775 Acres on Black River Protected (MI)

GOGEBIC COUNTY, MI, 12/27/01 — The Trust for Public Land announced today the protection of 775 acres of land along 1.5 miles of the Black River and its tributaries in Gogebic County in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The property was acquired with an $832,600 appropriation from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. This project is part of the TPL’s Northwoods Initiative, a tri-state program focused on protecting significant and endangered lands in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Funds from the TPL’s Northwoods Land Protection Fund were used to secure and hold the property while federal funds were appropriated.

The Black River, designated a scenic river under the National Wild and Scenic River Act, is located on the western edge of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, flowing northward into Lake Superior’s Black River Harbor. Formerly owned by U.S. Steel LCC, this section of the Black River corridor offers a wide array of outdoor activities including limited canoeing, camping, hiking, fishing and boating. The North Country National Scenic Trail crosses the property and the Black River National Scenic Byway parallels the Black River.

“The natural lands of the Upper Peninsula are an economic benefit to the entire region,” notes Shaun Hamilton, Senior Project Manager for the Trust for Public Land. “Through our Northwoods Initiative, we can provide landowners with conservation alternatives while helping communities protect key lands for public use.”

This property features over 1.5 miles of Black River frontage, including Chippewa Falls, the first in a series of seven waterfalls, and approximately 1.5 miles of Black River tributaries including Kirby, Greys and Whelp Creeks. In this realm of upland terrain, valleys and rivers, the river frontage is predominantly lined with hardwoods, hemlock and cedar timber; all providing excellent wildlife and fisheries habitat including quality trout streams and travel corridors for the native timber wolf population.

“Adding this portion of the Black River to the Forest helps to protect the natural character of the landscape while increasing the recreational opportunities for the public in the Forest,” notes Randy Charles, Acting Ottawa National Forest Supervisor. “Without TPL’s participation, the public may have been limited from visiting the magnificent falls in this area.”

“U. S. Steel is pleased that TPL was able to facilitate the acquisition of this tract of land ensuring that this stretch of the Black River will be open and available for the public to enjoy for many generations to come,” said Dennis Hendricks, Regional Manager — North, for US Steel Real Estate.

Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for public use and enjoyment. Nationwide, TPL has helped conserve more than a million acres valued at more than $2 billion. As part of the Northwoods Initiative, TPL assists communities of Northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in planning for and managing the increasing growth affecting this region through conservation. The Northwoods Land Protection Fund is a revolving capital fund dedicated to providing interim funds for land protection efforts in the Northwoods.