The Nature Conservancy transfers Silver Mountain to U.S. Forest Service

TNC purchased the property, which will become part of the Ottawa National Forest, in 2019

A vast forest in autumn. The leaves on the trees range from deep green to to orange to bright red.
Silver Mountain View of the Sturgeon River Gorge from the top of Silver Mountain. © U.S Forest Service

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The Nature Conservancy in Michigan (TNC) today announced it is transferring ownership of a 160-acre parcel on Silver Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, to the United States Forest Service (USFS). TNC purchased the property in 2019 ensuring the largest and best example in the state of a volcanic vent plug will be protected for conservation and recreation for generations to come.

Silver Mountain includes part of Silver River, which is an important cold-water tributary to the Sturgeon River and provides critical habitat for a self-sustaining population of brook trout. Rare plants have historically been found along the rock outcrops that may provide potential habitat for plant re-introduction. A portion of the land includes a section of a scenic rocky cliff and is known hibernaculum for the threatened northern long-eared bat.

“Unique landscapes like Silver Mountain still exist, and it’s important to protect them now for future generations of wildlife and people,” said Helen Taylor, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Michigan. “Years from now, people will still enjoy Silver Mountain and fish will still swim in the stream because of our partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.”

Quote: Helen Taylor

Years from now, people will still enjoy Silver Mountain and fish will still swim in the stream because of our partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.

State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Michigan

TNC purchased the property in 2019 on behalf of the USFS and held the property until it secured the funding to add Silver Mountain to the Ottawa National Forest. The property is located near approximately 6,000 acres that TNC helped the USFS acquire and add to the Ottawa National Forest in 1976 and 1977. 

Silver Mountain is within one-eighth of a mile from the North Country Trail and is a popular area for hiking, rock climbing, fishing and camping. The land also provides an additional opportunity for targeted conifer forest management since it is connected to other federally owned forest land.

“Silver Mountain is a cornerstone of outdoor recreation in the Upper Peninsula that is beloved by local residents and visitors alike,” said Darla Lenz, Forest Supervisor of the Ottawa National Forest. “The Nature Conservancy has proven to be a great ally for nature and people in Michigan and across the country and we’re pleased to partner with them once again to help preserve land that is critical for both nature and people.”

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.