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Keeping Wisconsin's Totogatic River Wild

June 24, 2010 | The Conservation Fund | Wausua, WI


Vanessa Vaughan, (703) 908-5809

The Conservation Fund, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources preserve 2,100 acres along state-designated Wild River

Wausau, WI – Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle joined representatives of The Conservation Fund and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today to announce the protection of 2,100 acres along the Totogatic River – one of the few remaining near-wilderness streams in the state.

“These are incredible additions to public lands in Wisconsin that will now be preserved and enjoyed for generations to come,” Governor Doyle said.  “Our natural resources are one of the main reasons why people want to live, vacation, and move here.  They are why businesses want to locate here. The future of our state is closely linked to our natural resources, and I’m pleased that, today, that future is looking even brighter with the protection of these lands.”

The clear, cool waters of the Totogatic River flow for 70 miles through five counties in northern Wisconsin, forming a wild and pristine stream in the St. Croix River Basin and the Mississippi River watershed. Much of the Totogatic River remains in its natural state, with scenic waterfalls, forested banks and challenging rapids. It earned the state’s designation as a Wild River in 2009 – a designation shared with only four other rivers in the state – which ensures the river’s long-term protection from development threats.

“The Totogatic is an inspiring, wild river,” said Tom Duffus, upper Midwest director for The Conservation Fund.  “We applaud DNR for recognizing its importance to the people of the state and the people who live near it.  Pristine tributaries to the Mississippi River like the Totogatic play a role in the future of the Gulf of Mexico, even if a small one.  We also applaud Wausau Paper Company for its 100 years of stewardship of these lands and its willingness to conserve the river.”

The Conservation Fund facilitated Wisconsin DNR’s purchase from Wausau Paper, headquartered in Mosinee, Wisconsin. The property includes 12 miles of river frontage and provides habitat for more than 20 Species of Greatest Conservation Need identified in the Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan.

The Wisconsin Knowles-Nelson State Stewardship Fund provided a majority of the funding for the state’s purchase. Additional funding came from The Conservation Fund, through the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Upper Midwest Wildlife Initiative, a grant program that funds projects implementing State Wildlife Action Plans for conserving species and habitats of greatest conservation need. The McKnight Foundation, in recognition of the importance of connecting people to the waters of the Mississippi River and conserving pristine areas of the watershed, provided additional financing assistance.

DNR will manage the property and provide public access for hunting, fishing, trapping, canoeing/kayaking and hiking.

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About The Conservation Fund

The Conservation Fund is dedicated to advancing America’s land and water legacy.  With our partners, we conserve land, train leaders and invest in conservation at home.  Since 1985, we have helped protect more than 6 million acres, sustaining wild havens, working lands and vibrant communities.  We're a top-ranked conservation organization, effective and efficient.

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