The Brockway Mountain summit, one of North America’s greatest hawk migration corridors and the location of some of Michigan’s most dramatic and picturesque vistas and unique plant communities, has been conserved for all the people of Michigan.
The acquisition of the summit of Brockway Mountain and surrounding 320 acres by Eagle Harbor Township in Keweenaw County was completed today.
The Brockway Mountain summit becomes part of the Keweenaw Coastal Wildlife Corridor (KCWC), which extends from Eagle Harbor to Copper Harbor near the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The KCWC stretches for 16 miles and protects roughly 4,500 acres of some of Michigan’s most pristine coastline and scenic beauty.
The corridor includes parts of Brockway Mountain and the entirety of the nearby Mount Baldy. Several protected areas within that corridor include: the Michigan Nature Association’s James H. Klipfel Memorial Nature Sanctuary, the Michigan Audubon’s Lake Bailey Wildlife Sanctuary and their Brockway Mountain Drive Wildlife Sanctuary and The Nature Conservancy’s Helmut and Candis Stern Nature Preserve at Mount Baldy.
“This is a fabulous addition to the Keweenaw wildlife corridor,” said Jeff Knoop, The Nature Conservancy’s director of land protection in the Upper Peninsula. “The Nature Conservancy has worked diligently over the past 12 years to afford protection to more than 10,000 acres in the Keweenaw Peninsula. The protection of the Brockway Mountain summit ‘tops’ these efforts off. All of these lands are open to the general public and provide open access for a multitude of passive recreational endeavors for today’s visitors and future generations alike to savor the exotic beauty of the Keweenaw Peninsula.”
A coalition of partners joined forces and worked with Eagle Harbor Township and the conservation-minded private landowner to protect Brockway Mountain for public enjoyment in perpetuity. In a successful two-year fundraising effort, Copper Country Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District and the Keweenaw Land Trust were able to raise the necessary funds to acquire the privately-owned parcel.
Through the leadership of Eagle Harbor Township, a grant in the amount of $498,000 was secured through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. Generous donations from many local and state partner members, private foundations and others contributed the mandatory 25 percent cash match of approximately $180,000 in order to receive the Trust Fund monies and complete the acquisition.
No tax money was used for the purchase. The Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources’ Trust Fund’s money comes from oil and natural gas leases and royalties on state lands. By voter approval of Proposal B in 1984, these proceeds were designated for recreation lands for the people of Michigan.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.