PORTAGE TOWNSHIP — The Pilgrim River corridor in Houghton County is a popular place for wildlife and recreationalists. But there was one problem, the land is privately owned so the future of this pristine location could never be guaranteed.
So, a few years ago, the Copper Country chapter of Trout Unlimited got in touch with the Keweenaw Land Trust to find a way to protect the area.
Executive Director of the Keweenaw Land Trust Evan McDonald said, “They had made improvements on the Pilgrim River corridor on private land. And, so they realized that they’re making investments, as well as their desire to continue fishing this
river, but the property is privately owned.”
A grant of $550.000 from the Forestry Legacy Program has been awarded to help acquire a conservation easement, so the property will stay privately owned but managed for public use.
An agreement between the Department of Natural Resources and the property owner means sustainable forestry management will continue, but the public will always be able to enjoy the area.
McDonald said, “This property is currently managed for forest, timber harvest, and allows for public access for hunting and fishing. With the program, that arrangement will become permanent.”
The Pilgrim River Watershed Project will protect nearly 1,300 acres along more than three miles of the Pilgrim River.