TNC’s Keweenaw Heartlands Project Holding Community Open House to Introduce New Project Manager

Everyone is welcome to meet and greet Julia Petersen at Eagle Harbor Township Hall on May 18.

A green forest and fresh water in the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan on a sunny day.
Keweenaw Heartlands The remote Keweenaw Peninsula features ancient volcanic rocks, cascading streams, scenic Lake Superior coastlines and lush forests. © Devin Leonarduzzi/Quincy Aerial, LLC

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The Nature Conservancy in Michigan (TNC) invites the public to meet Julia Petersen, the organization's newest staff member in the Keweenaw Peninsula. She will be attending a community meet and greet at the Eagle Harbor Township Hall, 321 Center St., Eagle Harbor, on May 18 from 3 – 4 p.m. Petersen, who is managing the Keweenaw Heartlands project, started at TNC on May 8.

“It’s been an exciting first week on the job at The Nature Conservancy in Michigan and I’m thrilled to meet with community members on May 18,” Petersen said. “The Keweenaw Peninsula is such a special place for both people and nature, and I am eager to work with elected officials, tribal leaders, residents and everyone who cares about the Keweenaw to help deliver on our region’s vision for the Keweenaw Heartlands.”

Quote: Julia Petersen

It’s been an exciting first week on the job at The Nature Conservancy in Michigan and I’m thrilled to meet with community members on May 18.

Project Manager, Keweenaw Heartlands

Petersen and her family reside in Atlantic Mine and have called the Keweenaw Peninsula home for nearly three years. She is currently finishing her PhD in Environmental and Energy Policy at Michigan Technological University.

TNC also recently hired Savannah Obert-Pfeiffer as restoration associate. Obert-Pfeiffer is likely a familiar face to many residents on the peninsula after working as a preserve specialist at our three preserves in the Keweenaw Peninsula last summer. She recently graduated from Michigan Technological University with a degree in Sustainability Science and Society.

In her new role, she will assisting with the Keweenaw Heartlands inventory and will also work on TNC’s three preserves in the area: The Helmut and Candis Stern Preserve at Mt. Baldy, Bete Grise Wetlands Preserve and Mary Macdonald Preserve at Horseshoe Harbor.

“Julia Petersen and Savannah Obert-Pfeiffer are wonderful additions to our team and truly have a passion for the Keweenaw Heartlands and the Upper Peninsula,” said Helen Taylor, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Michigan. “We’ve really hit the ground running this spring with an inventory of the Keweenaw Heartlands and I have no doubt Julia and Savannah will be invaluable as we work hand-in-hand with the community on thoughtfully designed conservation for the unique landscapes of the Keweenaw Peninsula.”

In April, TNC began to inventory the many significant aspects of the Keweenaw Heartlands. Phase one of the inventory, which will take much of this year, will include biological, cultural, historic, forest and carbon, and infrastructure assessments of the property. In the end, the inventory will help inform the future management, protection, and use of resources on the land and guide future recreational opportunities, sustainable forestry, and infrastructure needs.

Members of the public are encouraged to contribute to the inventory by filling out this online form.

TNC purchased the more than 32,000 acres of land known as the Keweenaw Heartlands last year. The land will remain open to the public under the Michigan Commercial Forest Program and on community tax rolls. The area is recognized by TNC as a global priority for both biodiversity and climate resiliency, and an opportunity to protect an extraordinary region.  

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.