ECOLOGICALLY SENSITIVE ZONE - The purpose of this zone is enhancement and protection of the native community and natural process over and above any other uses (including recreational) that might be contemplated. This zone restricts public use and development. An example for the use of the Ecologically Sensitive Zone is when critical habitat must be protected, such as an area of ‘Lakeplain Prairie’, or one where federally protected species are found, such as the Lake Huron tansy or the piping plover.
There are instances where this zone can be "Seasonal". An example of this is a heron rookery, where restrictions would be in-place for a portion of the year while the rookery is active. Then, when the birds vacate the area, use could revert to that allowed in the surrounding zone.
1. Natural Resources:
- Native species and natural processes predominate and the overall character is pristine.
- Pre-European ecosystem components and processes maintained, restored and protected.
- Elimination of human-caused habitat fragmentation.
- Exotic species are contained or removed.
- This zone will reflect natural processes, with vegetative management only allowed to restore and maintain natural ecological structure and processes (such as removing of invasive species), to address hazard trees, and to manage pests and disease.
2. Historic/Cultural Resources:
- Cultural resources preserved, removed or allowed to waste away.
3. Recreation Opportunities:
- None, unless classified as a "Seasonal Zone". In that case, hunting and other low-impact dispersed recreational use can occur if/when the site is open (i.e. a heron rookery).
4. Education Opportunities:
- Off-site only for general public. Researchers/scientists allowed hands-on access by permission.
5. Visitor Experience:
- Highly restricted visitor use.
- No interpretation on-site; off-site interpretation focused on resource.
- Ecological research and monitoring.
6. Management Focus:
- Protection of the resource.
- No development except as needed for resource protection.
- Very little evidence of human activity.