2013-08-29 / Outdoors

Outdoors Briefs

Labor Day state park camp sites still available

LANSING – Even with Labor Day right around the corner, it’s not too late to get in on some sizzling summer fun and fitness at many of Michigan’s state parks. Camping reservations for Labor Day weekend are still available throughout the state, especially the Upper Peninsula.

Indian Lake and Van Riper State Parks are among those with campsites available for reservation over the Labor Day weekend. One-third of state parks (including these) have at least a 15-percent vacancy, offering families a lastminute opportunity to explore the outdoors before the school year begins.

According to Ron Olson, chief of the Department of Natural Resources’ Parks and Recreation Division, the open reservations afford families the chance to still get away for Labor Day while also starting a new family tradition — camping at a state park they’ve never visited before.

Visit www.michigan.gov/ stateparks and click on Labor Day Occupancy Reports to view the latest state campground availability for Labor Day weekend. To make a camping reservation at a Michigan state park, log on to www.midnrreservations.com.

Bear DNA does not match one in girl’s attack

LANSING – The DNA of a wounded bear killed Aug. 18 by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources does not match the DNA of the bear that attacked 12-year-old Abby Wetherell near Cadillac, the DNR said Monday.

The bear’s carcass was examined by the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory in Lansing, in cooperation with Michigan State University and the Michigan State Police. Tests were conducted for disease, and the bear’s DNA was extracted. The bear DNA was then checked against DNA from fur and saliva lifted from Abby’s clothing and from the scene of the attack. The tests showed that the bear that attacked Abby was a female. The bear that was killed was a male.

The DNR will extend trapping efforts in the area of the attack through the end of the week and will continue to monitor bear activity in that location.

The DNR asks the public to report bear sightings in the area of the attack, which is in Wexford County’s Haring Township.

DNR launches new online ORV safety course

LANSING – Beginning Aug. 27, operators of off-road vehicles in Michigan will be able to obtain their required Safety Training Certificate by taking a Michiganendorsed and approved course at www.ATVcourse.com.

“The online ORV safety education course offered by ATVcourse.com is another option for students to obtain their ORV safety certificate,” said Cpl. John Morey of the Department of Natural Resources’ Law Enforcement Division. “The online content is modeled after our existing program and specifically tailored to Michigan.”

In Michigan, operators of ORVs under the age of 16 are required to have a Safety Training Certificate and be under the supervision of an adult to legally operate an ORV. While the training is not required for those 16 years of age and older, the DNR recommends all riders get the safety training.

Students who are unable to attend a traditional ORV classroom course may take this course.

To register, (which is free to sign up and study for, and costs $29.95 upon completion), go to www.atvcourse.com/usa/michigan/.

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