About Michigan

We are all connected: We are people whose hearts have been captivated by our state’s forest, water, and shoreline, and our history has been shaped and dominated by them. We belong to a state that provides breathtaking beauty, working lands that sustain us, and a rich culture defined by our relationship with the land and water.

Together, we are responsible for Michigan’s future. Together, we must protect our natural heritage, our quality of life, and ensure balance in our use of forest, water, and shoreline. Understanding the deep interconnection between the natural world, our economy, our culture, and our future in Michigan will help us leave a legacy for our children and their grandchildren.

Recent Highlights

In the last three years, The Nature Conservancy in Michigan has catapulted conservation action. Recent success stories include:

• Established the largest public/private conservation partnership in Michigan’s history in an initiative to protect 271,000 acres of forestland in the Upper Peninsula through working forest easement and acquisition.

• Enrolled the 2,217 acre Erie Marsh Preserve into the Detroit River Wildlife Refuge thereby doubling the Refuge in size.

• Enrolled more than 6,000 acres into conservation tillage in the Shiawassee River Watershed to help protect the warm water river system from agricultural run-off.

• Launched initiative to protect the integrity of the Paw Paw River Watershed through traditional acquisitions and innovative conservation buyer strategies.

• Led the Michigan Dune Alliance to prioritize key parcels for planning easements and acquisitions at the world’s largest freshwater dune system.

• Secured the single largest Natural Resources Trust Fund grant in its history, totaling $12.5 million to protect more than 11,000 acres, including 14 miles of shoreline, at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula with the State of Michigan.

Special Features of Michigan

The state of Michigan is a landscape of natural wonders. The last glacial epoch left an unparalleled legacy that defines Michigan: the Great Lakes, the largest freshwater system in the world. The glaciers reshaped the landscape to produce a stunning array of lakes, streams, and uplands, including our renowned sand dunes and spectacular shorelines.

Today, Michigan is covered by lakes, forests, wetlands, rivers, and grasslands as diverse and majestic as old-growth forests, jack-pine plains, kettle-lakes, groundwater-fed streams, peatlands, and stunted ridge-top forests reminiscent of alpine timberlines.

Within these places are species unique to or best exemplified in Michigan: dwarf lake iris hugging cool shorelines near the Straits of Mackinac, Kirtland’s Warblers in jack-pine plains, and Hungerford’s crawling water-beetle in cold stream riffles. Michigan is also graced with vast mosaics of forests, wetlands, 3,200 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, and 36,000 miles of rivers, which provide home to a wide range of species, including wolves, moose, migratory birds, and lake trout.


The Nature Conservancy in Michigan is committed to working with partners who share common conservation vision and values.  We have to, as our collective responsibility to achieve the protection of our natural legacy is profound. We cannot achieve this conservation vision alone—partners, communities, community leaders and other organizations will be essential. For many landscapes identified as conservation priorities, our partners are better positioned to carry conservation forward, and our best role may be to ensure that they have our support and the needed resources to take conservation action.


The Nature Conservancy in Michigan
Membership: 28,250
Volunteers: 350+
Land Protected: The Nature Conservancy will protect nearly 360,000 acres in Michigan by 2009 through purchase, partnerships and easements.
Preserves Owned: 35, totaling 45,887 acres throughout the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.

The Nature Conservancy around the globe
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• Founded in 1951.
• Works in all 50 states and more than 30 countries.
• Protected more than 117 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of river around the world.
• Operates more than 100 marine conservation projects in 21 countries and 22 US states.
• About 1 million members and supporters.
• More than 1,500 dedicated volunteers.

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