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About Us

Our History

The Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation (CLCF) was founded in 1974 as one of the first land trusts in Wisconsin. It was led and organized by Geoff Maclay, who, along with the other founders, recognized the need to protect a vanishing landscape that development would have changed irreparably.

Our work focuses on the ecosystem health of Wisconsin’s Cedar Lakes watershed, made up of 6 lakes: Gilbert, Big Cedar, Little Cedar, Lucas, Silver and Quass Lake. Much of this area composes the headwaters of Cedar Creek, which flows southeast joining the Milwaukee River in Cedarburg and eventually to Lake Michigan.

Since our founding, we’ve purchased nearly 60 properties totaling more than 2,400 acres. We’ve employed such measures as fee simple purchase, conservation easements and deed restrictions to protect this land in perpetuity.

CLCF is the oldest land trust in Wisconsin and was instrumental in the forming of Gathering Waters, Wisconsin’s alliance for land trusts. Both the state and federal DNR have recognized the significant positive impact that CLCF has had on water quality.

Our Vision

The vision that brought us together in 1974 is that same one that drives us today. It’s one in which the abundant natural beauty, clean water, and diverse wildlife of the Cedar Lakes region are here for countless generations to enjoy.

Our Mission

In the Articles of Incorporation of CLCF, Inc. dated June 10, 1974, Article II: Purposes and Powers states:
(A) Said corporation is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes, and, more specifically within these purposes:

  1. To preserve and enhance the present character of the Cedar Lakes, Wisconsin area in respect to its natural beauty, its wild plants and animal life, its geological and geographical formations of scientific interest, and its other scientific and educational potential.
  2. To facilitate serious study and research in ecology and other natural sciences as they pertain to the Cedar Lakes area.
  3. To facilitate the general public’s enjoyment and study of wild plant and animal life in their natural surroundings and of other natural phenomena as found in the Cedar Lakes area.
  4. To acquire, develop and maintain lands in the Cedar Lakes area to be used for carrying out the foregoing purposes.

We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations the important thing is not to achieve, but to strive.

aldo leopold | a sand county almanac

Learn about the Land Ethic >