Digest>Archives> Nov/Dec 2016

Poverty Island Needs Friends

By Tim Sweet

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Photo by: Tim Sweet

Poverty Island is a 186-acre stepping-stone in the Grand Traverse Islands chain that stretches across Green Bay from the Door Peninsula in Wisconsin to Michigan’s Garden Peninsula. The island was in the news earlier this summer after a presumed lightning strike ignited a forest fire there.

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Photo by: Tim Sweet

Carol Grundman, a realty specialist with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), organized a trip to the island in mid-September. Steve Lenz of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) ferried the group from Washington Island’s Detroit Harbor 25 miles out to Poverty. Also on board was Jeremy Bennett, a Bureau of Indian Affairs firefighter who spent 20 days leading the effort to extinguish the fire on the island.

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Photo by: Tim Sweet

The government ordered the crew to fight the fire on the uninhabited island in order to save the three remaining buildings of the 1870s historic Poverty Island Light Station. Approximately 4,000 feet of hose was laid across the length of the island. Sprinklers systems were set up adjacent to the structures to wet them down.

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Photo by: Tim Sweet

In the September/October 2011 edition of Lighthouse Digest the magazine declared the Poverty Island Light Station as the Most Endangered Lighthouse in the United States.

Carol Grundman is working on transferring Poverty Island from Coast Guard jurisdiction to the USFWS. A non-profit friends group is needed to work on the preservation of the lighthouse structures. If you would like to get involved in the establishment of such an organization, please contact Tim Sweet via email: twsweet58@gmail.com for more information. (Photos by Tim Sweet.)

This story appeared in the Nov/Dec 2016 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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