The Trust for Public Land Helps Protect Over 600 Acres of Chippewa River, Northwoods Wilderness

Today, The Trust for Public Land announced the purchase and protection of 605 acres directly along the Chippewa River in Rusk County, Wisconsin. Located between Ladysmith and Chippewa Falls in Northern Wisconsin, this now publicly accessible land will provide a variety of recreation opportunities. 

“The Northwoods, which once inspired the likes of Aldo Leopold and Sig Olson, is some of the only wilderness accessible to millions of Upper Midwesterners and this property will make available hundreds of acres for people to hunt, fish, or recreate with their families,” said Will Cooksey, Senior Project Manager for The Trust for Public Land. “The protection of significant properties like this one, located within a habitat and water-rich area of northern Wisconsin, is a result of The Trust for Public Land’s long-standing partnership with local governments in the 64 million-acre Northwoods landscape.” 

Managed by Rusk County Forest, this property has roughly two miles of undeveloped shoreline and mature forest habitat. One of the largest remaining natural, undeveloped and privately held land blocks in this area, the area will provide outstanding public recreational opportunities for hunting, hiking, paddling, and wildlife observation.  

“Many folks in the community don’t own acres and acres of land for themselves, so having this property along the Chippewa River accessible and protected for public recreation and to bring in economic benefits from timber is huge,” said Jeremy Koslowski, Rusk Count Forest Administrator. “Despite managing over 89,000 acres of the Rusk County Forest system, it’s not every day you come across a 600-acre acquisition and we’re incredibly grateful for the time and expertise of The Trust for Public Land was able to bring.” 

As water shortages heighten and climate changes intensify throughout North America, the Northwoods landscape will offer significant water quality benefits to surrounding communities and prove critically important to future adaptation. In addition, the property will be sustainably managed as a working forest and will provide critical revenue and jobs to support tourism and the local economy.  

“The protection of this property will not only guarantee residents and visitors access to the river but will increase recreational opportunities to boost the outdoor economy that will be extremely beneficial for the community,” said Phil Schneider, Rusk County Commissioner and Chairperson of the Rusk County Forestry Committee. “With so much of the landscape in the region privately owned, having this area open to the public is amazing and we’re lucky for the generosity of the landowner to work with the county to make this a reality.”  

The climate, landscape, watershed, and recreational benefits that would occur as a result of the protection of this property are directly in alignment with the mission and goals of The Forever Northwoods program. The Trust for Public Land established Forever Northwoods to protect the iconic landscapes of northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan and preserve a heritage that is at risk of disappearing. This landscape encompasses millions of acres of forest, thousands of wild rivers, streams and lakes, and the northern Great Lakes—all within a day’s drive of more than 40 million people. 

This protection of this property was made possible thanks to funding from the State of Wisconsin Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, a generous landowner contribution, and support from donors. 

About The Trust for Public Land  

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a 10-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit