Sturgeon River Gorge
With its rugged terrain, mature forests, and remote location, the
14,000-acre Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness features stunning
waterfalls, rapids, ponds, oxbows, and terraces along the river's
13-mile run in Michigan's deepest valley. Offering outstanding
opportunities for hiking, primitive camping, canoeing, whitewater
kayaking, hunting and fishing, until 2008, all but 2,000 acres of this
wilderness in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan had been protected as part
of the Ottawa National Forest (ONF). This last remaining inholding had
been a high-priority for the ONF when landowner Wisconsin Electric Power
Company decided to put this property on the open market in 2007. At the
request of the US Forest Service, TPL worked with the owner to
negotiate a conservation solution and raise funding for acquisition.
This project preserves 6.6 miles of the Sturgeon Wild & Scenic
River, as well as Sturgeon Falls. The North Country National Scenic
Train runs immediately adjacent to the wilderness on its eastern
boundary, and the wilderness provides habitat for a variety of wildlife,
including the wood turtle—a Species of Special Concern in Michigan—and potential habitat for the threatened Canada lynx.
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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3 million acres and completed more than 5,200 park and conservation projects.