Thanks for the wilderness, Congressman Dale Kildee!

Sturgeon River Gorge I by David Mayer

Sturgeon River Gorge I by David Mayer

This week longtime Congressman Dale Kildee passed away. Kildee, uncle of current Flint Representative Dan Kildee, represented Flint for over 30 years earning the nickname “the Cal Ripken of Congress.” He was involved in many efforts including some vital early childhood bills and (of course) auto industry support, but one interesting thing that I learned from writer David Dempsey is that Dale was the sponsor of the 1987 Michigan Wilderness Act which created 10 State Wilderness Areas protecting nearly 100,000 acres of old growth forest, dunes, lakes, and rivers including Sturgeon River Gorge.

Thank you Dale for your work on the behalf of Michigan’s wild places! Click for a map of all 18 of Michigan’s Wilderness Areas.

David took this back in October of 2012 in the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness. See more in his Porcupine Mountains gallery on Flickr.

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Sturgeon River Gorge: Michigan’s Grand Canyon

Michigan's -Grand Canyon--2

Michigan’s -Grand Canyon–2, photo by ShaneWyatt

The Ottawa National Forest page on the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness says:

The Wild and Scenic Sturgeon River rushes out of the northern portion of this wilderness, over the 20 foot volcanic outcroppings of Sturgeon Falls, and through a gorge that reaches 350 feet in depth and a mile in width. Throughout this rugged, steep Wilderness, the Sturgeon and Little Silver Rivers and their tributaries have carved falls, rapids, ponds, oxbows, and terraces. Stunning views are possible from the eastern rim of the gorge. Except for a few naturally bare slopes, most of the land is forested with pine, hemlock, aspen, sugar maple, birch, and basswood. When the leaves of the hardwoods change color in the fall, they form a vivid tapestry.

There are few established trails in Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness, and the few overgrown logging roads are hard to find and follow. The North Country National Scenic Trail parallels the northern and eastern boundaries for about eight miles. Sturgeon River Campground offers seven sites on the southeastern boundary. In spring and during peak runoff, kayaking and white water canoeing are challenging, and only recommended for advanced paddlers.

Check it out bigger and see more on Shane’s map!

More Michigan rivers on Michigan in Pictures.