Puzzle Pieces in Wisconsin
“Patching together landowner permissions for the NCT is sometimes like putting together a very complicated puzzle with odd-shaped pieces,” wrote Matthew Davis, NCTA Regional Trail Coordinator for North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. “Sometimes the piece you need the most is missing.”
For the past decade in northern Wisconsin, the Brule-St. Croix Chapter of the NCTA, former Regional Trail Coordinator Bill Menke, and the Wisconsin DNR have been attempting to make a contiguous off-road connection between the North Country Trail and the Superior Hiking Trail at the Minnesota-Wisconsin state line. The NCTA has had their eye on one particular land parcel since 2019 to help remedy this issue, and has been working with a group of likeminded partners. Recently, Pheasants Forever successfully obtained a Conservation Partners Legacy Grant from the State of Minnesota to purchase the parcel. As of October 2020, acquisition of this parcel is officially complete!
“This project not only permanently protects 242 acres of wildlife habitat, but also opens up public access to hundreds of additional acres of county-owned land that was previously landlocked,” wrote Eran Sandquist, Pheasants Forever State Coordinator for Minnesota. “This innovative and growing partnership not only benefits the wildlife that call this area home, but will provide a place for all Minnesotans to enjoy the great outdoors.”
The NCTA extends deep gratitude to Pheasants Forever and Carlton County for the teamwork.
See the October-December 2020 issue for the North Star magazine for a full article (A State Line, Railroads, Red Clay, Pipelines, and New Partnerships by Matthew Davis) with additional background information.