by Lia Biondo, MUCC Policy Intern
On the agenda for the December 11, 2014 Natural Resources Commission meeting are the land acquisition cases for two forty acre parcels, The Beatty Tract and The Castle Tract, located in the Pigeon River Country Forest Management Unit within Cheboygan County.
The Beatty Tract is located approximately 15 miles southeast of the city of Wolverine and includes features such as water frontage and abundant wildlife habitat. The property is adjacent to state-owned land on three sides, with the fourth side abutting private property, and is already accessible from an existing state forest road. The Upper Black River cuts through the property with an estimated 2,100 feet of water frontage and supports a healthy brook trout population. Surrounding the river are wooded coniferous lowlands and limited hardwood forest uplands which provide habitat for a variety of native Michigan species, including elk, bobcat and woodcock.
The Castle Tract is located approximately more than 15 miles southeast of the city of Wolverine and includes similar features of the Beatty Tract. The property is also adjacent to state-owned land on three sides and can be accessed through an existing state forest road. A tributary of the Upper Black River, Oxbow Creek, runs through the southerly portion of the tract and forms a seasonal pond in the southwest corner. Upland areas consist of pine, aspen, and oak wooded forests, while lowland areas are mainly comprised of coniferous forests. The portion of the parcel that fronts Oxbow Creek is mostly a conifer swamp, providing thermal cover and habitat for some wildlife species. This parcel supports Michigan elk, deer, grouse, bobcat and many more.
Both parcels contain improvements to the land, including houses and garages that will be removed once the sale is finalized, as outlined by the Pigeon River Revised Concept of Management. The Beatty Tract’s forty acres are offered at $231,000 while the Castle Tract’s forty acres are available for $158,000. The recommendation is for the purchase of these two parcels, with monies coming from the Land Exchange Facilitation Fund. Support for the two land acquisitions have already been shown by the Cheboygan Board of County Commissioners and the Forest Township supervisor. This purchase will further consolidate the Pigeon River Country Forest Management Unit, and is consistent with the DNR’s objectives of protecting elk corridors and stream habitat, providing recreational activities for people in keeping the wild character of the area, and managing forest resources in a sustainable manner for desired future conditions.
For more information on these land acquisition cases and others, check out the Natural Resource Commission’s agenda for their December 11th meeting by clicking HERE.