MVC buys its largest property, alongside Kickapoo River and Plum Creek, for greater than $3 million

Area shall be restored to offer pure companies corresponding to flood safety, recreation and wildlife refuge
Plum Creek
The decrease Kickapoo River meanders by means of the 1,600-acre Plum Creek Conservation Area, which the MVC is defending migratory birds, wildlife habitats, farmland and water. Existing searching and fishing easements stay in place. (MVC photograph)

LA CROSSE — The Mississippi Valley Conservancy leveraged $3 million — its largest financial reward ever — to purchase 1,600 acres of rugged land alongside the decrease Kickapoo River.

Just north of Wauzeka in Crawford County and the MVC’s largest property, the location features a stretch of Plum Creek. The MVC dubbed it the Plum Creek Conservation Area.

“This land acquisition was made possible by an anonymous donor who is passionate about land and water conservation in this part of Wisconsin and gave a gift – the largest we have ever received – to purchase the property,” mentioned Carol Abrahamzon, government director of MVC.

The space shall be restored to offer pure companies corresponding to flood safety, recreation alternatives and “an expanded area of connected lands that provide refuge for wildlife whose native habitats are threatened by climate change and development,” Abrahamzon mentioned.

The MVC purchased the land with the $3 million reward in collaboration The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Abrahamzon mentioned.

Another companion, the Savanna Institute, will assist plan the long-term restoration of the land to assist MVC attain its conservation targets for the undertaking. Additional funding from the TNC, the Paul E. Stry Foundation and the John C. Bock Foundation lined different prices.

The undertaking was a excessive precedence for acquisition, mentioned Kurt Schlimme, the conservancy’s land technique director, who cited its measurement, proximity to different protected lands and its prominence inside The Nature Conservancy’s Resilient and Connected Lands evaluation. That examine recognized a community of lands and migration corridors throughout the United States that finest assist vegetation and animals in a altering local weather.

The Wisconsin DNR has been looking for methods to preserve the land for the reason that Eighties, mentioned the DNR’s Craig Thompson.

“It’s been a long time,” Thompson mentioned. “I’m really glad to see MVC and TNC succeed in the conservation of the land. The Wisconsin Land Legacy Report describes it as ‘one of the most diverse assemblages of natural communities in the state.’ ”

The property contains greater than 5 and a half miles of frontage alongside the west financial institution of the Kickapoo and greater than 2 miles alongside each banks of Plum Creek, a Class I trout stream. It is subsequent to the DNR’s 1,927-acre Kickapoo Wildlife Area-Wauzeka Unit, which incorporates the 635-acre Kickapoo Wild Woods State Natural Area.

These protected areas assist one of many highest concentrations of uncommon forest-interior breeding birds in southern Wisconsin, together with many thought of excessive conservation priorities in jap North America, Thompson mentioned.

It might take quite a lot of years to revive the land’s ecological well being, mentioned MVC conservation director Abbie Church.
Many of the woodlands have been longtime grazing websites, and the farmland affords a number of alternatives to implement conservation practices, she mentioned.

“Erosion and habitat degradation both need to be addressed,” Church mentioned. “Much of land will continue to be farmed and grazed while integrating regenerative farming practices as part of the management plan. The land will continue to generate property taxes to support the local community, as it has in the past.”

The MVC mixed a present of $50,000 from a pair and $200,000 from TNC to create an endowment to assist handle the long-term care of the property. The MVC, which is celebrating its twenty fifth anniversary, is launching a match marketing campaign to double that quantity.

Peter Lewis of Madison represented the property homeowners through the negotiations. His father, Robert, and different family and friends started shopping for land for the farm within the Seventies. They raised cattle and had fields in a rotation of corn and hay.

Robert Lewis, who was an agriculture workers assistant for former Wisconsin Gov. Gaylord Nelson, had a long-lasting dedication to not carve up the property for passion farms, Peter mentioned.

The intact sale and safety of this land “is the highest possible ending I can imagine,” Peter mentioned.

Asked in regards to the reward to purchase the land, the nameless donor mentioned: “I love Crawford County and am so fortunate that I can help the real experts who have worked to save this land for future generations. … And to have this opportunity for habitat protection, in such a unique place, on such a large scale, this is all beyond my wildest dreams.”

The protected land shall be open to the general public for searching, fishing and low-impact recreation corresponding to mountaineering, paddling and wildlife statement.

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