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As of: 9:40 AM, 8/10/22

Caring for our Lands

Our power plants, natural gas pipelines and electric wires stretch across thousands of acres in the Lower Peninsula. As one of the state’s largest landowners, we take our responsibility to care for our lands seriously. Our professional foresters work to balance the economic, cultural and ecological needs of our forest lands while working to provide reliable power and natural gas to our 6.8 million customers. Our wildlife experts care for the species on our lands and work proactively to protect them.

From Trees to Budding Seeds

Our active involvement in land preservation dates to the early 20th century. We hired teams of tree planters to help reforest watersheds around dams ravaged by fires and excessive logging. We’ve planted more than two million trees along the Au Sable, Manistee and Muskegon rivers and support tree planting efforts statewide.

Our land conservation efforts extend beyond trees. We plant pollinator habitats to help bees and butterflies flourish. We’ve also enrolled nearly 260,000 acres of our lands including areas around dams, our and natural gas and distribution lines and our service centers, to help restore monarch habitats and grow the monarch population. Our plantings also support erosion control and help protect Michigan’s wetlands. Other projects include protecting endangered or threatened species like turtles, bats, snakes and birds.

We Watch Over Animals on Our Lands

Foresters, land managers and environmental planners watch over wildlife and keep a close eye on threatened and endangered species. Our wildlife management plans include protecting of bald eagles, Karner blue butterflies, trumpeter swans and Indiana bats.

Also, for more than 20 years we’ve been part of a national conservation effort to restore the trumpeter swan population. We’ve released 26 young adult trumpeter swans into wetlands behind several hydroelectric plants. Trumpeter swans raise their young on our lands along the lower Au Sable River and in lakes and beaver ponds in the adjacent Huron-Manistee National Forest. More than 200 of these birds winter in these spots every year.

We’re also involved in wetland protection and monitoring, with extensive nest box programs for wood ducks, bluebirds, purple martins, tree swallows and kestrels. We collaborate with state and federal agencies and advocacy groups to integrate our efforts with wildlife officials working in the Huron-Manistee National Forest.

Sharing our Lands with You

We’re happy to share our lands with those who enjoy the great outdoors. We invite you to get closer to nature at the public lands around our hydro facilities. Whether you like to walk, camp, bike or canoe, our public lands are yours to enjoy. We work with governments, volunteer organizations and private business to manage our public-access lands.