Beaver Island Association Newsletter - Summer 2022


President’s Corner - Broadband News BICS Update - Sustainable Energy News - Trails Update - Workforce Housing - Terrestrial Invasive Species Update - Dark Sky Sanctuary News
Addition of Island to
UNESCO Obtawaing Biosphere Region

President's Corner

by Dick Mulvihill, BIA President

We survived another winter on Beaver Island. The winter was beautiful, and the silence was deafening. The spring, in meteorological terms – was misery. Morning temperatures in May were below freezing with bone-chilling cold winds off the lake.
With June came the sun. The circle will be unbroken. The lake winds that caused the spring’s bitter cold, brought back the Northwood’s livable summer temperatures in the 70s while the upper Midwest is baking in 90-100 degree temperatures.

Every year the summer brings tourists. They are the lifeblood of the island’s economy but need to understand that life on the most remote inhabited island on the Great Lakes. A few newcomers drive too fast for the roads and their ATVs damage trails and beaches.

Despite a state law that sets an unmarked rural road speed limit at 55 MPH, speeders need to be reminded that 55 MPH is too high for our gravel roads and for the safety of the island’s children and wildlife.

Your board has been working on initiatives to enhance the island’s sustainability, safety, ecology, and culture.

The Summer Newsletter’s articles describe the BIA 2020 initiatives.

Last year our coolest program was the Land Rover Defender Above and Beyond Service Awards. This year the winner coolest program award is the Junior Ranger book

Elizabeth LaSacala, a CMU student, wrote and illustrated a Junior Ranger Manual. It’s a creative tour to introduce kids to the magic of Beaver Island and earn a badge when they drop off the completed booklet at the BIC Center. Check out the Junior Ranger Manual here or pick up a copy at the BIC Center, the library or either of the museums.

We expanded our initiatives to the list of eight below:
• Broadband
• Dark Sky Sanctuary
• Endangered and Invasives
• Birding Trail
• Trails Association
• Community Liaisons
• Housing Taskforce (new) focused on long-term rentals for workplace housing.
• Collaboration (new) for an island energy sustainability program (with Tarra Meadows).

The BIA is at an inflection point. Our initiatives, especially broadband and housing are complex and time-consuming that might be beyond our limited resources. We are looking to the membership for guidance on the allocation of our resources

We look forward to seeing you at the BIA Annual meeting at the BIC Center on August 9th at 2:30 PM. You can make your time at the meeting more productive by registering in advance. Use the handy button right here to do that online now.
We look forward to your ideas, support, and contribution to the BIA.
Ranger Book Sample
The Beaver Island Junior Ranger Manual is
available at the BIC Center, the Print Shop and
Marine Museums and the Library

Broadband News

by Dick Mulvihill, BIA President & Kevin Boyle, JTAC Chairperson, BIA Member

Grant Opportunity: NTIA BEAD Grant
Your BIA Broadband Committee continues its work with the Joint Townships Telecommunications Advisory Committee (JTAC) on this critical issue for the island. As followers of this issue will recall, the BIA worked with the JTAC, the townships, and Great Lakes Energy last summer to prepare and file a grant application for funding for a Fiber to the Home (FTTH) project on the island. Although the grant criteria seemed to have the island in the crosshairs, the application was not successful. That may not be the end of the grant story, though.

The Infrastructure Bill passed as part of the response to the pandemic includes the NTIA Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program that will provide $42.45 billion to expand high-speed internet access for primarily rural areas. Your BIA is once again working with the JTAC to evaluate that opportunity. Our initial review shows that the BEAD program’s regulatory (federal/state), political, reporting, and financial complexities create a high bar for Beaver Island to submit a BEAD application. However, the final details of the qualifications and grant award process will not be known to us until the Michigan Broadband Office develops certain criteria that the state is required to implement as part of the process.

Among the items for the state to address is the definition of “extremely high-cost areas.” This is important for the island because such areas can be excluded from funding for fiber-based broadband projects. We believe that high passing costs (the total cost of a project divided by the number of homes served) are among the reasons that the grant application was not successful. We believe there are ways to reduce those costs (our current target is $8 million for FTTH on the island), but it will also be important to avoid a state-adopted definition that could exclude the island, so we plan meetings in Lansing with our representatives and broadband office officials to provide input on that issue.

The BEAD grant process includes a number of other challenges and complexities that must be considered:
  • Heavy Reporting Requirements
  • The reporting requirements for BEAD are more detailed than previous federal grants
  • It will be more costly to comply
  • States are required to incentivize matches of greater than 25 percent
  • This means states must make every effort to award less than a 75% grant
  • Target Price - $8M x 30% = $2.8M
  • Grant applicants are required to submit an irrevocable standby letter of credit
  • 21% tax on federal grants
  • Target Price- $8M x 21% = $1.7M
BB Speed Compaison for BIA Newsletter
Many providers that offer symmetric gigabit speeds today have the capability to extend this to 10 Gbps symmetric and beyond.

With concern about a looming recession in Washington, the BEAD program is likely to be the last federal broadband grant program of this magnitude for some time. Thus, despite the complexity involved in pursuing it, we need to carefully consider it as an option and be willing to invest time and funds in the effort if there is a viable path under it. Funding for FTTH under BEAD would be a largely paid-up passport to the future for the island. Without it, the burden of funding that critical piece of infrastructure will likely fall on the island.

The complexity of this project will require a broad range of expertise. If you have skills that contribute to the project, we could really use your volunteer assistance in evaluating the opportunity and pursuing it. Applicable skills range from technical and marketing to financial and regulatory analysis to legal and lobbying. The BIA has a 20-year history of working to address broadband issues on the island. Our past president Bob Anderson was instrumental in drawing township attention to the issue and the formation of the JTAC. We’ve made incremental progress and have advanced the ball, but services on the island still are not adequate to meet our goal of economic sustainability for our community.

Success in the BEAD grant process will require a full court press from the community, including the township boards as well as support from the County and our state and federal representatives. It will take time and effort from a broad range of interested parties to get the job done.

Although we remain committed to seeking grant funding from the billions of federal dollars targeted at providing broadband service to rural areas, the harsh reality is that we may not succeed in those efforts, That’s because the low full-time population of the island makes for a fairly limited political voice (no matter how successful we may be in amplifying it). Given that possibility, we believe the community must start planning now for an FTTH system that is self-funded with limited grant support and financed with low-interest government loans (that do appear to be available to us). To support planning for such a project (as well as to support work on grants), we plan to do additional surveys to determine current levels of service (because current government estimates appear to overstate that), interest in improved services, and what costs would be acceptable to bring service on the island to levels that will match what’s now available on the near-shore mainland.

Interim Solution Update
In addition to our efforts to find a long-term solution to inadequate broadband service on the island, your BIA has been working to implement interim service available at key community locations including the Community Center and the library. (We call this our Pools of Service project.) The Beaver Island Broadband Consortium was formed through the joint efforts of the BIA and the JTAC (and for which the BIA will serve as a financial agent) and has secured FCC licenses and equipment necessary to build a 500 Mbps link to the UP. The equipment has been ground tested and is awaiting installation on towers in the UP and on the island. The final piece of the puzzle is finalizing the location of a path to bring the service to the Health Center and Peaine Township Hall. When the project is completed, it is expected to offer 200 Mbps speeds for both downloads and, critically, uploads. There is no service now available on the island that offers this level of service.

Starlink dishes are proliferating on the island and offer a useful interim option for users now stuck with limited speed offerings from TDS or mobile service providers. Several members of the BIA Broadband Committee have installed them. Although speeds vary depending on the number of other users at the time, they can reach 150 Mbps down and 30 Mbps up—sometimes higher, but often lower during peak usage times. Depending on the service plan and when you signed up, the costs are around $100 a month plus one time equipment costs of $500. The service requires a broad view of the sky, especially to the north. This presents an installation challenge for many users on the island, especially at inland locations.

Higher speed business service is also available from Starlink, but it costs $500 a month and has $2,500 equipment costs. Download speeds for the service are 350 Mbps, however, the maximum uplink speed is quoted as 40 Mbps (which is still less than the speeds offered by the Pools of Service project).

While Starlink service can be a great option for some now, we do not believe it is a substitute for FTTH service on the island. History shows that the speeds necessary to meet service needs will continue to increase, likely at increasing rates. Many of us can recall when 1 Mbps was “fast.” Now, just across the lake in Petoskey and Charlevoix, 1 GBPS is a fast home service, and faster speeds are available for business. Starlink’s residential speed now is one tenth of that. Speeds offered on fiber can be increased by changing readily accessible equipment. That is apparently not the case for Starlink. Fiber also makes identical upload and download speeds practical. That functionality is important for home office use (to support modern services used for remote offices) and is critical for business (to support back-up of data to the cloud, video conferencing, servers and other functions). While speeds available from Starlink and other satellite service will grow, it seems more likely than not that they will always be behind those available from fiber for similar (often lower) end user costs.

Beaver Island Community Prepares for New School Year

by Wil Cwikiel, BICS Superintendent, BIA Board Member
Beaver Island Community School finished the 2021-2022 school year strong…and is looking forward to the first day of school on September 6, 2022. We are particularly proud of our seniors, Jared Robert and McKenna Turner. Jared is heading off to Western Michigan University to study physics and McKenna is heading off to the University of Notre Dame to study architecture and structural engineering. Both were great students here at BICS that contributed greatly to the school culture and community.

Reflecting on the success of McKenna and Jared highlights the importance of strong schools in places like Beaver Island. The ongoing support of the community helps ensure that all students know they are valued members of society. The connections between the school and community give students ample opportunities to learn citizenship through volunteering. Small class sizes ensure that students get the academic support they need to excel. And a faculty and staff of caring adults help ensure that students grow up to be wonderful adults.

We look forward to the next school year full of optimism. Beaver Island has only had a handful of days during the entire pandemic when we weren’t able to offer face-to-face instruction. Regardless of what happens with the latest variant, we will strive to bring students and teachers together for face-to-face teaching and learning even if we have to wear masks or take other precautions. We are proud of the partnership we have developed during the COVID-19 pandemic with the Beaver Island Rural Health Center and the Health Department of Northwest Michigan and will continue those partnerships to promote public health and welfare.

We also look forward to next year full of gratitude. The strength and health of this school is a direct result of the strength and health of this community. Although there will always be some nay-sayers, when I compare notes with my colleagues who are superintendents in other schools, we are so very lucky to exist in such a supportive community. Whether it’s our business partners who provide work-based learning opportunities for our students, family, and friends who show up to cheer on our basketball teams, the many volunteers who help ensure the school runs smoothly, or the vast majority of voters who approve school millages on the Island, we are grateful for the support our students, faculty, and staff receive.

On behalf of the board of education, faculty, and staff of Beaver Island Community School, I humbly pledge that we will continue to serve the community by offering the best education possible education for the youth of the Island and we will continue to partner with other organizations and agencies on the Island to ensure that together we are Islander Strong!

Sustainable Energy

by Dick Mulvihill, BIA President

Through the work of the BIA, Tara Meadows, and the Beaver Island Sustainability Initiative, Beaver Island has been awarded a US Department Of Energy Grant in collaboration with National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL) to work with 12 competitively selected remote and island communities around the United States to help strengthen their energy infrastructure, reduce the risk of outages, and improve their future energy and economic outlook.

Through the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP), DOE and its national and regional partners will support projects in communities that, due to their geographic isolation, often face high energy costs and vulnerable energy infrastructure due to their increased risk of natural disasters and climate change

As climate change intensifies, remote and island communities, which experience higher energy costs and may lack the financial resources and expertise to make their energy systems more resilient, are more at risk of extreme weather events. The DOE will connect 12 more communities with our world-renowned National Labs to execute strategic and locally tailored clean energy and resilience solutions, driving the nation's equitable transition to a net-zero economy.

ETIPP will leverage the world-class expertise of DOE's experts and National Labs to advance local clean energy solutions and improve resilience for the 12 selected communities which, like other remote and island areas, often lack the financial resources and the access to experts to plan a clean energy transition. ETIPP employs local community leaders, residents, and organizations for a community-led and inclusive approach by identifying the energy challenges of each community and providing strategic assistance to help them determine and direct their energy transition.

The 12 selected communities are in the Continental US, plus Guam, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico

BIA members’ support and commitment to collaborate on this project will be much appreciated and will benefit Beaver Island.

This is our opportunity to learn what the next 18 months of technical assistance will look like, and how we can best engage with it for a successful path to possible renewable energy transitions for the Island.

Beaver Island Archipelago Trails Association

by Louis Post, BIATA Chairperson,
BIA Board Member

BIATA continues to work toward creating an island-wide, multi-use, trail master plan. Natural beauty is the island’s primary renewable resource. Having a modern trail system for use by hikers, walkers, runners, bikers, and cross-country skiers, will improve the quality of life of island residents and visitors, and offers a means to diversify the island’s economy. BIATA has obtained support from all relevant stakeholders to pursue the development of the trails master plan. However, without both townships actively participating in applying for funds to create the master plan, BIATA applications for financial support will not carry much credibility with funders. Peaine Township, St. James Township, the Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce, and BIATA produced brochures that provide detailed descriptions and location information for all of Beaver Island’s trails. The information level is such that the brochure will be useful to both longtime residents and island visitors. In addition, maps have been printed for eight island trails, providing GPS coordinates, distances, and warnings. The brochure and the maps were paid for by both townships and by the Chamber. You can find the trail brochures and the trail maps at the Beaver Island Community Center. They are free.

BIATA is currently seeking volunteers to survey the condition of the trails on the island. Doing this will entail walking a trail of your choice and filling out a form provided by BIATA. If this might be of interest, please contact Louis Post at

Additionally, BIATA will be scheduling trail maintenance days. If you would like to be put on the mailing list for this activity, please contact Ken Zick at

Workforce Housing

by Dick Mulvihill, BIA President

Beaver Island’s economy is based on the tourist industry with a large population of seasonal residents. The problem is Beaver Island needs more housing practicable for “workforce” housing.

Housing developers need a tool to bridge the gap between construction costs and sales value.

The housing program is intended for households with incomes between 80 and 120% of area median income (AMI)

Our focus is to address long-term housing for the year-round worker. We developed a dual-Track Housing Strategy
  • Short term
    • Forest View senior housing facility
      • Acre available for dual-quad 4x4 housing
      • Preliminary quad 4x4 constructions cost $2M
  • Long Term
    • Mackinac Island Workforce Housing Marketing Analysis
    • Workforce Housing funded by a $2M 2020 Capital Improvement Bonds
    • Create a Beaver Island Housing Authority
We are working with northwest Michigan housing experts
The Charlevoix County Housing Ready Program has a goal of creating attainable housing opportunities within Charlevoix County. Partners in this goal are the County of Charlevoix, Charlevoix County Community Foundation, and the Frey Foundation. The Program operates as a function of Housing North.

The Program is based in Charlevoix County working with local housing networks, city, county, and township officials, local philanthropy, private and nonprofit developers, employers, and other stakeholders to help Charlevoix County communities coordinate local housing initiatives and help in the development process. This Program supports the communities’ goals to create housing opportunities for all.

The Housing North staff, and Jane Mackenzie, Northern Homes CDC are working with us to identify the Charlevoix County housing initiatives applicable to Beaver Island
  • Land Bank Act
  • Brownfield Act
The Land Bank/Brownfield Redevelopment TIF is available to use on all properties in Charlevoix County. Jane Mackenzie is working on getting approvals for the first project to use the Land Bank/Brownfield Redevelopment TIF in Boyne City.

Housing is a complex long-term issue beyond the BIA’s capability. Peaine Township/St. James Township Joint Planning Commission agreed to collaborate on the BIA Housing Initiative

Terrestrial Invasive Species Program Update

by Shelby Harris, TIS Administrator and BIA Board Member

The Beaver Island Archipelago’s Terrestrial Invasive Species (TIS) Program will be giving an update at the BIA Annual Meeting again this year! Please come join TIS Administrator Shelby Harris and the TIS Field Technicians, Liz LaScala and Hunter Torolski as we share updates to our Program, what we’ve accomplished in the summer of 2022, our goals for the future and how you can join us in our efforts to keep the Beaver Island Archipelago environmentally healthy, full of native biodiversity and purely beautiful.

As a special guest, we will also have members of the CAKE CISMA (Charlevoix Antrim Kalkaska Emmett Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area) Crew joining us to share what work they are conducting for our county area and what help they offer to our TIS Program and to residents like you!

As always, stay vigilant for invasive species, respectful of our threatened & endangered species, and be aware of your impacts on the natural communities around you to protect the Beaver Island Archipelago we love.
BIWRADSS Logo White with Starfield

The Dark Sky Sanctuary designation for Beaver Island State Wildlife Research Area

by Cynthia Johnson, Publisher Northern Islander, BIA Board Member

Efforts by the Beaver Island Dark Sky Project Committee continue to bring Beaver Island closer to becoming designated by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) as an Official Dark Sky Sanctuary. This long labor of love for the dark skies and the desire for long-term protection with light pollution prevention has recently been accelerated by the dedicated work being done by Anita Mauro. Anita joined the effort in 2021, providing at first her skills at refining the complicated, grant-like 107-page application. Now, Anita’s expertise as an attorney and former lobbyist for other organizations has come to full force in negotiations with the IDA and other stakeholders.

Beaver Island Association is a non-profit organization that serves as the sponsoring agency required by the IDA. Members Kevin Boyle, Dick Mulvihill, Pam Grassmick, and Cynthia Hector Johnson who are also Dark Sky Project Committee members have made significant contributions to the application and worked diligently towards making the designation a reality. Other committee members include Dick Mulvihill, Maria Dal Pra, and Brian Vaeth, Beaver Island Retreat: Paul Cole, Chamber of Commerce director, Shelby Harris, TIS Administrator, and William (Bill) Markey.

How Did We Get Here?
The mission to become officially designated began as early as six years ago when Headlands International Dark Sky Park was receiving worldwide attention and the benefits of dark sky tourism were recognized by Bill McDonough.

McDonough, a lifelong resident of the island and long-time appreciator of stargazing gathered information from Emmett County and spoke with Mary Stuart Adams, Night Sky Storyteller. Bill said Mary agreed that Beaver Island could be an official dark sky place and that the island would certainly be given a platinum status immediately by the IDA. Platinum is no longer a division of the designations awarded to dark sky places. At the time in 2018, it would be similar to the high-level sanctuary status now sought by the committee. While McDonough continued to gather photos, zoning information, and other facts, the project never came to fruition.

However, the thoughts continued to be entertained in the minds of long-time night sky observers, Bill Markey, Dick McEvoy, and photographer, Frank Solle. McEvoy would eventually help Lori Taylor Blitz, Beaver Island Historical Society director to engage Stuart-Adams for a presentation at Donegal Bay and Markey brought awareness with a presentation during the annual Birding Festival to many others. This is where Johnson became involved in researching how to go about applying, the dARK sKY pROJECT Committee was formed, and documentation began for a formal application. That was based on information collected three years ago, May 2019, when Bill Markey was already marking locations and taking Sky Quality Meter measurements to determine the level of darkness. It was immediately recognized by the committee that Beaver Island was overqualified for a designation with Bortle Scale Class 2 darkness levels and sky quality measurements soaring to an average of 21.6. These scores make Beaver Island (excluding the harbor area) one of the darkest places in the world and a perfect candidate for the sanctuary designation.

First, the area must be nominated, in our case, this was Robert Parrish, an IDA advocate, and director of the T.K. Lawless International Dark Sky Park in Cassopolis, Michigan.

There are other requirements to be met. The IDA says that "[a] Dark Sky Sanctuary is typically an isolated location with few or no threats to the quality of darkness. Such areas are sometimes inaccessible to the general public due to the fragility of their natural darkness and so cannot be considered a Park, but also lack the core/peripheral areas of Reserves.”

The Sanctuary designation is intended to ensure that there is awareness of their delicate nature, but also that the potential damage caused to the area through public awareness is minimized. The IDA also requests the area is legally protected for scientific, natural, educational, cultural, heritage and/or public enjoyment purposes.
Beaver Island met all these requirements; proving it was another matter. Thanks to cooperation and support from the Michigan DNR and Central Michigan University, NLMIC, local government agencies, and many, many others, the application continued to be completed. This compilation of proof has resulted in documents from local officials, agencies, and organizations that vary from letters of support to formal declarations and resolutions, and the recent Proclamation from both townships creating a Beaver Island Dark Sky Awareness Week from July 22nd-30th. A recent resolution passed by the Amik Circle Society of Beaver Island was key to proving the existence of valued cultural resources in the area
What’s the Holdup?
Typically, the process takes 1-3 years. The current wrench in the works is a formal agreement with the managing agency, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Due to a delay in recognizing that a more formal agreement with the DNR would be necessary, and upon learning the existing letter of support from the DNR would not serve, committee members Mauro, Johnson, and Grassmick held a meeting with Brian Mastenbrook, a current official of the DNR on the project and Matt Preisser, EGLE, NLMIC. According to Mastenbrook, this is something that needs to be handled by an incoming, new biologist that would require 3-6 months to process.

Boyle and Mauro will draft a semi-formal agreement of understanding or similar document that simply states the DNR will support the Lighting Management Plan drafted by the Beaver Island Dark Sky Project Committee that adheres to existing policies of the Beaver Island State Wildlife Research Area. This document, along with a table of SQM readings from Bill Markey and recent, stunning photographs of the night sky in the sanctuary area from Taffy Raphael may complete the application to be submitted for final approval to the IDA.

The application is only one example of the enormous efforts by the committee to create awareness about the value of the night sky over Beaver Island’s protected areas and create events designed to draw attention to the need for further protections in place that would reduce light pollution, save energy, provide significant economic development through dark sky tourism, and overall save money and lives. Even human lives as research projects have proven that light pollution causes great harm to humans and wildlife.

You can visit or the Beaver Island Dark Sky Project on Facebook for photos, facts, links, and information about upcoming events. Tune in to WVBI 100.1 FM for information on the air about celestial events in the sky and on the island. The WVBI Community Calendar is also a source for events.

NOTE: The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is a United States-based non-profit organization incorporated in 1988 by founders David Crawford, a professional astronomer, and Tim Hunter, a physician/amateur astronomer. The mission of the IDA is "to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through quality outdoor lighting."
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Addition of Beaver Island to UNESCO-designated Obtawaing Biosphere Region

by Shelby Harris, BIA Board Member

There are over 700 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves around with world with forty-six within North America, including three within the Great Lakes Region. UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization whose mission is to use respected and commonly shared values to help build cultures of peace, sustainable development, thorough communication, beneficial conservation, and alleviation of poverty throughout the world. A UNESCO Biosphere Region consists of three interrelated zones including the core zone, the buffer zones, and the transition zones, all tying into the goal to collaborate with a multitude of partners to create cultural, natural, and human environments that operate in harmony with one another.

The University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) of Pellston, MI was originally designated a UNESCO Biosphere Region in 1979 with 13,000 acres under their care, but in recent years a renewal process has begun to expand this region. With help from Knute Nadelhoffer, former director of UMBS & professor emeritus in the U of M Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Adam Schubel, a resident biologist at UMBS, and Jon Allen, academic & research program officer at U of M SEAS (School for Environment And Sustainability), along with multiple partners and organizations from throughout the Great Lakes Region including the Beaver Island Association, a strategic plan has been initiated to expand U of M’s original UNESCO Biosphere Region to the newly designated and still growing Obtawaing Biosphere Region.

The Obtawaing Biosphere Region would greatly expand the original geographic scope of the original UMBS 13,000-acre UNESCO Biosphere Region to include the whole converging area of Michigan’s two peninsulas and its Great Lakes, from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, to Beaver Island, Drummond Island, Sugar Island, up to Tahquamenon.

The vision of the Obtawaing Biosphere Region is where all thrive from the sustaining relationships and responsibilities of people and the natural world with a mission to share ideas and implement solutions to improve relationships and to advance environmental, cultural and socio-economic sustainability and well-being in the heart of the Great Lakes Region. The word “Obtawaing” encompasses these goals as it is translated from Anishinaabemowin meaning “at the halfway place” that once was the name of the Odawa village that resided along the 16mile lakeshore of Lake Michigan from Harbor Springs to Cross Village.

UNESCO Biosphere Regions are each ran differently, accommodating each region’s unique needs, with the Obtawaing Biosphere Region being of no difference. The Obtawaing Biosphere Region is unique in the UNESCO world as it consists of several fragmented core zones forming the basis of its core zone. It will be through a continued collaboration of all involved parties and organizations to fulfill the roles of each zone to foster socio-cultural and ecologically sustainable economic and human activities.
The Obtawaing Biosphere Region is a relationship-based tool that will aid Beaver Island in protecting our cultural and natural resources, potential grant applications, and promotion of improvements between humans’ needs, the needs of the natural communities, and the interactions between us all.

A final meeting for the planning process of this expansion was held in the month of June to prepare the final draft of the Obtawaing Biosphere Region strategic plan. This strategic plan will be shared at the end of July.

As one of many organizations collaborating with the Obtawaing Biosphere Region and its expansion, the Beaver Island Association Board feels the goals of this project falls perfectly in line with our own mission of economic and environmental stability while supporting our interests to uphold the fundamental character of the Beaver Island Archipelago. We look forward to the next steps of this growth process and are ready for the work yet to come to accomplish this distinction.
Please pay your dues to support our efforts and to continue to receive the BIA newsletter. Our membership year runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Please join or rejoin us by sending the completed form below along with a check for $35 to Alan Vicstein, Treasurer, The Beaver Island Association, PO Box 390, Beaver Island, MI 49782. Or, renew online. You can also renew and register for the annual meeting here all in one easy step.
Yes, please renew our Beaver Island Association membership for 2022-2023.

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The Beaver Island Association's mission is to support both the economic and environmental sustainability of the island. We do that by following issues and, where appropriate, speaking out and acting on them. We are hands on. Our current efforts, many discussed in this newsletter, include dealing with invasives, the birding and water trails, broadband availability and balanced economic development. Our past successes include deployment of the island's fire danger warning signs, work with the Maine Islands Institute to help develop plans for the island and spark the creation of the Great Lakes Islands Alliance, a successful awareness campaign concerning the need for and economic sustainability of paramedic care on the island, the birding and water trails, effective management of invasives-and more. Our success as a group depends on your support of these efforts through membership in BIA.