From 2005 – 2007, Landmark Conservancy (formerly Bayfield Regional Conservancy) assisted with the acquisition of five properties totaling approximately 1100 acres in the Mount Ashwabay area. These lands are now owned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bayfield County, and the Ashwabay Outdoor Educational Foundation (AOEF). A trail system of over 40km provides year-round outdoor recreational opportunities and is maintained by AOEF staff and volunteers.
Since this year Mount Ashwabay is celebrating their 75th anniversary, Landmark wanted to share newsletter articles from the archives about a couple of the conservation projects that tie our histories together! Ruth Oppedahl is the author of these articles and was Executive Director at the time of these projects. She recently reflected,
“These multi-year acquisitions were a testament to the goodwill and hard work of all the partners. They ensured continued operation of Mt. Ashwabay Ski Hill and the Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua which are important economic entities in the region. It also protected the significant ecological site of the Nourse Sugarbush, which before that was an Ojibwe Iskigamizigan (sugarbush).”
On Saturday, January 21st Landmark is co-hosting a free Candlelight Snowshoe and Nordic Ski event in partnership with Mt. Ashwabay on a portion of this trail system. Landmark is thrilled that this land continues to provide a place for people to enjoy outdoor recreation, connect with nature, and build community!