What We Do

The Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation (CLCF) is a land trust for the Cedar Lakes area in Washington County in Wisconsin. Our organization secures land to protect the natural landscape from development for perpetuity. Our focus is protecting the land area that encompasses the watersheds of our area lakes. The western edge of our watershed is the sub-continental divide between the Mississippi Basin and the Great Lakes Basin. We think globally and act locally.

We do this through three main methods of ownership or interest in land:

  • Fee simple ownership of the land,
  • Conservation easements on land we do not own, and
  • Chain of Title interest and/or deed restrictions on property.

These are all legal methods to protect the conservation interests of a parcel of land. Land ownership is made up of a bundle of rights, and we are interested in conserving those natural elements and ecological processes on land to protect water quality and wildlife habitat. As a land trust, we are the “Trustees;” our job is to hold, manage, protect, and defend those values going forward in perpetuity.

We strive to manage our land to maintain the ecological integrity of our watersheds. Our owned natural lands are managed similarly to National Parks as local wildlife sanctuaries, to be enjoyed for the benefit of all. All CLCF land is managed as wildlife preserve and sanctuary, and as such, there is no hunting or trapping permitted. Click here for an overview map of CLCF owned and managed properties. This map is meant to illustrate the land that is permanently protected. For hiking and recreational access, please refer to the Fox Hill, Rudorf, Lockman and Polk Kames trail maps which are open to public use.

A ranking WDNR official has said, “Because of the work of CLCF, Big Cedar Lake has the best water quality of any lake in southeast Wisconsin.” That is a priceless result that was accomplished with mostly private funds.

To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.

Aldo Leopold | a sand county almanac