Nature Conservancy Expands Three Door County Preserves

Acquisitions protect wildlife habitat and expand recreation opportunities

STURGEON BAY, WI | September 18, 2013

The Nature Conservancy announced today that it has protected more than 122 acres of land at its North Bay, Mink River and Shivering Sands preserves in Door County. The acquisitions will expand recreation opportunities at the preserves and help protect water quality and habitat for rare species and wildlife.

“We’re very pleased we were able to work with landowners in Door County to add these lands to our preserves,” said Mary Jean Huston, Nature Conservancy director in Wisconsin. “These natural areas and others in the county sustain our native plants and wildlife and attract thousands of visitors each year to enjoy the outdoors.”

The 40-acre parcel of land at North Bay Preserve fronts on the north shore of the bay and provides important habitat for the Hine’s emerald dragonfly, an endangered species that has its largest populations in Door County.

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.

The 65.42-acre parcel of land at Mink River Preserve includes almost 2,000 feet of shoreline on the river; the river provides critical spawning, nursery and foraging habitat for several Great Lakes fish species. The forests and wetlands at the preserve protect water quality in underground aquifers and provide habitat for more than 200 bird species.

The Conservancy added another 17 acres of land to the Shivering Sands Preserve, expanding it to more than 600 acres. The acquisition conserves high quality Lake Michigan coastal conifer forest and white cedar swamps, and is potential habitat for rare plants like the dwarf lake iris.

“This acquisition is particularly significant because the forest cover on this property lies close enough to the shore of Lake Michigan to provide a safe resting and feeding harbor for those birds that migrate north and south over the open waters of the lake in the spring and fall,” said Mike Grimm, Conservancy conservation ecologist.

Apart from the abundance of plants and wildlife they support, the Conservancy preserves also provide a variety of recreational opportunities including hiking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, wildlife watching and photography.

The Conservancy has applied for grants from Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and anticipates receiving funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program to purchase these lands.

You can find more information about the Conservancy’s work in Door County in the Places We Protect section.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Chris Anderson


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