Consumers Energy has hired professional resource managers for decades to oversee the private property owned by the Company. Professional foresters, land managers, and Environmental Planners have watched over our property for wildlife and numerous plant species through wildlife management plans. We care about the threatened and endangered species and other wildlife on our property.
The wildlife and forestry management plans for our hydroelectric plants along the Au Sable, Manistee and Muskegon rivers in Northern Michigan are specific about protecting threatened and endangered species. The bald eagle, Karner blue butterfly, trumpeter swan and Indiana bat are among the animals we protect and manage land for. We also have extensive nest box programs for wood duck, bluebirds, purple martins, tree swallows and kestrels along the Hydro lands. We work with state and federal agencies and advocacy groups to integrate our efforts with the Huron-Manistee National Forest.
Over the last couple decades, bald eagle breeding territories around our hydroelectric facilities have increased steadily over the past decades. Since 1994, more than 270 bald eagle chicks fledged on our hydroelectric lands. Bats find refuge at Tippy Dam on the Manistee River. More than 21,000 bats—including brown, eastern pipistrelle, threatened Northern Long-Eared bats, and endangered Indiana bats—spent last winter hibernating in the dam spillway. Since 1997, 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 on the adjacent Huron-Manistee National Forest. More than 200 of these birds winter here annually.