WHY IS THIS PRESERVE SIGNIFICANT?
The Two-Hearted River watershed is unique due to its diverse and high-quality terrestrial and aquatic systems.
A mature, unmanaged hardwood forest has several different types of trees with a range of size and age, the oldest reaching well over two feet in diameter and 150 or 200 years of age. The current forest is dominated primarily by one or two tree species, nearly all of which are less than 18 inches in diameter and less than 80-90 years old. With this lack of diversity in size, age and type of trees, the forest lacks important habitat attributes to support diverse plant and animal species.
TNC’s goal is to restore some of these older-forest characteristics to the property. Left alone, the forest will certainly continue to grow and eventually, after many decades, attain those characteristics. However, thinning the forest can increase the growth rate of remaining trees, so they attain larger sizes faster, and promote the regeneration of the uncommon trees to help improve diversity. Selling the harvested trees generates income for other conservation projects in the area and create jobs for the local economy.
WHAT CAN I SEE HERE?
With the two hearts, or branches of rivers, the Two Hearted River consists of sandy shorelines that make for great nature hikes and wildlife observation. A spot made famous by Ernest Hemingway, his story “Big Two-Hearted River” captures the essence of the area, telling the story of a man camping and fishing while reflecting on his life along the Michigan shores.