Use of the Forest

Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for the public's use include (but are not limited to):

Thursday, August 19, 2010

There used to be more birding research activity in Saginaw Forest

In doing a brief survey of Saginaw Forest-related research (the published pieces that don't deal specifically with Third Sister Lake, that is), indicate that there used to be more birding research in Saginaw Forest. One key piece of direct evidence comes from Hann's 1939 article:
Early in the year 1933, the writer began some experiments in the relation of castration to the migration of birds in connection with a banding station at Saginaw Forest five miles west of Ann Arbor. The results, though not as decisive as hoped for, are reported at this time, because the banding station has been discontinued, and there is little likelihood that any remaining birds will be recovered.
 Although the birding station in Saginaw Forest was discontinued, bird collection was not, as evidenced by Misch's 1960 article:
The birds used in this study were captured in Ann Arbor and at Saginaw Forest, 4 miles west of Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Michigan
Somewhat interesting is the description of the distance from Ann Arbor to Saginaw Forest. Almost every time the forest is mentioned, it is associated with a distance "west of Ann Arbor." (When no distance is given, the article in question will usually have a reference to its location within Washtenaw County, in Southeast Michigan.) The reported distance from Ann Arbor isn't consistent, however, and it ranges from a minimum of 3 miles to a maximum of 5 miles. Using the technology now available to us, it is possible to see that the distance from the entrance to Saginaw Forest to Liberty and Main (i.e., "downtown") is 3.1 miles; State and North University (i.e., the edge of Central Campus) is 3.6 miles; to the Biology Department is 3.7 miles; to the School of Natural Resources and Environment is 3.8 miles; and to the Natural History Museum is 3.9 miles. Therefore, 3-4 miles is a decent estimate of distance, depending on whether one means the University or the town center. However, for the single reference I found to a 5-mile distance... I can't explain it.

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