can be found on the web at http://karnerblue.org. Comments received by April 1 will be used to craft management alternatives that will be considered in the planning process.

The public meetings will be held in Newaygo and Allegan. The Newaygo meeting will be on Feb. 10 from 7-9 p.m. at the Brooks Township Hall, 490 Quarterline Road off M-37. The Allegan meeting will be on Feb. 11 from 7-9 p.m. at the Allegan Area Community Center, 330 Trowbridge Street off M-89.
 

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Butterflies and moths are good indicator species.
Many species are on the decline in all areas due to loss of habitat.
I hope they can set aside enough land to support this specie.
 
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