The Zika virus was raised as a concern during a discussion of mosquito abatement at last week’s City Council meeting. The virus is not expected to reach East Lansing this summer but the latest research shows an increased risk throughout the lower Midwest and southern New England.
Last night at its regularly-scheduled meeting, East Lansing’s City Council passed an ordinance that gives Council the ability to authorize the killing of deer by government-authorized hunters on City-owned land. Council members were divided on the question of whether organized culls should begin soon. A previous proposal had called for government-employed hunters killing as many deer as possible in East Lansing’s White Park and Harrison Meadows Park.
Photo credit: Greg Thompson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wikimedia Commons
East Lansing’s City Council is set tonight to continue discussion of a possible deer cull in two City parks. In response to questions from Council members, City staff has prepared answers to questions about deer sterilization, whether organized kills will really reduce local populations, and whether it is possible to put reflectors on deer to reduce deer-car accidents. Tonight’s meeting could see a vote on an ordinance that would allow the culls to occur.
Above: An East Lansing squirrel who will not engage in hibernation or torpor but who has recently chubbed-up for winter.
In the last couple of weeks, it has turned cold in East Lansing. For some animals, that means poofing out their coats like a squirrel and toughing it out, but some animals in East Lansing just go into a torpor.
Above: The old white oak tree on Spartan Avenue, on the site of the proposed “White Oak Place” development.
The third and by far longest of three public hearings at this week’s City Council meeting centered on Ordinance No. 1363, the so-called tree protection ordinance. If it were to pass as proposed, it would protect certain trees within the City of East Lansing by requiring permits before anyone trims or cuts a tree that has been designated “protected.”
The American Bullfrog, a common frog species found throughout Michigan
Winter is slowly creeping across Michigan and inevitably ice will cover most bodies of water, creating a winter wonderland without reptiles and amphibians. But where do they all go? Do they hibernate? Freeze? Relax? Well, surprisingly, it is a little bit of everything for Michigan’s common cold-blooded animals.
East Lansing’s City Council’s meeting this coming Tuesday night will include three public hearings that touch on “hot” issues in town: vacant, blighted buildings downtown; campaign finance disclosure; and the protection of trees.
The City had planned to do more bulk leaf collection west of Abbot Road this Monday through Wednesday (November 23-25), but rescheduling will be necessary if the snow remains on Monday, according to Ron Lacasse, Infrastructure Administrator for the City. That’s not only because snow and cold temperatures cause problem for the collection equipment but because some of the equipment used for leaf collection is the same as that used for snow removal, according to Lacasse.
Public debate on how (and whether) to manage deer in East Lansing heated up last night at City Council’s meeting, with the new Council deciding not to take any formal action on the matter until at least February. The plan had been to have the culls in the two East Lansing parks start this month, but Council elected last night to put off the cull. Their interest is in part to try to see, from results of the legal hunt this year, how many deer around the area are actually shown to have chronic wasting disease. (Hunted deer are supposed to be tested before people eat them.)
The City has announced that fall bulk leaf collection is being extended on the west side of town and may also be extended on the east side of town. The extension is happening because the leaves are dropping later than expected.
Editor's note: This article originally ran last fall in a slighly different form.
The day after East Lansing gets a killing frost, residents will likely be treated to a rain of leaves from all the local ginko trees. Most types of trees lose their leaves over the course of several weeks, but ginko trees usually lose their leaves in a day following a hard frost. Below we provide a video taken last year during East Lansing's ginko-leaf rain.