Michigan Karst Conservancy

The Michigan Karst Conservancy is dedicated to the preservation of examples of Michigan's karst areas. It was formed in 1983 by people with an appreciation for Michigan karst features, when it became apparent that no other groups were interested and able to actively protect such areas for their inherent geological interest.

The purposes of the Conservancy are the acquisition, management and protection of the finest examples in Michigan of karst areas and features, as well as scientific study, and conservation education regarding karst.

There is only a finite time within which to establish protection for the most significant areas. Indiscriminate use of sinkholes in Alpena county as dumps and landfills is still occurring, which results in groundwater pollution and degrades and obscures these fascinating features. Many sinkholes have also been filled in for farming. In the Upper Peninsula, one large and several small caves have been quarried away (in a State with very few caves, and in a situation where the caves could have been preserved with negligible cost or trouble). In other areas, erosion damage is occurring due to uncontrolled foot and vehicle traffic.

Risks of further loss of the relatively few remaining significant features by activities that would not preserve them are very great. It is, in fact, the small sizes of the remaining significant karst areas that make them an opportunity for preservation. Because the areas are small, it is possible to acquire the land and hold it in trust for informed public use.

The MKC now owns two preserves. The 480 acre Fiborn Karst Preserve in Michigan's upper peninsula, purchased in 1987, includes an extensive and nearly complete karst drainage system with features such as sinkholes, caves and disappearing streams. The 31 acre Stevens Twin Sinks Preserve west of Alpena, purchased in 1990 and enlarged in 1996 by the donation of the 2.5 acre Bruski Sink, contains examples of sinkhole habitats unique to that area. Scientific research and educational programs are conducted at both preserves.
 


Contact Michigan Karst Conservancy

Aubrey Golden
President
2805 Gladstone Ave
Ann Arbor, Michigan  48104-6432
Phone: (248) 666-1683


 

Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Michigan


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