Archive for the ‘History’ Category

NOW AVAILABLE: SOHC 2014 Presentations

The State of the Huron Conference 2014 is now history, but you can re-live the excitement by checking out the presentations from the day’s speakers.

Look for a summary of the Conference in the Summer 2014 Huron River Report available June 1st.

Widget SOHC 2014

Osprey to wear backpacks in Southeast Michigan


A female osprey brings a fish to her fledging at Kensington Metropark.

A female osprey brings a fish to her fledgling at Kensington Metro Park. Photo: Jane Purslow , used with permission

Nearly absent from much of Michigan due to the effects of DDT and other pesticide use, Michigan’s Osprey population continues to recover year by year.  In Southern Michigan, monitoring efforts are in place to track the revitalization of this species. (See the Fall 2012 issue of The Huron River Report to hear about HRWC’s staff outing to visit ospreys nesting at Kensington Metropark).  Historically, Osprey chicks have simply been banded each year as part of a National effort to monitor the species.

This year, in addition to banding, three osprey chicks from area nests will be outfitted with “Backpack” satellite telemetry units.  These units were funded by grants from DTE Energy and American Tower Corporation and will help scientists track the young birds’ daily movement and seasonal migration patterns.

The exciting part is that anyone can follow along and find out where the birds are at any time on the DNR’s website. The DNR plans to use this website for educating youth and bringing wildlife into the classroom.

Please contact Holly Vaughn to schedule an osprey education program in your classroom: (248) 359-9062.

See where Michigan’s Osprey population is currently located >>

Anyone who observes a nesting pair of osprey is asked to contact Osprey Watch of Southeast Michigan (OWSEM) or email osprey@owsem.org.



More creekshed reports available!


What creekshed do you live in? Check out our interactive creekshed map! 


As reported last September,  HRWC is compiling all of our data on a creekshed scale, looking specifically at our creeks and the land that affects them.  We are synthesizing all of our knowledge on these creeksheds and putting them into easily digestible and colorful 4 page reports.

There are now seven creekshed reports available, including the Woods Creek report, which was just finished.

Woods Creek, located near Belleville, is the healthiest lower Huron River tributary.  There are several ordinances protecting the creek and there are many invested citizens who live in the watershed, including the Woods Creek Friends.

Creekshed Reports:




Book Review: Sharing the Facts on Our River

The Huron:  Rivers of Michigan Series

By Kit Lane

Reviewed by Grace Shackman

Kit Lane has saved Huron River enthusiasts a great deal of time by collecting all the facts she can about our river.  The Saugatuck-based author has written more than twenty books on Michigan history including one on John Allen, Ann Arbor’s co-founder, and four on other rivers in the state.

The book starts with an explanation of how the Huron was formed, followed by pre-settlement travelers’ accounts and information on early river communities.  Lane explains why dams were built and discusses the issue of removal.  Her chapter on environmental concerns goes into detail on the founding and work of the Huron River Watershed Council.

Lane includes specific information helpful to river users such as boating conditions, variety of rapids, parks, and trails.  The second half of the book is devoted to a trip down the Huron listing all the public places where people can stop.

In the course of the book Lane answers several questions I’ve always wondered about.  One is whether LaSalle really did use the Huron River when he took a trip across the state in 1680. Lane thinks he did and using a translation of his journal identifies where he stopped.  Another is why the river wasn’t used by early settlers to move their supplies.  The answer is it was too shallow after Rawsonville and the rock bottom didn’t allow deepening. One criticism, in two places she says that Ann Arbor was founded in 1823, when it was 1824, a fact she does get right in her book about John Allen.

Grace Shackman writes history articles for several local publications as well as teaching Washtenaw history and architecture at Washtenaw Community College.

The Huron: Rivers of Michigan Series, is 168 pages, with black and white maps, old postcard views, newly shot photographs, and a full index with bibliography. It retails for $18.50 and is available for purchase locally at the West Side Book Shop, 113 West Liberty, Ann Arbor.

HRWC would like to thank author Kit Lane for sharing her book with us and Grace Shackman for writing this review.


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