The Northwoods Land Trust and executive director, Bryan Pierce, recently completed their largest single conservation easement to date on over 800 acres of land in the towns of Newbold and Pine Lake in Oneida County. They are fortunate to work with a variety of very generous landowners and the Wellenstein family is no exception.
This special property has been set aside for permanent protection thanks to the Walter and Nina Wellenstein family. The property has been in their family for generations and Walt bought it in order to keep the land where he grew up intact.
There are three lakes on the property that have been identified by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Northern Initiatives as “wild lakes,” meaning they deserve additional protection based on their high ecological significance, outstanding natural scenic beauty, and special recreational values. Mudhen Lake in particular was the seventh highest of 88 identified “wild lakes” in Oneida County.
Mudhen Lake, a shallow 29-acre seepage lake, was recognized by the WDNR Wild Lakes Program as especially productive waterfowl habitat. Rare yellow rails have also been observed on the property.
The conserved property almost entirely encompasses Fredrich’s Flowage, a series of flowage pools which provide outstanding wildlife habitat.
The flowage is an especially productive area both for waterfowl and for fur-bearing mammals.
Enhanced federal income tax benefits extended through 2011 will help encourage even more private landowners to permanently protect their family lands with conservation easement donations - like the one that now protects Fredrich’s Flowage.
The next generation of Wellensteins consists of five siblings. With Walt & Nina (front) are (from left) Michael, Rick, Anna, Charles, and Bart. All five signed and donated the easement to the land trust to ensure that these family lands will always remain together. Walt remembers that his grandmother would take a cane pole to the nearby Wisconsin River and catch enough fish to feed the whole family.
About 4,600 feet of natural shoreline frontage will forever be protected on Douglas Lake. The protected area of Douglas Lake, a DNR-listed “wild lake,” constitutes about two-thirds of the lake’s shoreline.
Most of the extensive natural shorelines around McCabe Lake, a 49-acre lake, in the town of Newbold, Oneida County will remain forever wild thanks to the Wellenstein family's conservation agreement.
In addition, the property conserves over 6,000 feet of shorelines along Tom Doyle Creek and McCabe Creek, which flow into the Wisconsin River.