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Empire Township, Michigan

3.11 Acres | December 23, 2003
Joyce and Thomas Janicki
Conservation Easement

With a stream flowing from woods into a meadow, the 3.11-acre property in Leelanau County, Michigan, donated to the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust by Joyce and Thomas Janicki, offers a small but important gem for wildlife. A peninsula county, Leelanau is bounded by Lake Michigan on the west and by Grand Traverse Bay on the east, making the area a haven for birds and other wildlife.

Many species are drawn to the stream on the property, and the wetland area harbors numerous turtles, frogs, and dragonflies. Ruffed grouse and wild turkeys have been seen in the woods, as well as white-tailed deer and raccoons, and the meadow attracts several species of butterfly.

The Janickis sought the HSWLT’s help in ensuring that their sanctuary would forever remain completely undeveloped and protected. They were drawn to HSWLT in particular for the promise of prohibiting commercial and recreational hunting and trapping on the property.

The original owners plan to continue removing invasive plant species under HSWLT’s supervision, replacing them with native species. Such habitat restoration efforts are particularly helpful where open space is rapidly disappearing, as native vegetation makes those remaining natural areas more useful to local wildlife.

While HSWLT will, of course, keep its promise to forever protect this property, HSWLT has, unfortunately, found that it cannot afford to take on the permanent protection obligations for any more properties of this size. The expenses of stewardship have made such donations too costly to maintain.

Heron Close-up

The statuesque heron is a handsome and distinctive bird, with a six-foot wing-span and signature blue-gray feathers.

 

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