More than 300 species of plants in Ann Arbor, based on the pollen records circa 1824

Often excluded in the discussion about deer numbers management over the last 10000 years or so, in Ann Arbor, was the very distinct and close relationship between humans and deer.

I daresay the major predator of the White-tailed deer, here, were Indians. In so doing, along with fire management — they established an extraordinarily beautiful, and floristically rich “natural area” here — with more than 300 species of plants in the pollen records circa 1824!

When Ann’s Arbour was settled, the were many exclamations about how wonderful the trees were (great Burr Oaks), and the richness of the herbaceous flora beneath (both prairie and Spring ephemerals). The town was built on a often used Indian campground, on the east shoreline of Allen’s Creek.

Were the Indians here ever to think they should not kill deer, they would have been eaten out of house and home, been without wonderful and comfortable clothing, likely would have had a great deal more trouble surviving.

Deer and humans have learned to be very close to one and other — but without the ability to kill them, things get way out of hand.

Chris Graham

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