FROG BAY WILL OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
The Red Cliff Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe Purchases the Frog Bay Land Parcel in Partnership with the Bayfield Regional Conservancy
In a move applauded by tribal officials, David Johnson and his wife, Marjorie, are selling their property known as Frog Bay to the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, in partnership with the Bayfield Regional Conservancy. The acquisition which closes on Friday, November 18, 2011 will protect the 88.6 acre property, keeping in its pristine state the nearly quarter mile of sandy and pebble beaches offering views of five of the Apostle Islands in the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness Area. Because this area has been historically important for the Red Cliff Tribe, but has been inaccessible in recent history, the Red Cliff band plans to open the site for public use and education on sustainable resource management, use of medicinal plants, nature based educational activities, for traditional/spiritual ceremony and to further the understanding that all land is sacred. Red Cliff officials are planning to repurpose the property as Frog Bay Tribal National Park (to be created next spring). Also, in order to ensure the long term protection of the site, the Bayfield Regional Conservancy will hold a Conservation Easement on the property, that will permanently restrict the property from uses that are incompatible with the protection of its conservation values.
How the transfer came about involved more than a bit of serendipity. The Johnsons were longtime close neighbors and even closer friends with former Sen. Gaylord Nelson and his family. It was Nelson, of course, who is deemed the father of the Apostle Islands, and the view from the Johnsons’ Frog Bay property was of islands managed as part of the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness. It was Nelson’s daughter, Tia, who says Marjorie Johnson was “like a second mother to me,” who put the Johnsons’ in contact with Ellen Kwiatkowski at Bayfield Regional Conservancy and initiated discussions that led to tribal acquisition. The Johnsons couldn’t be happier knowing the pristine property will be preserved for future generations. The Bayfield Regional Conservancy and the Tribe are proud to announce this remarkable and historic occasion.
Funding for the purchase was provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency’s Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program. The Apostle Islands Area Community Fund also helped cover some of the costs associated with the acquisition.
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