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EXTE Au Sable River


ISSUE 2, 2017




0 0 INCREASES MATCH GRANT CHALLENGE TO $40,000 J.A. Woollam Foundation

In order for your gift to be doubled, it must meet one of the following requirements: • Donation must be larger than your last gift, if even by one dollar! • Any gift of $500 or more • Any new member donations (ask a friend to join HWLC!) • Any lapsed donations (if a donation was not made in 2016 but was made in years prior)

Your DOUBLED donation will help us:


eadWaters is so thankful once again for the opportunity to double your dollars and double the impact! The J.A. Woollam Foundation has

generously pledged to match every dollar raised up to $40,000—that’s $10,000 more than in 2016!

• Connect the very young and very old to nature with our wildlife exhibit • Steward our 83 Conservation Easements and 4 Nature Preserves • Identify the most significant lands in our 11 county service area • Protect natural landscapes and working farms and forests

Deadline is August 31, 2017

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ISSUE 2, 2017

HeadWaters Land Conservancy & Au Sable Clean Foundation


Damian Decker

HWLC cker, the new intern at My name is Damian De lona nce Ma m fro d ate du . I gra for the summer of 2017 al ntr Ce rently attending High School, and am cur ence uire my Bachelor of Sci acq to ty rsi Michigan Unive y. log Bio in r no mi a h s wit in Environmental Studie Michigan for the past ern rth no d un I’ve lived aro t reside in Alden, right nex 16 years, and currently ays alw was young, I have to Finch Creek. Since I area d enjoying this beautiful an e tsid ou enjoyed being My . me ho l cal to h ug ate eno that all of us are fortun ra), ents (Brian and Cassand par my es lud inc ily fam and et ick (Cr s cat and my two my sister (Samantha), just d an , ing bik , ing hik enjoy Sally). In my free time I exploring in general. to monitor a few of our I have already been out and I am very excited to ves easements and preser ile at erience at HeadWaters wh gain some valuable exp call and e lov I t tha d lan g the the same time protectin h the wit r me rd to a great sum home. I am looking forwa d lan and , ers ff, board memb extremely dedicated sta .A ncy rva nse Co d Lan rs adwate owners involved with He the m fro s funded by a grant portion of my stipend wa d of Patrick J. McNamara fun Dr. and Community Fund n. atio nd Fou unity the Otsego County Comm

Damian with a bluebird box he installed at Lake Avalon Preserve

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Lucas Thoms

Hello, my name is Lu cas Thoms, I am cu rrently working as an intern for the Au Sable Cle an Foundation (ACF) wh ich deals with issue s relating to septic along the riv er, as well as helping HeadWaters with ou treach events for the summer. I will be graduating from Eastern Michiga n University after my internship in August with a degree in environme ntal biology, and I ho pe to continue doing wo rk in northern Mich igan after graduation. I lov e anything outdoors from hunting and fishing to kayaking, canoein g, hiking and camping. I’m ori ginally from downsta te but have been coming “U p North” for as long as I can remember, and I want to work hard to help preserve the beauty of northern Michiga n.

Lucas talks to young learners at Art in the Garden Festival

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New this year...Lewis Class Scoring!

Raffles, Prize Giveaways, Silent Auction & More!

Saturday, August 26, 2017 9:30 a.m. Sign In — 10 a.m. Start

Donation Request is $100 (Includes a delicious lunch & 100 targets)

Lewiston Sportsmen’s League 7689 Sheridan Valley Rd., Lewiston, MI

Register by August 15 to be entered to win a flat of shotgun shells! Register by calling HWLC at (989) 731-0573 14577.indd 3

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at Crossroads Industries


t and velopmen HWLC De tor, Judy Coordina to Outreach orkshop leads a w ril p A e th Koronka, t bottles a ir. reuse old ycling Fa 2017 Rec

ies client s Industr m Crossroad l pelts fro the anima it. ib h x e enjoying fe our wildli

Crossroads client with wolverine

eren’t snowshoes w Even though urer nt ve ad g is youn necessary, th g the in or pl ex e had a great tim this r Preserve at Sturgeon Rive ke. hi oe sh ow year’s sn A project made fro m reused material at the Re cycling Fair.


ants of particip A couple cling y c e R s r’ a at this ye r best eir vote fo th t s a c nnies Fair e p g droppin r. project by into the ja

at Sturgeon River Preserve 14577.indd 4

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ISSUE 2, 2017

Spring Hike


Kids make st ick people af ter the hike.

ation District Diane Bomer, Conserv awford and Cr , go Forester for Otse our s, leads the way on Roscommon countie y. Ma in e oen Preserv spring hike at the Gr

Kids and adults alike enjoyed the sights and sounds of spring at the Groen Preserve.

Birders of all ages joined us at W akeley Lake on May 20th.

ildlife Service w U.S. Forest en helps Scott Wars biologist a rosete ca lo . attendees ro g sbeak breasted

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oup about Scott tells the gr rd species we one of the 46 bi hike. counted on the

Wakeley Lake BIRD HIKE

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Lake of the Woods

Intern Damian in the process of installing one of the new trail cameras at the Sturgeon River Preserve

A deer caught on camera at the Sturgeon River Preserve

Thank you for the Trail Cameras


eadWaters would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Walmart Community Grants Team and our local Gaylord Walmart for granting us $500 to purchase new trail cameras for our preserves. They have been put into action at our Dault, Hess, Lake Avalon, and Sturgeon River Preserves, and we have already gotten some great pictures! These cameras will significantly aid us in monitoring public use as well as wildlife at our preserves in order to better serve all of our supporters. We are very grateful for Walmart’s assistance in our ongoing mission of protecting the beauty that is northeast Michigan.

Thank you!

Otsego County Community Foundation We would like to recognize and thank the Community Fund as well as the Dr. Patrick J. McNamara Fund of the Otsego County Community Foundation for their financial support of our summer intern program.




s anyone lucky enough to have attended the 2016 Appreciation Picnic can tell you, Gary Neumann has an incredible view of the north branch of the Au Sable River from his conserved land. So incredible, that it inspired the likes of an artist like my mother, Sandy Graham, to paint that scene from the cover of a previous HWLC newsletter. With each visit to my parent’s home, I watched the painting progress. It became obvious to me that it was going to turn out beautifully, and that Gary might be interested in seeing it. Well, that thought evolved into me asking my mom if she would consider donating the painting to HeadWaters, although I REALLY wanted to just keep it for myself!

Gary Neuman and Laura with painting

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And where is the painting now? At Gary Neumann’s house on the Au Sable, of course! I think this worked out exactly as it was meant to be. Thanks to my mother and to Gary for their kindness and support. They inspire me to do my best every day. ~ Laura Justin 

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ISSUE 2, 2017

WHY Northeast Michigan MATTERS D

avid Haskell, a professor of biology and environmental studies, spent an entire year making meticulous observations of a one square meter area in a Tennessee old growth forest. So many observations in fact that he wrote an entire book about this tiny patch of land called The Forest Unseen. Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology and ecology, explaining the science that binds together the tiniest microbes and the largest mammals and describing the ecosystems that have cycled for thousands- sometimes millions-of years. I am not about to tell you that I’m planning to undertake the same endeavor as I don’t have the patience or fortitude necessary for such an ambitious project. Instead, I will tell you about the macro observations I have made during my time living on the Au Sable for the last 3 months. This is our last stop in a year that saw us moving on 3 separate occasions, with a 4th and final move in progress. Our gypsy life is quickly coming to a close.


For the last 6 years, I have traveled all over our 11 county service area of northeast Michigan. I’ve seen amazing things, met caring people and walked on beautiful land. I thought I knew exactly what northeast Michigan is all about and why it’s worth protecting. Well, I didn’t really know – not by a longshot. Until you have time to be in a place, quietly, without a deadline or a plan or even a purpose, you won’t really know it. I now realize this truth to be the greatest challenge of our work. How can I convey this wondrousness to someone hundreds or thousands of miles away? Why should they support us and believe this place is so special, and rare, and valuable, when I didn’t fully understand it myself?

Black bear

Well, it all starts with the bugs…so many bugs. Icky biting critters, creepy crawlers and thankfully, some exquisite creatures like dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies and lightning bugs. The sheer numbers are incomprehensible. I’ve cursed them and marveled at them but mostly I’m just grateful for them, because they bring the birds and the trilling songs. They bring the fish, jumping hungrily for them. They live and die by the billions, fertilizing the earth. They even bring the bears, digging up ants for their supper. I’ve watched the robin family who graciously tolerate my observations, raise two broods of chicks on these bugs. I was there the day they took flight for the very first time. I’ve spent a lot of time on Drummond Island, hiked for miles in northwest Michigan, and grew up in the rural countryside of Pellston, but nowhere else is like northeast Michigan. There is an “aliveness” to this land and water that you won’t see or feel anywhere else. It is quiet. It is what many places used to be. In these 3 fleeting months I’ve lived with my eyes open like never before. My reward has been spending time with bears and badgers, snowshoe hare the size of dogs and tiny brown creepers. I got to help a rare Blanding’s turtle cross the road to lay her eggs. We are serenaded by evening grosbeaks, wrens, warblers and orioles. Deer watch us watching them, all of us listening to the drumming of the ruffed grouse. And all this is just a snippet, a tiny snapshot that doesn’t even include the smell of the sweet grass or the frog’s nightly chorus and on and on and on. Please help me share this magic that is northeast Michigan. Without your help, future generations will talk about what this place used to be. ~ Laura Justin, Executive Director 

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HeadWaters Land Conservancy 110 South Elm Avenue Gaylord, MI 49735 989-731-0573

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


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

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HeadWaters Land Conservancy 2017 SCHEDULE OF UPCOMING EVENTS: July 22 - 9:00am-2:00pm Otsego County BioBlitz at Gaylord Middle School Learning Center August 5 - 12:00pm HeadWaters Appreciation Picnic at Michi-Lu-Ca (for members, donors, and volunteers) August 26 - 9:30am 5TH Annual Hotshots for HeadWaters Sporting Clays Fundraiser at Lewiston Sportsmen’s League September 23 - 10:00am

Bird Hike at Sturgeon River Preserve October 14 - 10:00am Fall Color Hike at Groen Preserve November 3-5 Great Lakes Endurance Treetops Trifecta-Gaylord

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Headwaters Land Conservancy Summer 2017 Newsletter  
Headwaters Land Conservancy Summer 2017 Newsletter