Hunting & Fishing
With tens of thousands of wild, undeveloped acres at our fingertips, there is plenty of room for both hunters and anglers to roam in search of their quarry. Keweenaw County's dense upland forests and wet lowlands support strong populations of species with hunting seasons, from bear to deer to grouse and more. Our streams and rivers are largely untouched for nearly their entire length, allowing anglers the chance to soak in the outdoors unimpeded. Clean water and robust habitats make for healthier fish and game, a win in anyone's book. While not everyone will land a big one or take home a trophy buck, it's rare that you'll run into another soul in the woods during your hunt - and rarer still that you'll encounter a property boundary, road, or sign of development.
Or at least that's the hope. A large portion of Keweenaw County is owned by absentee investment firms, and nearly all of their land is enrolled in the Commercial Forest program. In exchange for lower tax burdens, the public is permitted to hunt, fish, trap, and forage for wild edibles on their property. However, these rights are not permanent and are lost if the land is withdrawn from the program. Even without taking a particular property out of the Commercial Forest program, landowners can reduce public access simply by gating access roads into their holdings.
It may sound like a distant threat, but the impacts of losing access to prime hunting land and fishing streams is already being felt in Keweenaw County. Many once-popular places are being carved off by these investors and sold to private landowners with no interest in allowing the public to use their land. Major backwoods roads, including portions of Mandan Road, have been gated and are no longer accessible for hunters. Public access to tens of thousands of acres at the heart of Keweenaw County is at risk of being lost, effectively ending a way of life that's been enjoyed for generations.
Local control of the vast investor-owned landscapes at the heart of the Keweenaw is vital if we are to protect our hunting and fishing traditions. Every year more access is lost, likely never to return in our lifetimes. Help us save what's left forever by joining the KORC today!