I have to say that one of the best parts about working for the Conservancy is I get to meet a lot of interesting people and visit beautiful properties. These people include agency people, BRC members, consultants, scientists, conservation devotees, and last but not least, landowners of special properties. Recently, I have had the pleasure of working with Barbara Forster and her son, Forrest Burke, to preserve their piece of heaven on Upper Eau Claire Lake. The property is located in an area we refer to as the Barrens and is comprised mainly of mature Red Pine forest with a sparse and scrubby understory. (Not many people realize this but the Barrens are a globally important habitat type that is rare and threatened by conversion to other forest types, agriculture, and fire suppression, among others. )
The Forster family land not only boasts majestic stands of Red pine forest, but its 230 acres are home to some interesting mixed hardwood forest, wetlands, a large beaver pond, Mulligan Creek and 1 mile of shoreline along scenic Upper Eau Claire Lake - large game, birds, and other animals abound. With a vision of preserving the special habitats on their property, Barbara and Forrest have been working with BRC to enter into a permanent land management agreement, called a Conservation Easement, which is attached to the deed (conveying to all future landowners) and prohibits incompatible land use practices. I am very thankful to them and the other numerous Wisconsin landowners who value nature so much that they choose to work with Land Trusts like BRC to permanently preserve their slices of heaven. I feel very blessed to live, work, and play in such a beautiful place and with such awesome people.