Like the neighboring Superior IBA, the SNS lies within the Laurentian
Mixed Forest Province, which is a transition zone between the conifer-dominated
boreal forest to the North, and deciduous forest to the South. The SNS includes portions of two ECS
Subsections – the North Shore Highlands (90% of IBA) and Toimi Uplands (10% of
IBA) (figure 2). The topography of the SNS IBA varies from extremely rugged to
relatively level, with the highest point approximately 11 miles inland from the
lowest (Lake Superior) –an elevational change of 1,400 ft. Numerous rivers and
streams flow through the IBA, all emptying into Lake Superior. Developed areas and disturbed habitats are
frequent close to Lake Superior, particularly along the Highway 61 corridor
that generally follows the shoreline. The land cover is about 94% native
vegetation, 4% developed, and 2% water.
The South-Central North Shore IBA includes several types of
areas managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR).
H. Crosby Manitou -- 6,159 acres
-- 9,489 acres
Rock Lighthouse -- 2,260 acres
Falls -- 1,682 acres
Scientific and Natural Areas
Point -- 11 acres
Beach -- 14 acres
Mountain -- 177 acres
Wildlife Management Areas
Falls -- 246 acres
Marais -- 277 acres
-- 99 acres
Aquatic Management Areas
Also within the IBA are forest lands owned and managed by Lake
and St. Louis counties, as well as Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center and
Encampment Forest (a private landowner association).
The IBA includes an area known as the Manitou Collaborative, a
joint enterprise among the USDA Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy (Upper
Manitou Forest Preserve -- 2,212 acres), MNDNR, Wolf Ridge Environmental
Learning Center, and Lake County, to manage a 100,000 acre forest ecosystem.