A unique partnership is focusing on improving and maintaining conifer cover, which is essential to winter deer survival in the Upper Peninsula.
The Department of Natural Resources and Plum Creek Timber Company are working together to manage more than 16,500 acres of industrial forest land for winter deer habitat.
The Lake Superior watershed receives so much annual snowfall that deer will migrate from their summer range to traditional wintering areas to survive the winter, with average movement of about 18 miles.
Hemlock and other conifer canopies catch the snow and reduce the amount of snow on the ground, which makes it easier for deer to move, conserving their energy. The dense trees also reduce the wind, which helps deer retain body heat.
This project will focus on two critical deer wintering complexes in the western U.P. – the Menge Creek DWC in Baraga County, at the head of Keweenaw Bay, and the Huron Mountains DWC, spanning northeastern Baraga and northwestern Marquette counties, along the Lake Superior shoreline.