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E-M:/ DNR Partners with Nature Conservancy in the Purchase of Cheboygan Area Shoreline



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Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2005	

Contact: Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014				

DNR Partners with Nature Conservancy
in the Purchase of Cheboygan Area Shoreline

Department of Natural Resources Director Rebecca Humphries today approved the purchase of 11.2 acres and 712 feet of Lake Huron shoreline in Cheboygan County in partnership with the Michigan chapter of The Nature Conservancy. This land is located directly west of The Nature Conservancy's existing Grass Bay Preserve and near Cheboygan State Park.

"We will work with The Nature Conservancy to protect one of the few high quality natural areas that remains undeveloped along this area of the Lake Huron shoreline," said Humphries. "The Nature Conservancy will be owners of the land, but the DNR will be a cooperator on managing the land for piping plovers and other critical species."

The tract, know as the Farley Tract, provides habitat for three federally listed plant species -- Pitcher's thistle, dwarf lake iris and Houghton's goldenrod -- as well as two federally listed bird species, the piping plover and bald eagle. The piping plover is a small shorebird that nests in the summer along tracts of beach in northern Michigan. The tract also contains state-listed endangered species, including the Lake Huron tansy and Lake Huron locust. 

The Farley Tract purchase, which will cost approximately $629,000, will be funded through a grant that the DNR received from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2003, the DNR received this grant in the amount of $790,000 through funds made available by the Endangered Species Act. The purpose of this grant is to purchase lands that will protect the piping plover.	
 	
The acquisition increases the Grass Bay Preserve to a total of 761 acres, with 11,412 feet of protected Lake Huron shoreline. 

"This private-public partnership will help us manage critical habitat for endangered plants and wildlife without increasing the state's financial obligation," Humphries said. "This is a great example of our state joining with conservation organizations to provide long-term conservation strategies for key habitats."

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.

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