We're pleased to announce that we've opened a new round of applications for Land Trust Excellence & Advancement Program grants. Applications for projects that accomplish a high priority activity for your land trust will be accepted through July 15th.
May 17, 2012
Stewardship Project Sets State Record
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has announced the largest land conservation purchase in Wisconsin history - a transaction that protects more than 100 square miles of forest land in four northern counties.
Gathering Waters Conservancy applauded the announcement of the Brule-St. Croix Legacy Forest which comprises approximately 67,000 acres of working timberland and globally significant Pine Barrens in northwestern Wisconsin.
“This deal highlights the power of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program – helping to support our state’s economy, while protecting important natural resources and providing public access,” said Mike Strigel, Executive Director of Gathering Waters Conservancy, the umbrella organization for Wisconsin’s 50 land trusts. “This project reinforces the Stewardship Program’s enduring bipartisan legacy in Wisconsin.”
Protection of this tract with a working forest conservation easement will conserve wildlife habitat and enhance water quality by sustaining productive forests at a large scale and preventing forest fragmentation. Containing much of the last remaining unprotected globally-significant Pine Barrens, this property provides critical habitat for several threatened or endangered species.
“The collaboration here between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Lyme Timber and The Conservation Fund represents a public-private partnership that’s only possible because of our state’s investment in the Stewardship Program,” Strigel added.
Additionally, being situated adjacent to several publicly owned and managed conservation lands including the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Brule River State Forest, Douglas County Forest, and Bayfield County Forest, this property serves as a significant connector and will permanently stitch together approximately one million acres of conserved lands creating a contiguous, un-fragmented, diverse habitat that include lakes, streams, open fields comprised of grasses and shrubs, and a variety of natural and planted pine, conifer and hardwood forests.