Wildlife Corridors

Intact landscapes are important for more than just uninterrupted views from the top of Brockway Mountain or Bare Bluff.  Keeping fragmentation is good for our local wildlife as well.  The fewer man-made boundaries impeding animals both large and small, the healthier their population becomes.  Deer that can roam across the landscape are more likely to find rich food sources to sustain them through the winter.  Turkeys that can find cover and forage will raise more young.  Even turtles undertake slow, local migrations, leaving one stream or pond and heading to more suitable ground to nest.  All of these species and more rely on undisturbed habitats to breed, find food, or shelter.

Photo Credit:

Devin Leonarduzzi

The Keweenaw's interior is largely undeveloped, with few roads and communities splitting up the landscape.  The forests stretch on for miles​, broken only by the occasional skid road, craggy bluff, or rocky creek.  Few people inhabit the interior that would create a disturbance.  This is a boon for the wildlife that calls these woods home.  However, this picture is at risk: the interior of the Keweenaw is undeveloped only because it is owned by giant investment funds with little interest in the landscape at large.  In order to provide returns on their investment for distant shareholders, these companies are logging the forests hard, creating breaks in the natural fabric and isolating animals unused to clearcuts or invasive species that take advantage of the disturbance.  When logging doesn't bring the returns they seek, parcels are carved off and sold to private landowners.  This fragmentation of the landscape makes it difficult to institute landscape-level management activities as well as introducing more people, development, and invasive species to the forest.  One piece at a time, our once endless Northwoods shrink in size. 

We must act to stop the fragmentation before it is too late.  A diverse group of organizations has come together to form the Keweenaw Outdoor Recreation Coalition to protect our undeveloped landscape for both humans and wildlife.  Help us protect our forests from fragmentation by joining or giving to KORC today!

© 2019-2020 Keweenaw Outdoor Recreation Coalition.

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