TNC transfers 160-acre parcel on Silver Mountain in Michigan to US Forest Service; TNC bought property in 2019 on behalf of USFS to protect area for conservation, recreation, held land until TNC secured funding to add area to Ottawa National Forest

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NISULA, Michigan , July 18, 2022 (press release) –

The Nature Conservancy issued the following news release on July 15, 2022:

The Nature Conservancy in Michigan (TNC) today announced it is transferring ownership of a 160-acre parcel on Silver Mountain, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, to the United States Forest Service (USFS). TNC purchased the property in 2019 ensuring the largest and best example in the state of a volcanic vent plug will be protected for conservation and recreation for generations to come.

Silver Mountain includes part of Silver River, which is an important cold-water tributary to the Sturgeon River and provides critical habitat for a self-sustaining population of brook trout. Rare plants have historically been found along the rock outcrops that may provide potential habitat for plant re-introduction. A portion of the land includes a section of a scenic rocky cliff and is known hibernaculum for the threatened northern long-eared bat.

"Unique landscapes like Silver Mountain still exist, and it's important to protect them now for future generations of wildlife and people," said Helen Taylor, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Michigan. "Years from now, people will still enjoy Silver Mountain and fish will still swim in the stream because of our partnership with the U.S. Forest Service."

TNC purchased the property in 2019 on behalf of the USFS and held the property until it secured the funding to add Silver Mountain to the Ottawa National Forest. The property is located near approximately 6,000 acres that TNC helped the USFS acquire and add to the Ottawa National Forest in 1976 and 1977.

Silver Mountain is within one-eighth of a mile from the North Country Trail and is a popular area for hiking, rock climbing, fishing and camping. The land also provides an additional opportunity for targeted conifer forest management since it is connected to other federally owned forest land.

"Silver Mountain is a cornerstone of outdoor recreation in the Upper Peninsula that is beloved by local residents and visitors alike," said Darla Lenz, Forest Supervisor of the Ottawa National Forest. "The Nature Conservancy has proven to be a great ally for nature and people in Michigan and across the country and we're pleased to partner with them once again to help preserve land that is critical for both nature and people."

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