trailway protection Portage Co Waupaca Co
New Ice Age Trail Easement Iola Winter Ski Club Property
The segment, which overlays cross-country ski trails, has existed on the property for years through a voluntary agreement between the Club and the Portage County Chapter of the IATA. The IATA recently purchased an easement that will allow permanent public access to the Trail and also permanently preserve the natural qualities of the property. This successful agreement has been over four years in the making. “Good things take a long time to make right,” said Greg Taylor, a member of the IWSC board.
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail now runs a little more securely for over a mile through eastern Portage County and western Waupaca County. The New Hope-Iola Ski Hill Segment of the Ice Age Trail is now permanently protected by a new agreement between the Ice Age Trail Alliance and the Iola Winter Sports Club (IWSC).
#2: Iola Winter Sports Club and Ice Age Trail Alliance Strike Agreement
The purchase of this easement was made possible by the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. The IATA leveraged a previous easement donation from Frank Groves (see Mammoth Tales, Fall 2009, p. 8) to secure the needed matching funds. The Iola property is just the latest in a long list of land preservation victories brought about by the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. Not only does this acquisition protect the Trail that’s there now, it also lays the foundation for future Trail nearby. This easement helps us set an anchor point for future acquisitions that we hope will permanently protect the Trail in the area.
#3: Two Acquisitions for the Cross Plains Reserve Decades of work led to the completion in December of a rather complex acquisition of 131 acres of land at the Ice Age National Scenic Trail Interpretive Site in Dane County. After years of negotiations, the Alliance and our partners at the county, state and National Park Service, successfully negotiated the sale of the property. The Alliance ultimately purchased the property from the private developer and almost immediately turned the property over to Dane County. The County was the principal negotiator and, along with the KnowlesNelson Stewardship Program, provided a large portion of funding. The National Park Service (NPS), via the Land and Water Conservation Fund, provided more than $1 million for this project — and for good reason.
The property was purchased for the Ice Age Trail Interpretive Site, which happens to be located within the Cross Plains Unit of the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve. This regional landscape is important because it straddles the geologic border between the unglaciated, or Driftless, area and the glaciated area of the state. This particular property contains one of four proglacial lake beds whose meltwaters helped create the Wilkie Gorge, the centerpiece of the Cross Plains Unit. The retreating glacier also left on the property a small piece of the terminal moraine, while the remaining portion of the property has bedrock near the surface that dates back half a million years. continued on page 20
The newest Dane County Ice Age Trail acquisition slumbers under a snowy blanket and a setting sun. One of the notables of this property is that it preserves a large block of open space in the Cross Plains Unit of the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve. Watch for public planning meetings this summer. IATA file photo.
MAMMOTH TALES | Spring 2011 | www.iceagetrail.org
A quarterly publication of the Ice Age Trail Alliance, about the Ice Age National Scenic Trail