The U.S. Forest Service is restoring a savannah-type landscape in the southern part of the Manistee National Forest to create habitat for the endangered Karner blue butterfly.
Officials say the work will take place this summer in Muskegon
and Oceana counties. The goal is to create a grassy environment
that will promote growth of colorful lupine plants, on which the
butterflies feed during their caterpillar stage.
Other species that thrive in such a setting include Hill's thistle, the golden-winged warbler, dusted skipper, and eastern box turtle. It's also good for game species such as wild turkey, white-tailed deer and ruffed grouse.
The Forest Service will remove some trees and set controlled
fires to develop the savannah habitat. It also will close many unauthorized "two-track" roads that cause erosion.