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Nature Conservancy buys majority of St. Martin Island in Lake Michigan

SISTER BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A nature island in Lake Michigan will continue to be preserved, after the Nature Conservancy bought 94 percent of the land for a bargain price. 

The Fred Luber family of Milwaukee and Sister Bay sold virtually all of St. Martin Island, a two-mile long strip located between the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin and the Garden Peninsula of Michigan. 

It's a place where birds, bats, dragonflies, and butterflies stop to rest and nourish themselves. The center of the island has a forest of sugar maples surrounded by a white cedar forest, dunes, limestone bluffs, and cobblestone shores. 

The Nature Conservancy bought 1,244 acres for $1.5 million. That's only a third of what the land is worth. 

The Nature Conservancy promises to devote the land's remaining value to protecting the site.

In the future, the group plans to transfer ownership of St. Martin and nearby Rocky Island to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Rocky Island was donated to the Nature Conservancy 27 years ago.