Nature Conservancy Expands North Bay Preserve
Acquisition protects water quality and increases recreational opportunities.
STURGEON BAY, Wis. | January 31, 2013
The Nature Conservancy announced today that it has added another 40 acres of land to the North Bay Preserve in Door County. The acquisition conserves forested wetlands, protects water quality and provides additional access for walking, wildlife-watching, hunting, cross-country skiing and other outdoor activities.
“North Bay is one of several natural areas in Door County where the Conservancy is protecting lands and waters that sustain native plants and wildlife and attract thousands of visitors each year to enjoy the outdoors,” said Mary Jean Huston, Nature Conservancy director in Wisconsin. “This acquisition is particularly significant because it protects water quality in nearby streams, wetlands and underground aquifers.”
The new property is mainly low, wet forest dominated by cedar and some birch. It helps absorb water and replenish a wetland that provides breeding habitat for the Hine’s emerald dragonfly, a species that is endangered in Wisconsin and nationally.
Thought to be extinct since the 1950s, an adult Hine’s emerald dragonfly was discovered at The Nature Conservancy’s Mink River Preserve in Door County in 1987. The Conservancy is protecting groundwater recharge areas important to the dragonfly’s larvae, which may be the key to the species’ survival.
North Bay is an important spawning area for Lake Michigan whitefish, and the small streams that empty into the bay are home to northern pike, yellow perch, smallmouth bass and other fish. Bald eagles, osprey, buffleheads and many other songbirds and waterfowl use the North Bay area for nesting, feeding and resting during migration.
North Bay Preserve is part of an effort by multiple private and public partners to conserve about 13,000 acres along Lake Michigan from Toft Point to Three Springs Preserve. This outstanding landscape represents one of the best remaining opportunities to protect a nearly contiguous mosaic of open wetlands, streams, small lakes and conifer-dominated forest along the peninsula’s Lake Michigan coast.
The Conservancy has applied for grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program and Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program to help fund the acquisition at North Bay.
You can find more information about the Conservancy’s work in Door County in the Places We Protect section of our website.
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.