Open to the Public
Why is this preserve significant?
Located in the Michigamme Highlands area of the Upper Peninsula, the Anne and Cameron Waterman Preserve at Mount Benison features one of the highest peaks in the area at more than 1,500 feet. The landscape is dominated by granite gorges and knobs, covered by outstanding examples of northern hardwood and pine-oak forests. The 1,381-acre preserve protects two Class I trout streams, including nearly ninety percent of the Mink Run watershed and the Cliff River. Several wildlife species such as otter, osprey, bald eagles and numerous species of woodland warblers and thrushes call the Waterman Preserve home. Its remoteness contributes to the viability of wide-ranging species such as wolves and moose. Many rare plants are found on either cliffs or bedrock balds.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
In 2011, the Conservancy added 160 acres of upland oak/maple forest with hemlock/northern hardwood forest in the lower areas. In 2013, we acquired an additional 300 acres of upland forests and we own all of Mount Benison. The Central Lake Superior Land Conservancy has a perpetual Conservation Easement over the Waterman Preserve to help maintain the biological integrity of the land for wildlife and plant habitat and retain its natural features.
The Nature Conservancy would like to thank the Waterman sisters for making the purchase of the area possible. The four sisters with their parents regularly hiked the Mink Run area in their youth and created lasting ties to that area. The family wanted to ensure the area would be permanently protected.
The Waterman preserve is rugged and remote, and is surrounded by private property, making it difficult to access and explore. For this reason, we recommend people interested in visiting join one of our staff-led field trips every spring and fall. Watch nature.org/mievents for specific dates and times.