Mackinaw State Forest
5,500 acres. Located in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula
Within Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula is the Mackinaw State Forest, approximately 5,500 acres of scenery that natives describe as a "four-season paradise." The forest has experienced a resurgence of growth since the early 20th century, when it lay fallow after being stripped of red and white pines by early loggers.
This land provides a rich habitat for songbirds, elk, deer and waterfowl. In addition to the second-growth trees found in the Mackinaw are jack pines, a tree known for its vital role in the life of an endangered species. The Kirtland warbler nests only in a few Michigan counties, in Wisconsin, and in Ontario. The bird conceals its nests in mixed grasses and shrubs directly beneath the lowest branches of young jack pine trees between 5 and 20 years of age.
The Need for Trees
The bird, one of some 200 neo-tropical migratory species that winter in the tropics before breeding and nesting in North America, has a unique preference for the jack pine. This tree species is not long-lived, it lives only 60 to 65 years.
What We Are Doing
By assisting the state of Michigan in replanting 250,000 young jack pines on 170 acres in Presque Isle County, we will ensure a spring home for these nesting creatures - and an enduring source of beauty for the people who visit.