Tyler Forks River is a Class II trout stream with bedrock outcrops and brook trout. Scott Taylor Creek flows through a steep valley with beaver activity. 

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin holds over 100 funds in our Wisconsin Conservation Endowment.

One of these funds provides support for Landmark Conservancy, a land trust serving 20 counties in northwest Wisconsin, allowing them to use fund distributions wherever they are needed most, whether that is operations or programs. Below, learn more about one of their recent projects to preserve a stunning section of Wisconsin’s Northwoods.  

In  the fall of 2019, Landmark Conservancy purchased 590 acres adjacent to Copper Falls State Park near Mellen, WI. This property, known as Tyler Forks Community Forest, conserves ecologically unique lands and provides further protections to one of the top ten state parks and its 140,000 annual visitors. 

Preserving Wisconsin’s wild and pristine beauty 

This purchase is the Landmark Conservancy’s largest land acquisition that protects undeveloped forested areas and wetlands in northern Wisconsin, safeguarding the wild, pristine beauty and ecological diversity that we love about this region of the state.

As we develop recreational experiences, we are working closely with the State Park to complement their visitor experiences and are eager to provide hiking, hunting and fishing opportunities. 

We purchased the land with grants from Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and the U.S. Forest Service’s Community Forest Program, providing important protection of the Bad River Watershed and Lake Superior, and further protecting the natural resources of Copper Falls State Park.   

A Palm Warbler perched on a branch. Photo by Carter Freymiller.

Pivoting to Host a Virtual “Grand Opening”

We got to work doing invasive plant surveys, designing and building trails, and constructing a parking area for visitors. We set a late spring date for a formal ‘grand opening’ and put our plans in motion.  

And then, the world stopped spinning. Well, not quite; but we hit pause on our planning for a May gathering due to public health concerns about the spread of COVID-19. 

The silver lining of this whole process is that, while our Tyler Forks Community Forest virtual grand opening was held on September 25, you haven’t missed outBelow, you can learn about this ecologically unique property and the resources it protects, and begin planning your visit to hike, hunt or fish.  

Watch for an NRF Field Trip of Tyler Forks with geologist Tom Fitz in 2021. 

By Kristin Thompson, Advancement Director of Landmark Conservancy   

Landmark Conservancy is a land trust serving 20 counties in northwest Wisconsin. They focus for new land protection includes priority areas identified as ecologically important and resilient to climate change, community supported recreational areas, and other lands with important conservation values. To learn more, visit  www.landmarkwi.org.

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