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Conservancy organizations merge to cover northwest Wis

The boards of West Wisconsin Land Trust of Menomonie and Bayfield Regional Conservancy agreed to form a new land trust to better continue their mission of land conservation.

The merger comes after nearly two years of planning and discussion. They come together to create a regional land trust serving all of western and northwestern Wisconsin. Both land trusts have been serving portions of the new land trust's 20-county service area with Bayfield focusing primarily on the northwest region while West Wisconsin operates throughout the area.

"The boards agreed that combining the two organizations will not only eliminate duplication but will also create a more robust, sustainable conservation organization for the long term, we are very excited about the potential of this new venture," said Peter Vaughn, chairman of the West Wisconsin board.

The conservation team, to be led by Rick Remington from West Wisconsin, includes Erika Lang, BRC conservation director, Jane Anklam, WWLT Northwoods land conservation manager and Andrew Norman, WWLT conservation specialist. Mary O'Brien of BRC will serve as the new organization's communications and development director.

"Our organizations have been conserving land for nearly 30 years but there remains so much more to be done," said Kim Bro, president of the Bayfield Regional Conservancy. "We look forward to combining forces for the betterment of the land and the people of our region for many decades to come.

The new land trust will continue to maintain an office in Bayfield with the administrative office to be located at West Wisconsin Land Trust's office in Menomonie.

Launch of the new organization is set for the spring.