Exploring partnership potential at Huron National Wildlife Refuge
June 27, 2018
Climbing up to the lighthouse at Huron National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Garrett Peterson/USFWS.
We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manage a unique collection of lands across the midwest, including a few islands in the Great Lakes. North of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, in the cold waters of Lake Superior, sits Huron National Wildlife Refuge. This collection of eight small, granite islands is a rugged landscape and the summer nesting home to gulls and other migratory birds.
All eight of the islands are designated as federal wilderness area, but one of the larger islands, Lighthouse Island, is open to the public. Lighthouse Island is home to an historic U.S. Coast Guard lighthouse that is still in operation, providing guidance to ships on Lake Superior. Visitors can walk up the scenic island paths to view the lighthouse, the quarters of the former lighthouse keepers and other structures that were once necessary to maintain the operation of the light.
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, a federally-recognized Native American tribe near Huron National Wildlife Refuge, invited us to consult with their tribal council members about our management of the islands. On June 20, Regional Director Tom Melius and Refuge Manager Sara Siekierski met with tribal council members Susan LaFernier, Mike LaFernier Sr. and Gary Loonsfoot Jr. to discuss management of the islands and possible ways we could partner with Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.
Huron National Wildlife Refuge from Lake Superior. Photo by Garrett Peterson/USFWS.