Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation moves to new location
WALKER--The Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation recently moved to a main street location in Walker and has begun to expose its conservation work to an expanded audience.
WALKER-The Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation recently moved to a main street location in Walker and has begun to expose its conservation work to an expanded audience.
As the foundation evolves, its vision is to open a Welcome Center with educational materials in the future, a news release stated.
"We know there has never been a more crucial time for conservation efforts as our water resources continue to be threatened by invasive species, climate and other threats," the release stated. "On another front, the foundation has been preparing its application to become an accredited Land Trust through the national Land Trust Alliance headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Land Trust Alliance network represents more than 1,000 member land trusts supported by more than 5 million members. The foundation will become one of the latest of over 350 accredited land trusts nationwide and only the second in Minnesota."
With the anticipated application approval in 2020, the foundation will have successfully met the rigorous requirements to hold and enforce land protection conservation easements in perpetuity and to acquire conservation lands for the benefit of future generations. The foundation also plans to continue in its mission-critical conservation work in identifying and protecting highly sensitive shorelines that have both biological and ecological significance for critical habitats, the release stated.
Since 1997, the foundation has protected more than 3,200 acres and 23 miles of environmentally sensitive shoreline working with landowners and numerous lake associations, along with local, state, federal and tribal agencies and other conservation organizations. The foundation's conservation efforts continue to focus on an area encompassing four major watersheds over 4.2 million acres in size and including 1,941 lakes.
"It is rich in natural resources with an amazing degree of biodiversity," the release stated. "Our region is home to the headwaters of the Mississippi River and is the source water for communities downstream including the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area."
In another change, Kathy DonCarlos accepted a position as interim executive director until the vacancy created by the departure of the former director, Lindsey Ketchel, can be filled. DonCarlos has more than 40 years of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources management experience to the foundation. In her most recent role, she was the assistant director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife in the DNR.