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Nature Conservancy of Michigan to preserve 31,000+ acres in Keweenaw Peninsula

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Nature Conservancy /
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Nature Conservancy acquires 31,000+ forested acres in the U.P. to preserve for wildlife and humans

More than 31,000 acres of heavily forested land in the Upper Peninsula is being sold to a conservation group.

The land is located at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Helen Taylor is state director for the Nature Conservancy of Michigan.

"It's an unfragmented wilderness that's one of the most climate resilient in the northern woods," Taylor said. "We're ensuring it remains in place for both people and nature, not just the bears and the bobcats and the wolves in the woods, it's the steelheads and the brook trout in the rivers and streams, and it's also tens of thousands of migratory raptors and songbirds who migrate over the tip of the Keweenaw every year."

Taylor said the land is also vital to the local economy, as well as thousands of outdoor enthusiasts, who already rely on the area's miles of trails through the land.

Taylor said most of the acreage has already been purchased, using a loan from the global Nature Conservancy, for more than $27 million.

She said fundraising is underway to raise money to repay the loan.

Tracy Samilton covers the auto beat for Michigan Radio. She has worked for the station for 12 years, and started out as an intern before becoming a part-time and, later, a full-time reporter. Tracy's reports on the auto industry can frequently be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as on Michigan Radio. She considers her coverage of the landmark lawsuit against the University of Michigan for its use of affirmative action a highlight of her reporting career.