Information on the Pigeon River Forest as quoted by it's Association:
The Pigeon River Country Association began in 1971 when a group of local citizens, sportsmen, and environmental activists banded together to save the last great tract of undeveloped land in Michigan's lower peninsula. This land, which Ernest Hemingway called the "pine barrens east of Vanderbilt" and what Michigan pioneer conservationist P.S. Lovejoy liked to call "The Big Wild", is home to the largest herd of wild elk east of the Mississippi and forms a major part of the watershed of three of Michigan's premier trout streams, the Sturgeon, the Pigeon River, and the Cheboygan Black. Left a shambles by early logging and the fires that followed, by the rapid expansion of the oil and gas industry and facing the threat of other forms of overdevelopment of the northern lower peninsula, the efforts of this grass-roots association, working in concert with other concerned organizations, were to result in the official establishment, in 1974, of the Pigeon River Country Forest as a special management unit of over 100 square miles in four counties administered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources according to a special Plan of Management overseen by a special state-appointed advisory council. The association's efforts, backed by law-suites and court decisions, also led to the precedent-setting Hydrocarbon Development Plan that has served as a model for responsible oil and gas drilling and production practices that are now being implemented throughout the rest the state of Michigan.