Conservation Resource Alliance
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A Big and Great River

May 4, 2007

A river with many names: Some call it the Big Sable River, others pronounce it the same but spell it Sauble, and yet some call it the Great Sable River. Call it what you will, but one thing in common is that many of us believe this river to be a magnificent waterway, cherished by fisherman, canoeists and kayakers, outdoor enthusiasts, and nature lovers. Many projects are planned for 2007 to help control erosion problems and improve fish and wildlife habitat. The Big Sable Watershed Restoration Committee and CRA has been actively pursuing funds, holding cedar canoe raffles and writing many grant proposals, to help achieve goals of reducing sediment load into the Big Sable River and Hamlin Lake and improving water quality of this watershed and Lake Michigan.

Projects listed for 2007 include: Cooperative work with the United States Forest Service on three sites (#1, #2, #3 – Big Sable Stream Bank Inventory, 2006) are in progress. Sites 1 and 2 are smaller, minor erosion sites that will entail vegetative plantings to help them along. Site 3 is a little more complex and rated as a severely eroding bank. Site 3 has been used and abused for many years as a boater access and until recently vehicles were able to drive along the top of the bank creating an accelerated circumstance of erosion. A couple years ago the forest service installed poles to stop vehicles from driving on the bank tops. Pictures dating back to 1999 show the increased erosion on this site and why something needs to be done immediately to help fix the problem. Site plans are underway to improve boater access to the river and to help stabilize the remaining portions of the stream bank.

Another boater access site (Site 15) will be healed this summer as well. CRA has been working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to obtain a state use permit to help with erosion control and access site improvements. The Big Sable Watershed Restoration Committee and CRA will finish project improvements this spring. Other projects included for this field season are a pilot phase large woody debris project, a couple streambank stabilization projects, on-going temperature study, cedar plantings, and others. Please contact Chris Pierce if you are interested in volunteering for these great projects or just have general questions (231) 946-6817.


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Conservation Resource Alliance

Bayview Professional Centre
10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-946-6817

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