Northern Michigan Conservation

I am reading a book called “Sand County Almanac” by Aldo Leopold (written in 1949).


I am also interested in learning about how the conservation movement emerged in Northern Michigan. This is important to me because it is one more thing where I feel like I have a lot of the pieces information but I don’t really understand it.

I grew up hearing a lot about the Little Traverse Conservancy. I knew there were things about DDT. I knew that Michigan used to have a lot of nearly unrestricted lumbering (which screwed up the forests and the ecosystem). I know that Northern Michigan has a lot of parks and “beautiful nature” kinds of places.

There are places like Sleeping Bear Dunes, Hartwick Pines, and various campgrounds.

A friend of the family was highly involved in working to preserve the clean water of northern Michigan lakes, to include the Jordan River Valley.

Here is some more stuff I have heard of:

Little Traverse Conservancy (

Little Traverse Conservancy Private Landowner Network (PLN)

Little Traverse Conservancy papers –>;view=text

Harbor Springs, Michigan organization founded in 1972 to to promote conservation through land acquisition by donation or purchase, the establishment of nature preserves, and educational programs, rather than through lawsuits or political action. The record group consists of correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports, notes, newspaper clippings, press releases, annual reports, and brochures relating to its history and activities. Also included are biographical sketches of founding members based on oral history interviews and some photographs, slides, and architectural drawings. In addition, there are records relating to various outside activities of executive director Tom Bailey.


Tip of The Mitt Watershed Council


Stuff I have not heard of:

Northern Michigan Conservation Network

River Restoration in NWMI

Conservation Resource Alliance

Grand Traverse Conservation district

Other interesting links:

* Michigan Conservation Trail (pdf) –>

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Native Plants Initiative (50 page pdf) –>

Little Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Program (142 page word doc)–>




Keyword: Genevieve Gillette

Genevieve Gillette (May 19, 1898 – 1986) was an early conservationist in Michigan. She was born in Lansing on May 19, 1898 and attended Michigan Agricultural College, Michigan State University. She was the only woman to graduate in the college’s first landscape architecture class in 1920. Gillette moved to Chicago where she worked in the office of noted garden designer, Jens Jensen.

During the early 1920s, she developed a close friendship with P. J. Hoffmaster, Superintendent of State Parks (1922–1934) and later Director of the Department of Conservation. Hoffmaster enlisted the aid of Gillette to scout the state for areas of land having state park potential, an assignment which she made her life’s work.

Beginning in 1924, she helped locate and raise public support and funding for parks at Ludington, Hartwick Pines, Wilderness, and Porcupine Mountains. Other parks included Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks system, and what was to become the P. J. Hoffmaster State Park in the sand dunes area of Lake Michigan between Grand Haven and Muskegon.


Keyword: DDT

First synthesized in 1874, DDT’s insecticidal action was discovered by the Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Müller in 1939. It was then used in the second half of World War II to control malaria and typhus among civilians and troops. After the war, DDT was made available for use as an agricultural insecticide and its production and use duly increased. Müller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several arthropods” in 1948.[4] However, widespread agricultural use accelerated resistance among insect populations, in many cases reversing early successes against malaria-carrying mosquitos.

In 1962, the book Silent Spring by American biologist Rachel Carson was published. It catalogued the environmental impacts of indiscriminate DDT spraying in the United States and questioned the logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment without a sufficient understanding of their effects on ecology or human health. The book demonstrated that DDT and other pesticides had been shown to cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds. Its publication was a seminal event as regards the environmental movement and resulted in a large public outcry that eventually led, in 1972, to a ban on the agricultural use of DDT in the United States




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