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All Things Michigan

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Filtering by Tag: michigan-gov

New book available on history of Mackinac Point Lighthouse

Andrew Norton

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse - A History & Pictorial Souvenir is produced by the Mackinac State Historic Parks and is available for $10.95. The book covers the lighthouse from its construction to its decommission in 1957 when it was made obsolete by the lights of the Mackinac Bridge. The lighthouse is currently undergoing a restoration to its 1910 appearance and tours are available. As part of the tour you can climb to the top of the tower and look out upon the Straits of Mackinac.

You can purchase the book at the lighthouse gift shop (in the old foghorn building) or by calling the Mackinac State Historic Parks at (231) 436-4100.

See for more information.

Website lets you search for over 600 of Michigan's rare plants and animals

Andrew Norton

Michigan's Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) is an organization that is a part of the Michigan State University Extension. On their website you will find a searchable database of 665 of Michigan's rare plants and animals (I never knew there were so many that are considered rare). The search is customizable and allows users to search "based on name, habitat, survey time, protection status or rank."

Why have such a website? Let the MNFI mission statement answer that -

"To actively contribute to decisions that impact the conservation of biological and ecological diversity by collecting, analyzing, and communicating information about rare and declining plants and animals, and the array of natural communities and ecosystems native to Michigan."

I would like to see specific geographic areas (like southwest Michigan, or even by county) as one of the search parameters. The habitat parameter is a bit confusing to those not in the know as to what defines, for instance, a "Palustrine wet meadow" without the benefit of a web search (why should you have to do a search so you can perform a search?).

By the way, Palustrine comes from the Latin word "palus" or marsh. Palustrine systems are basically inland wetlands that lack a source of flowing water and contain "ocean derived salts in concentrations of less than .05%."

I just wondered what rare animals and plants were in our general area, but again, the search does not have a specific location delimiter. Otherwise, this is a pretty neat deal for educators and those that want to know more about the area we live in.

P.S. I came across the MNFI website while browsing our state website, Your tax dollars pay for it, you might as well use it. I always find interesting stuff there. :)

State of Michigan website is tops in the country

Andrew Norton

Well, it has been said here before, but now it is official. Michigan's state website,, was voted as the nation's best by the Center for Digital Government. If you have never checked out Michigan's state website, do yourself a favor and check it out. You will be amazed at the more than 200 services available to you online.

Via WWMT News Channel 3