HISTORIC

ENVIRONMENTAL

ON the TRAIL

LOCATION

Pere Marquette State Forest
Exact Location:
The Pere Marquette State Forest holds land in Leelanau, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Mason, Lake, Osceola, Oceana, Newaygo and Mecosta counties. Most of the public land through which the North Country Trail passes in Wexford County is within the Pere Marquette State Forest.
 
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Wexford County Pere Marquette State Forest
Pere Marquette State Forest in northern Wexford County in green. North Country Trail in bright blue (created from arcgis maps of the NCT and Michigan State Forests)

The idea of Michigan owning State Forests was first considered in 1887. Logging of the white pine was beginning to decrease, and what forest wasn't logged, burned. The obvious devestation of the land prompted the state to create a Forestry Commision to "preserve, protect, and restore Michigan's forests."

A Michigan Landscape after the logging era
A Michigan Landscape after the logging era. The trees were gone, leaving a wasteland (from the National Archives/Wikimedia Commons)
This first effort faltered, but was re-established in 1889, and in 1903 the first State Forest land was purchased in Crawford and Roscommon Counties. Since then, the State Forest System has grown to include more than 4 million acres.

Currently the state manages forests for multiple use- timber harvesting and recreation are both important.

A modern day scene of second growth forest in the Pere Marquette State Forest
A modern day scene of second grown forest in the Pere Marquette State Forest (photo by jhy)


The North Country Trail passes through several Michian State Forests. In Wexford County, all SF land is in the Pere Marquette Forest. It is managed by the Michigan DNR.

Sources:
MSU Extension
MSU History of Forestry
personal experience
Every effort is made to provide up-to-date accurate information, but errors are bound to occur. Please contact explorer@exploreNCT.info about errors, corrections or additions.


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The North Country National Scenic Trail is 4800 miles long, spanning eight states. For more information, visit the North Country Trail Association


5/9/20
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