TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – The Nature Conservancy says it has bought most of an uninhabited Lake Michigan island that provides a crucial stopover spot for migratory birds.

St. Martin Island is part of a chain that runs between Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula and Michigan’s Garden Peninsula.

The Fred Luber family of Milwaukee has owned 1,244 acres or 94 percent of the island since the mid-1980s. The family sold it to the nonprofit conservancy for $1.5 million, which is well below the market value.

Luber’s daughter, Martha, says the family decided it was important to protect the island’s beauty and ecological features.

The Nature Conservancy says it eventually will give the island to the federal government for inclusion in the Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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