Land Use & Land Cover

Land use and land cover in the watershed is predominantly forest (49%) and agriculture (20%). Other land uses include: open shrub/grassland, water, wetlands, and urban. Patches of forests occur regularly throughout the watershed with the bulk occurring in the Pere Marquette State Forest (found in the upper Boardman River) and the headwater area of the Chain of Lakes. Fruit orchards and vineyards dominate agricultural land uses in the watershed, although some cattle and row crops are scattered throughout. Urban areas are mainly centered on Traverse City, Kalkaska, and Elk Rapids. Additionally, waterfront property along the Bay and many inland lakes have also been hotspots for the development of residential housing and businesses.

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