The amount of recreational and forest land in Wisconsin just got a lot bigger.
The Wisconsin State Natural Resources Board recently approved the second phase of an easement for 65,867 forest acres for public recreation.
At the February meeting in Madison, the board approved an easement to acquire 21,189 acres from the Lyme St. Croix Forest Company.
The 65,000-plus acre acquisition is the largest in state history for recreation and forest land.
“This purchase assures that all future generations can enjoy hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, skiing, bird watching, snowmobile trails, portions of the North Country Trail,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “At the same time, the land remains in private ownership, on the tax rolls and will be managed sustainably for forestry purposes. It’s a win-win for everybody that will maintain the celebrated forested character of the north.”
The Lyme Timber Company has a long history of manage forest land under conservation easements. The acquisition provides for continued wood product production and employment for local workers while maintaining the forest for recreational enjoyment.
The first phase of the transaction involved 44,678 acres and was approved in June 2012. The properties will be known as the Brule-St. Croix Legacy Forest because they are located at the headwaters of the St. Croix and Bois-Brule rivers.
Altogether, the acquisition includes 80 small lakes and ponds, 14 miles of streams, and a Pine Barrens habitat.