Monday, April 11, 2011

1700 More Acres Protected in Pere Marquette Watershed

forest stream
Elliott property (photo by Tim Johnson)

condensed from the Spring 2011 Newsletter of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan

The protection of the free-flowing Pere Marquette River continued in 2010 as two more families protected their land by creating conservation easements with the Land Conservancy.

The Elliott family created an easement of 136 acres which helps protect the resident trout and migratory salmon and steelhead that use the Pere Marquette along their stretch of the river.

Wildlife benefits too. "They tell me that bobcats are nocturnal, but I see them throughout the night and day," notes Craig Elliott. There is also an active bald eagle’s nest in a tall white pine overlooking the river on the property.

A small stream originates within a cedar grove and runs through a majority of the Elliott property before flowing onto adjacent Michigan DNR land. By protecting their property with a conservation easement, the Elliotts have ensured that this stream will continue to be a cold-water feeder stream to the Pere Marquette.

Upstream of the Elliott property, the Lewis family has also made the permanent commitment of a conservation easement to protect their 17 acres along the Middle Branch of the Pere Marquette. The Middle Branch is known for its brown trout population. Because of surrounding open space, the Lewis property is frequented by bobcat, white-tail deer and black bear.

"We strongly believe that we don’t truly own the land, but are merely caretakers for coming generations," states Eric Lewis as he reflects on the desire of placing the property into a conservation easement.

See Land Conservancy of West Michigan
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