The BRC was organized as a not-for-profit organization under the laws of the State of Wisconsin in 1996. The organization was granted formal status as a 501 (C) (3), tax exempt organization, by the IRS in 2001.

The BRC has been organized to benefit the general public through charitable, educational and scientific activity. The geographic area of focus for these activities is the Bayfield Peninsula and all of Bayfield County as well as the adjacent counties of Ashland, Sawyer and Douglas. Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands are also included in the service area.

During the first four years of its existence the BRC was operated by a volunteer Board of Directors with no paid employees and its first project was the creation of the Brownstone Trail, a trail easement donated by 24 Landowners along the old railroad grade that runs along the Lake Superior Shoreline.

To date BRC has worked to protect approximately 2500 acres.