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  • Kinnickinnic River Land Trust Adds Nearly 39 Acres to Kinnickinnic State Park

    RIVER FALLS, Wis. — Nearly 39 acres bordering the Kinnickinnic River, including historic remnants of a dam serving the 1850 Clifton Hollow settlement, are being added to Kinnickinnic State Park, announced Dick Steffes of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Brent Sittlow of the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust (KRLT).

    “Caring landowners, foundation supporters and members of the KRLT and the DNR made it possible to protect this outstanding resource property,” according to Brent Sittlow, board president of the non-profit land conservation group.

    This part of the Kinnickinnic River is known for the beauty of its unique bluffs and tremendous diversity of plant communities. It is well known to paddlers and fishermen. The newly protected land is close to a common public access and take out point in the state park.

    Dozens of endangered, threatened or special concern plant, animal and insect species are found among the mixed hardwoods and limestone bluffs of the lower Kinnickinnic Canyon. This parcel also adjoins land previously protected with conservation easements by landowners and the KRLT.

    “We appreciate the long-standing partnership we have with the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust and its community members in the watershed”, said Dick Steffes, real estate section chief, for the Department of Natural Resources.

    Using Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program funds, the DNR was able to purchase 38.9 acres of land from the KRLT. The Wisconsin Legislature created the program to preserve valuable natural areas and wildlife habitat, protect water quality and fisheries, and expand opportunities for outdoor recreation. Wisconsin’s Stewardship Program continues the work of an original Outdoor Recreation Act Program (ORAP) enacted in 1961 with the support of Gov. Gaylord Nelson and renewed in 1967 with the support of Gov. Warren Knowles.

    More about the Kinnickinnic State Park:

    The Kinnickinnic River, a cold water trout stream, forms a large, sandy delta where it flows into the St. Croix River. This day-use park features river scenery, trails meandering through tall grass prairies and upland forests, a large swim area and boat-in camping.

    More about KRLT:

    Created in 1993, this non-profit has protected over 1,750 acres in the watershed. Land trusts work in partnership with landowners, who maintain control of their property. Sometimes KRLT also directly holds land. The KRLT is a member-driven and financially supported organization. It does not operate at taxpayer expense. It was nominated for the 2005 Small Business of the Year by the River Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and 2003 Decade River Champion Local Guardian Award by the River Alliance of Wisconsin. For more info email krlt@pressenter.com or call 715-425-5738. Membership donations are tax deductible.

    Wisconsin’s Stewardship Program:

    Two great Wisconsin conservationists, Gov. Gaylord Nelson and Gov. Warren Knowles envisioned the need to acquire land to preserve special habitat and also to provide opportunities for outdoor recreation. The following paragraphs are from the 1967 report to Gov. Knowles who proposed reauthorization and expansion of the original ORAP program sponsored by Gov. Nelson.

    Today Wisconsin’s Stewardship Program works to protect Natural Areas, to improve Wisconsin’s State Parks, to acquire for Wisconsin Wildlife Areas and to protect wetlands and fisheries. It also provides funds to aid local municipalities with recreational projects.

    Excerpt from 1967 Report to Gov. Warren Knowles:

    Excerpt from 1967 Report to Gov. Warren Knowles