More Than 5 Acres Added To Ice Age National Scientific Reserve in Wisconsin

December 19, 2013

Ice Age National Scenic Trail

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail stretches more than 1,000 miles across Wisconsin, connecting six of the nine National Scientific Reserve units. Photo by Joshua Mayer/Flickr. 

Land and Water Conservation Fund enables preservation of picturesque area at Reserve’s Cross Plains unit  

MADISON, Wis. — The National Park Service and The Conservation Fund, with assistance from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, celebrated today the addition of 5.89 acres to the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve, made possible with funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Established through federal legislation and in partnership with the State of Wisconsin in 1964 and 1970, the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve was created to protect, preserve, and interpret the exceptional examples of glaciation in Wisconsin. This story was further elaborated in 1980 when Congress authorized the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (NST) to illuminate and trace the ends of the glacier that covered North America more than 10,000 years ago. Popular for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, the trail also preserves some of the finest features of Wisconsin’s glacial landscape as well as other scenic and natural resources.

Located just west of Madison in Dane County, the newly protected land will be added to the Reserve’s Cross Plains unit. Situated on top of a glaciated hill, the property provides a spectacular view of where the unglaciated and glaciated areas meet. Part of the viewshed had been planned for residential development, which would have forever spoiled this remarkable landscape and the opportunity to understand Wisconsin’s glacial history.

“This acquisition greatly assists us and our public lands partners – Dane County, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – in protecting and preserving for all peoples, the only known glacial landform where terminal moraine rests directly upon exposed and weathered dolomite, with several small proglacial lakes and a subglacial drainage within one small area,” said Superintendent of the Ice Age NST John Madden.

“The Conservation Fund is thrilled to play a role in protecting this scenic property so that future generations may stand in awe of the glacial landforms,” said Peg Kohring, The Conservation Fund’s Midwest director. “We are grateful to the Land and Water Conservation Fund and our Wisconsin Congressional Delegation for ensuring important places like this are protected for the public to experience and enjoy.”

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources utilized the federal LWCF, a bipartisan program that uses a percentage of proceeds from offshore oil and gas royalties – not taxpayer dollars – to acquire the property. The Conservation Fund then helped facilitate the transfer of the land to the National Park Service. LWCF funding for the protection of irreplaceable lands, like the patchwork of publicly- and privately-owned properties that make up the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, would not be possible without support from the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation.

“The expansion of the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve in Cross Plains adds value to the quality of life for the over one million visitors who enjoy our Ice Age Trail every year,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “This is a great success story for conservation and sound land management and a prime example of how the Land and Water Conservation Fund supports outdoor recreation and tourism in Wisconsin. I’m proud to have supported this effort over the years and am committed to carrying on Wisconsin’s long tradition of protecting our natural resources and promoting conservation of our public lands.” 

“By expanding the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve, we are preserving one of Wisconsin’s most treasured public lands and protecting its viability as an educational and economic resource for generations to come,” said U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan. “I thank the Land and Water Conservation Fund for its work to make this expansion possible and promote land conservation across south central Wisconsin.”  

Additional Information

Ice Age National Scenic Trail


About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected more than 7 million acres across America.

Press Release Contacts

Ann Simonelli | The Conservation Fund | 703-908-5809 | asimonelli@conservationfund.org

 John Madden | National Park Service | 608-441-5610 | John_Madden@nps.gov