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The Nature Conservancy acquires over 10,000 acres in U.P.

Slate River Timberlands acquired by The Nature Conservancy.
Slate River Timberlands acquired by The Nature Conservancy.(Emily Clegg)
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 12:08 PM EST
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MICHIGAMME, Mich. (WLUC) - The Nature Conservancy (TNC) announced the acquisition of more than 10,000 acres, known as the Slate River Timberlands, in the Michigamme Highlands area.

The Slate River Timberlands were owned by the same family for nearly 60 years, the forests that exist today are the direct result of three generations of careful stewardship; a legacy TNC is committed to continuing.

“We are thrilled that we were able to acquire the Slate River Timberlands,” said Helen Taylor, state director in Michigan for TNC. “Our science has identified this area as some of the most resilient land in Michigan, meaning it can sustain natural diversity in the face of a changing climate. Opportunities to conserve such large areas of intact, mature forest lands don’t come along every day. It’s one of many important steps toward a healthy, thriving future for U.P. forests and the communities that depend on them.”

TNC’s vision for this land is to conserve and protect it, while continuing the careful management of forest resources. Over 10,000 acres of one of the highest quality managed native forests known to be left in Michigan, this site is an important source of natural climate solutions, given the carbon stored in towering hemlocks, maple and hardwood trees. It protects several streams flowing directly to Lake Superior, including almost four miles of the Slate River with cascades, waterfalls and a gorge as well as three miles of the Ravine River. The property’s proximity to other protected lands, including Craig Lake State Park, the McCormick Wilderness and TNC’s Wilderness Lakes Reserve, also contributes to large stretches of habitat that wide-ranging species such as moose and deer need to thrive.

“This property has been superbly managed,” said Emily Clegg, Project Manager, Forest Conservation for TNC. “The forest is beautiful, full of classic mature native species of trees, thoughtfully managed with care over generations. Our goal is to continue that management as it benefits wildlife, supports the local timber economy and helps the forest remain healthy despite the stressors of a changing climate.”

TNC is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving lands and waters. Learn more online at nature.org/michigan.

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