Why TNC Selected This Site
The Sand Lake/Seven Beavers area is a vast, virtually unfragmented ecosystem challenged by a mixed ownership. This mixture of ownership offers the Conservancy an excellent opportunity to work with partners to coordinate forest management and conservation, protecting a substantial portion of the region's remaining lowland conifer forest.
The Conservancy's property is essentially the only private property in the core of the area. The Sand Lake/Seven Beavers site also contains other protected and managed lands, including a state Scientific & Natural Area, U.S. Forest Service National Forest lands, state forest lands, and forests managed by St. Louis County and Lake County Land Departments. The Conservancy is actively working with these landowners in order to develop a collaborative approach to forest management and conservation in the Sand Lake/Seven Beavers area. The collaborative team recently completed an ecosystem analysis to prioritize restoration needs. The Conservancy is contracting with Blandin Paper Company for forest management planning and ecological classification services. The Conservancy will retain Sand Lake/Seven Beavers as private property and continue its tradition of local recreational use.
What TNC Has Done/Is Doing
The Sand Lake/Seven Beavers area harbors one of the state's largest areas of lowland conifers and associated habitat. Rare plants such as Michaux's sedge, and sensitive aquatic communities such as the Sand Lake peatlands are among the highlights of this landscape. A unique feature of these acres is their position at the headwaters of the St. Louis River. According to ecologists, the undisturbed quality of the wetland habitats here elevates their importance to native species and ecosystems in the Arrowhead and Great Lakes. In addition, the lowland conifer ecosystem, with large unfragmented wetlands and numerous rare plant species, is unusual within the Superior Mixed Forest ecoregion and Great Lakes.