Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council  U.P. RC&D Mission Statement
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Bat Friendly Mine Closures View Item
(Western Region)
The Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council has been working in the Western U.P. for years to protect fragile habitat for bats. The region is considered to harbor more bats than anywhere else in the world by bat experts, due to the high number of abandoned mine shafts. The "bat-friendly mine closures" both protect the public and provide habitat for a variety of rare bat species. Funding for the many sites throughout the region is provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, through the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP).
Bergland Cultural & Heritage Center View Item
Ontonagon County (Western Region)
The Friends of the Bergland Cultural & Heritage Center in partnership with the Ottawa National Forest, hope to increase heritage, recreation and eco-tourism opportunities in the western Upper Peninsula through the development of an interpretive cultural and heritage center at the historic Bergland Ranger Station. This vintage administrative site built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, no longer being used by the Ottawa National Forest as an active administrative site, is already listed as a part of the Western Upper Peninsula Heritage Trail Network. It is one of the only remaining administrative offices of its type within the Eastern Region of the National Forest System.
Black River Watershed - Narrows Creek Restoration Project View Item
Gogebic County (Western Region)
Narrows Creek is a high quality trout stream that is a tributary to the Black River, a National Wild and Scenic River. This site has been studied since the historic Spring flood of 2002. The project will develop three alternative stream restoration designs that provide cost and environmental impact data for use by partner agencies and cooperating private land owners to identify a preferred alternative for re-establishing fish passage to this high quality trout stream.
Central Lake Superior Invasive Species Elimination View Item
Marquette County (Central Region)
Marquette County is the largest county in the state of Michigan and is characterized by a variety of natural features such as 55 miles of Lake Superior shoreline, 4000 miles of rivers and creeks with numerous waterfalls, and more than 1800 inland lakes. Due to the diverse range of unique landforms and habitats, many rare state and federal species of concern and globally rare natural communities are present. The biological integrity of these communities is being threatened by the presence of ecosystem-converting invasive plant species such as spotted knapweed, garlic mustard, glossy buckthorn, and Eurasian water millfoil. The purpose of this project is to develop a coordinated strategy amongst landowners and land managers to prioritize the species of concern and map the areas of infestation, develop a plan for prevention and control of the high priority species, and educate landowners and the public. A coordinated effort of government and tribal entities, conservation organizations and corporate forest landowners at this time has the potential to eradicate and control many of these species while they are still at a manageable infestation level.
Chassell Flood Protection View Item
Chassell township, Houghton County (Western Region)
This project will help remediate the flood threat to several homes and businesses, as well as, U.S. 41 in Chassell. The culvert that passes under U.S. 41 is completely blocked with sediment, sand and gravel and will be cleaned out to prevent flooding for the short-term while a long-term solution to the problem is being sought.
City of Stephenson Recycle Program View Item
Menominee County (Central Region)
The Menominee Conservation District, working in conjunction with other local community partners, would like to establish a recycling program. Currently, Menominee County has only one recycling program and the services are limited to residents of the City of Menominee. This project would provide residents in Stephenson and the surrounding area the opportunity to recycle.
Dault's Creek Critical Area Treatment Project View Item
Baraga County (Western Region)
A section of Dault's Creek streambank which lies on private property is severely eroded creating a threat to nearby U.S. 41. The erosion is responsible for downstream sedimentation and degredation of fish spawning habitat.
Defending the Upper Peninsula of MI, "Know It, Don't Grow It" Invasive Species Mass Media Education Campaign View Item
Nine Conservation Districts and associated Cooperative Weed Management Areas covering at least ten counties across the UP have agreed to work cooperatively to conduct a media campaign to heighten awareness and enlist citizen action in the battle against key terrestrial and aquatic invasive species.
Developing a Blue-Green Algae Monitoring Program for the Central Menominee River Watershed View Item
Dickinson County (Central Region)
This project will provide information regarding the presence or absence of blue-green algae in approximately 10 target lakes in Dickinson County. Some species of blue-green algae produce toxic substances which can be harmful to humans and pets and if those species are encountered, monitoring systems and rapid response protocols will be developed for the lakes containing them. Citizens will be educated regarding practices to prevent excess nutrients from entering these aquatic systems which can contribute to algal blooms.
Driggs River Streambank Stabilization View Item
Schoolcraft County (Central Region)
The Driggs River Stabilization Project is a successful partnership demonstration that combined wildlife habitat structures with permanent rock and vegetative slope stabilization to protect water quality and reduce erosion along this tributary to the Manistique River. The site is easily accessible from Highway M-28 heading north just east of the Driggs River. As-built designs produced by David Bandrowski, NRCS Civil Engineer, are available at our on-line Resource Center.
East Soldier's Lake Equestrian Campsite & Trailhead Project View Item
Chippewa County (Eastern Region)
The Superior Trail Riders Association has plans to establish an equestrian trailhead/campsite to accommodate equestrians who ride the trails in the Raco/East Soldier's Lake area. Plans include widening and eventually paving the existing road, fencing the entire area, signage, and all campground ammenities. This project will provide facilities for those people already using the trails in this area, and the numerous riders from outside the area who have an interest in visiting the area for trail riding.
Falls River Erosion Project View Item
Baraga County (Western Region)
There is major erosion taking place on village property near the mouth of the Falls River. This project will ensure that the banks of the river will be secured and protected against erosion, and protect the public who are accessing the river from getting hurt. 
Ford River Stabilization and Cultural Resource Protection View Item
Ford River township, Delta County (Central Region)
Severe erosion threatens to undermine an historic cemetary located on a sandy bank high above the lower Ford River. According to historic documents, the cemetary contains early settler and Native American remains. The eroding bank also threatens a home, and has a negative impact on habitat due to sediment entering the river.
Forest Stewardship – Outreach & Education View Item
Calumet township, Houghton County (Western Region)
Mr. Corey Soumis, a teacher at C-L-K Schools in Calumet, requested assistance from Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation & Development (U.P. RC&D) in February of 2004. Corey proposed to utilize Calumet High School’s Conservation Club to help teach students, their families, and other non-industrial private landowners in the region that, through application of active forest management principles, forest landowners can both improve the health of their lands and potentially increase their economic return.
Gay Historic Mill Site View Item
Sherman township, Keweenaw County (Western Region)
The historic Gay Stamp Mill Site is an "attractive nuisance" that presents a liability to the township in its current condition. The township desires to improve the site by removing hazards, stabilizing the stamp sands, removing trees and recognizing the historic quality of the site with an interpretive kiosk.
Gladstone Outdoor Classroom View Item
Delta County (Central Region)
PENDING PROJECT: The Gladstone Kiwanis Club has requested assistance from the U.P. RC&D Council to help develop this scenic wetland and wildlife viewing area, including a parking lot, restrooms, trails, viewing platforms, and a boardwalk. The Central Region board approved the project on May 3, 2005. The Executive Board voted to table the project on June 3, 2005. The Council's decision will follow the City's decision whether to hire a private engineering firm for project management.
Hamilton Lake Nature Area View Item
McMillan township, Luce County (Eastern Region)
The project is designed to address longstanding problems with erosion, degradation of habitat, and threats to valued cultural and historic resources in McMillan and Pentland Townships, Luce County. Restoration of the lakeshore, improvement of pedestrian access, and elimination of motor vehicle access are priority activities recommended by the Hamilton Lake Nature Area Ad Hoc Committee (HLNA Committee). The restoration project is part of a larger, citizen-driven initiative to protect the 58-acre county-owned site. The restoration project will serve as a demonstration site to educate the visiting public and partnering students about the importance of vegetation in riparian areas, the problems caused by erosion, and the impacts of sedimentation on water quality and aquatic habitat throughout the 11,000 acre Tahquamenon River watershed. The project will be the gateway experience to catalyze citizen involvement in larger conservation efforts currently underway in the county, and provide expanded opportunities for hands-on student learning. The site will serve to educate visitors about the colorful history of the area, including a "line tree" (or "witness tree") from the 1853 government survey of the area, an early Native American sugar camp, and other cultural and historic information.
Historic Preservation Construction Trades Training Center View Item
Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College, in partnership with the National Park Service, the Michigan Workforce Development system, local schools, and regional construction trades contractors, is proposing to develop an Historic Preservation Construction Trades Training Center. The Center would provide local carpenters, masons, and other tradespeople--including new job seekers--with the skills to fulfill a growing demand for historic building restoration and maintenance.
Inland Stamp Sands Critical Area Treatment View Item
(Western Region)
The goal of this project is to stabilize three historic industrial waste rock sites in the Copper Country where the erosion of stamp sands is critical. The three sites involve more than 3.5 miles of adjacent streambank.
Iron County Bike Trail Feasibility Study View Item
Iron County (Western Region)
This project will draw travelers from throughout the country and the world to historic Iron County, where they will have an opportunity to step back in time and experience dramatic periods of our nation's history firsthand. With nearly 70 developed sites ranging from early inhabitation by Native Americans and pioneers, through the mining and logging era that fed America's industrial development, Iron County offers exceptional accessibility to historic artifacts that will create for visitors a unique and personal connection to the past. Our project will draw upon and complete a four-year planning effort to design a multi-modal trail that connects and enhances many of these historic sites.
Iron County Multi-Recreational Facility Expansion View Item
Iron County (Western Region)

This project involves the expansion of the Ice Arean in Caspian to become a multi-recreational facility. The expansion will allow for low cost indoor sporting activities for this low income area. 


Ishpeming Historic Mine Walking Tour View Item
Ishpeming city, Marquette County (Central Region)
The Ishpeming Main Street Program is developing a trail network incorporating interpretive signage in the wooded area surrounding the 1850-vintage mine sites on Ishpeming's east side that gave birth to the city's iron mining heritage. The three mines on Ishpeming's east side - the New York Mine, the Selwood Mine, and the Incline Mine, were begun in the belief that the ore veins would travel to the first major mine in the area - the Jackson Mine in Negaunee which is south and east of the proposed trail network. The final walking tour will encompass the historic mine trails and vintage Brownstone mine buildings on Ishpeming's east end, connecting the underground mining history in a linear fashion from the first mine's beginning, and continuing along the old railroad right-of-way, to the final site of local underground mining at the Cliffs Shaft Museum. This trail will have the potential to become an integral part of a proposed Heritage Trail network which will highlight the entire central U.P.'s iron ore heritage.
Little Girl's Point Campground Stabilization View Item
Ironwood township, Gogebic County (Western Region)
This project was proposed by Richard Bolen, Director of Forestry and Parks for Gogebic County. Unstable soils at the location are due, in part, to the presence of groundwater passing under the park's main access road. The seepage of groundwater from wetlands within the park toward the Lake weakens the clay soils and threatens to undermine several campsites and the paved access road.

Manistique District Heating Plant Feasibility Study View Item
Schoolcraft County (Central Region)
The goal of this project is to determine the feasibility of a utilizing a District Heating (and possibly power) Plant for a cluster of institutions in the City of Manistique.
Native Plant Demonstration Garden View Item
Delta County (Central Region)
The Native Plant Garden Demonstration Area is located at Fruit Full Acres near Flat Rock. This garden was created as an educational opportunity to demonstrate and promote the use of plant species native to the northern Great Lakes region for home and business landscaping, roadside plantings, and restoration/revegetation projects. Several seed mixes, created to accommodate a variety of growing conditions common to the northern Great Lakes are planted here. The species contained in these mixes have been planted in separate monoculture plots and labeled for easy identification.
Paradise Marina Project View Item
Whitefish township, Chippewa County (Eastern Region)
This project will provide a full service marina located at the center of the resort community of Paradise. The marina will create a focal point for economic development and enhancement of the the local economy, as well as a safe harbor of refuge for local residents and the growing number of boaters who like to travel the waters of eastern Lake Superior.
Rapid River School Forest Native Plant Restoration View Item
Delta County (Central Region)
The Rapid River School Forest will be the site of upland native plant community restoration work in the Fall of 2005. In partnership with the Delta County Conservation District, WildOnes, Inc., and Delta County NRCS, students and other volunteers will plant a variety of native grasses and forbs on approximately 1.3 acres of the School Forest property. Additional acreage will be planted in the future as resources permit. This site will be a resource for local partners by providing a seed source for native plant materials. The site will also serve as an 'outdoor classroom' for areas students, residents, landowners, and anyone interested in returning native plants to their property. U.P. RC&D Council will hire a restoration specialist to provide professional guidance to volunteers who attend 'learn-while-you-work' events at the site.
Riparian and Upland Site Restoration View Item
Marquette County (Central Region)
The U.P. RC&D, in partnership with Northern Michigan University, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Central Lake Superior Watershed Partnership (LCSWP) is helping to build a process in which students and community volunteers restore several upland and riparian sites with professional guidance and training. You can have the opportunity to learn while you work to restore healthy, beautiful plant communities to a variety of Central and Eastern U.P. sites. Contact us, or the project coordinators below, for more information or to join a work crew.
Rural Fire Protection and Education Program View Item
This ongoing program provides coordinated technical assistance and training to local units of government and volunteer fire departments thoughout the Upper Peninsula. U.P.RC&D Council staff and State and Federal partners work together to help build rural firefighting infrastructure and assist with planning and community education to prepare for wildfire and rural residential fires. Applicants can utilize our professionally engineered designs for rural dry hydrants, receive a free site inspection and recommendations, and receive assistance with fund raising to offset dry hydrant costs. Dry hydrant kits are available from companies in the U.S. and Canada. Communities and fire departments can also receive free consultations from a team of experts from State and Federal agencies to help plan for wildfire. Contact us for more information, or to schedule your free visit. UPDATE JULY 2005: Funding for rural fire protection is available now for eligible local government units. Follow this link to the Department of Interior's Rural Fire Assistance Program, then contact U.P. RC&D Council's office for assistance with a proposal!
Sand Point Stamp Sand Stabilization Project View Item
Baraga County (Western Region)
This successful partnership project involves assistance to the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) for the development of a waste sand stabilization and re-use plan for a prime Lake Superior location owned and managed by the tribe. The problem of stamp sand deposition at this location is the result of historic copper mining activity in the Rockland and Mass areas of Ontonagon County between 1902 and 1919. Mine rock from this activity was processed on the shore of Lake Superior in Baraga County, approximately 2 miles north of Sand Point. Over time, the lake currents have transported the waste material to its current location just north of the village marina site. The Sand Point lakeshore area is a heavy recreational use area, and is currently managed by KBIC for camping and community events.
Sault Area Watershed Plan View Item
Chippewa County (Eastern Region)
The headwaters of the St. Mary's River is the target area for this project. Restoration is needed for many areas of concern and partners are seeking funds to complete this restoration work.
Soil Stabilization Using Live Fascines--Instructional DVD View Item
Schoolcraft County (Central Region)
Hiawatha National Forest Plant Ecologist Jan Schultz and the U.P. RC&D Council teamed up last summer to offer a class on soil bioengineering using "live fascines" and other techniques to stabilize critical sites while propagating native plants. With funding from the Hiawatha National Forest, a specialist from Robbin B. Sotir & Associates, Inc., Alton Simms, was brought to the Clear Lake Education Center in Schoolcraft County to lead the hands-on course. Also present during the course was Dr. Bradley Rowe, MSU Professor of Horticulture, who spoke about propagation of native plants from stem cuttings. Although the course could not be held at the ideal time for live fascine construction and installation (early spring), the fascine that was installed in an eroding bank of the Indian River in Schoolcraft County has survived and is now growing in almost pure sand (see photo on project page). This indicates that any team of volunteer harvesters can successfully construct and install a live fascine--with very little instruction, outside the the ideal spring period, and in a very dry and inhospitable site. For more information on these and other bioengineering techniques, see our online Resource Library.
South Town Creek Access Site View Item
Schoolcraft County (Central Region)
Schoolcraft County has purchased a shorefront lot on Lake Michigan on Highway 2 west of Manistique. Plans have been discussed to construct a parking and access area for smelt fishing and small boats. This project will include development of a trail, boardwalk, and parking lot. Stabilization of sandy soils at this site will require beachgrass propagation and band shaping.
St. Martin's Hill Erosion Control Project View Item
Alger County (Central Region)
St. Martin’s Hill is located in Munising, MI, the largest urban community in Alger County, located on the south shore of Lake Superior. St Martin’s Hill is a severely eroding valley drainage along an unpaved roadway, so severe that it is the largest non-point sediment source into Munising Bay occurring within the city limits. This 3,000-foot long, steeply sloping hill has a gravel road traversing a slope of up to sixteen degrees. The gravel road surface, roadsides and drainage ditches are confined by a narrow, shaded valley which severely gully and actively erode with every rain event and during snowmelt. The exposed, sandy, highly erodable soils are susceptible to severe erosion and have been a problem since the early 1970’s. The sediment moves downslope to overwhelm two small detention basins, then enters the city storm water system, carrying suspended sediment directly into both Munising Bay and the Anna River, a major tributary to Munising Bay. Significant sediment plumes are visible in Lake Superior with every rain and following snowmelt in the spring.
St. Mary's River Rapid Watershed Assessment View Item
Chippewa County (Eastern Region)
The St. Mary’s River Watershed in Chippewa County was one of 19 projects selected nationally to conduct a rapid watershed assessment. A grant of $42,200 will be awarded to the Upper Peninsula RC&D Council, and they will be working in partnership with the Chippewa/East Mackinac Conservation District to identify, assess, and prioritize natural resources concerns in the watershed. The goal of the watershed assessment is to use it to obtain funds for conservation practices that are needed to correct or prevent pollution problems. The St. Mary’s River is listed as one of 42 Great Lakes Areas of Concern by the International Joint Commission. Despite this designation, the river supports a warm and coolwater fisheries community with many wetland dependent fish species. Wetlands in the area are considered to be some of the most diverse across the Great Lakes.
Tahquamenon Area Civic Center Project View Item
Luce County (Eastern Region)
The Tahquamenon Area Civic Center was identified as a top priority for improving the community and quality of life in the Newberry area over fifteen years ago. The Civic Center is conceptualized as a multi-purpose, recreational and community facility which will provide a central location for large community events including everything from concerts to regional conventions and sporting events. With assistance from the UP RC&D Council, the Civic Center Committee will choose the best site and facilitate the planning and financing for this project. Depending on the site chosen, project partners visualize a facility which will incorporate "green technology" and have a role in educating the public on responsible use of natural resources.
Torch Lake Superfund Sites View Item
Houghton County (Western Region)
The Torch Lake Superfund Sites are being addressed through a cooperative agreement between the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Environmental Protection Agency. A series of several historic stamp sand deposits located in Torch Lake, as well as several other sites along the Keweenaw Waterway, have been capped with topsoil and re-vegetated in an effort to curb movement of these mining wastes. NRCS engineers were hired, using EPA Superfund resources, which were initially sought through the RC&D program in the mid-1990s. Although stamp sands are not a human health hazard, they do present problems for aquatic life and water quality in the waterway. A total of $15.5 million has been allocated to stabilize numerous waste sites. In several cases, the restored sites have provided new development properties, including housing. This multi-year project was completed in 2006.
Twin Lakes Berm Project View Item
Elm River township, Houghton County (Western Region)
Seasonally unacceptable levels of dust, debris and noise are affecting a significant portion of the residential area of Twin Lakes. Elm River Township desires the construction of a vegetated earth berm between Highway M-26 and the snowmobile/ORV trail and an adjacent sawmill and wood storage yard. Twin Lakes is a very scenic area, with views of the lakes from the highway as motorists pass through. This berm project will screen the sawmill, chipping operation and log/lumber storage yard from view from the highway.
U.P. People and Land Project-Community Forums View Item
The UP RC&D Council, along with project partners in three Upper Peninsula Conservation Districts, will be organizing and facilitating three community forums for the purpose of informing citizens of the results of research regarding "The Role of Corporate Timberland Ownership Change in Land Use, Conservation, and Local Prosperity in Michigan's Upper Peninsula". This research is being conducted with funding from People and Land and the National Wildlife Federation. Researchers at Michigan Technological University are studying historical and current land ownership and condition of the forest resource. Researchers at Michigan State University are researching "The UP Economy and the Role of the Forest Products Industries", and researchers at the Michigan Environmental Council will study and summarize the local regulatory capacity for dealing with forest ownership change and land use planning and development. The National Wildlife Federation will provide a case study of land ownership changes in Northern New England for comparison.
Upper Peninsula Native Plants Restoration Project View Item
(Central Region)
Years of productive planning among the U.P. RC&D Council, Northern Michigan University (NMU), the Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP), and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) have brought about a collaborative service-learning project to restore native plant communities to degraded sites across the Upper Peninsula. Native plant study areas are being developed on Northern Michigan University’s campus, a 1.4 acre jack pine savanna at the Rapid River School Forest has been restored, and sites on Grand Island and at the USFS Bay Furnace Area will be cleared of non-native species and restored with native species. Approximately 500 lineal feet of Dead River streambank will be stabilized and restored using live fascine bundles and native seeds. An instructional DVD about the use of live fascines was created and will be distributed to restoration leaders throughout the Upper Peninsula. An Online Native Plant Resource Center has been added to the UP RC&D Council website (www.uprcd.org). The web page includes information on native plants, landscaping, native plant suppliers, and organizations throughout the Upper Peninsula. The project specifically addresses the shortage of labor, expertise, and native plant material and in turn will educate the public and train volunteers on native plant restoration while establishing native plant “seed banks” to meet future demands for local genotype plant species.
Upper Peninsula Sustainable Forest and Wildlife Fund View Item
The Upper Peninsula Sustainable Forest and Wildlife Fund was created to provide for the sustainability of the U.P. forests and wildlife through collaborative efforts with others having similar interests. The annual income generated by this permanent endowment fund shall be used to support charitable efforts that will contribute to improved forest management, wildlife habitat, youth and recreational opportunities. The endowment fund was established in 1998, with contributions from the Mead Paper Division, the Kellogg Foundation, and U.P. Whitetails Association, Inc., and the U.P. Resource Conservation and Development Council, and other private and corporate contributors. The Fund is managed by the Upper Peninsula Community Foundation Alliance (UPCFA). The Fund is administered by an advisory committee, whose members represent outdoor groups, education, youth, forest products industry, and the UPCFA.
Van Cleve Park Erosion Control View Item
Delta County (Central Region)
Severe wind erosion was resulting in excessive migration of sand into parking areas, roads, and sidewalks at Van Cleve Park in Gladstone. To address the problem, about three acres of beachgrass were planted along 450 feet of shoreline. In addition, topsoil was spread, seeded, mulched and fertilized to provide nutrients to the beachgrass. A rustic rail fence was installed to restrict pedestrian traffic in planted areas, wooden walkways directed traffic between planted areas, and barrier posts were installed to control vehicle traffic.
Water Guardians Program View Item
Chippewa County (Eastern Region)
The Chippewa / East Mackinac Conservation District (CEMCD) will build the capacity of older adults in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan to serve as leaders in their rural communities in the monitoring and protection of water quality. This project received fund raising research, writing, and planning assistance from the U.P. RC&D Council. The focus of the Water Guardian Program will be on training volunteers that will serve as knowledgeable resource persons for their communities, with the ability to help prevent and solve local water quality problems. Water Guardians will receive the technical training and support they need to effectively access, communicate and protect ground and surface water quality throughout their regions. As a result, local units of government will be able to respond to water quality problems before those problems lead to human health impacts in the general population.

Water guardians will complete a 5-session classroom curriculum, training in field sampling techniques, implementation and follow-through on collecting water samples at areas of concern in designated eastern-U.P. areas. If you would like to work as a Water Guardian in your community, please contact Dusty with CEMCD’s office at (906) 635-1278 or Wendy with The Les Cheneaux Watershed Council’s office in Cedarville at 484-3031.
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