Photo Credit: Katie Weber
The Ice Age Trail is not yet complete. One step in completing the Trail, and one of our goals, is permanently protecting the land which hosts the Trail.
Miles of Trail Protected
Acres Protected Since 1986!
What Does Permanent Protection Mean?
Protecting the entire Ice Age Trail requires more than 1,000 land transactions to fill the current gaps in the Trail.
Land Protection Options
With your support, we are able to use a variety of tools to secure permanent protection for the Trail.
The Alliance protects the Trail by acquiring:
- Conservation easements
- Trail easements
When land is acquired, we (or one of our partners) become the owner of the property.
On a private property that hosts the Trail, an easement allows the landowner to keep ownership while protecting the route of the Trail and, in many cases, the land surrounding it.
The three land protection options above can take place as:
- a purchase by the Alliance;
- a donation;
- a reduced-price sale.
Donations and reduced-price sales are often tax deductible for the donor.
Important Sources of Funding for Land Protection
Land protection funding is an alchemy of public dollars and private donors.
Ensuring the legacy of the Trail requires the Ice Age Trail Alliance to maintain the land, where it owns the properties, into perpetuity. The Property Monitoring Fund covers the annual cost of performing monitoring on our property interests, including easements, Alliance-owned land, deed restricted properties, and others.
A contribution to our Property Monitoring Fund makes you a vital part of the Ice Age Trail’s legacy. Your generosity allows us to continue purposefully maintaining the land in our care and helps us protect the Ice Age Trail forever.
To learn more about the Alliance’s Property Monitoring Fund, go here.
To donate to the fund, please contact Luke Kloberdanz, Director of Philanthropy at (800) 227-0046 or [email protected]
The Robert & Victoria Connors Land Resource Fund
The Connors have a strong commitment to “close the gaps” in the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. The purpose of this fund is to facilitate land acquisition by the Alliance to host and permanently protect the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. The Connors family generously provided the Alliance with a generous lead gift that provides the resources needed to act quickly when land protection opportunities arise.
To effectively close the gaps, this fund will require additional support from Trail enthusiasts like you. Please consider contributing to the Robert & Victoria Connors Land Resource Fund.
To learn more about this fund contact Luke Kloberdanz, Director of Philanthropy, at [email protected]
To donate directly to the fund, go here.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
Federal funding through the Land and Water Conservation Fund has, historically, provided the impetus for land purchases used to expand and protect the Trail.
Responsible leverage of federal dollars via the LWCF, have led to matching funds at a rate of 2.5 times by IATA partners: the State of Wisconsin, city and county government, and private individuals, including land donations.
In 2018 alone, $60,000 in LWCF funding was matched with $2,213,000 of local funding.
Leveraging LWCF Since 2000
- LWCF Share: $14,703,524
- Partner Share: $37,496,882
- LWCF Share: $14,703,524
- Partner Share: $37,496,882
Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund
State funding through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program is what makes land and water conservation in Wisconsin possible. It is a vital source of funding used by the Alliance and its partner organizations to protect land and water in Wisconsin. Stewardship grants are used to:
- Protect our water resources and air quality
- Provide wildlife habitat
- Support jobs and local economies
- Promote outdoor recreation
Knowles-Nelson Stewardship grants have made numerous land purchases for the Ice Age Trail possible. If you have a favorite segment along the Trail, there’s a good chance Knowles-Nelson funding has played a crucial role in its existence.
Learn more about this important source of funding and the issues it faces in the 2021 state budget.
Take Action: Please contact your State representatives and ask them to fund the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund. It’s easy. We have an email all ready for you to send directly to the folks in your region. Take ACTION now!
Land Protection Highlights!
A few of our favorite stories of generous landowners committed to helping us close the gaps!
In December 2015, John and Nancy Brownrigg — along with their daughter and her husband, Deb and Tom Heier — closed a deal with the IATA that would transition ownership of the family’s land in Manitowoc County to the Alliance. No ordinary land acquisition, the plot of over 130 acres lies in the geologically rich Walla Hi region of Wisconsin…
Tom Wise — a skillful sawyer and long-time “burn boss” — has volunteered with the Ice Age Trail Alliance for more than 25 years. His distinctive white beard and Einstein-like hairdo are iconic emblems at Dane County Chapter workdays.
About 30 years ago Tom and his wife Bonnie bought some land featuring beautifully mature oak trees, rolling topography…
“We’ll have to pass.” These were the words of Mike Wollmer, Executive Director of the Ice Age Trail Alliance, earlier this year when discussing the acquisition of two properties for the Ice Age Trail near John Muir’s boyhood home in Marquette County. He was right, and the reality of these words felt like a crushing blow…
Moraine Woods Conservation Park
Moraine Woods Conservation Park. It has a nice ring, doesn’t it? October 2018 welcomed the culmination of decades of effort to protect a key property along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. This could not have happened without the strong commitments of our partners at the City of Madison and Dane County. To secure the land…
Land Trust Accreditation
The Ice Age Trail Alliance is a land trust accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.
This means we complete land transactions and own land and conservation easements that protect the Trail.
We also work with our state and federal agency partners, counties, local communities and other land trusts to protect land for the Trail.
Conservation Buyer Program
The Ice Age Trail Alliance’s Conservation Buyer Program is an important collaboration designed to meet our mission of protecting the 1,200-mile National Scenic Trail interpreting Wisconsin’s amazing glacial history.
Through this program, we provide information about properties to conservation buyers who are interested in helping protect and preserve the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
If you’re interested in learning more about this program and how you can be a part of our conservation efforts, then please contact Kevin Thusius, Director of Land Conservation (608-798-4453, ext. 224; [email protected]).
Are You a Landowner Interested in Preserving Your Land?
We’d love to have you involved. If your land is on or near the route of the Trail, we may be able to work with you to protect the property. If the land is not near the Trail, there may be an opportunity for a donation that would benefit the Ice Age Trail and generations of its users.
For more information, please contact Director of Land Conservation Kevin Thusius at [email protected] or (800) 227-0046.