Couderay Waters Regional Land Trust (CWRLT) was incorporated in 2002 when an interested group of Hayward-area landowners and lawyers came together with the mission of protecting and promoting preservation of the natural environment of northwest Wisconsin through land conservancy.
“From the inception of CWRLT the focus of its board of directors was to help landowners put some form of land protection on property they cared about deeply, said founding board president Louise Heim. “I say ‘property,’ but of course it has always been about more; decades-old trees, waterways that nourished life, living environments harboring creation. We understood that the learning curve for us and our community would be huge, and so, much or our focus was on educational components regarding nature and conservation easements.”
Couderay Waters Regional Land Trust was known for hosting annual paddles in partnership with Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.
Carol Heinrich of Hayward served as Board President of Couderay Waters Regional Land Trust and will join the Landmark Conservancy Board of Directors.
Over the years, Couderay Waters Regional Land Trust protected nearly 325 acres through conservation easements and engaged in numerous community partnerships and educational outreach. Notable collaborations include the Chippewa Islands Project and protection of Big Timber Island, the Library Nature Park at Weiss Community Library, and the Moose Lake Legacy Initiative.
“We had graduated from being a very small land trust dealing with riparian land and surface water to approaching conservation from a watershed perspective,” said former CWRLT board member Frank Pratt. “With this shift in organizational mindset, we began to also recognize we would need to scale up our resources to accomplish our goals.”
After undergoing strategic planning and organizational analysis, it started becoming clear to Board President Carol Heinrich that future sustainability for members and landowners needed to be at the forefront. She reached out to Lindsey Ketchel, Executive Director of Landmark Conservancy.
“Couderay Waters Regional Land Trust realized that as an all-volunteer land trust there were limits to what we could do,” said Heinrich. “We were excited to partner with the hope that Landmark could assist with land transactions, and we would continue local outreach and community engagement. As we developed a stronger partnership a full integration made sense to enhance the conservation efforts in this area.” Carol and husband Tom protected their property through a Conservation Easement which has now been transferred to Landmark, and Carol will become a board member of the organization.
“We are so excited to build from our partnership,” said Lindsey Ketchel, Executive Director of Landmark Conservancy. “By aligning resources and reducing organizational redundancy, we will be able to engage interested landowners in protection options that are crucial to protecting this very special region with its amazing rivers and rich forested land.”