Headwaters Land Conservancy Fall 2017 Newsletter

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ISSUE 3, 2017

Keeping Our BALANCE


enry David Thoreau is best known for living at and writing about Walden Pond, but as I’ve recently discovered, his 2-million word journal is a much better representation of his journey with art and science. I’m a little obsessed by the recent (partial) publication of his most intimate thoughts because he found what I strive for everyday – balance. As a land conservancy, we are always trying to strike just the right balance between what land should be protected and what land must be developed for industry and homes and infrastructure. Sometimes this is easy and obvious but you would be surprised by some of the “close calls” we have to make and the consternation we feel about saying no to a project.

“Balancing the science with the poetic is the ultimate test of every communication we have with you!” We face another challenge in how we explain our work and why it is valuable. Balancing the science with the poetic is the ultimate test of every communication we have with you! I tend to fall back to explaining the science and the details

BY LAURA JUSTIN Executive Director

and the minutia. I personally enjoy the technical aspects of land conservation but that’s not why most people care about HeadWaters… or anything for that matter. Thoreau spent most of each day outdoors, taking meticulous notes and sketching the tiniest detail of every living creature he came upon. I’m convinced the “imbalance” we sometimes feel in ourselves is mainly our lack of time outdoors; watching, smelling, listening, feeling hundreds of interactions that occur within the range of our senses. And why not take it a step further, as Thoreau did? Put your nose against a tree and smell it – listen to the creaking of hardwoods on the coldest night of the winter – taste the lichens and moss you find on a shaded rock. There is no way to describe those experiences “scientifically”. Alexander von Humboldt, a brilliant scientist who Thoreau greatly admired and often emulated, was keenly aware that science cannot stand alone in our understanding and sharing about the natural world. As the first person to observe and document climate change in 1800, he knew that facts and figures were easily ignored. He was quoted as saying “what speaks to the soul, escapes our measurements”. And so today, and every day, I strive to find the balance in our work and I hope the same for you.

HEADWATERS LAND CONSERVANCY From left to right: Jim Supina, Jerry Smith, Chrissy Smith, Robb Smith, Mike Mang, Lucas Thoms, Joe Jarecki, Libby Gunderson, and Elaine Carlson

Luneack Preserve

Land protection at a landscape scale


hank you to The Nature Conservancy and the J.A. Woollam Foundation for donating the Luneack Preserve to HWLC. Accepting this generous property donation is a huge step forward in our mission to protect the natural diversity and beauty of northeast Michigan. In addition to the land itself, HWLC also received a generous stewardship endowment so we are confident in our ability to protect this special place now and for future generations. Luneack Preserve consists of about 575 acres in Clinton Township, Oscoda County and is dominated by mature oak forests. The soils on the property and in the region tend to be extremely sandy and nutrient poor. This is especially true on the western half of the property where the declining oak forest is slowly transitioning back to the dry northern forest and pine barren communities that likely occurred on this property prior to European settlement. The better soils on the eastern half of the property are reflected in the density and diversity of the forest, consisting of oak, maple, aspen,

and pine. Large, contiguous tracts of forests like Luneack and the surrounding properties are crucial for wide-ranging mammals like bobcat and black bear. Near its southern boundary the property contains the entirety of Little Ward Lake and the northernmost sliver of Big Ward Lake, both of which are primary headwater lakes for the Thunder Bay River. These small kettle lakes and their natural shorelines are important habitat for fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. It is not uncommon to spot a bald eagle or great blue heron while walking the trails along the lake. We are excited to share the Luneack Preserve with our supporters and the general public, both as a peaceful place to hike or snowshoe and as a living classroom.

Coming soon! Look for information on access, hiking trails, hunting, educational events, and volunteer activities at Luneack Preserve in 2018.

ISSUE 3, 2017


th 5 Annual


It was a beautiful day for supporting land protection in northeast Michigan. Almost 50 shooters enjoyed a challenging course with great weather and lots of camaraderie. After the shooting ended, the food and raffles began. This year everyone enjoyed Shish kebabs on the grill as the main course. Afterwards there were silent auction items, a 50/50 raffle and a gun raffle. Thank you everyone who helped with our annual fundraiser to support our mission of “protecting the natural diversity and beauty of northeast Michigan”.

Thank you

to our great sponsors… • Lewiston Sportsmen’s League

• Jeffress-Dyer, Inc. • Chemical Bank • Deep Woods Lodge • Nolan’s Tobacco • Jay’s Sporting Goods • Bensinger, Cotant & Menkes, P.C.

• Monarch Welding & Engineering

• Gaylord Eye Care Center • Sheridan Valley Homes • Big Creek Lodge • LPL Financial • Kelsey Lake • Northern Energy • Johnson’s Propane • Glen & Martha Eberly • Feeny Ford-Grayling • La Señorita • Martell Forestry

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Thank You to all of our Sponsors!

Bennethum’s Northern Inn Render Construction, Inc.

Future Benefits Corporation AuSable Clean Foundation Treetops Resort Virginia Pierce Dave Walker Al Lavigne Don Inman Ivan Witt John Dallas EJ Eckert Curtis & Laura Justin Diesel Freaks Feeny GMC ChryslerGaylord

• Martell’s Northwoods Tree Farm

• Dan Smith CPA • Community Financial Credit Union

Join us for our 6th Annual Hotshots for Headwaters - August 2018!

ISSUE 3, 2017

Our Hess Preserve

T Event attendees on the shore of Lake Huron

his fall we hosted our first event at the Hess Preserve on Evergreen Highway in Rogers City that we acquired back in January. This preserve encompasses a very unique environment that includes a regionally specific coastal fen and wooded dune and swale complex as well as diverse plant species along the shore of Lake Huron. Visitors were able to learn about the natural communities that make up the preserve and are only found on the shores of northern Lake Huron.

Presque Isle County Conservation District Forester Brittany Vanderwall explains the ecology of the dune and swale ecosystem.

Holy phrag!


nfortunately, we found phragmites on the Hess property during one of our visits this summer. There are two types of phragmites in Michigan: one is native Phragmites americanus and the other is invasive Phragmites australius. The native phragmites is an important component of emergent wetlands, while the invasive phragmites outcompetes the native species for resources and grows in thick dense clusters that can quickly overtake the lakeshore. Fortunately, we found it early on which has given us the chance to treat this pesky invasive before it causes too much damage. We did a treatment this October with Huron Pines and hope to see a decline in the stand. We may have to do one or two more treatments but catching it this fast gives us the chance to get rid of it within a couple of years.

Invasive phragmites after treatment



BIOBLITZ ulls about sk ches kids a te n ia Dam

Scavenger Hunt

rest floor k at the fo o lo r e s lo c Taking a

e muck ks in th ing trac fy ti n e Id

Checking out the river

s to re anxiou All ages a alk w e start th Snow y star t for 5 K run ners



ISSUE 3, 2017

Appreciation PICNIC

e group Laura addresses th

Merritt Brow n, Jim Supina , Adam and Cat hy Rustermie r and Robb Sm ith Laura and Muriel Str aight, conservation easement donor

Learning how to “key out” a fern


Libby explaining how to identify a basswood leaf A little rain di dn’t stop thes e kids from lear ning how to use a GPS un it

joying the 3 generations en color hike

Groen Preserve COLOR HIKE


HeadWaters Land Conservancy

HeadWaters board, staff and Sam Cornelius from KOO receive UnitedHealthcare check from Angela Stempky.

RECEIVES $18,000

UnitedHealthcare Grant


ow can you help families AND the environment with $18,000? Well, you can get an enclosed trailer and fill it with nets, plastic pans, forceps and magnifying glasses. Binoculars, animal track identification stamps, books and games. Nature focused books, animal and plant ID guides, snowshoes for all ages and winter sleds. Wagons, first aid kits, coolers, hot beverage dispensers, snacks and backpacks filled with educational goodies!

UnitedHealthcare’s generosity allows HeadWaters to fulfill our mission of “Protecting the natural diversity and beauty of northeast Michigan by preserving significant land and scenic areas and fostering appreciation and understanding of the environment.”

This grant is a first of its kind for HeadWaters Land Conservancy and Kids Outdoors Otsego (KOO) as partners in bringing healthy, nature inspired, year-round outdoor educational activities to northeast Michigan.

KOO has activities geared toward children, 0-8, with a parent/ grandparent in attendance. Their activities include: Winter Outdoor Fun Day, family hikes, and Family Fun Fair. Watch our website for the 2018 Schedule of Events.

Monthly E-News


eadWaters Land Conservancy wants to keep you updated on all that is happening here. If you would like to receive this one page monthly newsletter, just email your name and email address to jkoronka@headwatersconservancy.org or sign up on our website www.headwatersconservancy.org.

HeadWaters will have activities for all four seasons that include: bird & wildlife hikes, scavenger hunts, color walks, snowshoe adventures and so much more.

ISSUE 3, 2017


LUCAS THOMS 32 miles of protected shoreline

10,547 acres of protected land

Serving 11 counties throughout northeast Michigan

Over 1,000 people connected to nature 5 Nature Preserves for low impact recreational and educational activities 83 Conservation Easements Voluntary legal agreement between a private landowner and a land trust to protect the conservation values of a property


am both grateful and excited for the opportunity to continue working with the great team at HeadWaters Land Conservancy as the new Preserve Specialist. This is a new experience for me, so I am learning as much as I can from HWLC staff, Land and Stewardship Committee members, the Land Trust Alliance, and experienced preserve managers from other Michigan land trusts. HeadWaters acquired two nature preserves this year, including the almost 600 acre Luneack Preserve. I am excited to implement best practices in all aspects of nature preserve management, from marking boundaries to trail maintenance. Like the Sturgeon River Preserve, the Luneack Preserve is a great opportunity to connect northeast Michigan residents and visitors to nature by encouraging outdoor recreation and hosting educational events. These connections will lead to more support for HWLC, which in turn leads to more land protection! HWLC has experienced exciting growth in 2017 by accepting two new preserves and creating a new staff position. I am excited to keep the momentum going and complete new projects in 2018, such as the boardwalk at Sturgeon River Preserve, acquisition of a new preserve in Otsego County, and much more!


YOU DID IT! The J.A. Woollam Foundation extended the match grant to $60,000, and not only did you meet it, but you surpassed it! HWLC supporters raised $63,000 and the J.A. Woollam Foundation matched that amount dollar-for-dollar. That’s $126,000 to support land protection in northeast Michigan!

Thank you to our volunteers…

we could not have done it without you!

VOLUNTEER LAND STEWARDS Bill Anderson, Elaine Carlson, John Dallas, Glen Eberly, Jessie Geiger, Mike and Annette Holbrook, Joe Jarecki, Jim and Barbara Kurbel, Mike Mang, Dave Nadolsky, Gary Neumann, Jerry Smith, and Jim Supina. LAND AND STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE John Arevalo, Elaine Carlson, Joe Jarecki, Keith Martell, Mike Mang, Jerry Smith, and Jim Supina. RECYCLING FAIR COMMITTEE Ashley Autenrieth, Mary Backlund, Abby Cherwinski, Linda Reinhardt, and Susan Smethurst. Sam Cornelius for all his photography help at our events. Jim Kurbel for taking on the Crawford County Priority Parcel Analysis in ArcGIS.

Damian Decker for being an outstanding summer intern at HeadWaters Land Conservancy. Your love of outdoors, your help at events and monitoring was so appreciated. Gaylord Schools, Johannesburg Schools, Gaylord St. Mary’s School, Girl Scouts, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army and Otsego County Recycling for being part of our Recycling Fair on Earth Day 2017. Scott Warsen US Forest Service Wildlife Biologist, for leading the spring bird hike at Wakeley Lake. Jo Gallico and Martha Eberly for the beautiful hand painted wine glasses for the Appreciation Gathering Picnic. 5th Annual Hotshots for HeadWaters Sporting Clays Fundraiser– Robb and Chrissy Smith, Jeff Twyman, Martha Eberly, Curtis Justin, Jane Dallas, Gary Koronka, and Terri Grunzweig.

Lewiston Sportsmen’s League for hosting the 5th Annual Hotshots for HeadWaters Sporting Clays fundraiser. AmeriCorps members Ann Mills and Wendy Lemon and the staff at Groen Preserve for all their help at the Color Walk. Mike and Annette Holbrook, Mike Mang, Jeff Twyman, and Brooklyn Gunderson for weathering the cold to volunteer at the Treetops Trifecta. Our Community Partners: Otsego Conservation District, Otsego County Parks & Recreation, Great Lakes Endurance, Otsego County Library, Pigeon River Country Association.

ISSUE 3, 2017

2017 LEADERSHIP The following gifts were received between October 25, 2016 and November 1, 2017. Thank you for supporting HeadWaters Land Conservancy.

Watershed Guardians ($10,000 and up)

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan J.A. Woollam Foundation

River Guardians ($5,000 - $9,999)

John and Jane Dallas Twyman Family Fund

Stream Guardians ($1,000 - $4,999)

AuSable Clean Foundation AuSable North Branch Area Association David and Mary Elaine Billmire Doug and Sandra Elser James and Linda Gregart Don Inman and Virginia Pierce Keith Krause Mel, Brian and Mary Oakley Otsego County Community Foundation Nancy Parmenter James Peterson Stephen and Charlotte Qua David Replogle Robb and Chrissy Smith James and Christine Supina Weyerhaeuser

Spring Guardians ($500 - $999)

Big Creek Lodge Chemical Bank Feel Good Tap Program Feeny Ford- Gaylord

Feeny GMC ChryslerGrayling Anthony and Margaret Feldhus Future Benefits Corporation Beach and Marianne Hall Dr. George and Ursula Hess Jay’s Sporting Goods Jeffress-Dyer, Inc. Bob Jordan James and Barbara Kurbel Carol Latsch Michael and Lucy Mang Keith and Cathy Martell Monarch Welding & Engineering Gary Neumann Northern Energy Paul and Carol Rose Gregg and Jane Stecker Muriel Straight Jeff and Carol Twyman Walmart Foundation Harold and Alinda Wasner

Guardians ($250 - $499)

Bill and Debi Anderson Bensinger, Cotant & Menkes, PC Gerald Burke Deep Woods Lodge David Eberly Claudia Fischer and Roger Holliday Great Lakes Endurance Dicran Haidostian Joe Hemming Neil and Mary Hodges Joseph and Judith Jarecki Robert Kemnitz Jim Knox and Jo Gallico Al Lavigne LPL Financial Gordon and Vernie Nethercut David Pottinger and Faye Peterson Keith Petherick Render Construction, Inc.

Rev. Roland Schaedig Margaret Ward


Barbara Armento Laura Austin Dick Bachelor Anthony Barnard JoAnne Baron Donald Batty Carlyle and Loraine Becker Bennethum’s Northern Inn Roland and Carol Bernbeck Mike Binion Robert and Julia Borak Jerry Boron Brady Borycki David and Carol Bricker Arlin and Helen Briley Gwen Cassis Edward Caveney Connie Conn Dave Cowper William and Linda Demmer Diesel Freaks Mike and Darlene Dombrowski Aric Donajkowski Dolores Drath Bill and Pat Duncanson Patrick Dwyer EJ Eckert Glen and Martha Eberly Scot Egleston Emmett’s Energy Roger Fechner Stan Galehouse Andy Gardiner Gaylord Eye Care Center Timothy and Sandra Graham Lorne and Shirley Greenwood Ken and Elizabeth Gribble Joe Guild Rick Guild Brooks and Libby Gunderson Pete and Ginny Gustafson Fred Guyor Bill and Charyl Haelewyn Russell Hehir Jay and Peggy Heilman Fred Heine Darlene Higgins Barry Hill Robert and June Hill Wes Hills


Michael and Annette Holbrook Tom Jennings Johnson’s Propane Curtis and Laura Justin Larry Kassuba Kelsey Lake Paul Konwinski Gary and Judy Koronka Robert Kruch Ed and Claudia Kulnis William and Marietta Kusey Tom Lancaster LaSenorita Dan Lavigne Nancy Lemmen Tom and Elaine Carlson Bourke and Shirley Lodewyk Andrea Locke Kathlyn Maldegen Martell’s Northwoods Tree Farm Martell Forestry Lisa Masters Dan and Cheryl McCormick Rick and Anne Meeks Michaywe Herman Miller Peter Miller Robert and Cynthia Morgner Montmorency County Conservation Club William Nash Diane Navarre & Alan Stachowiak Douglas Neal Nolan’s Cigars Gary Orr Raietta Ott Otsego Wildlife Legacy Society Fred and Bethanne Paepke Kenneth Payette Donald and Dorothy Peacor Janice Porter Frank Proulx Tad Randolph Michael Rasmussen Eric Render Barbara Ro Frank Ruswick Rev. and Mrs. Paul Schaedig Daniel and Susan Schnee Lisa Schleicher Russell Seifferlein Sheridan Valley Homes

John Slaughter Dave and Susan Smethurst Dan Smith CPA Bill Steere Carol Stramaglio Helen Theisen Lucas Thoms Robert and Marge Trapp Treetops Resort Phil Truscott Ted Twyman Bill Walker Dave Walker Charles Walter Rick Wilde Neil Wilkinson Robert and Clarice Williams Brett Wimmer Brian Wimmer Richard Wimmer Richard Wooden Larry Younglove The following individuals chose to support HeadWaters to honor or remember someone special: • W illiam R. Adams in memory of Charlotte Adams • G len & Martha Eberly in memory of Arnie Ochs

• J erry and Linda Smith, Luke Noss, Jerry and Francine Rucker, Joe and Judy Jarecki, Vicki Robinson, Tom and Elaine Carlson, Peter Amar and Mary Fox, Eugene Trimberger, Dorothy Reed, Jerry and Joyce Johnston, and James and Sally Brinkman in memory of Roger Rasmussen • K athlyn Maldegen in honor of Libby Gunderson • D enise Drach in honor of Luke Oaczos • K evin and Teresa Grunzweig in honor of John Dallas We try hard to thank everyone, if we missed you please tell us and know that we appreciate you.


HeadWaters Land Conservancy 110 South Elm Avenue Gaylord, MI 49735 989-731-0573 www.headwatersconservancy.org land@headwatersconservancy.org

Recycle your newsletter ~ Pass it on! Printed on Recycled Paper with Vegetable-Based Inks

S TA F F Laura Justin Executive Director

Libby Gunderson Land Protection Specialist Judy Koronka Development & Outreach Coordinator Lucas Thoms Preserve Specialist


of Trustees Virginia Pierce, Chairwoman Jim Supina, Vice Chairman Robb Smith, Treasurer Martha Eberly, Secretary John Dallas Mike Mang Keith Martell Jeff Twyman Dr. Don Inman, Director Emeritus Stephen Qua, Director Emeritus

Donations to HeadWaters

Makes a Great Gift!

HeadWaters Land Conservancy 2018 SCHEDULE OF UPCOMING EVENTS: January 27 Snowshoe Hike at Groen Preserve-Johannesburg February 24 Snowshoe Hike at Wakeley Lake-Grayling March 10 Snowshoe Hike at Sturgeon River Preserve

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