The Pigeon River County remains a haven of peace and solitude in the midst of the northern part of Michigan's lower peninsula. When P.S. Lovejoy envisioned the Pigeon River Country when back in 1919, he saw it as the "Big Wild," a place that was remote, wild, natural, and devoid of "parky fixings- up." It has now grown to over 105,000 acres and is its own special management unit within the state forest system. After years of sustained efforts to restore the area to its pristine condition after the ravages of the great pine logging era of the late 1800s and intensive cutting of hardwoods in the early 1900s, the area was again threatened by the expansion of oil and gas exploration and production in the 1970s. Hunting and trout fishing expeditions along the banks of the three rivers, the Sturgeon, the Pigeon, and the Black, whose combined watersheds form the major part of the area, are again enjoyable. Conservation-minded persons banded together with outdoor sports enthusiasts to form the Pigeon River County Association which consequently spearheaded the effort to save the area and led to its present status as a special management area within the Michigan State Forest system. The Pigeon River Country State Forest and surrounding land is home to the largest free-roaming elk herd east of the Mississippi River. The nearly 105,000-acre state forest contains native hardwoods and pines that are interspersed with fields and forest openings. The Department of Natural Resources maintains this excellent elk habitat through careful forest and wildlife management.
The Pigeon River Country By Jim Hanus
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