Last Thursday, CRA staff and board members, project partners, funders, and community members gathered to honor the completion of the Free Span the Maple River initiative.

The event also served as the first stop on CRA Director Amy Beyer’s retirement tour, celebrating her 32 years of dedicated leadership. Our wonderful friends at EDTU also stopped by to present us with a donation to fuel future efforts!

A huge thank you to our event sponsors: the Henry E. & Consuelo S. Wenger Foundation, Krenn Timber Bridge, Inc., and the Holton Family. Additionally, a big shout-out to Paul Keiswetter for hosting us at his magnificent Maple River Farm.

Event Photos

Spring 2024 Update

“The Maple: A River Freed” highlights the “Free Spanning the Maple River” initiative, a historic collection of restoration projects in Emmet County, Michigan. The initiative, led to the first major river in the United States to be fully liberated from stem to stern.

The project, spearheaded by CRA in partnership with numerous non-profits, public and private entities, and dedicated landowners, has resulted in enhancement of miles of fish habitat, the removal of the Lake Kathleen dam, and the replacement of every undersized stream crossing in the river. This monumental effort has been ongoing since 1999, with a singular vision to restore all 55 miles of the Maple River to its natural, free-flowing state.

“This spectacular achievement was possible only through the unwavering collaboration and commitment of our partners,” said CRA’s Executive Director. Amy Beyer.  “Together, we’ve reversed over a century of ecological damage in just two decades.”

The initiative mobilized $10 million from 45 diverse funding sources, underscoring the significant investment and broad support for the Maple River’s rehabilitation.

Read the full story here:

Project Partners & Funders

Chris Pierce
Biologist/Senior Project Manager
Conservation Resource Alliance
(231) 946 – 6817

For Photos:

Gavin MacDonald
Development and Communication Coordinator
Conservation Resource Alliance