Michigan: Our Land, Our Water, Our Heritage

It's hard to imagine how Michigan was once covered with vast, unbroken forests of pine and hemlock mixed with birch and poplar and oak savannahs as far as the eye could see. Yet in the process of settling in the state and exploiting its natural resources we have drained wetlands, dammed rivers, and cut all but a few remnants of the virgin forests.The fact that we are able to enjoy our state today depends on the work of The Nature Conservancy and the various land conservancies and agencies with which it collaborates. The essays in this book illustrate the range of ecosystems that The Nature Conservancy has protected and offer compelling stories. Included are essays by nine acclaimed local authors, numerous quotes from leading figures in Michigan, and hundreds of full-color photos by well-known Michigan photographers of the land, water, and shorelines of the Great Lakes state.It features contributions from: Stephanie Mills, on the story of a Great Lakes coastal marsh on the Keweenaw Peninsula; Howard Myerson, on the Coolbough Natural Are in Newaygo County and the use of fire to restore prairie and savannah habitat; Anne-Marie Domen, who discusses efforts to preserve the quality of the Shiawassee River; Janet Kaufman, focusing on the Erie Marsh Preserve, place that serves as critical flyway for migratory birds; Jerry Dennis, talking about the dunes at Point Betsie and how they are under siege from invasive plant species; Jack Driscoll, who writes about fly fishing along the Two Hearted RiverElizabeth Kostova, on the pleasures of discovering Les Cheneaux and the northern Lake Huron shoreline; Alison Swan, who introduces the mysteries of a prairie and prairie fen in the watershed of the Paw Paw River to her daughter; and, Keith Taylor, visiting the woods in Sharon Hollow for its good birding and its sense of solitude and refuge.