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The Inland Waterway Nature Preserve: Conservancy and Lake Association Partner Again

June 7, 2010 | Little Traverse Conservancy | Harbor Springs, MI
The Inland Waterway Nature Preserve: Conservancy and Lake Association Partner Again

Inland Waterway Preserve, Photo by Charles Dawley


Little Traverse Conservancy
3264 Powell Road
Harbor Springs, MI  49740

For more information, please call:  231.347.0991

Imagine you are on a boat in Emmet County’s Crooked Lake, moving north along the Inland Waterway. You are heading toward the Crooked River and ahead of you are the Alanson locks which will transport you safely to the Crooked River. To your left, just before the locks, are beautiful, undeveloped wetlands. It is a place where the call of kingfishers is common, as is the water trail of a muskrat or otter that just passed through.

This spring, Little Traverse Conservancy purchased 2,000 feet of this frontage along with 23 acres of marsh and forested wetlands to create the Inland Waterway Preserve. According to wildlife ecologist Burt Ebbers, “I cannot think of any other waterfront parcel in the upper Crooked River watershed more deserving of preservation than this property, both in terms of helping maintain water quality and providing quality habitat for native plants and animals.” Ebbers noted that the new preserve includes a well-defined Northern Fen community, a rarity in this region.

“Protecting this much shoreline near the top of the waterway was a high priority for the Conservancy,” said Tom Bailey, executive director for the Conservancy.      

Funding for the purchase came primarily from the Taylor Foundation, and was greatly enhanced with a $15,000 contribution from the Pickerel-Crooked Lake Association (PCLA), a dynamic group that has worked in partnership with the Conservancy throughout the years. Most notably, this group served a significant role in protecting the Oden Island Nature Preserve and the Black Hole Nature Preserve.

“The PCLA is made up of members with a wide variety of backgrounds with the common interest of protecting the environmental well being of our lakes,” said Ray McMullen, president of PCLA. “Unscientifically speaking, one of the best ways to maintain or enhance the quality of a water body is to leave it the heck alone. This is why PCLA has been pleased to work with LTC on many conservation projects.”

The new preserve directly adds to protection provided by other preserves. On June 24, a pontoon ride to the new preserve will depart from Ryde Marine in Oden at 6:30 pm. There is limited space and pre-registration is required, so please call 231.347.0991 for more information or visit

Since 1972, the Little Traverse Conservancy has been working as the oldest regional, non-profit land trust in Michigan. With the support of more than 4,000 members, the Little Traverse Conservancy works with private landowners and units of local government to permanently protect ecologically significant and scenic lands from development. Since it was founded, more than 40,000 acres and 103 miles of shoreline along our region’s lakes, rivers, and streams have been set aside to remain in their natural state within Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Mackinac, and Chippewa counties. In addition, more than 6,000 young people participate in a Conservancy environmental education outing every year. For more information about the Little Traverse Conservancy and land protection options for your land, please contact their office at 231.347.0991 or visit


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