Rarely does the Conservancy have a chance to protect a place that is so incredibly important in terms of both ecology and history.
The Copeland farm has roots that stretch back to William Copeland, the first permanent white settler of Kalkaska County. He took up residence on the land in 1855, and it’s been owned by his descendants ever since. But this historical significance, while certainly of note, arguably plays second fiddle to the tremendous conservation values of this 179-acre property.
This spectacular parcel has nearly 1,000 feet of shoreline on Lake Skegemog and more than 500 feet along Barker Creek, a key tributary. More than half of the property is high quality wetland that provides important wildlife habitat and protects the water quality of the lake by filtering runoff. This property has been on the radar of local conservationists since the early 1970s, when a grassroots effort led to the creation of the 3,300-acre Skegemog Lake Wildlife Area. The Copeland parcel is adjacent to the wildlife area and contains the last significant undeveloped shoreline in the area.
We have spoken with the landowner and secured an option to purchase a conservation easement that would forever protect these critical ecological features.