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About this website and its author:

This website, started spring 2010, will show you the magazine covers, tables of contents, and some of the art and articles that were published. It'll also give some information on the history and people who made the magazine, how it flourished and served, and how it died. It'll have related information, such as books published by the magazine or authored by its staff; some information on the circulation and press of the magazine; and maybe a few examples of similar publications that still exist. It will tell where you can, even now, still find some remaining elements of the magazine. As you've seen, I may add some commentary here and there...

It is a project of Robert Liebermann. I am a sort of "Michigan Patriot" - A lover of all things Michigan, that is - not an aggressive right-wing gun nut with Armageddon fantasies as unfortunately seems the hijacked meaning 'patriot' nowadays. I think I am a Michigan patriot in the way that Ed Abbey was a desert patriot. I am against all things and people that are against or hate Michigan, and for all things and people that are for and love Michigan.

I'm from Michigan and believe that my homeland, the Great Lakes State, is the most amazing, beautiful, and interesting place in the world and would rather be in Michigan than anywhere else, and when I cant, spend most of my time dreaming, thinking, reading, and writing about it! If you feel the same about your home state (even if not Michigan) you can understand; if you do not you cannot, and I pity you!

I felt that this effort was important because of my great admiration and affection for the Michigan Conservation/Natural Resources Magazine, and the dearth of information about that not-so-long extinct publication. I think that the things that the magazine communicated were important in their time and still are today.

This magazine was for Michigan and for love of Michigan, and so it spoke my language.

I began collecting these magazines seriously about ten years ago as a way to keep learning about my native Michigan while in 'exile' in Alaska, though of course I have read them since I was a kid, and have a few years of issues that I bought back in the '80s... somewhere in storage. I was never fortunate enough to have had a subscription to the magazine - too young and poor and then moving around too much, in and out of the country, in college years. So maybe it's partly my fault too that it's gone now.

Since I have a collection mainly from the late 1940s to the end, that's what I'll have to present for now, but anyone who has older issues is encouraged to contribute!

The content:

The website, of course, is under my editorship, and the content that I pass on to you from the Magazine will thus tend to be what I thought was most relevant, important, attractive, representative, enjoyable, or just interesting to me as I developed the site... The initial scanning took place in March and April 2010 shortly before I returned to Alaska (and the magazines stayed in storage in Michigan), so some 'triage' of priority had to be made at that time, and that reflects my biases.

Thus you're more likely to see articles on plants or photography or the Northwoods than trapping and southern Michigan trout streams, since I'm a botanist and photographer who doesn't trap and is more often in the UP (or Alaska) than southern Michigan. There's very, very little in the Magazine that appeared over the years, however, that I don't find worthwhile (save for the advertising and some of the cheapened content of the final privatized years).

At some future point it may be possible for me to add content as requested. Better yet, go track down some issues yourself at your local or college library (if the modern "librarianship" there hasn't yet shifted to book-disdain in favor of computer shit and discarded them...) and read them complete in your hands!

Of course the 'star' here's not the website but the Michigan Conservation/Michigan Natural Resources Magazine itself, and I remind you again that I played no part in that at all, I am just a fan. I'd like people to take a new, or first look at it, and think about what it stood for - we need that sort of thinking now more than ever.

What's planned:

It is my hope (and plan) to enhance this website with information, recollections, or interviews with people who were involved with the magazine back in its day, in order to provide something original about Michigan's history to those who care about such things. Most of those people who made it are gone from us now, but many of those who were involved in the final decades are still working on other projects or retired.

Related content I'm working on:

It'll be a lot of work just to get the magazine information added, but I've already got some other ideas for Michigan-related content to add from a few other things I collect and refer to often to see what it was like to love Michigan and travel about the state in the old days; such as information on the DOC/DNR county map series (ca. late 1930s to the final edition in 1983) and relatives, the UP "Lure books" (Upper Peninsula travel guides published 1935-1958 with some earlier and later relatives), information on important early 20th century Michigan conservationists (P. S. Lovejoy, Jethro Otto Veatch, and Harold Titus come to mind), and the history of the Michigan Land-Economic Survey (surprisingly obscure).

I'm also working in a few other things maybe of interest to you if you love Michigan (these more or less equally unfinished as this website):
1) a page about bicycle touring in the Upper Peninsula,
2) a set of maps of the "Whitefish Point-Two Hearted Country", which I define the area approximately between Whitefish Bay; the Tahquamenon River, and H-37 in Luce County (which I immodestly refer to this as an atlas project),
3) I'm also working on similar maps of the south shore of Keweenaw County, where I recently bought some cutover land to care for, and near Eureka, Alaska, where I have some more...
4) some analytical maps of the 2012 Duck Lake Fire, and
5) some nature photographs from Michigan, the Lake Superior country, and elsewhere.

Additionally, I've been working on scanning and georeferencing some of the old Michigan county maps produced by the Department of Conservation and DNR so that they can be used in GIS (and a few old aerial photographs, plat books, etc.).

I've also given a nearly complete set of "Bicycling!" magazines from 1975-1991 to scan and assemble to PDF (have just begun; unsure where/how these will be available because of copyright issues).

Nonprofit, not fancy, independent:

This website is intended as an educational, non-profit resource only. It is independent of any entity other than Robert Liebermann, and is solely supported by myself. There is no profit or promotion motive other than to tell the story of the Magazine and what it showed in its articles.

All opinions on the site (other than the magazine copy) thus far are my own. I invite your opinions, agreement, observations, debate, or rebuttal of same -- I will ask to add any good stuff to the site, and welcome and sort of contributions.

The State of Michigan is not involved in any way other than having originally produced this brilliant magazine and developed the careers of the people who worked on it; some of which, I hope, will be willing to tell me (as private citizens), a few stories about 'the old days'.

The website is decidedly low-budget. Most scans were made, for example, on a cheap HP 3400 flatbed scanner that I bought for $6 at a local second-hand shop. Some issues that I didn't have were photographed with a cheap digicam in the Northern Michigan University library (you'll be able to tell which). All the writing and code was done by myself on a text editor, and I intend it to remain simple and clean; sort of like a plain old reading table. All issues of the magazine shown on this website are from my own collection (rarely library photographed as mentioned), and were bought via second-hand bookshops locally or over the web, or on ebay. I have paid all of the expenses myself, including acquisition of the magazines, domain registration and server space, and the $6 scanner.

Disclaimers, ownership, privacy:

I dislike disclaimers and legalese, but it is important to me that nobody mistakes this website for anything other than what it is - a nonprofit independent source of State Government-developed information - and that it remains available to all so that they can learn from the information that was published so many years ago.

If you look through the scanned pages, you might notice the original mailing labels on many of the back pages. This is one of the neatest things, I think, about collecting these from a hodge-podge of sources - I get all sorts of interesting names, plain and elaborate; big city and small town addresses; Michigan and outstate; and so on. Those were the people who subscribed, waited for each issue, and read the magazine when it was new, all those years ago.

It's the equivalent of buying old books with interesting inscriptions to people you've never met, or ex-libris labels with the elaborate name of the former owner. Of course nowadays you see people making all sorts of effort to remove any actual address labels off of everything, as if some terrorist is going to find a magazine in a dentist's office (or on a website) and decide to go after that person, since it's so hard to find an actual address to target using any other method... Anyway, that's nuts.

If you are someone who's name's on a label, or know/knew someone who's label shows up here, contact me. You might convince me to 'blackstripe' the label on the scans, but more likely I'll offer to reunite you with some of the old magazines and ask you about what it was like to get them in the mail every couple of months, back in the good old days.

I also plan to eventually add a page of just addresses off the magazines I've got! It's interesting to see how simple they were long, long ago (often just a name and a town) to the long, complicated address labels with all sorts of other obscure codes of the last issues. For some reason, the names of the addressees are often pretty interesting too. Here's a single one in the meantime: Lester F. Srnka, Powers, Mich. This was from an early 1950s issue.

On copyrights:

As of this writing I do not know the exact restrictions on copyrights for the page images, text, or layout of the magazine presented here, though I have tried to ask that question with no success. I do believe them to be reproducible for non-profit educational use; not unlike their original purpose.

The presentation on this website (the actual scanned files, site logotype, page design, and original content) is, of course the property of Robert Liebermann. It is freely reproducible for off-web educational, personal, and historical purposes (provided content is unaltered and credited and links to the website remain).

Any mention of the website on the web should be linked and credited, and I don't allow re-posting of any site content without permission.

In other words, you can copy part or all of the website to look at on your own; to use in teaching a class; or to make academic or public presentations, but you can't copy any part of this website to any other website or document other than a brief quote or a single image to tell people about michiganconservation.net.

Of course you may link to the website freely!

For any commercial or other use (including ebay ads!) permission is required.

You can contact me via this page.

(The background is old knotty pine at the excellent, friendly, cheap, and still fairly original Birchwood Motel in St. Ignace. Recommended.)

Website by Robert Liebermann | © and last edit: 2016.11.25
location: http://michiganconservation.net/about.htm