Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Upper Peninsula Sturgeon River Land Purchase Complete

Ottawa National Forest Plain
NCT above the Sturgeon River Gorge currently passes through a dry plain with no views of the gorge (photo by J Young)
from a news release of the Michigan DNR

Preserves wildlife habitat, secures four miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail and opens up thousands of acres of public land

Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently was awarded a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant to help purchase 681 acres of pristine wilderness along the famed Sturgeon River in Baraga County from The Conservation Fund, a national land and water conservation organization. The acquisition completes a deal that preserves a total of 1,054 acres of former We Energies land in two counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, including approximately 5.6 miles of waterfront property along the Sturgeon River. This NCT segment is located in Baraga County on Map M-13.

“We deeply appreciate The Conservation Fund for, once again, working with a private landowner to permanently protect lands for the North Country National Scenic Trail," said Tom Gilbert, National Park Service superintendent of the North Country National Scenic Trail.

Federally designated as a Wild and Scenic River, the Sturgeon River possesses remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic and cultural value. The Sturgeon flows through rugged terrain, creating dramatic gorges, waterfalls and rapids well known to paddlers and nature enthusiasts. Its abundant populations of trout make it a popular destination for anglers. The North Country National Scenic Trail parallels the river for more than four miles, but currently never offers any views of the spectacular gorge. It is unclear whether this purchase will allow for a re-route of the trail closer to the gorge. However, it does secure Tibbets Falls, a popular destination just east of the Oren Krumm Shelter.

The property also connects with neighboring state lands, Copper Country State Forest, to form a continuous 30-mile stretch of public land along the river and secures a critical four-mile segment of the North Country National Scenic Trail.

“This acquisition will protect a special place in the western Upper Peninsula for current and future Michigan citizens and visitors to enjoy for generations,” said Michigan DNR Director Rebecca Humphries. “It also protects critical deer wintering habitat and areas where bald eagles and ospreys nest. Further, it helps reduce land fragmentation across the Upper Peninsula when these large parcels of land go on the market.”

Sturgeon River
Sturgeon River (photo MI DNR)


Bruce Matthews, executive director of the North Country Trail Association, commented, “It offers yet another example of public/private partnerships working on behalf of the public interest for today and the future. We’re fortunate at the North Country Trail Association to be supported in our efforts by the vision and foresight of The Conservation Fund, Michigan DNR and We Energies.”

The Conservation Fund

2 comments:

leizlmarie said...

the place looks so good and that must indeed be preserved and taken care of! nice info! :)

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