FRIDAY, March 18 — A roundup of news from around the state, provided by our partners at Capital News Service. Follow the links for the full stories.
Buffs boost black swallowtail as best bet for state butterfly: Michigan, which has gone since 1837 without a state insect or butterfly, now has bills pending that could change that. Groups promoting the black swallowtail and the monarch butterflies are pushing legislation that would make the swallowtail the official butterfly and the monarch the official insect. We talk to a sponsor of the swallowtail bill, the Michigan Garden Clubs and a DNR conservation specialist. Sponsors include Traverse City and Meridian Township senators.
Local governments want revenue sharing increase: Townships and cities are gearing up to fight for a return of their share of state revenue dollars cut during the state’s economic downturn. The Michigan Municipal League is unveiling an online tool to illustrate the impact of the state cuts on individual communities. We talk to Manistee and Big Rapids officials and the Michigan Townships Association.
Animal shelter grants awarded: About $135,000 in funds donated by taxpayers who ticked a box on their state income tax forms will go to 23 registered animal shelters throughout the state.
The Animal Welfare Fund grants range from $175 to $10,000; many will be used for spay and neuter programs, staff education and to cover the cost of housing animals in legal cases. W/list of CNS communities receiving the funds.
Flame retardant problems linger in Lake Erie smallmouth bass: Levels of hazardous flame retardants in most Great Lakes fish are declining, but a new study shows that isn’t the case for Lake Erie smallmouth bass, an important game fish. And the contaminated fish threatens the health of some people who eat them. We also hear from the authors, including an Ann Arbor-based National Wildlife Federation scientist.
Climate change threatens rare orchid: Climate change threatens the rare orchid known as white lady’s slipper in Michigan and other Great Lakes states, a new study says. DNR says its terrain is now limited to a narrow band of southern Michigan from Berrien and Kalamazoo counties in the southwest Livingston, Oakland, Washtenaw and Jackson counties in the southeast.