On February 27th, 2020, Richard and Carol Phillips donated a conservation easement to the Northwoods Land Trust (NWLT). This conservation easement will protect forever all of Hemlock Island on Wildcat Lake in Presque Isle in Vilas County.
Carol said, “Ever since I vacationed at Wildcat Lodge as a kid, my favorite thing about Wildcat Lake was its extensive natural shoreline and the wildlife it attracted. It means a great deal to me to be able to forever protect beautiful Hemlock Island and the wildlife it nurtures.”
Hemlock Island is approximately 4.5 acres in size with 2,252 feet of natural shoreline, and is located in the Border Lakes region of Vilas County, an area that boasts extensive forests, wetlands, lakes, and streams along Wisconsin’s northern boundary with Michigan.
Although the island is not open to the public, it provides many public benefits including wildlife habitat for nesting birds and spawning fish, scenic value to residents and visitors to Wildcat Lake, protection of water quality by limiting runoff into Wildcat Lake, and complimenting protective efforts of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The State owns the lake’s four other islands and the Northern Highlands-American Legion State Forest is located on the south end of Wildcat Lake.
“The Northwoods Land Trust is grateful to Richard and Carol for their determination to protect Hemlock Island for the health of Wildcat Lake, and the benefit of the fish, wildlife and people that enjoy the lake. Because of their tenacity and generosity, the island will remain wild and scenic forever,” stated Kari Kirschbaum, NWLT Land Protection Coordinator.