It is difficult to overstate the beauty and importance of the Chain of Lakes watershed. From its beginnings near Beals Lake to its outlet in Elk Rapids, this collection of picturesque lakes and rivers is a truly iconic part of the northern Michigan landscape. Now, we have a wonderful opportunity to protect a critical property in the heart of this vital watershed.
The proposed Intermediate Lake Sanctuary features more than a half mile of undeveloped frontage on its namesake lake, which is the largest of the many smaller lakes in the upper Chain. It is dominated by large stretches of wetlands that serve the important role of filtering overland runoff from nearby upland areas as it enters Intermediate Lake and the Chain as a whole.
Aside from its tremendous water quality benefits, this undeveloped shoreline habitat is also critical for a variety of plants, animals and birds, including the iconic common loon, which nests in the area. Several old growth cedars add to the natural wonders of this special place.
Given the sensitive wetland conditions dominating the site, the parcel would be managed as a sanctuary to safeguard its ecological features.