Project Area

map of northern wisconsin

The project area is located in northeast Wisconsin and contains the Wild Rivers Legacy Forest (WRLF) and part of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Due to the unique ecological characteristics of this area, The Nature Conservancy has deemed ownership and management important conservation concerns. These characteristics include:

The history of WRLF is dominated by timber harvest, a huge component of the Wisconsin economy. Prior to 2006, International Paper (IP) owned the 64,600 acres that make up WRLF. In 2006 TNC negotiated the sale of this land between IP, the State of Wisconsin, and two private timber investment companies.

Of the original land area, 5,629 acres were purchased by the Conservancy and shortly thereafter transferred to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for their ownership and management. The state's goal for the protection of the Wild Rivers corridor is to maintain or restore the hardwood ecosystem and water quality of the Pine River, a headwater tributary to Green Bay and the Great Lakes.

The remainder of the area is covered by a working forest conservation easement between the State of Wisconsin and Forest Investment Associates (FIA) - a timber management organization (TIMO). FIA owns and manages the land for sustainable timber harvest. The easement, negotiated and acquired by the Conservancy and then transferred to the State of Wisconsin, restricts development, requires the property to be sustainably managed following Wisconsin's Silviculture Guidelines, and remain open for public recreational use.