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Boreal Community Media

Thunder Bay Field Naturalists purchase land on Lake Superior's Michipicoten Island

Feb 14, 2019 06:59AM ● By Editor
Thunder Bay Field Naturalists' newest acquisition is the home of caribou and peregrine falcons Photo:  Naturally Superior Adventures

From Thunder Bay Newswatch - February 13, 2019

Thunder Bay Field Naturalists have added some land on one of  Lake Superior's largest islands to their growing list of holdings.

TBFN has just completed the purchase of two parcels comprising nearly 220 hectares on Michipicoten Island, a 370-square-kilometre island located 100 km south of Marathon.

In an announcement Wednesday, the group said the new reserve lands include rugged upland areas with mature mixed forest and Lake Superior shoreline.

Michipicoten Island Provincial Park, which covers most of the island, abuts the two properties on all sides.

"The two parcels are remote undisturbed wilderness and we plan to keep them that way," the announcement stated.

The island has long been a refuge for the Lake Superior coastal woodland caribou herd, but in recent years the population has been decimated by wolves which crossed from the mainland on an ice bridge.

It is also home to nesting peregrine falcons and some Arctic plant species.

TBFN's announcement recognized the assistance of the Michipicoten First Nation in monitoring and caring for the reserve.

It said volunteers from the community will work with TBFN members this summer to complete a baseline natural  history inventory.

Half the funding for the acquisition was provided through the federal government's Canada Nature Fund.

TBFN paid for the remainder, but the organization did not disclose the purchase price.

The properties were acquired from a party in Winnipeg and a second party in the U.S.

Michipicoten Island is by far the most distant of TBFN's 16 parcels, but falls within the group's designated jurisdiction because it is part of the District of Thunder Bay.

The Thunder Bay Field Naturalists acquired their first nature reserve at the mouth of the Nipigon River in 1993.

Their holdings now total more than 2000 hectares.

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