DBusiness Daily Update: Interest in Michigan Hunting and Fishing Remains High, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please email us a message.
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Michigan hunting and fishing license sales remains high in 2021. // Stock photo

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please email us a message.

Interest in Michigan Hunting and Fishing Remains High

Sales of Michigan hunting and fishing licenses remain high in 2021 and conservationists say that means good news for jobs, the economy, and managing the state’s wildlife and other natural resources.

“We are excited to see that hunting and fishing license sales kept pace with — and in some cases even surpassed — 2020 numbers,” said Nick Buggia, chair of the Michigan Wildlife Council. “The more people who enjoy hunting and fishing in Michigan, the better it is for our entire state.”

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, 641,588 people purchased hunting licenses and 1.13 million purchased fishing licenses in 2021 through Nov. 30:

  • Hunting license purchases were up 1.6 percent from 631,138 bought in 2019.
  • Fishing license purchases were up 5.9 percent from 1.07 million bought in 2019.
  • Hunting and fishing license purchases were down 3.4 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, from the record-setting 2020 spike.

Last year’s sharp increase in hunting and fishing license sales was part of a national trend spurred by the pandemic that brought an influx of people — especially women and youth — outdoors looking for socially distanced recreation.

“The key takeaways in 2021 were the return of older hunters and anglers to the state’s woods and waters and a surge in out-of-state visitors seeking a unique Michigan experience with friends and family,” says Dustin Isenhoff, a marketing specialist with the DNR.

According to Isenhoff, hunters and anglers aged 65 and older purchased 107,107 hunting licenses and 204,726 fishing licenses in 2021. Out-of-state visitors purchased 32,334 hunting licenses and 215,700 (est.) fishing licenses in 2021.

Buggia says if current trends continue, more hunters and anglers will mean more money for Michigan’s conservation efforts and economy. That’s because the DNR’s conservation funding relies on license fees and a federal excise tax on hunting and fishing equipment.

Conservation activities keep animal populations in balance and protect Michigan waters from habitat degradation and invasive species, as well as safeguard the state’s forests to provide habitats for thousands of wildlife species and reduce the risk of wildfires and flooding.

Licenses purchased by hunters and anglers generated an estimated $65.5 million for the Michigan Game and Fish Protection Fund in 2020. The fund is the DNR’s largest revenue source and is critical to its conservation work. The sale of hunting and fishing equipment raised an additional $29.4 million to support wildlife and natural resource management.

Additionally, hunting and fishing have a combined $11.2 billion economic impact on Michigan and provide an estimated 171,000 jobs annually, according to a 2019 study released by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs in partnership with Michigan State University.

“Whether you hunt, fish or enjoy other activities like bird-watching, hiking, camping, or canoeing, Michigan’s forests, parks, water, and beaches connect all of us,” Buggia says. “Hunters and anglers are the driving force that helps preserve our precious Michigan outdoors for everyone to enjoy.”

U.S. Great Lakes Ports Report Cargo Spikes       

U.S. Great Lakes ports and the St. Lawrence Seaway are reporting an end-of-the-year rush of activity as manufacturers stockpile raw materials and businesses take advantage of the congestion-free waterway to export overseas.

“U.S. Great Lakes ports have roared back this year — recovering from major 2020 declines in traditional cargoes like iron ore and steel but also developing new business and seizing on opportunities for infrastructure investment,” says Bruce Burrows, president and CEO of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “This story of recovery and renewal is mirrored in the latest St. Lawrence Seaway cargo numbers,” “Throughout the pandemic and amidst global supply chain disruptions, Great Lakes-Seaway shipping has once again proven it’s a reliable, ‘safe harbor’ in a storm.”

The Port of Monroe was busy in November as vessels from the American Steamship Co. and Interlake Steamship Co. delivered cargoes of coal to the DTE Monroe Power Plant. The power plant received coal from both Superior, Wisc. and Sandusky, Ohio.

The articulated tug/barge Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 called on the Port of Monroe twice during November to load cargoes of synthetic gypsum. One load was delivered to Port Colborne, Ontario and one load to Alpena. December will be a busy month for the Port of Monroe with liquid asphalt and steel coil cargoes.

In November, the Port of Toledo surpassed 10 million tons for the season, 22 percent ahead of 2020 volumes. Iron ore continued to lead the surge, up more than 62 percent from the previous year fueled by activity at the Cleveland Cliffs direct reduction plant. Aluminum shipments bolstered general cargo tonnage that was up 26 percent, followed by coal up over 13 percent.

According to the latest figures from the St. Lawrence Seaway, general cargo shipments, including steel, aluminum, and oversized machinery, from March 22 to Nov. 30, are up 71 percent.  Iron ore shipments are up 17 percent, while dry bulk shipments including construction materials like stone, cement and gypsum, have increased by 6 percent, compared to the same period last year.

Overall, cargo shipments via the Seaway between March 22 and Nov. 30 totaled 33.3 million metric tons, a rise of 1.7 percent from 2020.  Slower grain exports due to smaller harvests compared to 2020 continue to offset the growth in other cargo sectors.  Without grain factored in, overall tonnage numbers would be up 13 percent.

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