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E-M:/ Northern Forest - April Thumb Habitats

The April Thumb Habitats article in The Lakeshore Guardian features northern forest habitat in the Thumb and a general description of the transition zone in the lower peninsula.

"A common myth is that before the lumberjacks went to work, all of Michigan was covered by a vast pine forest. While this was true of large parts of northern Michigan, the southern half of the lower peninsula was mostly a broad-leaved hardwood forest dominated by oak, hickory, maple, and beech. American Chestnut and American Elm were also a major part of the forest canopy in southeast Michigan before diseases from Asia and Europe hit in the early 1900s. Often called oak-hickory forest, because of their dominance in the canopy, this broad-leaved forest extended from southern Michigan down through the southeastern United States, being the northern fringe of what is called the central hardwoods."

"Very pronounced northern forest habitat is concentrated in the Port Huron area, west through the Wadhams and Ruby area, and south as far down as the City of Saint Clair. It is easily recognized while driving toward Port Huron on I-94 or I-69 by the sudden appearance of Paper Birch and Eastern White Pine, giving the Blue Water Area its "vacation land" feel. Northern forest extends up through Sanilac and Huron Counties mostly along the Lake Huron shoreline where Northern White-cedar is very prolific. Yellow Birch and Eastern Hemlock become more abundant in ravines and along glacial beach ridges. Driving up M-25 often feels as though it is out of place, like it should be a few hundred miles further north. Northern forest is also scattered across the sandier parts of Tuscola County, where Saginaw Bay once extended inland."

Northern Forest
A Piece of "Up-North" in the Thumb
Bertha Daubendiek - A Rare Western Disjunct in Michigan
Part 2 - The Michigan Nature Association
March 2004
(Bertha Daubendiek, the founder of the MNA)
The Michigan Nature Association
To Everything, Tern, Tern, Tern. There is a Season, Tern, Tern, Tern.
February 2004
(a brief history of the MNA)
Building on a Lakeshore Legacy
Part 2 - Ancient Beaches of Lake Huron
January 2004
(two developments in Fort Gratiot Township preserving part of the glacial beach ridge and swale habitat)
Ancient Beaches of Lake Huron
December 2003
(ancient glacial beach ridge and swale habitat along Lake Huron)

Bill Collins
Huron Ecologic, LLC
3335 Crooks Road
Rochester Hills, Michigan 48309 USA
phone & fax: 248-852-4682
e-mail: huronecologic@netzero.net
Huron Ecologic provides wetland delineations, wetland permitting, wetland mitigation design & monitoring, tree inventories, botanical & ecological surveys, natural area protection, nature education, and technical training.