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Beaver Island is the largest island in Lake Michigan and part of the Beaver Island archipelago. Beaver Island is 14 miles long, three-to-six miles wide, and is mostly flat and sandy. It is part of Charlevoix County, Michigan.

Traditionally, the island's main industries have been fishing, logging, tourism and farming. These days government services along with tourism and home and cottage construction are at the top. Only a few hundred people live on the island year round.

The more densely settled area (which is still not very dense) is in St. James Township on the northern end of the island. Peaine Township, Michigan in the southern part of the island contains large areas of state-owned land and is mostly undeveloped.

In 2000, the island had a year-round population of 551 with 244 of those in Peaine Township, the rest in St. James. The island is about a 32-mile ferry ride or airplane flight from the city of Charlevoix on the mainland. The island has two airports, one public and one private.

Recreational offerings revolve around its harbor, beaches, inland lakes and the state forest, which makes up a large portion of the land. Beaver Island bills itself as America's "Emerald Isle", partly reflecting the fact that many of its residents are of Irish descent. Central Michigan University owns and operates a research facility on the island.

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