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Northwoods Land Trust Protects 100 Acres of Old Growth Forest in Iron County

More than 20 years ago the Northwoods Land Trust started with the goal of protecting natural lake shorelands.

It’s protected more than 14,000 acres.

Protecting lakes is still a high priority, but now its stretching beyond that.

The land trust has been putting more focus on its old growth initiative.

Ted Anchor is the Northwoods Land Trust Executive Director. He said there’s less than 1-percent of old growth forests remaining in the Northwoods.

“There is a small portion that is on private ground. Our membership, the membership of Northwoods Land Trust, is really excited about our old growth initiative. So that’s us going out identifying and working with private landowners to protect what remains,” said Anchor.

Credit Katie Thoresen/WXPR

One of those places recently identified is Beaver Creek Hemlocks in Iron County. It's just north of the Price County border off Highway 182. 

“Larger tracks of trees of this size are rare on private ground. There’s not a whole lot of opportunities to conserve it,” said Anchor.

The land trust recently bought the 240 acres parcel, 100 acres of which is old growth forest. It will now be permanently protected.  

The land will be open to people for non-motorized recreation. The land trust has plans to build a parking area and trail system to help people more access it and experience what makes the property worth saving.

“When we hit that old growth layer it was palpable. Things got quiet. All the sudden you’re in the shade. It’s almost like you’re in a little bit of a tunnel. That’s why I think it’s important to get out so people can experience that different world. That’s why protecting just a little bit, just less than 1% remains. I think it’s a good thing we protect as much as we can of that old growth that’s left,” said Anchor.

Anchor said the Northwoods Land Trust is still fundraising for the project costs, stewardship fund, and recreational trail development.

You can learn more about those efforts on the NWLT website.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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