ALPENA, Mich. — Non-profit organizations are also being hurt by the governor’s executive order. Huron Pines, a conservation group here in Northern Michigan, has lost $900,000 in grant funds. This group focuses on maintaining and improving natural resources in our area, such as the Emily Min Hunt Nature Preserve in Alpena.
The grant money was coming from discretionary funds provided by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Complications from the COVID–19 pandemic caused those funds to be relocated. Executive Director Brad Jensen says these funds make up about one third of their on-the-ground budget. “We have a long-time, wonderful partnership with the Department of Natural Resources, but losing out on that funding for this year really impacts us in terms of both planning right now and implementation of those projects later in the year,” he said.
While many people realize protecting our natural resources, Jensen added that not many think about how deep of an impact conservation has on the economy in our area. “There’s a lot of people who really care about natural resources in terms of the tourism benefit that it has, our own recreation, but we lose sight of all the jobs that are tied up in resource management in Northern Michigan,” he said.
In order to help deal with the lost funds, Huron Pines is asking the public for donations. To contribute, you can visit Huronpines.org/donate.