Our Work

Huron Pines takes a science-based approach to improving the health of our high-quality Great Lakes ecosystems.
Our major project types include small dam removal, road/stream crossing improvement, stormwater management,
erosion control, invasive species control and the enhancement of land and water habitats.
At the core of all of our work is a goal to teach and instill a conservation ethic in the hearts of people across Michigan and beyond,
and to make our communities better places to live, work and enjoy.



Goal 1—Provide leadership to develop private-public sector partnerships in a collaborative approach to solving natural resource challenges and opportunities.

Goal 2—Protect healthy forests and clean water by devising and implementing large-scale, high-impact and long-term habitat restoration projects and enhancement strategies.

Goal 3—Integrate a conservation ethic into all aspects of our communities, including local decision making, land use, schools, business and households.

OUR PROGRAMS use a collaborative, scientific approach to restore healthy river systems,
improve wildlife habitat and involve community members in environmental learning and stewardship.

Click to learn more about our accomplishments through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. 

Dam Removals—Road/Stream Crossing Improvements—Pollution Reduction—Erosion Control
Huron Pines tackles threats to the health of our streams, inland lakes and the Great Lakes. By removing dams and improving road/stream crossings we reconnect fragmented parts of the river system to open up habitat for wildlife, keep waters cool and clean and decrease the likelihood of catastrophic washouts and the need for ongoing road maintenance. This is a win-win-win for everyone! We also work with farmers, homeowners and city planners to help them keep our water clean by reducing runoff of fertilizers, pesticides and chemicals.

Private Land Stewardship—Enhancing Habitat Quality & Diversity—Invasive Species Management—Kirtland’s Warbler Initiative
Huron Pines works on public and private land to diversify forest and instream habitat and increase its ability to provide food, refuge and movement corridors for wildlife. We use an early-detection, rapid-response strategy to treat invasive species in a low-impact way before they take over and become difficult and costly to remove. By keeping resilient native plant communities healthy and protecting rare species, we are strengthening the groundwork for rich, thriving ecosystems in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

Huron Pines AmeriCorps—Woodlands & Waters Program—Community Building—Environmental Education
Huron Pines takes a collaborative approach to involve many people in the protection of natural resources. Each year through our Huron Pines AmeriCorps program, more than 20 college graduates are placed for a 10-month term of service with conservation organizations statewide. Our Woodlands & Waters program offers a series of fun, active, outdoor events to connect people of all ages to Northeast Michigan’s amazing natural resources. We also provide community planning assistance and environmental education for youth and adults.

What We Do… And What We Don’t Do 

At Huron Pines, we know that everyone’s connection to the land and water surrounding us is personal and a little bit different. From more than four decades of serving Northeast Michigan, we also know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to natural resource management. That’s why Huron Pines focuses on providing training, tools and technical advice that can help you define and achieve your own land management goals. Because using a collaborative approach is at the heart of our mission, our role is to work with all people, organizations and companies who wish to invest in making our special Great Lakes waters, wildlife and communities healthier.

Our organization’s niche is to take a “hands-on” approach to conservation. To that end, Huron Pines avoids engaging in political issues and litigation. Though we will occasionally comment on the resource impacts of conservation issues being considered by the legislature and/or local units of government, we’re not in the practice of starting petitions, hiring attorneys, engaging in media campaigns or asking anyone to support a political agenda. The neutrality of Huron Pines—particularly the ability of its Board and staff to bring together a diverse group of partners and project supporters to effect positive change—is one of the organization’s greatest strengths and one we constantly strive to maintain.

Our Watersheds

Did you know that everywhere you are, you’re within a watershed? A watershed is an area of land that contains a common set of streams, rivers and lakes that all drain into a larger waterbody. Watersheds include both the water features within the area, as well as the land surrounding those water bodies. As a result of the connected nature of a watershed, all activities that happen on land can affect the condition of rivers, lakes and groundwater. A watershed can be divided into progressively smaller watersheds, which are often referred to as subswatersheds. For example, the Klacking Creek Watershed is one of many subwatersheds that can be identified within the larger Rifle River Watershed. Likewise, the Rifle River Watershed itself is part of the larger Lake Huron Watershed.

Northeast Michigan’s Watersheds