Our mission Preserving the Yellow Dog Watershed in its most natural state for the use of the public, now, and for the benefit of future generations.
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Ways to help

Volunteer Land Stewardship

The YDWP Volunteer Land Stewardship Program was developed in 2018 to help keep an eye on the properties in our care. Volunteers and staff walk the parcels every spring and fall to note any changes or problems as well as identify plants and wildlife who live there.
  • Occasional
  • 21+, 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Outdoor
  • None, On-site
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Volunteer Stream Monitoring

The YDWP has been a part of the MiCorps (VSMP) Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program for the Yellow Dog River since 2004 and this year we started the MiCorps (VSMP) for the Salmon-Trout River. The VSMP programs incorporate: volunteer participation, stream habitat assessment, macroinvertebrate collection, and a stream quality score. The program runs twice a year for both streams and we are always looking for any interested volunteers.
  • Occasional
  • 21+, 55+, Adults, Child with Adult
  • Individuals, Groups (2-10)
  • Outdoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Office Work

Assist our efforts by helping out with various office tasks.
  • Weekly, Monthly
  • 21+, 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Office work, Indoor
  • None
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Sulfide Mining

The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve has dedicated significant time and resources to protecting the watershed from the multilayered threat of sulfide mining. The Eagle Project, a nickel and copper mine on the boundary of the Yellow Dog and Salmon Trout watersheds, has been our primary concern. Assist our efforts to help ensure ecological protection.
  • Occasional
  • 21+, 55+, Adults
  • Individuals, Groups (2-10)
  • Event support, Indoor, Outdoor
  • None, On-site
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Yellow Dog River Community Forest Committee

While the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve is the owner and bears final responsibility for the Community Forest, it also relies on public input for decision making. The Community Forest Committee was formed in order to represent different elements of the community at large. The committee currently has eight members. Additional committee members can be added over time, but there must always be at least 5 active on the committee.
  • Monthly
  • 21+, 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • None
  • Weekdays, Evenings

Cooperative Lake Monitoring

The Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) is a network of volunteer monitoring programs in Michigan. The Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program is a part of MiCorps and has been established for Lake Independence which is a part of the greater Yellow Dog Watershed. Lake Independence is tested about 16 times throughout the summer for chlorophyll, transparency, temperature, total phosphorus, and dissolved oxygen.
  • Weekly, Monthly
  • 21+, 55+, Adults
  • Individuals, Groups (2-10)
  • Outdoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Community Education

We strive to inform, inspire, and engage the public, our local communities, and local government bodies. We do this by encouraging public participation in our seasonal activities and events and by attending and presenting at township meetings, advocating where necessary for changes or amendments to policy in order to protect our watershed. The Nature School holds workshops and environmental education classes on a variety of intriguing and creative topics designed to inspire participants to get involved with nature.
  • Weekly, Monthly
  • 21+, 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor, Outdoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Invasive Species Treatment/Native Species Protection

The protection of specific parcels in the watershed helps preserve aquatic habitats and riparian areas for a wide variety of animal and plant life. Volunteers help to identify and remove invasive species to help native species thrive.
  • Occasional
  • Teens, 21+, 55+, Adults, Child with Adult
  • Individuals, Groups (2-10), Families
  • Physical, Outdoor
  • On-site
  • Weekdays, Weekends
How you help Do you appreciate our land as much as we do? Become a part of the solution and help us monitor and protect this preserve.
About us The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve is an environmental organization comprised of grassroots individuals who take environmental ethics to heart. We focus on informing the public about the watershed, conducting sound science, and protecting the resources from threats like sulfide mining. We have many strong programs to help us, such as MiCorps, Yellow Dog Riverkeeper ® program, and more. There are many pressures on the rivers and forests and we strive to balance the need for wild places with the necessities of humankind. This truly is one of the last unspoiled wilderness areas in the eastern United States. Our watershed is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Baraga and Marquette County. It runs free and clean through wild country until it eventually reaches Lake Superior. This is how we want it to stay.
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