Prickett Lake Land Protected
With the recent protection of 376 acres of land, a total of 1,269 acres has been protected surrounding Prickett Lake and added to the Ottawa National Forest, The Trust for Public Land and U.S. Forest Service announced today. The property is immediately adjacent to the iconic Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness.
The $640,000 cost of the project was met through federal funding provided by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) over two fiscal years. LWCF is the federal government’s main source of money for protecting land and is funded through royalties paid by energy companies for offshore gas and oil drilling.
“This beautiful and pristine area of Michigan is a recreational paradise for all to enjoy,” said Shaun Hamilton, director of the Northwoods Initiative for The Trust for Public Land. “We have been working for years in the Ottawa and Hiawatha National Forests to keep the forests intact, protect the watersheds, and to protect critical recreational, fishing, and hunting lands for the public.”
U.S. Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) are strong supporters of LWCF and support the efforts to protect the property.
“I strongly support this project, which will create a connected wildlife corridor through the Sturgeon River watershed and permanently protect sections of the North Country National Scenic Trail, the nation’s longest national scenic trail,” said Sen. Levin. “We are stewards of Michigan’s unique and precious natural areas, and preserving them for future generations is among our highest responsibilities.”
The Forest Service said protection of the land was a priority because it was an inholding, which means it had been privately-owned land within the federally protected area. The North County Scenic Trail also runs through a portion of the property.
“Areas such as Prickett Lake play such an important role in our ecosystems, communities, and hearts,” said Anthony Scardina, Forest Supervisor, Ottawa National Forest. “The opportunity for the Forest Service to work with our Michigan congressional delegation and partners such as The Trust for Public Land to preserve this area is an honor. Not only does this acquisition preserve over 350 acres of land surrounding Prickett Lake, but it is also helping to preserve wildlife habitat and recreational values in the adjacent Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness.”
Both upstream and downstream of Prickett Lake are designated sections of the Wild and Scenic Sturgeon River, which flows directly into Lake Superior. The Prickett Lake property is upstream to one of the last remaining productive spawning areas for state threatened lake sturgeon in the entire Lake Superior Watershed. Protecting the wild beauty and scenic quality of the lake are important to local residents.
“These lands have been enjoyed by hunters, fishermen, campers and other outdoor enthusiasts for generations and this acquisition will ensure their public use forever,” said Nancy Warren, local resident from Ewen.
For the next and final phase of the protection effort around Prickett Lake, the Forest Service is seeking $300,000 in LWCF money to complete the project.
The Trust for Public Land is a leading national land conservation which protects land for people. The Trust for Public Land is the leader in creating parks and playgrounds in cities across the country. Since it was founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land has completed more than 5,200 conservation projects, protecting more than 3 million acres in 47 states.