Category Archives: Land Trusts (& other private land conservation)

What will happen to the sand dunes at Saugatuck?

At a time in southwest Michigan when protecting all our remaining natural lands and waters would make sense for human health and economic viability, threats continue. This morning I received the message copied in boldface below from the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance.  It is their updated look at the controversy involving the Lake Michigan sand dunes and […]

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Zombie Seed Production by Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

I need to give the results of the small trial mentioned a month ago, when I put out eight garlic mustard plants (four small and four large) that we had pulled up early in the spring on 23 April at the Audubon Society’s Harris Sanctuary. I spread them out on the floor of an oak […]

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Quote 2, Henry David Thoreau on Preserving Land

  Each town should have a park, or rather a primitive forest, of five hundred or a thousand acres, where a stick should never be cut for fuel, a common possession forever, for instruction and recreation. We hear of cow-commons and ministerial lots, but we want men-commons and lay lots, inalienable forever….   All Walden […]

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More About Aldo Leopold’s Subversive Ideas

@Dick Klade in Comment 3 to preceding post Thanks for restoring the interesting lost section of your comment. It’s not surprising that Leopold’s ideas didn’t always suit the bureaucracy.  Ecology is the subversive science, as Paul Sears said. The game managers seemed to accept Leopold early.  As an undergraduate in 1953 or 1954, I had […]

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Early Spring at Mildred Harris Audubon Sanctuary, Kalamazoo

In Oshtemo Township, it’s 64 degrees and sunny this afternoon and the wood frogs in the pond close to the road were clacking loudly.  This morning though, a few miles away at Harris Sanctuary, it was high 30s at the beginning and high 40s at the end. I spent the early part of the morning […]

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Bicycle Trail Through or To the Ott Biological Preserve: A Decision Near

Following is a slightly revised version of a letter that I sent to members of the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners on 29 April 2011.  They will soon (Thursday, 7 April, 7 PM at the County Building, 315 West Green St. in Marshall) be taking an important vote related to whether the Calhoun County Trailways Association will […]

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Wide Bike Trail Through the Preserve?: Speak Out to Save the Ott

Take Action on the Proposed Trail Through the Harvey Ott Biological Preserve The Calhoun County Commissioners will be the ones voting on the trail.  They may give more weight to messages from their constituents; nevertheless, it will be of value to them to know if the threat to the Ott Preserve is a matter of […]

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Trail through the Ott Preserve: Going out of its way to pave the esker

Last Saturday, I took a walk with about twenty other people at the Harvey Ott Biological Preserve. This is where the Calhoun County Trailway Alliance wants to put a 10-foot wide paved cycling trail. Tom Funke, Director of Conservation for the Michigan Audubon Society, led the excursion. MAS owns about 20 sanctuaries. Tom is a […]

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The Ott Preserve and Attacks on Perpetuity

Preserved natural areas are vulnerable.  I don’t mean they’re delicate.  It’s true that some will need a particular kind of management, such as prescribed fire, and some may not tolerate a lot of human traffic, but good-sized natural areas–a few hundred acres–are often fairly robust.  They’re vulnerable not because they’re fragile, but because there are […]

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New Attack on the Harvey N. Ott Preserve, Battle Creek, MI

The Ott Preserve at the east edge of Battle Creek was the subject of an attack several years ago.  The 260 acres had been preserved early in the 20th century through joint efforts of local naturalists and John Harvey Kellogg.  In 1977, Calhoun County bought the preserve using money from the federal Land and Water […]

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