L'ANSE, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is working with Plum Creek Timber Co. to manage more than 16,500 acres of Upper Peninsula forest land for winter deer habitat.

The state Department of Natural Resources says the partnership focuses on improving and maintaining conifer cover, which is essential to winter deer survival in the area.

The Lake Superior watershed gets so much annual snowfall that deer migrate from their summer range to wintering areas. Hemlock and other conifer canopies catch snow and reduce the amount of snow on the ground, making it easier for deer to move.

Dense trees also reduce the wind, which helps deer retain body heat.

The project will focus on the Menge Creek area in Baraga County and the Huron Mountains in northeastern Baraga and northwestern Marquette counties.