Local and national groups team up to conserve scenic property
August 7, 2013
RIB LAKE, Wis. – The Ice Age Trail Alliance purchased a 156-acre tract in Taylor County in late July with help from The Conservation Fund. The purchase will permanently protect the route of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail through the property, which is part of a larger effort to connect the Ice Age Trail through the Town of Rib Lake with blocks of Taylor County Forest.
The Alliance is planning to relocate the existing route of the Trail through the property. It currently runs on a wide gravel logging road and will be moved to a new, more natural footpath that allows hikers to enjoy the geologic features of the landscape under the canopy of a mature forest. A public parking lot along State Highway 102 is also planned to provide better access to the Trail.
The Wisconsin Valley lobe of the most recent glacier created the property’s landscape as it moved through the state about 10,000 years ago. The undeveloped property runs along the edge of the glacier’s path and features a terminal moraine – a ridge of gravel and boulders that shows the furthest reach of the glacier.
“This property is one of the state’s best examples of a terminal moraine and fully embraces the goal of the Ice Age Trail – to highlight the state’s glacial landforms,” said Kevin Thusius, the Alliance’s Director of Land Conservation. “We feel very lucky to be able to protect this property so generations of Ice Age Trail users can enjoy it.”
The Alliance was able to purchase the property within the seller’s timeline with financing from The Conservation Fund’s Land Conservation Loan Program. The IATA is seeking funds from the state’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund to finance the purchase and repay the loan.
“Recognizing a serious threat to the natural viewshed enjoyed by hikers on the Ice Age Trail, the Alliance swiftly developed a conservation strategy to save the historical landscape,” said Reggie Hall, Director of the Fund’s LCLP. “We’re honored to provide quick financial assistance to the Alliance for this effort to preserve and enhance access to significant geographic features along the beloved scenic trail.”
The Ice Age Trail Alliance is a nonprofit volunteer- and member-based organization established in 1958 that works to build, maintain and promote the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. One of only 11 National Scenic Trails, the Ice Age Trail is a thousand-mile footpath that highlights Wisconsin’s world-renowned Ice Age heritage and natural resources. Visit www.iceagetrail.org to learn more.
The Conservation Fund is a top-ranked, national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting America’s favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of the Fund’s work is the deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Through its Land Conservation Loan Program, the Fund provides bridge financing and real estate expertise to help land trusts conserve historic farms, natural areas, favorite community parks and more. Learn more at www.conservationfund.org.
CONTACT: Kevin Thusius, IATA Director of Land Conservation, 800-227-0046, [email protected]