Dead river community forest

DRCF Postcard (1).png

The proposed Dead River Community Forest will be a multi-partner collaboration that will protect and give public additional access to 186 acres of healthy, diverse riparian forest adjacent to the current Vielmetti-Peters Conservation Reserve, protecting a total of 309 acres of forested land on the edge of greater Marquette. The area has been eyed up for development of housing and high-profit timber management, but with your help, it will become a recreational and educational resource for the entire community. 


UPLC has received a $90,000 grant from the US Forest Service’s Community Forest Program. So, it’s time to spread the word and start raising funds!


186 acres

This is a multi-partner collaboration that will protect and give public access to 186 acres of healthy, diverse riparian forest!

Discover the dead river community forest

In addition to providing essential habitat for 16 avian species of concern and other native flora and fauna, DRCF will will also benefit the Upper Peninsula community via that many ecosystem services inherent in well managed forests. This includes, hydrological (e.g., water supply, flood control), atmospheric (e.g., air quality, carbon sequestration), and vegetation (e.g., habitat, esthetics) 

We want to hear from you

Community is in the name and we need your input to help build the proposed Dead River Community Forest Management Project. You can view a overview of the survey results as of 3/18/2022 by clicking the link here!

goal 1

To ensure the permanent protection of 186 acres of riparian forest by acquiring two high-value conservation parcels in the Dead River Basin by spring 2022:

The proposed project will protect several tributaries to the Dead River, which provides drinking water, hydroelectric power, and recreation to the 27,000 year-round City of Marquette Residents. Protecting this area from development, deforestation, and damaging types of recreation will protect this amazing water resource.

Do you have input related to this goal that you would like to contribute for the Dead River Community Forest Management Plan? Send us an email at uplc@uplandconservancy.org


goal 2

To provide recreation opportunities that meet the needs and interests of the community by establishing multi-use trails and educational signage in those parcels within a year of acquisition;

The DRCF will enhance recreational opportunities for U.P residents, visitors, and tourists by providing several miles of non-motorized trails for hiking, bird-watching, nature photography, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and mountain biking. 

Provide feedback on what activites you think the Dead River Community Forest should emphasize by emailing us at uplc@uplandconservancy.org

goal 3

To actively engage the public in the land protection and management processes by forming genuine partnerships with diverse stakeholders throughout the acquisition, development, and ongoing management process;

By engaging the public in the land protection processes we can create a more informed community that can help us with their input.

Take our survey above to add your input, or email us at uplc@uplandconservancy.org


goal 4

To provide opportunities for the public to establish an emotional connection with the property, which will spur a sense of communal responsibility, by hosting informational meetings and active outings on the property prior to, during, and after establishing the properties;

The Dead River Community Forest will be a space designed to connect us to the land itself through community outings and opportunities to foster a love for this land to manifest itself years into the future. 

If you would like to share your input on how to foster connections through community events email us at uplc@uplandconservancy.org

goal 5

To expand outdoor educational opportunities for students and landowners to experience hands-on learning about the sustainable management of various UP ecosystems/habitats throughout the acquisition, development, and ongoing management process;

The DRCF will provide ready access to natural and managed lands for study by all educational levels, from elementary to graduate school. Northern Michigan University have conducted research projects in topic such as biomass sequestration and  cold water fisheries stock. Beyond formal education, the DRCF will become a unique educational resource for landowners and professional foresters via demonstration of silvicultural practices. 

If you would like to provide your vision based on this goal as we construct the Management Plan, please email uplc@uplanconservancy.org


goal 6

And to initiate a climate-change mitigation-focused and restoration-based Forest Management Plan for the proposed Dead River Community Forest in order to further prepare the area for the current and future effects of climate change in that area.

To be proactive against the effects of climate change, the Dead River Community Forest project has climate change mitigation tactics built into it's groundwork. 

To learn more about our DRCF Management Plan email us at uplc@uplandconservancy.org and take our survey above!

what can you do to help?

The creation of the Dead River Community Forest is only going to happen with your help and input!




Make a donation towards the protection of the Dead River Community Forest to help make our goals a reality. Funds raised will be used to permanently protect this land.  


Attend our upcoming meeting and events - check the public events calendar for updates. Right now, a steering committee comprised of individuals, families, and partnering organizations meets regularly to plan out the projects and discuss the future of the community forest!  Lastly, give us your input on what you would like to see by taking an easy and simple online survey. We have a long and short version depending on your time commitment. Tell us what you think!


Help us spread the word! Share the what is going on at the beloved Dead River Community Forest to your family and friends, like and reshare our social media posts, or let us come to you! Are you a part of an organization, a hiking group, an employee wellness group, a community of any kind that would be interested in benefiting from this amazing protentional resource? We'll come talk to you group live in person if you want , or you can bring them to one of our events of info sessions. 

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Check out this waterfall, we’re going to be building a trail so you can see it in person once we own the property.


Midway creek winds its way around massive granite outcroppings on its way to the Dead River through the proposed Community Forest