Michigan was once covered with vast, unbroken forests of pine and hemlock mixed with birch and poplar, and oak savannas marched as far as the eye could see. But in the process of settling the state and exploiting its natural resources, we have drained wetlands, dammed rivers, and cut all but a few remnants of the virgin forests, leaving that untouched Michigan hard to imagine now. Yet important steps are being taken to protect Michigan's natural beauty, and the fact that we are able to enjoy our state today depends on the work of The Nature Conservancy and the various land conservancies and agencies with which it collaborates. The engaging essays in this book illustrate the range of ecosystems that The Nature Conservancy has protected. Included are essays by nine acclaimed Michigan authors; numerous quotes from leading figures in Michigan; and full-color photographs by well-known Michigan photographers of the land, water, and shorelines of the Great Lakes state. John Knott is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Imagining Wild America and coeditor, with Keith Taylor, of The Huron River: Voices from the Watershed. Proceeds from this publication support conservation in Michigan and the Great Lakes. For more information, visit The Nature Conservancy website at www.nature.org.