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“A Hidden Gem of the U.P.: The Huron National Wildlife Refuge” (November 11, 2021)

Updated: Nov 20, 2021

Sara Giles, US Fish and Wildlife Service


Even seasoned Yoopers may not be familiar with one of the Upper Peninsula’s greatest natural treasures: the Huron National Wildlife Refuge. For one thing, the refuge isn’t in Lake Huron. It’s actually a series of small islands three miles north of the Huron Mountains in Lake Superior. For another, all but one of the islands are closed to the public because of their paramount importance as bird sanctuaries. The one exception, West Huron Island, is also known as Lighthouse Island — and indeed, the lighthouse there, while itself not open to entry, does draw curious visitors who venture out by private boat.


In this edition of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition Livestream Series, Sara Giles of the US Fish and Wildlife Service takes us there — virtually. Giles gives us an overview of the natural and cultural values of this little-known protected area. She is the visitor services manager at the Seney National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which is in charge of the Huron refuge. A 24-year veteran of the Service, Giles is also a Peace Corps alumna. She and her husband are raising two young children — which has sidelined, but only temporarily, her passion for photography.


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