Upper St. Croix River

Upper St. Croix, WisconsinPhoto credit: Andy Richter

The headwaters region of the Upper St. Croix River in northern Wisconsin is among the most beautiful wild places in the Midwest. But opportunities to protect recreational, scenic, and wildlife resources in this area are scarce, as much of the land is privately owned.

The Trust for Public Land worked with Phil Willkie—a writer, environmentalist, and grandson of presidential nominee Wendell Willkie—to permanently protect his family property: 210 acres with more than a mile of river frontage along the St. Croix , as well as a significant portion of Ox Creek. The land will be added to the existing Douglas County forest preserve, expanding public access for hiking, hunting, canoeing, fishing, and trapping.

The property is one of the largest conserved through The Trust for Public Land's Northwoods initiative, which has protected more than 200,000 acres in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3.3 million acres and completed more than 5,400 park and conservation projects.