Conserved Lands

The UPLC protects land in four main ways:

1) Conservation Easements like Harris Lake West

Bear at Harris Lake-2

UPLC currently protects 24 Conservation Easements totaling 3,164 acres of land; a testament to our community’s connection to the woods!

Conservation Easements allow you to permanently protect your land while still retaining ownership and use of the land. UPLC’s role is simply to ensure that you, and all future owners, are following mutually-agreed upon parameters that protect the conservation priorities and values of your land. Easements are generally privately owned properties that do not have public access. To learn more about how to protect your camp, family’s timber land, or other property, click here and then call us at (906) 225-8067. The benefits of protecting your land through a conservation easement are multi-faceted and lasting!

2) Conservation Preserves like Tory’s Woods


Preserves are areas that we hold for the benefits they provide to the community, whether for they help clean our water, provide rrecreation opportunities, or otherwise. These properties are usually healthy lands that we let Nature manage.

Tory’s Woods Preserve is a great example. The 123-acre preserve was donated to UPLC by the Parlin family in 2014. Since then, we have established 3 miles of trail and installed interpretive signage and a birding trail. It is open for public enjoyment (Click here to download the trail map and brochure.)  We work with several local partners to provide educational opportunities and hikes on the Preserve.

While our Nature Preserves are open to the public, some of them are quite remote, especially those that have been aside specifically to protect a sensitive species or ecosystem.  We take field trips out some-difficult-to-access preserves and survey for unique flora and fauna, so keep checking our Events Page and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for upcoming preserve visits!

UPLC currently protects 11 preserves, totaling 1,488 acres of land protected forever for the public. 

3) “Forests for the Future” Conservation Reserves – like the Debelak Forest Reserve

Debelak 2014-03

Reserves are parcels of land that we actively manage, in a manner that promotes habitat restoration and with a plan created to mitigate the affects of climate change.  Often times these are lands that have been clear-cut in the past and have either been left alone or mismanaged prior to our acquisition.  We plant, harvest, and maintain the land in a way that mimics healthy, natural processes and increases species and age diversity among the trees.  The timber sales income supports the sustainable growth of the UPLC and the acquisition of more preserves that we can open for public enjoyment.

The Vielmetti-Peters Conservation Reserve is an in-town example of our restoration forestry and has four miles of trails for you to explore!

Most of the Reserves in the Forests for the Future Forest Restoration Program are enrolled in CFA – which means they are open to public use for hunting, trapping, hiking, and fishing in accordance with CFA and relevant tribal regulation. Please note that ATV use off of improved roads, baiting, and establishing permanent blinds and/or shooting lanes is prohibited on our Reserves. For more information about this program and our hunting regulations, contact Brian Liesch, Lands Program Manager.

UPLC is currently restoring 25 Reserves, totaling 1,612 acres.

4) Trade Lands like the Spruce River Canoe Camp

Spruce River Cabin 2015-10-14_031_tn

Trade Lands are donated lands that do not meet our standards for Preserves or Reserves, which we sell to conservation-minded buyers in order to help support the UPLC’s stewardship mission.

In 2018, we were contacted by a wonderful individual named Rick out of the blue. Rick told us an amazing story of his lifelong dream: to protect special places in the north woods by purchasing land, restoring it, and passing it off to conservation organizations like ours. He’s been exploring and conserving beautiful places across the continent and educating others about the dire necessity to protect our land from Montana to Iowa to Canada and recently the Upper Peninsula. Due to health circumstances, Rick was unable to personally see his dream come to life and so he called us up and asked what we could do with his gorgeous and historic camp on Spruce River. The property did not meet our requirements for land that we can own, so with Rick’s blessing, we found a conservation-minded buyer who purchased the donated property and loves it as much as Rick does! With the funds from selling the donated property, we have expanded our staff’s capacity to protect more land today, and will carry Rick’s dream forward into the future.

Are you thinking about what to do with your land? Or are you a conservation buyer? To learn more about this program, click here!