Things are happening with our proposed Dead River Community Forest project!

Promo videos, Field Trip, Grant Update, and more!


Promo Videos

Videographer Deke Ludwig, a staff member funded by of Heart of the Lakes, has put together a few short teaser videos from the footage shot late this summer, and we’re thrilled to be able to share three of them with you today. Our other piece of big news is that two of these films will be presented on the big screen at the 2018 Fresh Coast Film Festival!!! This documentary film festival, which celebrates the great outdoors in the Great Lakes region, is happening in Marquette on October 18-21.

The latest video–released today!– features 14 year-old kayaker Alyssa LeTorneau talking about her roots, and the importance of protecting land for future residents of Marquette. Check it out!


The first video we released features high-spirited Jeremiah Johnston, trail builder for the Noquemanon Trail Network (NTN). Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy has paired with NTN to create multi-use trails on the Dead River properties. Ride along with him in this beautiful teaser promo, “Building a Sense of Place.” The lineup to view this video during the Fresh Coast Film Festival can be found here.

Our second video features our very own Chris Burnett, who has spear-headed this project from the beginning.  Experience his great enthusiasm as he talks about the Dead River Community Forest and what its protection would mean for residents and visitors of the Upper Peninsula. The Fresh Coast lineup to view this short film can be found here.

Upcoming hiking trip on October 8

On Monday, October 8, we’ll be headed out to the “Bridges” portion of the Dead River Community Forest project to experience peak fall colors! Come learn about the project with UPLC staff and enjoy a hike over the old bridge, up to the new 510 bridge, and through the proposed DRCF. Meet us at the UPLC office at 5 P.M. to carpool/caravan to the pocket park on the North side of the old CR 510 Bridge, or you can meet us at the property at 5:30 P.M. We’re also aiming to catch a beautiful sunset, so don’t forget your cameras.

Update on Community Forest Program Grant

Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy applied for a Community Forest Program grant in early summer 2018, to obtain funding to help us purchase the Dead River parcels. Competition was fierce for this year’s grant with 34 applicants, and regrettably the Dead River Community Forest project was not chosen for the grant award. However, grant administrators told UPLC that our application was strong – we placed in the top 50% of applicants – and encouraged us to apply to the same grant program in 2019, so we’re hard at work improving our proposal for re-submission next year!

While this was a setback, we are still going full-steam-ahead with our plans to secure these beautiful parcels. This also means we’ll need all the help we can get to make our dream of protecting these parcels a reality, and that’s where you come in! We need partners, and plans, and proven community support for this project. When the full film is complete, we will begin hosting community input sessions and will pull together a steering committee this fall to help us move forward on the project. In the meantime–you guessed it–the most immediate thing you can do to help move this project forward is to donate to the project here.

Leave a Reply