- Huron Mountains
The Huron Mountains are located in the Upper Peninsula of the
U.S. stateof Michigan, mostly in Marquette and Baraga Counties, overlooking Lake Superior. Their highest peak is Mount Arvonwhich, at 1,979 feet (603 m) above sea level, is the highest point in the state of Michigan.
The mountains are the remnants of much higher peaks, dating back to the
precambrianperiod, which have gone through successive periods of uplift and erosion. The outcroppings of graniteand metamorphic rocks bear the evidence of more recent glacial action. Geologically, the area is part of the Canadian shield.
The region is characterized by its boreal vegetation and unusually diverse and pristine habitats. It includes one of the largest remnants of substantially undisturbed
old-growth forestin the upper Great Lakes region (but see also Porcupine Mountains, the Sylvania Tract, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area). Forests on the uplands are dominated by hemlock and northern hardwoods. Forests on the steep slopes and mountain ridges are dominated by pine- oakstands.
The area has been preserved largely due to the influence of the highly exclusive
Huron Mountain Club(HMC), which owns a large tract of land in the mountains, including a portion of the Salmon Trout River. The club commissioned noted naturalist Aldo Leopoldto create a preservation plan for the area. However, the private club also zealously restricts access to its property, which is unfortunate for white water raftingenthusiasts since the Salmon Trout is rumored to be one of the best rafting rivers in Michigan. According to some versions of a story, the exclusive club even put Henry Fordon a waiting list. Reportedly, in order to gain favor with the club, Ford blocked the construction of a planned extension of highway M-35 through the mountains. After gaining membership, Ford commissioned noted architect Albert Kahn in 1929 to build a $100,000 cabin for his use.
Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundationsponsors natural science research in the region, including the HMC lands.
In the late 1950s, the Huron Mountains were a candidate for becoming a
national park. However, the HMC was influential in undermining the proposal.
* [http://www.americanwhitewater.org/rivers/id/2620/ About the Huron Mountain Club]
* [http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/slbe/adhi_2b.htm NPS history about efforts to create a national park in the Huron Mountain region]
* [http://www.michiganhighways.org/indepth/M-35_huronmtns.html M-35: The Highway Henry Ford Stopped]
* [http://www.hmwf.org/ Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundation]
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