Archives for November 2014

A Conservation Story

This powerful film produced by Gathering Waters Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts reminds us all that Wisconsin’s land trusts are doing far more than simply protecting land. Click here to watch.

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Jo Seiser Named Conservationist of the Year

John Dolan, President of the Bill Cook Chapter of the Izaak Walton League announced awarding Jo Seiser of Stevens Point the Outstanding Conservationist Award (2013).

Jo’s work with the North Central Conservancy Trust over the last decade identified notable accomplishments. Her involvement since 1999 spanned years of education of landowners and citizens of the value of protecting worthy lands from unrestrained development with conservation easements donated to the land trust by landowners who continued to own the land. During that time 39 easements were signed of over 3000 acres in Central Wisconsin.

As important was the training and experience of community members to create organizational infrastructure to educate landowners, evaluate possible easements and have events to share successes. Jo Seiser joined with many others to create a sustainable land trust to continue to do work of the present and the future.

Jo Seiser attended the Izaak Walton League’s awards banquet unaware that she was to receive this award. As John Dolan began his presentation, she was alerted to the fact that she was the recipient when Dolan said, “this person was a National Park Service ranger at Mt. Rainier National Park and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.” Seiser thought it unlikely that anyone else present had worked both places without her knowledge.

Seiser was the Portage County Water Quality Specialist in the 1980s and two members of the Izaak Walton League knew well this work. One was Robert Schmitz who was the head of Environmental Health at the Health Department and Jo’s boss. And the other was friend and co-worker for Portage County, Jerry Ernst who led the County Parks Department.

Ernst said, “The Bill Cook Chapter of the IWLA was very proud to present Jo Seiser with their Outstanding Conservationist award on April 12, 2014.  The yearly award started in 1969 and the first recipient was Leo Gwidt.  To name a few other well known recipients over the years, they included Dan Trainer 1977, George Rogers 1981, and Malcolm & Margaret Rosholt in 1998.”

Jo Seiser was honored to receive the Outstanding Conservationist award from her colleagues of the Izaak Walton League.

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Clear Lake Protected

In May, Tomahawk Mayor Clarann Stocker and North Central Conservancy Trust signed a conservation easement protecting 10.89 acres between Clear Lake and Half-Moon Lake in the Town of Bradley, Lincoln County. The conservation easement protects one of the last remaining undeveloped parcels on Clear Lake and provides natural and scenic space on the shores of Clear Lake and Half Moon Lake, which are otherwise extensively populated with cottages and homes.

The property was originally gifted to North Central Conservancy Trust with the condition that it be protected with a conservation easement upon sale. Limited development along lake shores, wetlands, and stream margins is especially important for protecting water quality and wildlife habitat.  NCCT places a high priority on easements that protect these critical habitats.  A gift such as this has many wonderful benefits.  In addition to securing lake shore for wildlife and aesthetics, the value of the property is a generous philanthropic donation with good tax benefits to the donors, and the proceeds from the sale will be used to support our efforts in protecting other properties.

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EarthShare Wisconsin: Workplace Giving Campaign

Starting this fall, employees at Accenture, UnitedHealth, JP Morgan Chase, Ameriprise, Piper Jaffray, Thomson Reuters, Walmart, and some other small employers can donate to North Central Conservancy Trust through EarthShare Wisconsin in their workplace giving campaign, primarily through payroll contributions.

Giving to North Central Conservancy Trust through EarthShare Wisconsin is an easy and cost-effective way to support our organization. EarthShare Wisconsin’s goal is to be the public’s trusted and proven way to support Wisconsin’s and the nation’s most respected environmental and conservation charities at work. They are proud to have earned the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance accreditation.

EarthShare Wisconsin’s benefiting organizations work hard every day to safeguard public health and the environment by seeking solutions to climate change and sustainability issues, advocating for clean and renewable energy, protecting ancient forests and conserving wildlife and habitat, cleaning up our water and air, saving endangered species, and many other vital initiatives. “We are very happy to have North Central Conservancy Trust as a member of EarthShare Wisconsin,” says managing director Darren Blankenship. “They have been a very effective organization for many years protecting vital lands, lakes, and streams in central Wisconsin and beyond.”

If you would like more information about EarthShare Wisconsin and how they can be an option in your workplace giving campaign, please contact managing director Darren Blankenship at Darren@earthshare.org or (608) 274-1173.

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Family Long Dedicated to NCCT Donates 40 Acres

In July of 2007 Anne E. Meronk, as Trustee of the Lois A. Siler Revocable Trust donated a conservation easement on 202 acres of land in the Towns of Colburn, Leola and Rome in Adams County. That same month the Siler family donated another approximately 88 acres in the Town of Deerfield, Waushara County. In both easements the Siler family entrusted North Central Conservancy Trust to protect the ecological and aesthetic features of the properties. And so began the Siler family’s support of NCCT’s mission to protect the rural character of central Wisconsin.

After numerous years of generous support through conservation easements and membership donations, the Siler family took another step this past May to further the work of NCCT is central Wisconsin. The Siler family donated a 40 acre parcel of land in the Town of Rome, Adams County. The Siler family protected the parcel with a conservation easement in 2007 and gifted the property to NCCT in 2014 with the understanding that the property would be sold. A few short months following the 40 acre gift, NCCT located a private buyer. The proceeds from the sale will go towards furthering the work of NCCT in central Wisconsin.

Those wishing to protect their land from undesirable development or use after they no longer can oversee it have the option to donate their land. This strategy is best suited for landowners who are looking for alternative approaches for divesting ownership, or to reduce a tax burden on the owner or the estate. By donating land to NCCT, a tax credit for the full value can be realized. NCCT will respect your wishes for the land, and will sell the property to a buyer who understands and accepts your wishes. Landowners receive the full tax advantage, plus the satisfaction of knowing the proceeds from the sale are used to promote conservation across central Wisconsin.