Mature maples in a sustainably managed forest in the Michigamme Highlands.


ARVON TOWNSHIP – Over 10,000  acres in Baraga County will be managed by a non-profit global conservation organization.

The Nature Conservancy said it purchased the tract of land know as the Slate River Timberlands near Mount Arvon from a private owner this fall.

The organization owns about 50,000 acres in Michigan, including 25,000 acres in Luce County and another 16 thousand acres near Craig Lake State Park in Baraga County.

Rich Bowman is the director of policy for The Nature Conservancy.. He said much of the land purchased by the non-profit is accessible to the public.

“The Two-Hearted reserve and the Wilderness Lake Preserve are in the commercial forest program, which means they are open to the public under the rules of C.F. (That) means they are open for people to go hunting and fishing. They are open to foot traffic,,” Bowman said “Slate River is going to be a little bit different in that when we acquired it from Allwood, about 8,000 of those 10,600 acres are subject to recreational leases.  So those areas that are people’s camps that are under recreational lease will continue to be theirs exclusively.”

About 1,600 acres of the conservancy’s land on the slate river will be accessible to the public, Bowman said.

But land access and conservation aren’t the only things that communities get from the non-profit.

“Obviously tax revenue is a real concern for local units of government,” Bowman said. “And on all of our forest reserves, because these are working forest lands where we intend to continue to harvest timber, we keep all of them on the tax rolls. So this property will remain on the tax rolls (and) continue to support local government and local schools. We’re just really excited to be new members of the Baraga County community, and be good neighbors..”

For more information on the Nature Conservancy, visit