The eagles have landed

Sometimes the benefits of land protection are less visible to the eye, like a microscopic improvement in stream quality or the invisible yet indispensable sequestration of green-houses gases.

By Kirsten Ferguson March 28

Other times, the signs of nature’s resilience are right out in the open. At Lauderdale Lakes, a chain of three Wisconsin lakes, the hopeful sight of a nesting pair of eagles gave Kettle Moraine Land Trust board member Bill Huxhold reassurance that nature will endure.

Huxhold has a personal connection to Lauderdale Lakes. Over several decades, he has enjoyed fishing off his pier and watching friends and family swim, canoe and enjoy campfires there. His concern for rampant development on the lakes led to his involvement with Kettle Moraine Land Trust, an accredited Wisconsin land trust that protects land in the greater Walworth County area.

The eagles appeared after plans for a proposed 33-home development fizzled, thanks to efforts of lake landowners who purchased the land at risk, maintained the walking paths, culled dead trees and — most importantly — allowed nature to continue unimpeded. 

“One of the things that nature did was to bring a nesting pair of eagles to our lake,” Huxhold says. “Most of us on Lauderdale Lakes see them regularly and have followed their development. We are all enjoying sharing the lake with our new residents. With the involvement of conscientious property owners and the skills available in organizations such as the Kettle Moraine Land Trust, I have trust that humans and nature will survive.”

This story originally ran on the Land Trust Alliance blog in April 2021.

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