Mason-Lake Conservation District hires Bear Lake native as new technician

LAKE COUNTY — The Mason-Lake Conservation District recently hired Justin Brown as their new MEAEP technician, whose coverage area includes western Lake, Mason, and Manistee counties.

Brown recently returned home to Bear Lake thanks to the opening in the MAEAP program. Previously, he worked with United States Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services, in Tennessee and Wisconsin conducting wildlife management activities for airports, corporations, and private landowners.

Brown comes from an agricultural background where his grandparents, Merl and Betty Brown started Browns Orchards. Brown is excited to be back in his home counties where he can assist his neighboring producers.

The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program was created in 1998 by a coalition of farmers, commodity groups, state and federal agencies, and conservations and environmental groups.

It is an innovative, proactive, and voluntary program for farms and landowners of all sizes and commodities to minimize agricultural pollution risks. There are four different systems that include farmstead, cropping, livestock, and forestry, wetland and habitat.

MAEAP also provides some great incentives like discounts on insurance through farm bureau, and advantage for cost share, grants, and other assistance programs. Everything discussed regarding farm or forest operations is 100% confidential under MAEAP.

This is guaranteed by state law and is intended to keep communication lines open between producers and Conservation District staff to help address any environmental issues that may arise.

Anyone with interest or questions about the MAEAP program should contact Justin at the Mason-Lake Conservation District via phone or email at 231-757-3707 ext. 109