Jim and Kate Weinert have generously donated 222 acres of forested land in the Spider Lake watershed to Landmark Conservancy. The watershed was named a high priority for protection in 2021 in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) statewide Healthy Watersheds, High-Quality Waters initiative. Permanent conservation of this land helps protect the Spider Lake Chain. The donated property has high biodiversity and resilience to climate change as well as connectivity with Sawyer County Forest and the Lake Helane State Natural Area.
“Aside from the biodiversity this area harbors, this corner of western Wisconsin is highly sought after because of its aesthetics, proximity to Hayward, nearby lakes, and endless recreational opportunities. It is treasured and coveted by residents and landowners and can be challenging to instill the permanent protection we all desire,” said Interim Executive Director Rick Remington. “Landmark is thrilled to secure this property following decades of stewardship under the Weinerts’ care.”
Several important Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCNs) can be found within forest communities in this part of Wisconsin, including the Canada Warbler.
The property is primarily forested, consisting of mixed age classes and several distinct forest communities.
“We are delighted to make this contribution to Landmark Conservancy and help support their goal to protect natural Wisconsin,” said the Weinerts. They first learned about Landmark from Michael O’Sullivan, Past President of the Spider Chain of Lakes Association (SCLA), whose mission is to preserve and protect the Spider Chain of Lakes. In 2014 Michael helped launch the SCLA “Protect and Preserve Campaign” to establish an endowment fund and emergency reserve fund to help protect the lakes and watershed for future generations.
“We extend special recognition to the O’Sullivan family. They have been our neighbors on Big Spider for 30 years. In 2016, Margaret and Michael O’Sullivan established conservancy protection for their lake property. We are delighted to follow their example with our donation. We thank the O’Sullivans for their inspirational leadership and hope others will be inspired to help preserve our environment,” said Jim.
Landmark is grateful to Jim and Kate Weinert for their foresight in deciding to protect this special land through a donation to the Conservancy. Landmark’s Conservation Team will be evaluating forestry requirements and future access opportunities and creating a long-term management plan to guide care of the land and its resources.