Landmark Conservancy has purchased 53 acres adjacent to the mouth of the Middle River Estuary in Douglas County, which includes 1,990 feet of Lake Superior shoreline.
The “Mouth of the Middle” is considered a Land Legacy Place as a Western Lake Superior Drowned River Mouth, indicated by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Its conservation protects important migratory bird habitat and benefits shore birds of Greatest Conservation Need. The property is open to the public and provides scenic and recreational value, with access to the Lake Superior Water Trail.
“Protecting forest vegetation along the shore and clay banks of Lake Superior reduces the impact of flashy storm events, slowing the water runoff and minimizing erosion while at the same time promoting water quality and preserving coastal fish habitat,” said Jane Anklam, Conservation Manager at Landmark Conservancy.
“Landmark’s acquisition of this property is aligned with our Lake Superior South Shore Streams Ecological Focus Area, which targets protection of land identified as most resilient to climate change,” said Lindsey Ketchel, Executive Director at Landmark Conservancy. “Protection of this land promotes resiliency and creates corridors of connectivity for wildlife and plant species.”
The newly protected land at the mouth of the Middle River is open to the public for birdwatching, hiking and other non-motorized recreation.
Landmark Conservancy has prioritized new land protection in the Lake Superior South Shore Streams.
The Amnicon River freshwater estuary lies a mile to the west of the property. A half-mile of Lake Superior shoreline and approximately 2 miles of Amnicon River shoreline is protected under a Conservation Easement held by Landmark Conservancy. Landmark is grateful to its partners including the seller, Marie Sladky Trust; the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Town of Lakeside; Fish and Game League of Douglas County, and the Wisconsin Migratory Bird Stopover Initiative. Funding and technical assistance was provided by Wisconsin’s Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program and Enbridge Energy through a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Conservation Fund.
“The Conservation Fund is proud to support public-private partnerships that lead to permanent land protection,” said Midwest Project Director Clint Miller. “Working with land trusts like Landmark Conservancy help us fulfill our goal of making conservation work for America by providing opportunities for conservation and recreation to work together.”