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Identifying Recoverable, Fire-Dependent Systems in The Huron Manistee National Forest (Remote)
20 November 2023 at 7:00 pm
Jesse M. Lincoln, Conservation Scientist at Michigan Natural Features Inventory
While we were growing up, many of us were told that Michigan was just an extensive forest and that a squirrel could run from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron without touching the ground. But Michigan was historically home to a myriad of fire-adapted natural communities, and many were open grasslands and featured species more typically found in the prairies of the Great Plaines. Our prairie and savanna systems that once covered over 1 million acres in southern Michigan have declined by over 99%. Consequently, many plants and animals that relied on these habitats are also in serious decline. To help expand conservation efforts aimed at recovering these fire-adapted community types, MNFI partnered with the US Forest Service and the Michigan DNR to identify the best remaining examples in the Cadillac District of the Huron-Manistee National Forest. This talk with cover the methodology for identifying important conservation targets, show some of the surprising highlights, and discuss potential management approaches and prioritization of the identified areas.
Jesse has spent 13 seasons as an ecologist at MNFI. The work takes him all over the state to some of our most unique and intact natural places. It is a perspective not always available to most people and he enjoys sharing images and lessons learned from our wild places.
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