OUR PROJECTS BENEFIT MICHIGAN’S WILDLIFE—IN THE WATER AND ON THE LAND.
Huron Pines takes an ecosystem approach to protecting and restoring wildlife habitat. Through activities like treating invasive species, restoring native plant communities, installing instream habitat structure and connecting wildlife corridors, we are sustaining diverse Michigan landscapes that support rare and threatened species along with our state’s prized game and nongame animals. Our organization has a unique ability to work with people across ownership boundaries to improve the health of private lands, conservancy preserves and state- or federally-held public lands. We are the lead organization coordinating the fight against invasive species through our Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) partnership and our early detection, rapid response approach to invasive species management protects rare plants and animals like Pitcher’s thistle, wood turtle, Hines’ emerald dragonfly and the Kirtland’s warbler. At the core of our work is a dedication to promoting wise stewardship of our most critical coastal and inland landscapes.
What makes certain areas better habitat for wildlife than other areas? Different kinds of animals have different preferences and needs, but for all species habitat must provide food, water and shelter. Some animals need a larger area to keep a healthy population, some need certain age classes of forest and some travel between different habitat types during their lives. Huron Pines uses GIS technology to identify the best wildlife habitat “patches” based on things like size, plant diversity and connection to other patches. Then we work with public and private landowners to improve habitats in those core habitat areas and the paths between them.
In Northeast Michigan, we are lucky to be able to admire many rare wildlife species, some of which are found nowhere else. Huron Pines works to protect the biodiversity of our state by improving wildlife habitat, preserving our unique Lake Huron coastal marshes and educating people young and old about how they can help. We focus on protecting the highest quality habitats in areas like Great Lakes wetlands, the Charity Islands and important wildlife migration corridors. We also work to conserve the Kirtland’s Warbler, a rare and charismatic songbird that nests in Northeast Michigan’s unique jack pine ecosystem. Preserving Michigan’s abundant wildlife means keeping a huge piece of what makes our state such a wonderful place to live, work and enjoy.
Huron Pines uses the lowest-impact recommended methods to prevent the spread of Michigan’s most noxious invasive species. Species targeted include aggressive wetland and upland plants like phragmites, garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed, buckthorn and purple loosestrife. Our early detection, rapid response strategy allows us to treat more areas more efficiently before they become degraded. We minimize the use of chemicals by using techniques like herbicide injection, hand swiping and manual removal when possible. We pride ourselves on working with landowners of all types and in all locations to fight invasive species that are prioritized both locally and regionally to get the most benefit for our funding.