Classic guideline for enjoying Nature and insuring its continued glory


I am happy that someone asked about the
legality of cutting winterberry and whether or not it is protected and appreciate your answer.

I grew up in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) and my dad worked for the Parks Division of the Department of Natural Resources for years, so

we learned the Department of Natural Resources saying,

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints

regarding any and all plant material on state owned land (parks, forests, highway medians and embankments, etc). This even applies to standing dead and fallen trees -- they are not free firewood!

I was reminded of this as we drove north over Thanksgiving weekend and there is a seemingly endless amount of winterberry growing all along I-75. It looks like it goes on forever but if we each thought "I can take just a little, no one will miss it" there would soon be none left for the wildlife to eat, and for everyone to enjoy.

Thank you as always for your timely, informative newsletter! Always a great read and thoroughly enjoyed!!
- D. T. -


You're welcome!

Our folks had a similar saying, used in two situations: When we had a mind to take something from the wild, or toss litter. It was

For shame! What if everyone did that? Nothing left but a mess!

Pictured here, two favorite places in Michigan, from which we've taken many pictures:

Above: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore on the Lake Michigan shore high on the lower peninsula "mitten."

Below: The Escarpment Trail in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness Area, far western Upper Peninsula.