National Park Trust Assists National Park Service in Securing Properties for St. Croix National Scenic Riverway

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 15, 2020

Contact: Phil Selleck, phil@parktrust.org, 301-279-7275 x14

Washington, D.C., April 15, 2020 –National Park Trust today announced the addition of 145 acres to the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. The Park Trust received the three parcels of land from the State of Wisconsin, the original owners of the property. The complex project involved a land exchange in which the Park Trust worked with the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands to identify and then purchase valuable timberland; then that land was traded for the state parcels in the north-central part of Wisconsin. The Park Trust transferred the three parcels to the National Park Service within days of taking ownership; they are now a part of the scenic riverway.

Among the rivers first designated under the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, the St. Croix and Namekagon form the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. The Riverway protects over 230 miles of clean, free-flowing water and serves as critical habitat for over 100 species of fish, more than 55 mammals including wolves, and over 40 species of mussels, 5 of them endangered. The rivers, in northwest Wisconsin and east central Minnesota, flow through some of the most scenic and least developed country in the Upper Midwest.

“This land adds to the important natural corridor of the Riverway and strengthens protection of its ecological and scenic values. It would not have been possible without the collaboration and commitment of our partners at the National Park Trust and the State of Wisconsin. We are very thankful for their efforts,” said Julie Galonska, superintendent of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.

The State of Wisconsin will also benefit from the productive timberland it acquired by the exchange on the Riverway. Revenue from the timber sales will be used to support K-12 school libraries around the state as well as the University of Wisconsin.

Donors to the Park Trust’s Treasure Forever Fund made this land acquisition possible. The newly established fund provides park and conservation partners with financing to act quickly in response to rare and time-sensitive conservation opportunities. After the Park Trust buys the property, the funds are “revolved” or returned to the fund after the land is purchased from the Park Trust by the National Park Service. “We are so grateful for the philanthropic contributions from our board and donors that made the Treasure Forever Fund possible. They are the ‘gifts that keep on giving’ as we use them to acquire more critical lands for the parks including this important project to expand the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway,” said Grace Lee, executive director of National Park Trust.

This free-flowing riverway, though logged many years ago, remains a high-quality aquatic habitat; mussel species that lived there 400 years ago are still living there today. The rivers are also known for outdoor recreation, including excellent opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing, along with powerboating. Multi-day water trips are possible with campsites located along the river’s edge. Visitors hike, picnic, and enjoy the natural beauty at a variety of scenic viewpoints, including the Wisconsin Dells of the St. Croix. Learn more at www.nps.gov/sacn.

ABOUT NATIONAL PARK TRUST
National Park Trust is a non-profit dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. It is the only land trust with a comprehensive mission of protecting national parks through land acquisition and creating a pipeline of future park stewards by connecting kids to parks. Since 1983, the Park Trust has preserved over 30,000 acres in 31 states, one U.S. Territory and Washington, DC. In 2019, National Park Trust engaged over 1 million people in their annual Kids to Parks Day, giving nearly 20,000 under-served kids trips to parks through their nationally recognized Buddy Bison Programs. Find out more at www.parktrust.org.

 

 

 

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