The initiative to protect and preserve the M-119 corridor originated in 1936. Mrs. C. F. (Alice) Irwin, an early preservationist and naturalist living in Harbor Springs was able, via her state-wide newspaper column, to initiate a grass roots effort to protect and preserve the corridor. At that time several hundred people met to consider protecting the corridor as opposed to other plans being entertained that would have significantly modified the route to accommodate growing usage. Mrs. Irwin successfully petitioned the State legislature to protect and preserve the road in its natural state. Based on a desire to control soil erosion and preserve the natural beauty the preservationists carried the day. That movement continues to the present day.
The purpose of the M-119 Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route Management Plan Update is to provide a review and revision of the M-119 Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route Committee’s objectives and actions which incorporated an updated photographic inventory.