CEDARS FOR THE AU SABLE
An Au Sable River System Cedar Tree Planting and Protection Project
Presented by the Au Sable River System Property Owners Association (ARSPOA), P.O. Box 15, Grayling, MI 49738. Funding sponsors for this project are: George W. Mason Chapter (Grayling) of Trout Unlimited, William B. Mershon Chapter (Saginaw) of Trout Unlimited, Paul H. Young Chapter (Detroit) of Trout Unlimited, Clinton Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Anglers of the Au Sable (Grayling), Michigan Council of Trout Unlimited, Upper Manistee River Association, and Mr. Craig Hinkle, Re/Max of Grayling.
Contact: Howard N. Johnson, Project Chair
3157 Church Street
Saginaw, MI 48604
517-753-6373 or 517-275-5906
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Seventy northern Michigan residents have planted over 1,000 young cedar seedlings recently in an effort to preserve and protect the cold water fishery of the Au Sable and Manistee River watersheds. The second year of this “one-of-its-kind” restoration project encouraged cedar seedlings planting by local river property owners to help maintain the delicate balance of the river’s ecological system.
The Michigan White Cedars along the river’s banks provide needed shade to maintain the cold water fishery. The presence of the cedar sweepers at the water line provides protection for the fish, increases the amount of large woody debris in the water, as well as provides for the preservation of the riverbank by locking in the soil.
There is virtually no natural regeneration of Michigan white cedars in northern Michigan due to the tremendous deer populations. Many river property owners have long recognized the complete absence of any young cedars in our area. They have attempted to plant replacement cedar seedlings only to have the deer eat them again.
Recognizing that this problem exists and a solution needed to be found, volunteer members of the Au Sable River System Property Owners Association (ARSPOA) pre-packaged Michigan White Cedar seedlings into a “planting kit”. Included in this planting kit were: 10 Michigan White Cedar seedlings, protective enclosure, wooden stakes, ties to secure fence; and complete planting instructions. Committee members included: Bernie Fowler, Charlie Guenther, Brian Benjamin, Bill Kessel, Ed Parks, Brian Crouch, and chairman Howard N. Johnson.
Local river property owners purchased all the seedlings that were available for the project this year. The committee is pleased to report that the interest is so strong that about one-half of the available tree stock for next year’s project has already been committed. To order kits for next summer, (or to start a similar project on your favorite river) please contact project chairman Howard N. Johnson at 517-753-6373.
The actual cost for all the material in the “Cedar Tree Kit” was substantially more than the asking price. The purchase price was subsidized by George W. Mason Chapter (Grayling) of Trout Unlimited, William B. Mershon Chapter (Saginaw) of Trout Unlimited, Paul H. Young Chapter (Detroit) of Trout Unlimited, Clinton Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Michigan Council of Trout Unlimited, Upper Manistee River Association, Anglers of the Au Sable (Grayling), and Mr. Craig Hinkle, Re/Max of Grayling. Many local businesses also helped with the project, including Wayne Wire Cloth Products of Hillman and Village Ace Hardware of Roscommon.