Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Local conservators seek DNR grants

March 01, 2012

EAST TROY— Two land conservation organizations have applied for separate 50 percent matching grants from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program to assist with the purchase of land in Walworth County.

The grants are through the state Department of Natural Resources.

The Kettle Moraine Land Trust has applied for a 50 percent matching grant to help buy 7.8 acres in the town of East Troy. The Kettle Moraine Land Trust will provide funds to match to the grant award.

The property is located near Lake Beulah and the Beulah Bog State Natural Area, said Maggie Zoellner, project manager for the Kettle Moraine Land Trust.

The property will be left in its natural state and will be open to the public for low impact recreational activities including hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and nature appreciation.

Zoellner said the land will be an environmental refuge for the cream gentian, an endangered native flower.

A house on the property will have to be razed, Zoellner said. Cost of tearing down the house will be paid for by the trust.

The land is being offered by a willing seller for $249,000.

Payment can be in cash or in a land swap, Zoellner said.

The Kettle Moraine Trust has acquired a parcel of land that is valued at about half of the East Troy property, Zoellner said.

According to Zoellner, the trust should know about the final disposition of its grant application in June.

The Nature Conservancy has also applied for a 50 percent matching grant to assist with the purchase of 78.9 acres of land in the Town of Troy.

The Nature Conservancy will provide a match to the grant award, said Michele Kille, conservation grants manager for the Nature Conservancy of Wisconsin.

The property is adjacent to the Lulu Lake State Natural Area, Kille said.

It will be restored to native plant communities and will be open to the public for low impact recreational activities including hunting, trapping, hiking, cross-county skiing, snowshoeing, bird watching and nature appreciation. There is no water on the property to provide fishing opportunities.

Kille said the land is on the far northwest end of the Lulu Lake State Natural Area. The property is being offered by a willing seller.

The land was used as a shrub and tree farm, and was used for private recreation, Kille said.

The conservancy plans to restore the land to its native prairie habitat.

"It has great restoration potential," she said.

The land has no confirmed value, but Kille said the estimates run above $280,000.

She said the conservancy grant has preliminary approval at the state level, but the application is still going through the evaluation process.