Little Traverse Conservancy

What We Do

Our Mission

The mission of the Little Traverse Conservancy is to protect the natural diversity and beauty of northern Michigan by preserving significant land and scenic areas, and fostering appreciation and understanding of the environment. Our service area includes Chippewa, Mackinac, Emmet, Cheboygan, and Charlevoix counties.

We Protect Land

The land is a living resource. When it is overdeveloped or misused, we all suffer. This is particularly critical in the North where natural beauty is our principal attraction, and most people’s livelihoods are derived in some way from the region’s abundant resources.

In the last century, the landscape has been changing at a much faster rate than it has been protected in its natural state. In the early 1970s, the Little Traverse Conservancy was founded as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization to take action. As of June, 2023:

  • More than 330 private properties have been given permanent protection with conservation easements.
  • Almost 400 nature preserves and 38 working forest reserves are open to the public with more than 100 miles of trails available.
  • Several partnerships with local units of government have protected additional lands now open to the public.

We Care for Protected Lands

All easement-protected lands and nature preserves are monitored annually. While some preserves are more visitor-friendly, all are open to the public. Today the Conservancy maintains 100 miles of trail on nearly 50 nature preserves.

We Provide Outdoor Education Opportunities

Since 1986, LTC has provided environmental education programs—at no cost—to thousands of school children throughout the year. Quarterly field trips are offered for an adult audience interested in learning more about our valuable natural spaces.

What We Don’t Do

The Conservancy provides people with alternatives, not ultimatums. We do not protest. We do not tell individuals or governments how to manage their land. Instead, we work with all landowners—whether they are conservationists or developers—to protect northern Michigan’s natural features.


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