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St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve - Responsible Use of Public Conservation Land and Access

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Public use that is compatible with natural and cultural resource protection is a priority at the Buffer Preserve along with promoting and encouraging visitors to view the preserve as a unique wilderness area with a high degree of aesthetic and natural value that is worth protecting through active stewardship. The Buffer Preserve is managed under the single use concept of natural systems management. This includes restoration, maintenance, and protection of all natural communities; identification and protection of species considered endangered, threatened, or of special concern; conservation and protection of aquatic resources; identification and protection of cultural resources; control of exotic plants and animals; and the integration of compatible human uses.

The area within the Buffer Preserve boundaries provides a variety of outdoor resource based recreational opportunities. These include hiking, birding, kayaking, nature photography, biking and fishing. The preserve promotes "Leave No Trace" principles to visitors through educational kiosks and brochures. Staff continually monitors public access and visitor use to assess impacts to environmental conditions and then utilize adaptive management methods to eliminate, avoid, or reduce potential adverse impacts to natural resources.

The Buffer Preserve is seeking to increase public access opportunities while minimizing adverse impacts to natural and cultural resources. This will be achieved by the development of new trails, continuing tram tours, developing new programs such as a morning bird-watching walk program, and improved signage and educational materials such as field guides.

Last Modified:
February 24, 2023 - 3:10pm

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