Author Archive


Fostering Resilience

Friday, June 26th, 2020

Changing directions mid-stride, without missing a step: Summer Hikes in a pandemic

In the spring newsletter, I announced that, in the interest of community health, all summer in-person group events were cancelled and that new ways of engaging our community with protected lands were in the works. 

In the early days of working from home, I placed a sticky note on the wall  that says, “Foster Resilience.” It reminds me that each action I/UPLC takes today forms the world of tomorrow, a reminder that every step I/UPLC takes  needs to be well-supported and especially –  FLEXIBLE….after a month of re-imagining a summer, well – here it is, folks! The first announcement of:

UPLC’s Summer of Virtual Hikes!

First off, I’d like to introduce you to “RAMBLIN’ with ROSIE” virtual hikes with UPLC volunteer Jo and her faithful companion, Rosie! In Episode One, Jo and Rosie introduce us to a local floral favorite: the Pink Lady Slipper Orchid at the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve. Check it out!

Ramblin’ with Rosie – Episode 1: The Pink Lady Slipper at the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve

Friendly reminder that leashed pets are welcome at the Chocolay Bayou, but some nature preserves owned by UPLC (Like the Vielmetti-Peters Reserve) do *not* allow pets in order to protect certain animals who call the preserve home. Please check on the rules of the individual preserve before you bring your pets, and remember to always clean up after them so that the hike is pleasant and poo-free for the next hiker.

COMING UP NEXT:

Birding 101 with Tom Noren

Join local birding expert Tom Noren on an introductory hike through the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve to talk about the colorful, complex, and LOUD migrating warblers who rely on the nature preserve as a place to rest, feed, and breed on their long seasonal journey. The video will be complimented with this birding guide put together by Tom to teach you the basic birds of the Bayou. Keep an eye out for the birding video on our social media and in the (virtual) events page on the website soon!

Have a good subject idea for another virtual “hike with an expert?” Know someone who would be willing to let me follow them around with my phone while they talk about something they love about one of our preserves? Shoot me an email! andrea@uplandconservancy.org

Coming in July:

State-Wide BIO BLITZ!

A WHAT? Where? How…?

A bio-blitz! Traditionally, bio-blitzes are 24-hour events where we pull in as many community members as we can to document every instance of every plant, insect, animal, fungus, bird, etc. that can be seen in every corner of a particular preserve. This gives us a “snapshot” idea of what the preserve may look like at any given time and it helps us understand how to best manage the particular area…well, the *resilient* 2020-version of the bio blitz will not involve a large group of people sharing field equipment – nope, this one you can do on your own time, at the site of your choosing, using an app, and guided with a month-long series of webinars. Wow!

In partnership with Michigan State University’s UP Extension Offices and the iNaturalist app, several conservation organizations across the state are encouraging people to get outside, explore protected places over the month of July, learn about the natural world around them, and help promote healthy, biodiverse natural places simply by contributing to the knowledge base of what’s where. The preserves we are focusing on are: The Chocolay Bayou, Tory’s Woods, Vielmetti-Peters, and Peshekee Headwaters Nature Preserve.

Registration will be free and is coming soon! MSUE and UPLC will host a series of webinars that include how to use iNaturalist (and how to contribute without the app, too!), how to identify common plants and animal signs, and more!


Resilient landscapes, (resilient programming), resilient communities.

-Andrea

Three things you can do to protect land during a time of social distance

Saturday, March 28th, 2020

Three things you can do to protect land during a time of social distance

Quite a lot has changed over the past couple of weeks. And while many of the events we all look forward to every year are cancelled or changing shape, our aim at UPLC is to provide ideas and encouragement through this time. We hope that many of you who are healthy and can get outside do so, and that curiosity, wonder, and enjoyment of UP recreation spaces continue to be a part of your life over the coming weeks. The UP Land Conservancy public nature preserves will remain open and be there for you as long as we are able to keep them open. Here are some ideas if you need a break into nature.


1. Go Over the River and Through the WoodsWalk or Run our 5k Trail 

Each year we host our fun-filled Over the River and Through the Woods 5k Run and Walk through the beautiful 123-acre Vielmetti-Peters Conservation Reserve. While the race this year (originally scheduled for early May) is off – we hope that doesn’t deter you from getting out and exploring this beautiful trail at your own pace! 

In fact, this article with info and tips about running during the Coronavirus Outbreak recommends that now is not the time to push yourself hard or try for personal best time.

Here is our 5k trail map if you would like to follow our route and also some inspiration photos from last year’s race 🙂 

2. Volunteer Outside through Citizen Science – Get out the Binocs, it’s Bird time! (and plant, and mammal, and even insect time! #Spring!)

As Spring comes to the UP it is a fascinating and exciting time to witness the changes that occur – from new plant life popping up to the birds returning to their breeding and nesting areas. Watching this change each year is amazing.

Last year, we wrote all about different Citizen Science projects that help UPLC take note and gain a better understanding of sightings in our area. Whether you’ve participated before or are just getting started, contributing to our collective knowledge and observations of timings can help us continue to protect and make the case for protecting land for wildlife.

Consider taking your binoculars for your next walk and contributing what you see to our iNaturalist project. If you’ve never used iNaturalist, now is a good time to play around and learn a new program.

A great place for this is at the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve located on Main Street in Harvey (across from the Superior Smokehouse). There are signs all along the trails of the birds you are likely to see, some information about their lives and their sounds.

Maybe citizen science-ing (or birds) aren’t quite your style right now and you just just want to get out and learn a bit. We recommend the ‘iNaturalist Missions’ (in the app) which give a list of common plants and animals you are likely to see in your area so you can find them. This one can be really fun to do with younger kids, or for older kids to do on their own. One of our staff used this to learn about different Pines in the Chocolay Bayou Preserve! 

3. Protect the Future of Outdoor Recreation in the UP,  Today

At UPLC, we feel quite fortunate to be surrounded by so much open natural space and to be part in protecting it and providing recreation opportunities alongside other community organizations. There are many ways that you can continue to support organizations like UPLC who provide recreation opportunities to our community, even though our group volunteer days are postponed for now.

Protected land and recreation opportunities in nature is more important to our community now more than ever. For many people, outdoor recreation is now a main source of sanity, health, education, and a sense of permanence and normalcy. You can support UPLC’s recreational trails through the Adopt-an-Acre program or with a simple donation, right now.

Please also consider taking this time to learn about how UPLC works closely with other organizations across the UP to provide safe outdoor recreation to the community – we are all in this together!

Check out some of our friends sites and follow them on Facebook & Instagram for local updates: 

Heart of the Lakes recently launched a “Recreation Ambassador” program, check it out at https://protectmi.org/

Noquemanon Trail Network provides an immense network of multi-use trails across private and public lands – We are working closely with the NTN to create the Dead River Community Forest

The Iron Ore Heritage Trail is a great place for a long walk with an official trail ‘spur’ at the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve.

The North Country National Scenic Trail runs from one end of the UP to the other – Bayou trails are an official Spur (really, from New York to North Dakota – talk about social distance!)

Stay safe and enjoy the outdoors! 

New Position: Lands Program Manager

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

We are excited to announce that we are looking to grow our team by bringing on a Lands Program Manager.

If you are a motivated self-starter with excellent science and communication skills, a passion for protecting land, and a desire to grow with us, then we would love to hear from you!

To learn more about this position, read the full position description here. Please send your cover letter and resume to uplc@uplandconservancy.org by April 19th.

Thanks!

Gearing up with Citizen-Powered Science

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

by: Adina Daar

Our theme this season is ‘Involvement’. As a Land Conservancy, there are many ways people are involved with our organization; from donating funds, volunteering time, serving as a member on our board, to attending and participating in our events. Involvement comes in many forms!

Did you know that there are also ways to be involved while doing what you love outdoors; hiking, fishing, birdwatching – all while contributing to ecological knowledge about the area?

It’s called Citizen Science and it’s an ever-growing area propelled by technological advancements that have put powerful scientific tools in our pockets and at our fingertips!

Pairing public interest and time with organizations like ours and other research communities, this new frontier of people-powered research amplifies the speed, consistency, and accuracy of findings. It can also be a fun way to engage with a community around shared interests, all the while contributing back to the places that we hold near and dear.

Interest piqued? We hope so!

Here are five of our favorite digital tools you can use while contributing to ecological research and conservation projects – in the UP and beyond!

Merlin: For the Bird Curious

For those just dabbling (#birdword!) in the world of birding – Merlin is a useful app that both helps identify a bird you see and contributes to national bird monitoring data.

With around 399 species of birds in the Upper Peninsula and with hundreds of thousands of miles of protected forest and wetlands  – it should come as no surprise that birds love it here and so do people who love birds!

Screenshots from Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology for Android

Developed by the Cornell School of Ornithology and launched in 2014, The Merlin Bird App guides bird spotters through a series of five questions (location, date, size, color, and context) and then curates a visual list of possibilities which can then be further explored and confirmed. Each bird has pictures, sound clips, and a natural history write-up – lots of juicy details! Users can also download local databases tailored to different US regions to improve accuracy.

Alternatively, you can also snap a photo of a bird and let the Merlin database look for a visual match which is a pretty handy feature.

With Citizen Science powered by Merlin, researchers have been able to track migratory patterns of many avian species and record sightings in different areas as climates change shifts some breeding and migratory routes. It is both a wonderful learning tool and a simple way to be involved in furthering local bird surveys and knowledge for the wider community.

Download Merlin for Apple here and Android here

*Bonus Level “UP”*eBird: for committed Twitchers

The Merlin app is powered by over 500 million observations from a related app called eBird. Also produced and managed through the Cornell School of Ornithology, eBird is the expert version of the app for serious bird watchers who are already proficient at species identification and want to contribute to the growing database. The eBird app is a tool specifically for recording and noting bird sightings; equipped with checklists, a ‘Record as you go’ feature, and full offline mode. It’s a wonderful digital companion for birding trips with a large community of users and ongoing support.


Screenshots from eBird by Cornell Lab of Ornithology for Android

Available for download for Apple here and Android here

Litterati: For those who hate litter (who doesn’t?!)

Is there anything more infuriating than walking along the beach and finding litter strewn about? In some places, heroes don’t don capes, they carry out trash and use an app called ‘Litterati’.

Litterati started out as a way for California resident (and University of Michigan grad!), Jeff Kirschner to vent about offending litter in his community. He would upload pictures of his litter findings on Instagram along with the hashtag #Litterati. It has since grown into a worldwide movement of people who identify, map, and collect the world’s litter in pursuit of ‘Litter free world’.  

Images from Litterati.org and Litterati App for Android

It’s simple. See litter, snap a picture, pick it up. Once back home, tag the pictures with identifiers like the type, materials, and a brand if obvious. This all gets saved into a database and onto a map. The visual data serves as viable proof that has been used to hold companies, brands, and other groups accountable for litter in communities.

The now-famous example of how San Francisco doubled a tax on tobacco companies using a mass of Litterati data as evidence is the stuff of legends and also reality. One community used Litterati to encourage Taco Bell to change a sauce packet policy after residents had documented just how many unopened packets were strewn around public parks near Taco Bell storefronts.

‘Picker UPpers’ Club on Litterati

It’s refreshing to find that most people in Marquette are respectful and go to great efforts to prevent litter. Still, it’s nice to know that this app is here if you do come across an offending pile while out walking a trail. And if you find litter on our properties – we certainly want to know so we can encourage more Leave No Trace practices and distribute better information and resources about how to interact with natural areas.

And Litterati is global! So if visiting somewhere else where litter seems to be an issue, it’s a spontaneous way to lend a hand and make sure it is noticed.

Check out founder Jeff Kirschner’s inspiring TedTalk here and get started snapping that trash at https://www.litterati.org/. We have a local club called ‘Picker UPpers’ which you can find in the ‘Clubs’ section of the app – please join us and log your litter finds!

Download Litterati for Apple or Android

Great Lakes Fish Finder: For Fin A-fish-ionados!  

It’s no secret that the Great Lakes are home to an interesting and diverse bunch of aquatic wildlife. Those who fish and live on lakes and waterways have a personal and ongoing relationship with wildlife that has proven invaluable in monitoring and ensuring the health of water ecosystems.

A joint initiative between the Shedd Aquarium (in Chicago), The California Academy of Sciences, and National Geographic, this app has proven itself a welcome companion for many anglers – it is both useful as a field guide for identification and for contributing data to scientists who monitor lake health and fish populations.

Screenshot from https://www.sheddaquarium.org/fishfinder/)

Important to note, this app is not about helping people find the best fishing spots or anything like that! You don’t have to give your secret spot away if you use the app. It’s about logging catches, conditions, and connecting to others in the fishing community. Users can publish their observations to a community for identification or public view if desired.

While not the most utilized or frequented project on this list (UP representation is certainly lacking) it’s is a resource that is there if you so choose to explore it! We’d love to see more information collected about the fish whose habitat is affected by the lands we protect.

Download Great Lake Fish Finder for Apple or Android

iNaturalist: for everyone everywhere – alone or in a group!

iNaturalist is probably one of the most well-known and used programs when it comes to documenting natural sightings and sharing with a broader community. It is the skeletal structure of many other programs (including Fish Finder above).

You can pull up a map of just about any location and you’ll find thousands of sightings of all sorts of wildlife including plants, insects, birds, and larger animals!

Here’s a look at the app through a sighting from the Tory’s Woods Preserve:

Screenshots of Marquette Observations from iNaturalist for Android

Users can snap or upload photos and then ask for identification – or jump on and help identify through pictures that others have already uploaded. One of the really cool aspects of iNaturalist are the projects and community events – which range from personal garden explorations (I’ve heard of people using it to identify what is growing in community accessible plots) to what are known as a ‘Bio-blitz’ – when a whole bunch of people get together to document and identify as much as possible in a short period of time at a specific place.

Shout out to the top 5 UP resident observers: Nate Martineau, Mcaple, Rob Routledge, Joseph Kurtz and Will Van Hemessen who collectively have made over 29,000 observations of 8,800+ species and helped confirm and identify over 145,000 other observations by others in our area. We hope many others will join in to contribute to this already very healthy and growing ecosystem of nature sightings!

Download iNaturalist for Apple and Android

Zooniverse: The Mother Ship

Zooniverse is an ingenious website that hosts a wide array of citizen science projects covering a breadth of topics: from science and history to art and mathematics. Each initiative is set up as fun ‘Projects’ that are designed in creative ways to make sorting through lots of data points fun and useful. It is the largest Citizen Science platform in the world with over 1.7 million individual users and growing.

Zooniverse also has a DIY section where you can build your own project. So if you have data that needs to be classified or you could use some help sorting through and digitizing archives – it could be a great place to start.

It’s really best to dive straight-in and play around to get a feel for how the site works.

Here are a couple of our favorite projects for you to check out:

Michigan ZoomIN: Help researchers at the University of Michigan classify photos from remote cameras to better understand the distribution of wild animals. One of their research locations is here in the UP at the Huron Mountain Club – which means you also get a peek into the Club!

Image: https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/michiganzoomin/michigan-zoomin/about/research)

Unearthing Michigan Ecological Data’: This is part of a program to digitize over a century of hand-collected data from the Biological Research Station at Douglas Lake in Northern Michigan. Historical data is helpful in that it provides documentation of changes over time – and is very powerful when combined with current data. Through this project, you can help to digitize the universities reports, research, and documents. If you are the kind of person that finds themselves drawn to dusty boxes of records, and delights in exploring the way things were done in the past – this project might be especially exciting 😀


Screenshot from https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/jmschell/unearthing-michigan-ecological-data/classify)

We looked up ‘Lepomis gibbosus’ – these are Pumpkinseed Fish fins!

‘Whales as Individuals’: Need a break? We recommend this project where helpful citizens can outline and help identify individual Whales from the many photos of their flukes. It serves as both a really easy and relaxing brain break in the name of science 🙂

Image from https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/tedcheese/whales-as-individuals/classify

What about a UP Land Conservancy project on Zooniverse?!? Oh don’t worry, it’s coming. And we’ll for sure let you know once we’ve got it running.

There you have it! Let’s science together 🙂

At the Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy, we feel honored to be in service to and entrusted by a community that is engaged and interested in wildlife and habitat. What happens in the UP is inextricably connected to what happens in other parts of the country and the world – so whether ID-ing birds to better understand migration changes, identifying a species of plant that wasn’t here 15 years ago, contributing to the knowledge of local fish populations, or perhaps spotting that ever elusive Mountain Lion taking a selfie with a trail camera  – it makes a difference to us! We hope these tools continue to feed your curiosity, involvement, and contribution to protecting land today for life tomorrow!

What’s your favorite way to get involved? Let us know your experiences with these or other Citizen Science platforms in the comments!


Staff Highlight: Meet Adina

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

We’re delighted to welcome a new member to our growing team!

Name: 
Adina Daar

UPLC Role: 
Office Manager

Hometown: 
Melbourne, FL

Traits:
Curious, Enthusiastic, Kind

Favorite Quote:
“A lifetime can be spent in a Magellanic voyage around the trunk of a single tree.”
– E.O. Wilson

Tell us a little bit about your background:
I grew up in Melbourne Florida – exploring the Swamps and Pine Forests as a child. Eventually I went on to study at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, where I received a BA in Sociology in 2008. From there, I worked in Market Research, travelling the world to study humans and helping companies develop consumer products and services.

In 2015, I heard about an approach to solving problems that looks to nature for inspiration called ‘Biomimicry’ – it was a wake-up call for me to re-cultivate the curiosity and love for nature that I held as a child. I went on to train as a wilderness guide and naturalist, and to completing a MSc in Biomimicry from Arizona State University in 2017. I’ve been looking to plants, animals, and ecosystems for inspiration to help solve human problems ever since!

I moved to the UP in 2018 and immediately fell in with the Land Conservancy – attending events and trying to get involved in any way, which is how I eventually joined the team.

Why did you want to work for UPLC?
During my studies I had the opportunity to travel to different biomes to understand the challenges and opportunities that many communities face. One aspect that is quickly clear is how interconnected we are and how what happens in one place affects another. Our water, air, food, and well-being are reliant on natural systems that have developed over billions of years. I am inspired by life in the Upper Peninsula and by the communities devotion to protecting place and culture. I am looking forward to being a part of the story by working with the community through UPLC and to supporting the mission of ‘Protecting land today for life tomorrow’.

What do you do at UPLC?
My official title is ‘Office Manager’ which at the moment means many things! We are currently a small team, so many hats are worn and all hands are in. Primarily, I manage the day-to-day operations of UPLC and provide direct support to the Executive Director and Stewardship Manager in their activities. I also like to get out as much as possible – so you’ll find me guiding hikes and helping with events and community initiatives as well.

What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?
UPLC has been through tremendous growth in the past few years – with new properties, projects, and ways to work with the local community. My goal is to support the foundational structure of UPLC through so that we can both maintain and continue to grow in the future. I’m also passionate about working with other community groups towards shared goals and visions for the UP.

Anything else we should know about you? Did I mention Biomimicry already? Yeah, I’m a bit obsessed! I also have a soft spot for insects and marine invertebrates. I do a wonderful Lemur impression. Follow me on instagram @hellohelloIsay to see some insects – a couple below for fun!


Seeking Office Manager

Friday, December 21st, 2018

Our dear Jill has been accepted to a doctorate research program in Germany and Argentina and will be leaving us at the end of the year. We are so excited for her incredible opportunity!

This means that we are looking to hire a new office manager!

To apply for this part time, hourly position, read the full position description here and send a cover letter and resume to andrea@uplandconservancy.org by January 6th.

Thanks!

Andrea

Exciting Progress for the Proposed Dead River Community Forest!

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Film Planned to Promote Dead River Community Forest Project!

Last week, Deke and Kevin Ludwig, brothers and film-making team with Heart of the Lakes, worked long hours with UPLC staff and volunteers to capture the essence of the Dead River Community Forest project in film.

We spent about 72 hours scaling cliffs, scrambling over rocks, wading in muck, swimming by waterfalls, paddling canoes, mountain biking, tromping through the woods without trails, and listening to inspiring stories from people who are excited about what the DRCF will mean to the community of Marquette and the visitors to the area….all with camera equipment!

We hope that as we move along with the process of acquiring these 181 acres of impressive forest on the edge of town, we will be able to use the film Deke produces to help the community fall in love with the resource that will soon be available to them. Our goal was for people who watch the film to feel like they know the DRCF without having gone there–after all, the DRCF tells the story of most natural places in the UP.

It’s a place full of history, with direct connections to the mining and logging booms. It’s a place that has been considered a given part of the landscape around us–of course there’s a vast forest next to the shopping centers. It’s also a place that is changing–it’s slated for development and surrounded by ever-expanding parking lots.

It’s also a place of hope and a place where we want the community to be able to envision our future together. A way to move forward into a new era of living together in conjunction with the natural world around us.

Big, big thanks to Deke, Kevin, Heart of the Lakes, UPEC for the grant that allows extra staff time for this project, and to our volunteers and support crews the last week! Jeremiah, Alyssa and Kim, Kathy, Chris, John and Chelsea, and everyone who hiked through the rain on Saturday–you all are amazing. THANK YOU for your help!

Keep tuned in for more updates about this video and for updates on the Dead River Community Forest!

 

An Opportunity to Protect the Chocolay River

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Do you love the Chocolay River?

We do, especially now that we have established the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve.  So, here’s a thought: How about protecting more land upstream? 

For a short time, an anonymous donor is offering to donate to UPLC over 100 acres along about a mile of the river in Chocolay Township.


The catch is that whenever we accept a donation of conservation land, we must also secure enough funding to cover our ongoing expenses, such as annual monitoring costs and legal defense insurance.  In this case, as in many others that come to us each year, the donor is “land rich and cash poor” and cannot donate funds in addition to the land itself.


We don’t like turning away “free land”, especially great wildlife habitat like this property, home to kingfishers and all manner of wetland and aquatic flora and fauna.  However, the truth is that protecting land in perpetuity is not free.

 

We need at least $10,000 in stewardship funding to be able to accept this potential gift.


So, if you love the Chocolay, have some extra cash, and want a tax deduction, give us a call.  Or maybe you would like to help create a memorial preserve for a loved person who loved the river.  We know this is a long shot, but you don’t catch any fish if you don’t go fishing, nor will you catch fish if we don’t work together to protect the river.

Donate to our “Land Rich, Cash Poor” Fund below to help us to take this project on! You can also call or send a check as you see fit, of course. Your donations are tax-deductible, and we will send you a receipt for your records. If we are unable to raise the money needed to accept this Chocolay River project, (or if we raise more than necessary) we will retain the funds in the hopes that the next time a “land rich, cash poor” donation crosses our paths, we’ll be able to protect land with your help.



We Did it! Chocolay Bayou Preserve Officially Protected

Friday, July 8th, 2016

What a journey the Chocolay Bayou Preserve Project has been! Over the past year, The Preservers have been learning more than we ever thought we would have to about the DEQ and Army Corps of Engineers regulations on Lake Superior Bottomlands, railroad right-of-ways that have been abandoned for almost one hundred years but are still retained, how complicated survey work really is, and—even though we truly believed we knew a LOT about easements going into this situation—we have learned so much about what easements the UPLC can and cannot accept on a Nature Preserve in order to truly…well…preserve it.

When UPLC closed on the Bayou purchase this afternoon, we technically purchased 3 parcels of land adding up to 12.886 acres.  Two of those parcels, , are now legally combined into 12.357 acres and are what we’re considering to be “the Preserve”, and the third, a tiny strip of land that we call “C,” we will be divesting as soon as we can, due to the easements that come along with it. In order to purchase the Preserve, we had to purchase C—the parcels were only to be sold to us as a unit. C is 0.529 acres, a thin rectangular strip that borders a small portion of the Preserve and has easements that allow the neighbor to store dumpsters and tractors and block access to the other parcels at all times. It would be impossible for us to monitor and impose ecological standards on this property and these allowances truly detract from the ecological value of the Preserve.  It is our hope that the neighbors, who currently hold the easements, will want C.

The land in the Preserve has been surveyed by the Army Corps of Engineers to determine what portions of the Bayou are part of the Lake Superior Bottomlands—land that is protected by the DEQ  with very strong environmental regulations. This is incredible news!  This means that the waterway of most of the Preserve is protected even more than we would be able to protect it on our own, and the DEQ’s protections extend from the Bayou out into the big lake.  Here’s what the DEQ’s website says about the Lake Superior Bottomlands:

“Michigan’s Submerged Lands Program began in 1955 with the passage of the Great Lakes Submerged Lands Act, 1955 PA 247, as amended, which is now incorporated as 325, Great Lakes Submerged Lands, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA), 1994 PA 451, as amended.

The bottomlands of the Great Lakes are held in trust by the State of Michigan for use and enjoyment by its citizens. The State, as the owner and trustee, has a perpetual responsibility to the public to manage these bottomlands and waters for the prevention of pollution, for the protection of the natural resources and to maintain the public’s rights of hunting, fishing, navigation, commerce, etc. The State of Michigan’s authority to protect the public’s interest in the bottomlands and waters of the Great Lakes is based on both ownership and state regulation. The Public Trust Doctrine, as the basis for Part 325, provides state authority to not only manage but also to protect the public’s fundamental rights to use these resources.

Michigan courts have determined that private uses of the bottomlands and waters, including the riparian rights of waterfront property owners, are subject to the public trust. In other words, if a proposed private use would adversely impact the public trust, the State of Michigan’s regulatory authority requires that the proposal be modified or denied altogether in order to minimize those impacts.”

http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3313_3677_3702-10865–,00.html

 

At this point, we have made headway into the Stewardship (or “Forever”) fund—but not much.  The celebration on September 10th will not be a fundraiser—simply a way to say thank you to the community for their support and efforts turning this Preserve Project into a true Nature Preserve. We do still need to raise approximately $15,000 more to support the perpetual maintenance of the preserve as well as to build trails, install signs, establish a parking area, and more. We’ll get back to that later, though.  For now, we’re just celebrating two years of hard work finally coming to completion. We’ll be raising our glasses at the Chocolay River Brewing Company soon to cheers one another, and we hope you’ll join us at some point so we can say thanks in person.

A celebration and dedication is planned for Saturday, September 10th and a public forum will be held this fall for public input on trail access for the Preserve. For more information on the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve, the Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy, or on joining the Chocolay Bayou Preservers in their mission to protect and care for the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve into the future, please call or email the UPLC at (906) 225-8067 or uplc@uplandconservancy.org  An official press release can be found here.

Good work, everyone. Job Well Done.

Andrea

Only $1500 (and some change) To Go!

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Chocolay Bayou Calendar2016-3 copyYup, you read that right. With the help of partnering organizations and donors, we’ve already raised $152,468 towards our goal of $154,000 to purchase the Chocolay Bayou Preserve – and we only have $1,532 to go!

Recreational opportunities abound at the 14-acre Bayou Preserve, which is ideally situated along the banks of the Chocolay River. From birding, fishing, and paddling, the Bayou has offered the community excellent outdoor recreation throughout the years, and the property even borders major hiking and biking trails, providing access to the Iron Ore Heritage and North Country National Scenic trails!

The final purchase of the property will preserve these activities for the community in perpetuity. In other words, FOREVER!

But, we still need your help. The Bayou – and all the outdoor activities the community has come to enjoy on the property – is in threat of development. We only have until May 9 to raise the remaining $1,532 to purchase the property and protect a popular outdoor recreation area for the community.

In addition, we need $20,000 to help maintain the Preserve once it’s purchased. This additional funding will also be used to expand public access, build an interpretive trail and wetland boardwalk, and also build benches throughout the property.Chocolay Bayou Calendar2016-1 copy

With your help, we can do this! We currently have a CrowdRise funding campaign to raise the remaining $1532 purchasing price by May 9. To make a donation, please see the Save The Chocolay Bayou! and help preserve this cherished outdoor recreation area today.

For more information, please contact Andrea Denham, Assistant Director of the Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy at (906) 225-8067 or uplc@uplandconservancy.org.

 

We want to thank our partners for their continued support in making the Chocolay Bayou Preserve a reality:

Bayou Bar and Grill

Cedar Tree Institute

Chocolay Raptor Center

Chocolay River Brewery

Chocolay Township

Ducks Unlimited

Hiawatha Water Trail

Hirvonen Foundation

Iron Ore Heritage Trail

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

Lakewood Cottagers Association

Laughing Whitefish Audubon Society

Marquette County Resource Management Dept.

Marquette County Conservation District

North Country Trail Hikers

RE/MAX

The Nature Conservancy

Trout Unlimited

Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition

Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy

Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation & Development Council

US Fish and Wildlife Service