(Feb. 11, 2019) With funding from the GLRI, The Conservation Fund, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, announced the addition of 11.25 acres of shoreline habitat to Michigan’s Hiawatha National Forest Research Natural Area. Located along Lake Michigan, the property features important habitat for at-risk wildlife and plant species. This addition eliminates a gap that existed in the surrounding conserved landscape and ensures better management and protection of an exceptional wetland and dune ecosystem.
The Conservation Fund acquired the property in 2017, at the request of the USFS. The property was transferred to the USFS in December 2018 with funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The property is home to important dune and swale habitat—sandy ridges alternating with marshy troughs. This habitat is critical for the federally threatened Pitcher’s thistle, and when water levels in the lake drop, the property also provides nesting habitat for the federally endangered piping plover.