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Article #24, June 1999
By Bill Cook

If you travel at all around the Upper Peninsula, you have probably noticed those signs along the roadsides with white numbers on green shields.   You might have even wondered what they are all about.   Each sign is one part of the U.P.  Auto Tour brought to you by the Michigan Society of American Foresters and several other organizations.   

Basically, the markers identify 12 forest types found in the U.P.  that foresters manage for timber, recreation and ecological values.  The numbers correspond to a specific forest type.   All the ďnumber onesĒ, for example, point out aspen types.   An excellent brochure describes each forest type and has additional information about our great U.P.  forest.   It contains a map of all the site locations.  The brochures are available at Michigan Welcome Centers in the U.P., DNR and Forest Service offices as well as Visitor/Tourist Centers or you can contact your County Extension office.   You may also call 1-800-474-1718 to request one be sent to you.  Tens of thousands have been distributed over the last couple of years, and more will be printed this year.  

            The 12 types, with the number of sites in parentheses, are aspen (7), white birch (6), red pine (18), white pine (5), jack pine (12), northern hardwoods (29), hemlock (6), spruce‑fir (8), cedar (14), grass openings (7), fire importance (3), and old growth (6).   Altogether there are 121 signs distributed along the roads throughout the region.   Itís a great way to become familiar with some of the various vegetation types that resource managers often refer to.   Thereís also information about wildlife habitat, Michiganís Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Michigan forests, forest industry, recreation, wetlands, and the Tree Farm system.   

The Society of American Foresters represents professional and scientific forestry across the country.   It is comprised of all sorts of foresters from the public sector, private industry, academia, non-profit outfits, consultants and other groups that employ foresters.   Itís a diverse group that works in many areas to promote the wise use of forest resources for the benefit of society.

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Bill Cook is an MSU Extension forester providing educational programming for the entire Upper Peninsula. His office is located at the MSU Upper Peninsula Tree Improvement Center near Escanaba. The Center is the headquarters for three MSU Forestry properties in the U.P., with a combined area of about 8,000 acres. He can be reached at cookwi@msu.edu or 906-786-1575.

Prepared by Bill Cook, Forester/Biologist, Michigan State University Extension, 6005 J Road, Escanaba, MI  49829
906-786-1575 (voice),  906-786-9370 (fax),  e-mail:  cookwi@msu.edu

Use / reprinting of these articles is encouraged. Please notify Bill Cook.
By-line should read "Bill Cook, MSU Extension" Please use the article trailer whenever possible.

Michigan State University is an affirmative action equal opportunity institution.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital status or family status.   (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

This website is maintained by Bill Cook, Michigan State University Extension Forest in the Upper Peninsula.  Comments, questions, and suggestions are gratefully accepted. 
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