- About Us
- Protecting The Land
- Stewarding The Land
- Our Preserves
- How You Can Help
The Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy recognizes the importance of strategic conservation planning and the benefits of creating partnerships to create effective and long-term conservation projects. SWMLC has developed a collaborative public process which includes establishing a stakeholder committee to assist in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping analysis and planning to identify priority conservation areas and targets. This process has allowed SWMLC to identify the most significant conservation areas for protection of wildlife habitat, endangered and threatened plant and animal communities, and water resources within the nine-county region.
Over the past ten years, SWMLC’s conservation planning projects have included: Dowagiac River Watershed, Battle Creek and Rice Creek Watersheds, Black River Watershed, Four Township Water Resources Council, Paw Paw River Watershed, Rocky River Watershed, Michigan Dune Alliance Coastal Areas, Mitchell’s Satyr Butterfly, Barry State Game Area Conservation Plan, and Al Sabo–Rota-Kiwan Conservation Plan. Below are five examples of conservation planning projects in which SWMLC is actively involved:
1. Prairieville Creek Watershed Project. A collaborative project with the Four Township Water Resource Council, MSU Kellogg Biological Station, Gull Lake Quality Organization, Prairieville Township, Barry Conservation District, and the MDNRE to conserve land along the Prairieville Creek to protect water quality in Gull Lake and wildlife habitat. For an Executive Summary of this project, click here.
2. Barry State Game Area (SGA) Conservation Plan Project. A collaborative project with the MDNRE, Barry County Planning Department, Michigan Audubon Society, Barry Conservation District, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, Potawatomi RC&D, Barry Community Foundation, MSU Extension Services, and Tyden Ventures LLC to conserve an additional 2,000 acres in and around the Barry SGA to protect wildlife habitat, water resources, and the economic vitality which the SGA provides to Barry County. For an Executive Summary of this project, click here.
3. Paw Paw River Watershed Conservation Project. The Paw Paw River conservation and implementation plan is a partnership project funded initially by Michigan Department of Environmental Quality EPA nonpoint source pollution funds to identify priority lands within the watershed that, if conserved, would protect water resources flowing into Lake Michigan from being degraded. SWMLC established a project team that included: Sarett Nature Center, The Nature Conservancy, Berrien Conservation District, Van Buren Conservation District, Van Buren County Drain Commission, Van Buren County Planning Board, Natural Resource Conservation Service, MSU Extension, Almena Township, and several conservation citizens. For an Executive Summary of this project, click here.
4. Mitchell’s Satyr Butterfly Conservation Project. The Mitchell’s satyr butterfly project began in 2001 as a three-year project to survey known occupied sites for the continued existence of satyrs and to develop habitat management plans to enhance habitat to promote the survival of the satyr. The project has been funded by the USF&WS using Section 6 funds from the Endangered Species Act and is coordinated jointly by the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, MDNRE and USF&WS.
Subsequently, SWMLC received additional funds from a USF&WS private lands stewardship grant to implement the habitat management objectives identified in the study. These funds have allowed us to hire the summer stewardship crew to work on habitat objectives on seven of the sites, creating wildlife corridors linking isolated satyr populations and removing shrub carr to promote sedge habitat critical in the satyrs’ life cycle. In 2005 and 2008, SWMLC secured acquisition funding from the USF&WS to purchase two properties containing Mitchell’s satyr breeding populations.
5. Michigan Dune Alliance (MDA) Conservation Planning and Protection. The MDA is an alliance of land conservancies created in 2000 that work to protect land containing dune systems along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. In 2001 the MDA received a three-year grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation to develop site conservation plans for 18 sites, four of which are located within SWMLC’s service area: Galien River Watershed, lower Paw Paw River Watershed, Dunes Parkway, and Glenn Bluffs.