Michigan is the only state to consist entirely of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula of Michigan, to which the name Michigan was originally applied, is sometimes dubbed "the mitten," owing to its shape. When asked where in Michigan one comes from, a resident of the Lower Peninsula may often point to the corresponding part of his or her hand. The Upper Peninsula (often referred to as The U.P.) is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile (8 km) channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The Upper Peninsula (whose residents are often called "Yoopers") is economically important for tourism and natural resources.
The Upper and Lower Peninsulas are connected by the five-mile-long Mackinac Bridge, which is the third longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the world. The bridge has given rise to the nickname of "trolls" for residents of the Lower Peninsula, for they live "under" (south of) the bridge. The Great Lakes that border Michigan are Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.
Hunting is a major component of Michigan's economy. Michigan ranks first in the nation in licensed hunters (over one million) who contribute $2 billion annually to its economy. Over three-quarters of a million hunters participate in white-tailed deer season alone. Many school districts in rural areas of Michigan cancel school on the opening day of rifle season, because of both safety and attendance concerns.
Michigan's Department of Natural Resources manages the largest dedicated state forest system in the nation. The forest products industry and recreational users contribute $12 billion and 200,000 associated jobs annually to the state's economy. Michigan has more than 90 native species of trees, more than all of Europe combined.