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The Malcolm Stack Foundation Donates Second Conservation Easement

August 18, 2011 | Driftless Area Land Conservancy | Dodgeville, WI
The Malcolm Stack Foundation Donates Second Conservation Easement

Thomas Meyer, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: David Clutter
Executive Director
608-930-3252 | dave@driftlessconservancy.org

 

Conservancy Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary with a “Bookend Easement Donation”

 

DODGEVILLE, WI -- This year the Driftless Area Land Conservancy celebrates our 10-year anniversary with a “bookend easement donation” that features a wonderful conservation partnership and the protection of one of Wisconsin’s most unique natural communities. In 2003, the Malcolm Stack Foundation donated a 54-acre conservation easement to Driftless Area Land Conservancy, representing one of our very first conservation easement projects.

Our most recent easement donation, signed just this month, protects the remaining 105-acres of the Malcolm Stack Foundation property and solidifies the foundation’s commitment to helping protect one of Wisconsin’s truly unique and rare natural communities.

Since the time of the Malcolm Stack Foundation’s first easement donation, the conservancy has protected roughly 2,500 acres and 12 properties. It is fitting that the foundation “bookend’s” our first 10 years with this second important easement donation.

In addition to protecting the pine relict forests and associated oak woodlands, the conservation easement will permit and encourage continued uses such as field trips, guided hikes, photography, artist clinics, nature study and aesthetic enjoyment. Furthermore, plant communities and associated wildlife will benefit from this significant block of permanently protected habitat.

The Malcolm Stack Foundation was established in 2001 to promote land conservation and education. The foundation is dedicated to conserving land in the Driftless Area; and, in particular, foundation directors feel that it is imperative to preserve the pine relicts forests found on the property for future generations. Driftless Area Land Conservancy appreciates and values our partnership with the Malcolm Stack Foundation and would like to sincerely thank the Foundation board members for their commitment to conservation in southwest Wisconsin.


Southwest Wisconsin’s Pine Relicts: Our Oldest Driftless Denizens

These remnants (pictured above) from the glacial era are so sparse and hidden from noisy civilization that they are virtually unknown by most Wisconsin residents. Even if one chances upon a stand of these tall pines, perhaps during a walk or in pursuit of a deer or turkey, he or she may not consider the relationship of this forest community to our glacial past. Each relict, often less than 5 acres, typically contains over 75% of the 25 most common species in the northern pine forests. The resulting community, a unique blend of northern and southern species, deserves our veneration, care and protection.

Pine relicts are pine forest communities that have persisted in southern Wisconsin since the last glacier retreated some 10,000 years ago. These relicts were part of what was once an expansive pine dominated landscape in a cool southern Wisconsin climate. As time passed and the climate gradually warmed (6,500 - 3,000 years ago) prairie and oak savannas replaced nearly all of the pine forests throughout southern Wisconsin, except in very steep draws and among the rocky cliffs in the Driftless Area of Southwest Wisconsin. The Ridgeway pines are only one of two large pine relicts in Southern Wisconsin.

For more information on Wisconsin DNR-owned Ridgeway Pine Relict (No. 326), view the website.

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