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Organization that helped protect the Pelican River Forest in the Northwoods hits a big milestone

The Conservation Fund helped to preserve 70,000 acres of land in the Northwoods, part of 1-million acres protected nationwide
Jay Brittain
The Conservation Fund
The Conservation Fund helped to preserve 70,000 acres of land in the Northwoods, part of 1-million acres protected nationwide

The Conservation Fund played a large role in the protection of the 70-thousand-acre Pelican River Forest in the Northwoods. 

The organization, which works to protect land and nature across the U.S. has announced it has now protected more than 1 million acres of working forests lands across the country.

The organization's milestone comes as forests are rapidly disappearing -- as many as 13 million acres in the next few decades.

Brian Dangler, director of the Working Forest Fund with The Conservation Fund, said valuable work continues on the protected land which adds to the nearby economy.

"The beauty of these projects is that the receipts from the timber, the sustainable management of forests, timber harvest really helps local folks to keep the schools going, the fire department, the local services," he explained.

The Conservation Fund has helped protect forestland in 21 states. The organization uses community and private partnerships to protect nature.

Dangler said large, intact forests support jobs in rural communities, through logging, trucking, building roads and other activities.

"And, of course, the wildlife habitat that goes along with it. Good forest management usually improves wildlife habitat for lots of different species," he continued.

Dangler noted development is one of the biggest threats to forests, and said it's important to keep forestlands as units rather than smaller parcels.

"Eventually more and more development just nibbles away at these large, intact forests. It's very important for them to be large in landscape," he said. "It's like Humpty Dumpty -- you can't put it back together again when it gets fragmented so much." 

The Pelican River Forest includes land in Oneida, Forest, and Langlade counties.

The Conservation Fund bought the 70,000 acres of land with the goal of protecting it for future generations.

The property, formerly owned by a forestry company, had been on the group’s radar for years as a way to protect a gap of protected forest land between Oneida County forest and the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest.

It will still be used for logging, offer more recreation opportunities, and help with carbon offsets in the fight against climate change.

Eric Tegethoff is a journalist covering the Northwest. Eric has worked as a reporter for KBOO, XRAY FM, and Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland, Oregon, as well as other print and digital news media. In 2012, Eric traveled to North Dakota to write about the Bakken region oil boom. He's also worked at a movie theater, as a campaign canvasser and quality assurance at a milk packaging factory. Eric is originally from Orlando, Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2010.
John Burton is the WXPR Morning Edition Host.
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