Families have been gathering at Love Lake for generations to enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Minerva Chain of Lakes and the forested land that surrounds it. The Love Lake conservation complex in Burnett County includes almost 300 acres owned by Landmark Conservancy and a 37-acre conservation easement held by the Nature Conservancy. Several months ago, a group of citizens alerted area residents and the conservation community to proposed development that threatens this special place. Houman’s Resort, a cabin rental business on the Minerva Chain, is under new ownership and planning for significant expansion as a campground, which threatens the water quality of this chain of lakes.
Love Lake’s conservation story began when Judge James Otis, Alice Budd and Elizabeth Dickerman donated 183 acres to The Nature Conservancy in 1976; by the end of the year the property was conveyed to Northland College. In the 1980’s former board member Ned Bixby led the charge to create an endowment that would cover ongoing expenses related to land management and stewardship of the lake and protected properties. Today, the Love Lake endowment is invested with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and continues to provide an important stream of revenue for lake protection and management. Over the years, the residents of Love Lake have made numerous thoughtful decisions related to long-term land management and protection around the lake, with the goal of protecting water quality and wildlife habitat as well as preserving the pristine natural setting for residents and visitors.
Houman’s Resort, also known as North Camp Properties II, LLC, has proposed expansion through adding RV campsites, mobile homes, cabins, storage units and associated infrastructure. The increase in use and density has the potential to significantly affect water quality, increase the spread of aquatic invasive species and degrade shoreland habitat. These high-density campgrounds are becoming increasingly common in the Northwoods and without a champion to counter them, will continue to impact Wisconsin’s precious water resources.
Landmark supporters John Caswell and Susan Zoidis are among the Love Lake summer residents that are leading the effort to challenge the expansion of the Houman’s resort property. "Landmark Conservancy has always been an excellent partner in providing information and guidance on conservation issues on our lakes,” said Susan. “We turned to them once again to help us empower our elected officials to preserve our lakes and rivers. As our family has had 5 generations on our property, we have witnessed the importance of working with experts in protecting the quality of the lakes, rivers and land in Burnett County, and specifically the Minerva Chain of Lakes."
To learn more about efforts to protect the Minerva Chain, visit https://www.preservetheminervachain.com/
A Burnett County Land Use and Information Committee meeting is scheduled for June 4.