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Protected Land, Waterfront Now Among Largest Tracts For Northwoods Land Trust

Northwoods Land Trust

Within the last month, the Northwoods Land Trust finalized an agreement to protect one of the biggest tracts of land in its history.

The descendants of Jacqueline Bassett donated a conservation easement on her 335-acre plot in Presque Isle that includes more than 11,000 acres of water frontage.

The easement means the land will be protected from development and lot division forever.

“When she started thinking about what would happen to the property in the future, she really wanted to make sure that it stayed wild,” said Kari Kirschbaum, the Northwoods Land Trust Land Protection Coordinator.

During Bassett’s life, the property was a working trout farm and cross country ski operation at various times.

“What’s really unique about it is it has lakeshore on Moraine Lake, as well as some coldwater springs, and a beautiful coldwater spring pond that feeds a trout stream that runs though the property,” Kirschbaum said.

The land hasn’t had commercial operations for at least 30 years.  It now serves as an important link between to forest bases.

“That area, that’s a nice corridor between the Ottawa National Forest and the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest that is important for some of the wide-ranging animals that need large areas,” said Kirschbaum.

The Northwoods Land Trust protects more than 13,000 acres of land in seven Northwoods counties, and this piece of land adds to that total.

“This is definitely one of the larger easements that we’ve ever done, which really is one reason that makes it so special,” Kirschbaum said.  “It’s both large and it has a lot of waterfront, both on a lake and on a trout stream.”

Ben worked as the Special Topics Correspondent at WXPR from September 2019 until November 2021. He now contributes occasionally to WXPR. During his full-time employment, his main focus was reporting on environment and natural resources issues in northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula as part of The Stream, a weekly series.
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