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Turn Over a New Leaf

May 27, 2016
It’s amazing what you’ll find out there. Just ask David Mifsud or “Turtle Dave” who spent a week on the Boardman River doing a herpetological survey.

“We found some great stuff out there including a juvenile milk snake. It’s been dry which means our crew has to work a little harder but we got a great start,” he noted.

Reptiles and amphibians are very sensitive to environmental changes; they tell you a lot about what’s happening in the environment around them.

Boardman project partners contracted Mifsud’s company, Herpetological Resource and Management, to conduct a baseline study monitoring amphibians and reptiles in the Boardman Dam and Sabin Dam project areas.

“These surveys are a great way to check-in on how wildlife is or is not responding to restoration activities. It helps us monitor change and modify actions if needed,” noted CRA biologist Nate Winkler (pictured middle holding an eastern hog-nosed snake).

“For example, if we don’t see the community composition we’d expect after the dams are removed, it may mean we need to enhance the river channel with more diverse habitat structures,” Winkler remarked.

While crews were searching for salamanders and the like, a distinct pounding could be heard in the background. Workers are in full swing building the new bridge on Cass Road.

The bridge is expected to open September 1. At that time, visitors may be surprised to find themselves traversing two bridges. The river’s current position will be moved west under the new Cass Road bridge when partners remove Boardman Dam and the old Cass Road bridge in 2017.

 

Learn More


Interested in learning more? Visit Boardman Dam FAQs and www.theboardman.org for all the details on The Boardman: A River Reborn.

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Conservation Resource Alliance

Bayview Professional Centre
10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-946-6817

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