Why Protect Your Land?

Why Protect Your LandWe are fortunate to live in an area of Wisconsin where development is relatively slow compared to the Fox Valley or Dane County. Central Wisconsin enjoys the aesthetic mix of open farmland, forests, wetlands, and lakes, with smaller towns and villages that nearly everyone finds appealing. This mix of habitat supports a wide variety of plant and animal life and, opportunities for outdoor recreation. Moreover, having wetlands, protected stream corridors, and forests reduces water pollution, flooding, erosion, and other environmental problems, and provides a rural aspect to the landscape. Loss of open land to development, however, is a growing concern even here.
Across Wisconsin, 22,500 acres of farmland were converted to urban development annually from 1992 to 2010. Nearly as much non-farm land was developed for highways, rural housing, and industrial purposes. In the eight-county area served by North Central Conservancy Trust (NCCT), over 2,100 acres of farmland, and nearly 5,000 acres of open land in total, are developed each year. In addition to loss of natural habitat, there is a corresponding increase in runoff and erosion.
Land is a non-renewable resource. Once developed, open land rarely, if ever, is converted back to natural habitat. Thus, the loss of open land represents a steady erosion of the rural landscape that heretofore has characterized central Wisconsin.