Areas with high conservation values

Michigan’s state forests and public lands are unique. They contain rare, threatened or endangered species, 100-year-old trees, sand dunes, rivers and streams and other important ecosystems.

We identify and protect these special areas in state forests as part of forest certification. Here are the following types of ecosystems with high conservation value:

  • Ecological reference areas
    • Rare or high-quality natural communities that have been relatively undisturbed by human intervention. Management activities are limited to protect the area.
  • Dedicated natural areas
    • The best examples of Michigan’s native landscape.
    • Four dedicated natural areas are on state forest land: Bois Blanc Island, Little Brevort Lake, Roscommon Red Pines and Carney Fen.
  • Natural, wild and scenic rivers
    • Including the Au Sable, Pere Marquette, Pigeon, Rifle and others, these waters are preserved and protected to enhance Michigan’s river systems.
  • Critical sand dunes
    • Fifteen critical dunes provide more than 9,000 acres of habitat near the Great Lakes.
  • Dedicated habitat areas
    • Provide habitat for federal and state threatened or endangered species.
  • Dedicated management areas
    • Areas established through Land Use Orders for specific purposes, including biodiversity and non-intrusive recreation.
  • Coastal environment areas
    • Coastal marshes important for protecting habitat for reptiles, amphibians, fish spawning and migratory birds.