Hiawatha National Forest
879,000 acres. Central and eastern portion of Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Situated among three of the Great Lakes, the Hiawatha National Forest's winter activities are just as appealing as its summer attractions. It boasts six lighthouses, hundreds of inland lakes, and rare birds like the piping plover. Replanted with a variety of pines and hardwoods during the Great Depression, the land has returned to a thriving wilderness.
The Need for Trees
The endangered Kirtland's warbler nests in only a scant number of northern sites like Michigan. The multicolored bird builds its nest on soil beneath young jack pine trees, a short-lived species. This tree requires loamy soil and much sun. A primary adversary is the jack pine budworm, a needle-feeding caterpillar that feeds on male trees' pollen, then their young needles. In several regions, the serious budworm infestation requires full planting of jack pines to sustain the Kirtland's warbler habitat.
What We Are Doing
Reforesting the Sault Ste. Marie, Rapid River, and Manistique districts with a total of 1,190,000 jack pine trees will replace both aging jack pines and those lost to the jack pine budworm. As it creates habitat for the Kirtland's warbler, it will also help safeguard creatures like the snowshoe hare and upland sandpiper as well as a number of protected prairie plants.