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Contact: Amanda Brushaber, 231-326-5134
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is planning to remove a non-native invasive Austrian pine infestation this fall as part of a prairie warbler habitat restoration project. The prairie warbler is listed as endangered by the State of Michigan. The site of the Austrian pine infestation is located on the dunes, adjacent to Lake Michigan, in a remote area southwest of the Platte River. The pines are aggressively naturalizing and displacing native species and some rare plants that are endemic to the Great Lakes dunes. One of these displaced native species is jack pine, which provides habitat for state listed endangered species.
The work includes the removal of the 11-acre infestation beginning this fall. Chainsaws will be used to fell and stack the pines into piles, with plans to burn them in the spring or following winter. Visitors are asked not to approach the site while work is ongoing due to the inherent hazards of felling trees. In the summer of 2011, crews will remove the remaining saplings with hand tools, followed by the establishment of native plants. Removal of the infestation will allow native species to become re-established in the area and return the dune forest ecosystem to its natural state.
For additional information about this project or its location, please contact Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Biologist Amanda Brushaber at 231-334-7452.