Huron-Manistee National Forest
With thousands of lakes and miles of sparking rivers and streams, the Huron-Manistee National Forests epitomize the splendid beauty of the Great Lakes region. Their combined 981,052 acres stretch across Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula, from the Manistee’s 140-foot high wilderness dunes, through rolling hills and thick hardwood and pine forests of the Huron.
These forests are known for their many bird species, including shorebirds, gulls, eagles, hawks, and loons. The Au Saber River Valley is home to a rare jack pine ecosystem, important habitat for the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler.
What We Are Doing
The Kirtland’s Warbler is a rare songbird that nests in very few places on Earth, including just a few areas in Michigan. This small, colorful, and endangered bird nests on the ground under the living branches of small jack pine trees. A pair of these birds requires at least 8 acres of young jack pine forest to nest but usually needs 30 to 40 acres to raise a nest of young. Natural regeneration, however, has not been successful.
We are planting plant more than 93,000 jack pine seedlings in the Huron and Manistee National Forests to create critical breeding habitat for the Kirtland’s Warbler, ensuring longevity of this beautiful bird species.