A rustic trail through a lush green forest at the Telemark Preserve.
Landmark Conservancy is excited to announce they have successfully raised funds to purchase 218 acres near Cable. The nonprofit land trust received notice in March of a $203,000 grant through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund. Tucked into the picturesque Northwoods, the organization’s Telemark Forest Preserve will continue to provide a backdrop for the celebrated “Birkie” ski race and will also help protect the watershed of sensitive cold-water streams.
The property borders Bayfield County Forest land, expanding a complex of forested land and providing additional habitat protection.
In July 2021, Landmark signed a land contract to purchase the property from the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF). “We are pleased to be forging a thoughtful alliance to support outdoor recreational needs in the Upper Namekagon,” said Landmark’s Executive Director Lindsey Ketchel. “We look forward to working with the amazing networks of outdoor recreational groups who have helped establish the trails that draw so many visitors to this special area.”
The adjacent Mt. Telemark Conservancy property owned by the ABSF is also slated to receive funds. “We are thrilled to advance healthy outdoor activities for individuals and our community through being good stewards of the land in partnership with Landmark,” said Andrew Wall, ABSF Development Director. “Receipt of these grants is a fantastic step in making our vision a reality.”
While Covid-19 has resulted in an increase of outdoor recreational users, Wisconsin has been experiencing growth of 12% since 2012. “High-quality recreational experiences are a critically important component of the Northwoods rural economy,” said Landmark’s Board Chair Bill Butsic. “Wisconsin should be very proud that our political leaders are supporting investment in outdoor recreation in the Northwoods. It was heartwarming to see both sides of the aisle see value in this unique land protection opportunity.”
Like many land acquisition efforts, this project was seeded by a small group of residents who saw the value of conservation. “We are so grateful for the individuals who approached Landmark about protecting this special land just one year ago,” said Landmark’s Advancement Director Kristin Thompson. “Their leadership and steadfast support of our organization were essential to this project taking shape and garnering the funds for permanent protection.”