One of the largest donations of conservation land to a Wisconsin land trust took place in October and will also preserve land along a well-known lake in Hazelhurst.
The Yawkey Lumber Company donated about 430 acres of woodlands, wetlands and wildlife habitat and about 4.4 miles of natural shoreline on Lake Katherine to the Northwoods Land Trust.
After designation to the trust, the land remains in conservation status in perpetuity.
Trust Executive Director Bryan Pierce said the land was the site of the Yawkey Lumber Company. While the lumber company closed, the land has remained in the family name for 125 years.
It will be open to recreationalists...
"Most of the property is enrolled in the Managed Forest Law Program so it's open to non-motorized outdoor recreation like hiking, hunting, fishing and general nature observation. That will continue. We will have a couple of pieces that we will close to public access that are sensitive properties, including the three very small islands to protect alternate loon nesting sites..."
Pierce says its believed to be the third-largest donation on conservation land to a land trust in Wisconsin and is the largest donation of lake front property to a land trust in Wisconsin...
"Truly a forward-looking gift. The family has been considering what to do with that property for quite a few years and wanted to make sure it was kept intact and then kept as a forest reserve. It's part of the Managed Forest Law Program. There will be long-term sustainable management on the property..."
The Bearskin State Recreation Trail also runs along the west boundary of the property. A formal dedication will be scheduled for next summer.