Letter of Appreciation – A Kirtland’s Warbler Conservation Success Story

To the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service and Michigan DNR,

Huron Pines sincerely thanks the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the Michigan DNR for their commitment to and success in bringing the Kirtland’s Warbler back from the brink of extinction, and now to the point that it can be removed from the Endangered Species list.

There are a few key factors that made this effort successful. The dedication of the people working for these agencies is one. Having sat in the same room and listened to their discussions about moving into the delisting phase made me keenly aware that I was among people who were making sure that every next step was the right one. It was clear that each move they had made along the path to recovery of this species had been deliberate, measured, evaluated, and adjusted to stay on course.

Another key factor is the ability of these resource managers to rally all the right people with the expertise and experience that would lead to success. They engaged the birding and scientific community. They rallied people with the authority to make the changes that were needed to ensure long-term success. They brought in the help of organizations, industries and individuals with valuable resources to offer.

It was this dedication and collaboration that made the Michigan DNR, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service successful in implementing their multi-faceted plan to reduce the cowbird population while also providing more and properly configured breeding habitat. Their wisdom in utilizing the strengths of many led to their success in bringing the numbers of Kirtland Warblers back to the level we are now seeing.

Even now during the approach to the delisting phase, these agencies are employing the value of partnerships through the Kirtland’s Warbler Conservation Team and the Kirtland’s Warbler Alliance. Recognizing the role that the public plays in sustaining the Kirtland’s Warbler population, they have aligned with these groups to formulate plans to ensure a sustained population after delisting.

Huron Pines is honored to have played a role in this process and supports the Conservation Team and the Alliance going forward as they carry out the strategies for long-term maintenance of the strategies needed to sustain North America’s rarest song bird. Our sincerest thanks to our partners—the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Michigan DNR, and the Kirtland’s Warbler Alliance.


Brad Jensen
Executive Director, Huron Pines

One thought on “Letter of Appreciation – A Kirtland’s Warbler Conservation Success Story

  1. Our cabin is situated alongside the Manistee River alongside Dutch John Road (South of W. Sharon Road). We are in the area where they Kirkland Warbler signs remain posted, which is a “reminder” to all that use “off trail vehicles & ORV.” This definitely is a great recovery of a species “at risk of extinction.”

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