MARQUETTE — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is set to dedicate its south Marquette County Grouse Enhanced Management Site (GEM) to Bill Rollo, a former DNR wildlife technician who worked at the Marquette DNR customer service center.
“The GEMS are unique ruffed grouse hunting areas across the northern Lower and Upper peninsulas that provide great hunting opportunities for a variety of hunters, including youth, seniors, adults new to the sport and even seasoned bird hunters have taken advantage of the these unique hunting areas,” said DNR wildlife biologist Brian Roell. “Bill Rollo, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year, was instrumental in getting the south Marquette County GEMS up and running.”
Rollo, who died Jan. 21 at age 40, was a 16-year veteran of the DNR.
He started his DNR career as a wildlife assistant in Traverse City and was later promoted to wildlife technician in Escanaba. He eventually transferred to Marquette, where he was responsible for wildlife management on state-managed lands in Marquette and Alger counties.
“Bill was extremely passionate about conservation and the natural resources of this state,” said Bill Scullon, DNR field operations manager at the Norway DNR field office. “He was steadfast in his pursuit of improving wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation.”
The memorial GEMS celebration, formal dedication and site tour is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to noon EDT, Friday, Sept. 9 at a GEMS informational kiosk, located along Marquette County Road 438, south of Gwinn.
Speakers will include officials from the DNR wildlife division. Rollo’s widow, Andrea, and his children, Elizabeth and Landon, will be among the invited guests. The event is open to the public.
To get to the dedication ceremony at the GEMS kiosk, head south from Gwinn on Marquette County Road 557 for about 7 miles. Then turn right onto Marquette County Road 438. The kiosk is located about 2.5 miles west of this intersection on the right-hand side of the road.