Our Services and Focus Areas

The Northwoods Land Trust (NWLT) offers permanent conservation services to private landowners in seven counties in northern Wisconsin: Vilas, Oneida, Forest, Florence, Iron, Price and Langlade.

Today, over 15,000 acres of land with 83+ miles of shoreline is included in our protection programs. These lands include private conservation easements, as well as conservation areas that NWLT owns and manages that are open to the public year-round.

We are committed to excellence in land protection work. Since 2013, NWLT has maintained the Land Trust Seal of Accreditation from the National Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

Our values and services include:

  • Providing conservation options and tools to private landowners to leave a legacy of land.

  • Preserving natural shorelands, wetlands and forests for the benefit of the public.

  • Ensuring the permanence and integrity of protected lands into the future.

  • Collaborating with private and public organizations to more broadly protect the northwoods’ natural resources and character.

  • Promoting the ecological, social, cultural and economic benefits associated with land protection.

  • Building public awareness that land conservation is an effective form of climate action.

Our conservation priorities are protecting:

  • Large stretches of lake and river shoreline

  • ‘Wild’ lakes (those with little to no development)

  • Mature and old-growth forests

  • Bogs and wetlands

  • Unfragmented forest lands

  • Important plant and animal habitat

  • Areas adjacent to already conserved (public or private) lands

  • Climate resilient and highly-connected landscapes

Focus Areas

NWLT has identified seven geographic focus areas in order to be more strategic and proactive in our work. Our conservation priorities are reflected in the focus areas (where they are most concentrated). Science-based data and a climate landscape model (that shows resilient and connected landscapes) assisted in defining areas.

NWLT offers land protection services to property owners across our service area – outside and inside of established focus areas. 

NWLT’s service area is within the indigenous homelands of the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe).

Montreal River - Marble Point

Montreal River – Marble Point is a small focus area in far northern Iron County that includes the mouth of the Montreal River and three Outstanding Resource Waters tributaries to Lake Superior where the shoreline is wild and remote.

Nicolet Hemlock Hardwoods

Nicolet Hemlock Hardwoods in northern Forest and Florence Counties and far eastern Vilas County includes soils suitable for mature and old-growth hardwood forest. The ownership is dominated by Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, so there is an opportunity to connect to National Forest lands. It also encompasses the headwaters of the Pine River and parts of the Popple River.

Upper Flambeau Woods

Upper Flambeau Woods in western Price County hosts both the North and South Forks of the Flambeau River, both identified as Outstanding Resource Waters. The area abuts and buffers the Flambeau State Forest, Kimberly Clark Wildlife Area and several State Natural Areas.

Winegar Moraine

Winegar Moraine in northern Vilas County, known as the Border Lakes Region, boasts a globally significant concentration of kettle lakes, including many wild lakes. Efforts to protect more land would provide connectivity to nearby large blocks of private and public land including the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest and Ottawa National Forest in Michigan.

Langlade Glacial Lakes

Langlade Glacial Lakes in northern Langlade County has a high concentration of glacial (kettle) lakes. These lakes tend to be small and fragile, so too much development can lead to degradation. The region, located all around the Bogus Swamp State Natural Area, is identified as an Important Bird Area.

Northern Highland

Northern Highland is located in Vilas and Oneida Counites and over a portion of Iron County, and is a part of the Northern Highland Ecological Landscape. It’s notable for its large number of lakes, extensive forests and wetlands. With the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, there’s an opportunity to protect land to provide linkages to public land so animals and plants can adapt to our changing climate.

Upper Wolf River

Upper Wolf River, mainly in Langlade County, contains the part of the Wolf River’s watershed that is heavily forested, has significant wild rice beds and generally has larger privately-owned parcels. The northern section of the river is an Outstanding Resource Water and offers world-class fishing and whitewater paddling opportunities.


Major Initiatives

Explore the three initiatives that NWLT is advancing to benefit current and future generations.

Old-Growth Forest Initiative

Less than 1% of old-growth forest remains in northern Wisconsin today and they deserve protection.

Shoreland Initiative
Shoreland Protection Initiative

Our region includes one of the highest densities of inland freshwater lakes in the world and headwaters to major river systems. 

Climate Conservation Solutions Initiative

Nature-based solutions offer real hope for lessening climate impacts at home and capturing and storing carbon.


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