“Ecosystem management” is a term used to describe natural resource practices that incorporate managing all organisms within an ecosystem rather than focusing on an individual species. By carefully managing entire ecosystems, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks play an important role in maintaining and restoring Michigan’s natural habitats for vegetation, wildlife, and people.
Many natural areas within the Metroparks have been degraded as a result of large-scale changes such as intensive land use, fire suppression, and the introduction of exotic species. These ecosystems require active management by humans to restore their ecological health and to ensure their sustainability into the future.
In order to manage its natural areas, the Metroparks collect information on plants, animals, and other natural features from ecosystems throughout the 13 Metroparks. Natural areas are then prioritized based on ecological quality, restoration feasibility, and other factors. Depending on specific management goals, a number of strategies including invasive species removal, prescribed burning, and reintroducing native plants may then be used as part of the restoration process. Although much of the hard work is done at the beginning of restoration, ecosystem management is an ongoing process that often takes years or even decades to be successful.
to learn more about current restoration projects at the Metroparks.
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For more information about ecosystem management, contact the Metroparks Natural Resources Department at 810-227-2757.