Throwback 1955 | Shiawassee Flats

This article announcing the opening of the Shiawassee Flats Wildlife Management Area appeared in our September 1955 edition of Michigan Out-of-Doors. 

The Shiawassee Flats Wildlife Management Area, a 31-square mile, crescent-shaped stretch of farm, marsh and river bottomland southwest of Saginaw, has become a physical reality. 

Representing the state of Michigan, Conservation Department Director Gerald E. Eddy has signed an agreement that breathes life into the long-anticipated project. 

Fish and Wildlife Service director John L. Farley signed the agreement earlier for the federal government. 

The agreement sets up a joint responsibility between state and federal authorities for land acquisition, development, administration and maintenance of the 20,000-acre area. At present, 35 percent of the land inside the project boundaries is in state and federal ownership. The remainder will be purchased as it becomes available. 

The project has three main purposes. First, it establishes a large, inland refuge area for waterfowl. The Fish and Wildlife Service will administer this section, in general to be located in the east half of the area. 

Second, the state portion will provide a large public hunting area within easy motoring distance of several large eastern Michigan cities. 

Third, if the area is included in any future flood control program, portions of the wildlife area can be used as temporary storage basins until water can flow off gradually to Saginaw Bay through the narrow Saginaw River. 

The project first took shape about 10 years ago when an engineer, W.C. Hoad, studied the area and suggested in his report that a joint wildlife-flood control project would be advisable. SEPTEMBER, 1955.

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