Sturgeon Bay, WI: The Door County Land Trust announces today that it has now surpassed 8,000 acres protected from development through the addition of 106 acres to the Chambers Island Nature Preserve. Door County Land Trust Executive Director Tom Clay says, “We are pleased that with this most recent acquisition we are surpassing two milestones— 8,000 acres are now protected by the Land Trust, and at 593 acres, Chambers Island has become our largest nature preserve. Chambers Island is an important piece in the picture of Door County’s conservation.”
Chambers Island provides vital stopover habitat for migratory birds. The island is dominated by hardwood and cedar forests with contiguous canopy, an inland lake called Mackaysee, and wetlands including a leather-leaf muskeg (bog), the only one of its kind in Door County. Protecting Chambers Island was recognized as a priority during joint conservation planning sessions with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy and others.
The 8,000 acres protected by the Door County Land Trust are the result of several land protection methods that create corridors of conserved lands benefitting native plant and wildlife species. The Land Trust owns and manages 15 nature preserves and 24 natural areas, which comprise about 4,100 acres protected. Additionally, 3,200 acres are permanently protected through conservation easement agreements with private landowners. An additional 700 acres have been protected and transferred to other organizations for ongoing care.
“There is urgency to our work in Door County. Protecting our thriving plant, fish and bird habitats now creates a refuge in an otherwise rapidly changing world,” says Door County Land Trust director of land program Terrie Cooper. “The Land Trust is poised to protect the most vulnerable places on the peninsula, like the interior of Chambers Island which is so important to the birds migrating over the bay each year—over 169 species identified so far.”
Thanks to a fruitful partnership with the Chambers Island Nature Preserve Committee and the Chambers Island Association, generous donations to the Door County Land Trust from individuals and private foundations account for nearly 40% of the funds raised for the project to date. These donations have been matched by funds provided through the State of Wisconsin DNR Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund Grant Program, the Fox River Natural Resource Damage Assessment funds and North American Wetland Conservation Act Grant Funds. Fundraising for the Chambers Island Nature Preserve continues as additional land and the needs for the ongoing care of the nature preserve are identified.