1,000 Acres Preserved In Portage County

Wilke Land

In November 2013, North Central Conservancy Trust and Richard and Sarah Wilke
signed a conservation easement on a 27 acre property located in the Town of New
Hope, Portage County. The Wilke easement will forever protect a scenic vista of Hintz Lake, a
diverse wetland ecosystem, a spring breeding area for waterfowl, and one of the largest fall
staging areas for geese and sandhill cranes in eastern Portage County. The signing of the Wilke
easement was significant as it pushed the total number of acres permanently protected in
Portage County by NCCT to well over 1,000 acres!

The Wilke easement includes more than one-third mile of shoreline and more than three and
one-half acres of a shallow bay. The upland parts of the property support a mosaic of forest,
thickets, and openings. Areas of lupine support the endangered Karner blue butterfly. Scenic
islands of trees and shrubs set off the grasslands and contribute to beautiful natural scenic
vistas down to the lake and bay. Richard and Sarah Wilke shared that they were “delighted to
partner with NCCT to permanently protect this scenic and ecologically significant area so it can
be enjoyed by future generations of both people and wildlife”.

At the time of the Wilke easement filing, eight other conservation easements within five miles of
the Wilke conservation easement protected 556 more acres of natural glacial landscape,
including NCCT’s first Portage County easement on 94 acres donated by Lowell and Christine
Klessig. The area surrounding the Wilke conservation easement, better known as the moraines
east of Stevens Point, boasts the highest concentration of property preserved by NCCT. NCCT
has permanently protected 1,077.9 acres in Portage County as a whole.

Since our inception NCCT has been dedicated to protecting the worthy scenic, working lands
and environmental resources for the benefit of the people of central Wisconsin. Conservation
easements are especially important for protecting the agricultural, scenic, and environmental
qualities of our landscape. From our first Portage County easement on 94 acres in 2001 to our
latest easement with Sarah and Richard Wilke, NCCT is grateful to our conservation minded
benefactors and is dedicated to continuing our growth as an active and vital land trust.

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