Our Mission

The Northwoods Land Trust (NWLT) promotes conservation by private landowners for natural shorelands, woodlands, wetlands and other natural resources, as public benefits for present and future generations in Vilas, Oneida, Forest, Florence, Iron, Price and northern Langlade Counties.

Yawkey Forest Reserve is one of the largest donations of conservation land in Wisconsin

Tigertail PointOne of the largest outright donations of conservation land to a land trust in Wisconsin, and what we believe is the largest amount of lake frontage, was gifted to the Northwoods Land Trust on October 31st by the Yawkey Lumber Company in the town of Hazelhurst in Oneida County. The new Yawkey Forest Reserve includes just over 430 acres of woodlands, wetlands and wildlife habitat, and protects about 4.4 miles of natural shoreline on beautiful Lake Katherine. According to Yawkey Lumber Company president Robert Hagge, Jr., the property has been under the same ownership for the last 125 years. This is truly an exceptional gift for all future generations on a highly scenic, clear water lake in northern Wisconsin. Our sincerest thanks to all of the Yawkey Lumber Company shareholders and representatives who committed to the lasting conservation of this historic property!

Last Wilderness conservation properties transferred to NWLT

GenevieveLakeThe Northwoods Land Trust has worked with the Last Wilderness Conservation Association (LWCA) to transfer ownership of 10 properties in the border lakes region of northern Vilas County. LWCA is an all-volunteer land trust that was organized before NWLT started. Their focus has been to primarily protect critical lake properties in the Last Wilderness area in the towns of Presque Isle and Winchester. The property transfers were completed in October.

The protected properties include 191 acres of land with over 9,400 feet (1.8 miles) of natural lake and stream shorelines now owned and managed by the Northwoods Land Trust as nature preserves and other conservation areas. Included among these sites is the entire shoreline of Genevieve Lake (pictured), a true “wild lake.” Also included is a second parcel adjacent to the Van Vliet Conservation Area which was donated to NWLT in 2017 and dedicated in June.

Four more conservation easements and three grants of development rights are currently in the process of being assigned from LWCA to the Northwoods Land Trust to ensure their perpetual protection. Our thanks to the Board of Directors and volunteers from the Last Wilderness Conservation Association for all of their work over the years to protect these scenic natural resources!

NWLT Board Members Involved in 50 Years of Conservation

A number of our Board members (in bold) are slated to give programs in their area of expertise in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Nicolet College. John Bates, naturalist/author, coordinated several programs to highlight 50 years of natural resource management in the northwoods.  Ron Eckstein, Retired WDNR Wildlife Biologist, is giving a talk on 50 years of Wildlife Conservation at Nicolet College followed by a trek through the Thunder Lake Marsh SNA just north of Three Lakes WI. On September 25th,  Bryan Pierce, NWLT Executive Director, and Matt Dallman of The Nature Conservancy, will speak on 50 years of conserving private lands, from 9:30-10:30 am, followed by a hike at the Holmboe Conifer Forest SNA at 11 am. Bob Martini, Retired WDNR Rivers Coordinator, described how and why the quality of water has improved in the last 50 years, then lead a tour of key sites along the Wisconsin River near Rhinelander. For more information, and to register, go to www.nicoletcollege.edu and search for Outdoor Adventure Program.

NWLT has added staff! Welcome Carrie and Kari!

The Northwoods Land Trust recently expanded our staff. We are delighted to announce that Carrie Rasmussen is now our Development Coordinator and Kari Kirschbaum is the new Land Protection Specialist. Carrie and Kari join Conservation Specialist Trisha Moore, Outreach & Monitoring Coordinator Sandy Lotto, and Executive Director Bryan Pierce as we continue our critical work to protect more private conservation land in northern Wisconsin. For profiles of Carrie and Kari, please visit Our Staff web page.

50 Attended NWLT’s Annual Meeting & Dedication – June 22


2018 Annual Meeting 012We had a wonderful turnout for the Northwoods Land Trust’s 2018 Annual Meeting on June 22nd at the Presque Isle Community Center in Vilas County.

The event was held jointly with the Last Wilderness Conservation Association. A light lunch, open to the public, offered a great opportunity to meet the board members and staff of both land trust organizations.

The Annual Meeting highlighted NWLT’s recent projects and activities through a fun and interactive Jeopardy game, created and hosted by Bryan Pierce, NWLT Executive Director.

Immediately following the Annual Meeting, we traveled about 6 miles for the official dedication of the Van Vliet Lake Conservation Area. About 20 people join us for the unveiling of the new sign at the Van Vliet Lake parcel donated to NWLT by Paulette Cary last December in memory of her husband, Jerry. Paulette led us to their old cabin and garage sites (now removed), and pointed out the pine trees they planted on the property years ago. We then offered a hike led by John Bates, noted naturalist/author (and NWLT Board member), through the nearby Van Vliet Hemlocks State Natural Area. A good time was had by all!

Directions: The Presque Isle Community Center is located about two blocks northeast of the intersection of County Highways B and W in downtown Presque Isle, next to the Library. To get to the Van Vliet Lake Conservation Area, go 1/4 mile east on Cty. B, turn south and follow Crab Lake Road south and west about 4.5 miles. Turn north on West Van Vliet Road and follow it about 1.5 miles to Fire # 7266.

National Accreditation Renewal

The Northwoods Land Trust (NWLT) is pleased to announce it is applying to renew its national land trust accreditation. A public comment period is now open. The Northwoods Land Trust was awarded nLTAC_seal_greenational accreditation in 2013, which is in effect for a five-year period.

The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the national Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs.

Over the past 17 years, the Northwoods Land Trust has worked with private landowners who want to voluntarily conserve their natural shorelands, woodlands, wetlands and wildlife habitat. NWLT works in areas of Vilas, Oneida, Forest, Florence, Iron, Price and Langlade Counties in northern Wisconsin.  Since it formed in 2001, the land trust has helped landowners protect over 11,000 acres of land and over 60 miles of lake and river shorelines, as public benefits for both the present and future generations.

The Northwoods Land Trust board and staff are committed to excellence. NWLT continues to work toward meeting all national land trust accreditation standards in an on-going process to ensure the organization is able to meet its perpetual conservation stewardship responsibilities into the future.

The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications. Comments must relate to how Northwoods Land Trust complies with national quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. For the full list of standards see http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/help-and-resources/indicator-practices.

To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org or email your comment to info@landtrustaccreditation.org. Comments may also be faxed or mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments: (fax) 518-587-3183; (mail) 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Comments on Northwoods Land Trust’s application will be most useful by April 30, 2018.

Van Vliet Lake Conservation Area donated in December

Jerry&Paulette2As a very special Christmas gift last December, NWLT received our most recent donation of conservation land. Donated by Paulette Cary in memory of her husband, Jerry, this 2.4-acre parcel includes about 377 feet of frontage on Van Vliet Lake.

The parcel is also adjacent to another lot with 345 feet of frontage that Paulette donated previously to the Last Wilderness Conservation Association, providing for over 700 feet of protected shoreline.

In addition, these parcels help to buffer the Van Vliet Hemlocks State Natural Area. Visit our Conserved Lands/NWLT-Owned Properties page for more info and a map of this scenic new conservation area.

New Marshall Wildlife Conservation Area in Lac du Flambeau Open to the Public


In September, 2016, the Northwoods Land Trust received an outright donation of a 96-acre parcel of land in the Town of Lac du Flambeau, Vilas County. The property is exceptional wildlife habitat with about 1.3 miles of natural shoreline on Koernet Creek, which is currently dammed into a large beaver pond wetland, and is home to nesting swans and other waterfowl. Upland forested acreage will continue to be managed for productive timber and pulpwood under the state’s Managed Forest Law program. The property is adjacent to Lac du Flambeau tribal lands which are also managed for forest products and wildlife habitat. About 2/3rds of a mile of trails are maintained in two loops. This site is open for hiking, snowshoeing, ungroomed cross country skiing and hunting. Directions to the Marshall Wildlife Conservation Area: From Minocqua, take Hwy. 70 west about 13 miles. Turn south on East Squaw Lake Road and follow for about a mile. Turn right onto North Squaw Lake Road and follow about 300 feet to the access trail near the southeast corner of the property.

Congratulations to Gathering Waters 2017 Award Winners!

Congratulations to NWLT board member Dan Wisniewski and NWLT conservation easement donors Terry and DiAnne Hatch for their respective land conservation leadership awards. Gathering Waters, Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts, presented the 2017 awards at a celebration event on September 21st at the Monona Terrace in Madison.

DanGWAward1HatchGWaward9-2017-1Dan was awarded the 2017 Harold “Bud” Jordahl Lifetime Achievement Award. Dan has spent his career, both in the state and local government and as a volunteer, influencing public policy that benefits land and water conservation in Wisconsin.

Terry and DiAnne Hatch received the 2017 Land Legacy Award for their generous support of land conservation in Wisconsin, approaching their philanthropy with thoughtfulness and consideration that ensures the lasting impact of their gifts.

Our heartiest congratulations to Dan, Terry and DiAnne on these special awards!

Interstate Falls Donated to the Town of Kimball

SL 2013-72016 2115More than 50 people attended the official dedication of the Interstate Falls property on Sat., June 25th, 2016, where NWLT donated the deed to the property to the local township, ensuring public access to the site for generations to come.

For 58 years the previous owners, Don and Nancy Siebert, allowed the public to hike on their property and view the falls. In honor of them, the  “Interstate Falls” sign also calls it the “Siebert Scenic Conservation Area”. An added plus to the day, we did a new conservation easement signing which allowed us to reach new milestones of 11,000 acres and 57 miles of shoreline protected since 2001! (More details below.)

Interstate Falls is a popular 18-foot waterfall on the Montreal River which forms the border between Wisconsin and Michigan. The parcel NWLT purchased includes about 38 acres of scenic mixed Interstate FallsSummerforest and about 2,500 feet of natural shoreline frontage on the Montreal River, a Class II trout stream. Our sincere thanks to the following foundations for their critical funding support to match the state Stewardship Fund grant: Caerus Foundation, James E. Dutton Foundation, John C. Bock Foundation, James & Jane Watermolen Foundation and the Modestus Bauer Foundation.

Directions to Interstate Falls: Look for the sign (pictured above) just west of the intersection of Hwy. 2 and 51 (near Hurley, WI), to find a new parking area and signs to the 1/3 mile trail to the falls.

NWLT reaches 11,000-acre milestone!

James and Joy Perry conserved 99 acres along the Potato River in Iron County.

James and Joy Perry conserved 99 acres along the Potato River in Iron County.

With the recording of our 76th conservation easement donation at our 2016 Annual Meeting on June 25th, the Northwoods Land Trust reached a major milestone for any land trust – conserving over 11,000 acres of land. That conservation easement was granted by James and Joy Perry on 99 acres in Iron County which includes 625 feet of frontage along the Potato River and 1.25 miles of shoreline on Barr Creek in the Town of Gurney. Our thanks to James and Joy for making this commitment to conservation for all future generations!

 Stop in and Visit

NWLTSign2 - Copy2The Northwoods Land Trust office building is located at 519 E. Wall Street, just one block east of the post office in downtown Eagle River.  After 11 years being hosted by Reach & Schwaiger CPAs (Mary Schwaiger is our Board President), NWLT acquired our own building – the former Christmas House store. Many thanks to the 
volunteers who worked hard to help us clean up and paint the interior, and staining and painting the exterior.

We are currently working to add interactive interpretive exhibits to the front meeting room so the building can be opened as a visitor center. Our goal is to keep the facility flexible for meetings, public programs and also to use to educate visitors about NWLT’s mission and the voluntary conservation tools we use to conserve the northwoods for future generations.

Voluntary Land Conservation

Voluntary Conservation by Private Landowners can:

  • Preserve Natural Shorelands
  • Protect Critical Natural Areas
  • Promote Sustainable Forest Management
  • Conserve Natural Habitat
  • Enhance Recreational Opportunities
  • Provide for Lasting Enjoyment by Future Generations

The Northwoods Land Trust (NWLT) is a non-profit, tax-exempt conservation organization headquartered in Eagle River, Wisconsin. We work with property owners who care about their land so much that they want to see it protected long into the future. The Northwoods Land Trust is a Wisconsin Land Trust of the Year Award Recipient!WellensteinHikePhoto

NWLT encourages and accepts conservation easements on property with natural or scenic resource values. After a voluntary land protection agreement (conservation easement) is granted, the land trust provides long-term stewardship of the protected land so the resource values are preserved in accordance with the landowner’s wishes.

Now more than ever, we need your participation to help protect our beautiful northwoods.

Please contact us at Northwoods Land Trust, P.O. Box 321, Eagle River, WI 54521-0321, (715) 479-2490, or nwlt@northwoodslandtrust.org.

(Please note: due to sensitive spam filters on our email host server, please give us a call if you’ve emailed a question and have not heard back from us within a few days.)



PICKEREL LAKE LOT: 100-foot Lot on Pickerel Lake FOR SALE by NWLT! Sale of this lake lot will support NWLT’s northwoods conservation efforts. Asking price is just $109,000. The lot features a west-facing sunset view slope on this high quality lake west of Eagle River. The lake bottom is sandy and includes lots of bass and panfish spawning beds! Call us at (715) 479-2490 for more information.