Archives for February 2015

The Land Conservation Society

LCS Group Photo

The Land Conservation Society (LCS) is a newly formed University of Wisconsin Stevens Point organization whose mission is to promote conserving land through land trusts and assisting landowners with management activities on their preserved properties. LCS works mainly alongside North Central Conservancy Trust (NCCT) through the leadership of founding President April Ann Opatik. Thanks to the help of LCS’s Vice President, Chelsey Ehlers, and former LCS’s member, Becky Wadleigh, LCS’ first work day consisted of helping clear out buckthorn and other invasive species on Ozaukee Washington Land Trust’s Kratzsch Preserve. This spring, LCS provided volunteers to assist with the management of three NCCT preserved properties including black locust removal on the Nancy Stevenson property, dam maintenance and brush removal on the Starpoint property, and buckthorn removal on the Bob and Sally Freckmann property. In addition to assisting Wisconsin land trusts, volunteers of LCS were introduced to land trust professionals, and gained experience managing invasive species.
LCS’s President and NCCT Intern, April Ann Opatik, wants to achieve National recognition for the Land Conservation Society. Her goal is to establish a template so that other land trusts can create a similar club with neighboring Universities. April added that, “It’s important to have diversity within the land trust community… rarely do you see someone our age. It’s important to have this diversity to invoke all positive aspects within a community.” With Dr. Aaron Thompson Assistant Professor in the Center for Land Use Education as LCS’s advisor, membership has been promoted throughout UWSP’s College of Natural Resources.

For additional information on how to enlist the assistance of LCS on your property or for advice on how to create a similar club at your organization contact Betsy at 715-344-1910 or

Proposed Moratorium on Wisconsin’s Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program

Gathering Waters: Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts is alarmed by Governor Walker’s budget proposal to freeze land purchases through the Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program.  As someone who cares about protecting the places that make Wisconsin special, we need your help.  Read more here.Stewardship Logo

NCCT Closes Year with 53 Acre Conservation Easement

On Christmas Eve, North Central Conservancy Trust and David and Trudy Pederson signed NCCT’s latest conservation easement on a 53 acre property located in the Town of Hull, Portage County. A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement between a landowner and a land trust like NCCT that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. Conservation easements are especially important for protecting the environmental qualities of central Wisconsin’s landscape.

The Pederson easement will forever protect relatively undisturbed open fields and forest, along with a spring and an intermittent stream. Located just east of the Wisconsin River, the property holds special value as a migration corridor as well as providing habitat for a number of native species of plants and animals.  David and Trudy Pederson stated “We acted to protect the rural character of a piece of the neighborhood that is relatively unspoiled by urban development.”

David and Trudy Pederson first contacted NCCT in 2008 to indicate an interest in pursuing a conservation easement for their property. Their primary motivation was to preserve the historical features present. The property was awarded as payment by the US government to war veterans in 1856.  The preserved log home located on the property served as the local grade school in the early 1900s when the original neighborhood schoolhouse burned down.  “We saw increased pressure for residential development in our neighborhood after the re-routing of Highway 10 over the Wisconsin River north of our property.  We acted to permanently preserve this rural farmstead for future generations and the wildlife we share it with”, the Pedersons said.

Because of the permanent nature of conservation easements it sometimes takes a number of years to tailor the terms to meet the needs of both the landowner and the land trust. The signing of the Pederson easement was significant not only because it concluded a six year project, but also because it was the final conservation easement completed by NCCT in 2014. NCCT completed four significant conservation easements protecting over 144 acres in 2014. Since NCCT’s creation in 1996 over 3,400 acres of beautiful central Wisconsin landscapes have been permanently preserved. Supporters like David and Trudy Pederson, help NCCT ensure that central Wisconsin will remain the place many treasure, retaining its special rural character and beauty for future generations.

NCCT Closes Year with 53 Acre Conservation Easement

NCCT Closes Year with 53 Acre Conservation Easement