Conservation Resource Alliance
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Free Spanning the Maple Update

August 18, 2014

Tucked away near the tip of the mitt is a gem of a river that CRA and partners have been working hard to improve for years. The Maple River is a clear, cold trout stream that locals love, with good reason. But, like most northern rivers, historic logging, agricultural practices, and transportation development have left an impact over the last century.

The story of how old road crossings can contribute to the degradation of premier waterways is a familiar one throughout our region. The Maple has a number of “bad actors” that we’ve inventoried, ranked, and are tackling on a prioritized basis. Targeted for this field season is the twin culvert crossing on Ely Bridge Road. The fix: another beautiful modern timber bridge structure that will provide both safety for vehicles and significant environmental improvements for the river.

With several major crossings completed and five more on the hit list, CRA’s “Free Spanning the Maple” initiative is a watershed wide effort. Major support for the Ely Bridge Road project comes from the Oleson Foundation, the Harry A. & Margaret D. Towsley Foundation, the Pat & Gill Clements Foundation, Baiardi Family Foundation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Emmet County Road Commission. Contact Matt Thomas, CRA Development Coordinator, to find out how you can contribute to these projects and help make the Maple River even more spectacular.

Above right: Ely Bridge Rd during construction

Below right: Perched culverts before


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Conservation Resource Alliance

Bayview Professional Centre
10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-946-6817 info@rivercare.org

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