Rebirth of the Pigeon River: A Conservation Story about Reconnecting Native Ecosystems Through Dam Removal and Invasive Species Management

The Pigeon River is a world-class stream: its clean, icy flows support a thriving coldwater ecosystem that includes brook trout, brown trout and steelhead. It is a designated Natural River and an all-around classic example of what a northern Michigan river should be. The surrounding forests are home to Michigan's elk herd along with countless other wildlife; recreationists and hunters from near and far tell stories of generations-deep connections to the area. No other site has divided the Pigeon River system like the Song of the Morning Dam. Huron Pines has collaborated with the private landowner, Department of Natural Resources, and numerous conservation partners and supporters to remove the dam and enhance wildlife habitat in the surrounding Pigeon River Country State Forest by removing invasive species and restoring native grasslands and forests. Now, the Pigeon River is finally flowing free for the first time in over 100 years! Staff from Huron Pines will tell the story of the dam removal process, partner collaboration and long-term restoration activities, including invasive species monitoring and removal, to ensure a healthy and well-connected ecosystem.

Subject Matter Level: 
Friday, January 15, 2016 - 2:35pm to 3:35pm
Lisha Ramsdell
Huron Pines
Lisha Ramsdell is the Program Director for Huron Pines, a conservation organization dedicated to protecting the Great Lakes by conserving the forests, lakes and streams of Northeast Michigan. For over 14 years Ms. Ramsdell has been meeting natural resource challenges by developing innovative partnerships and implementing large-scale habitat improvement projects such as the Song of the Morning Dam Removal.
Jennifer Muladore
Huron Pines
Jennifer Muladore is the ecologist and communications manager for Huron Pines, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization based in Gaylord, MI. Jennifer has been with Huron Pines for 8 years and currently coordinates the Northeast Michigan Cooperative Weed Management Area. She is a certified Forest Stewardship Plan writer and works with landowners on projects that protect land and water resources in the Upper Great Lakes while meeting individual goals. She has a Masters in Conservation Biology from the University of Michigan and experience in managing projects involving shoreline stewardship, land stewardship, watershed management, native plants, and invasive species.