Federal Backing Reinstates Pelican River Conservation Initiative

Take a look at the latest news surrounding the Pelican River Forest conservation easement...

Photo of Pelican River Forest by Jay Brittain/The Conservation Fund

The large Pelican River Forest conservation easement appears to be back on again as Gov. Tony Evers announced federal funding from the Forest Legacy program will complete the funding package for the 70,000-acre project.

The project had been held back in April when Republicans in the Legislature blocked financing of the easement from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program. The GOP legislators and some Oneida County towns near the easement area were concerned about the easement's impact on future development.

The land includes miles of streams, including tributaries to the Wisconsin River, and headwaters areas for the Wolf River. It also has an estimated 22,000 acres of forest wetlands. It is owned by The Conservation Fund, a conservation group that said it will sell the forest land after the easement is put in place.

The Conservation Fund has said that natural resource activities including hunting, fishing, and hiking will be allowed on the property under the easement. Also, some recreational vehicle use such as snowmobiling and ATV use will be allowed, according to the fund.

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