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Michigan

Anne and Cameron Waterman Preserve at Mt. Benison


Located in the Michigamme Highlands area of the Upper Peninsula, the Anne and Cameron Waterman Preserve at Mount Benison features a series of granite knobs dominated by stunted white pine/red oak forest and one of the highest peaks in the area. In addition, the 1,381-acre preserve protects two Class I trout streams, including nearly ninety percent of the Mink Run watershed and the Cliff River. The Mink Run watershed contains several hundred acres of old-growth hemlock and white pine forests. The land is dominated by granite gorges and knobs, making it very rugged and difficult to travel. The property is home to several wildlife species such as otter, osprey, bald eagles, and numerous species of woodland warblers and thrushes. Its remoteness contributes to the viability of wide-ranging species such as wolves and moose.

Varied rock, soil and topography combinations, plus the remoteness of the Michigamme Highlands contributes to outstanding examples of northern hardwood forests, open pine-oak forests on bedrock knobs, and mature pine forests, many embedded with sites of concentrated biodiversity. Many rare plants are found on either cliffs or bedrock balds.

Access
This preserve is surrounded by private property and has no public access. For specific access information such as Conservancy staff-led field trips and research opportunities, please contact us at upmichigan@tnc.org.

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The Conservancy chose this site to protect the undeveloped and rugged wilderness. The Nature Conservancy would like to thank the Waterman sisters for making the purchase of the area possible. The four sisters with their parents regularly hiked the Mink Run area in their youth and created lasting ties to that area. The family wanted to ensure the area would be permanently protected.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
In 2011, the Conservancy added 160 acres of upland oak/maple forest with hemlock/northern hardwood forest in the lower areas. In 2013, we acquired an additional 300 acres of upland forests and we own all of Mount Benison.

The Central Lake Superior Land Conservancy has a perpetual Conservation Easement over the Waterman Preserve to help maintain the biological integrity of the land for wildlife and plant habitat and retain its natural features.

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