A nonprofit global conservation organization announced this week it purchased more than 10,000 acres of Upper Peninsula forest lands that it aims to protect while also continuing to manage.
The land, which is known as the Slate River Timberlands in the Michigamme Highlands area, is home to towering hemlock trees and free-flowing rivers.
It was owned, the nonprofit said, by the same family for nearly 60 years.
"Opportunities to conserve such large areas of intact, mature forest lands don’t come along every day," said Helen Taylor, the Nature Conservancy's Michigan director. "Our science has identified this area as some of the most resilient land in Michigan, meaning it can sustain natural diversity in the face of a changing climate."
The Arlington County, Virginia-based organization added that its vision is to "conserve and protect the beautiful woods and waters, while continuing the careful management of forest resources."
The timberland, the group claims, is among the quality native forests left in the state.
Preserving forests, some argue, is helping to preserve the planet.
Pacific Standard, an online environmental justice magazine, reported that "forests are vital for mitigating climate change, maintaining water supplies, safeguarding biodiversity, and even protecting human health."
The recent purchase protects several streams flowing directly to Lake Superior, including almost 4 miles of the Slate River with cascades, waterfalls and an extraordinary gorge as well as 3 miles of the Ravine River.
The property’s proximity to other protected lands, including Craig Lake State Park, the McCormick Wilderness and the Nature Conservancy's Wilderness Lakes Reserve, adds to large stretches of habitat that moose and deer need to thrive.
"The forest is beautiful, full of classic mature native species of trees, thoughtfully managed with care over generations," said Emily Clegg, the group's forest conservation manager. "Our goal is to continue that management as it benefits wildlife, supports the local timber economy and helps the forest remain healthy despite the stressors of a changing climate."
Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan's Slate River Timberlands to sold to nonprofit group