Board Member Highlight: 20 Years of Service and Support
Mark Mittelstadt first met the Driftless Area while in UW-Madison through the hills and winding roads and during a little trout fishing. After graduating he decided to stay a while since it looked like the woods, streams and dairy farms in western New York where he grew up. Forty years later he's still here! Mark is wrapping up a career as a forester for private landowners, spending more time on his own lands and with DALC projects including land management and the CHC transmission line opposition.
Mark first met his wife Brenda on a natural area tour, and their wedding rings include a savanna oak and an endangered frog. Their love for the outdoors moved them to join a group of neighbors and local conservationists to form the Driftless Area Land Conservancy 20 years ago.
They both served as early board members, helping DALC find its direction. Mark continues to serve on the board to this day. Their involvement in projects like the Thomas easement in Barneveld, the Boley property, and winning Land Trust of the Year in 2017 bring them a lot of pride. He has been a key connection to the Erickson Conservation Area in Argyle, where the volunteer group noted that he's the constant from DALC who has been with them from the beginning.
Mark and Brenda not only give of their time and expertise, but also provide financial support. The lack of permanence in forestry and land projects, particularly when the land changes hands, has been frustrating. However, DALC conservation easements provide protection for the land and natural resources, forever. Mark was particularly inspired by the thoughts of past Board member Jim O'Brien and his wife Rumi: to give to good causes while you can see the results, instead of waiting until you pass on. "When DALC has more to work with, more good work gets done."
A big thank you goes out to Mark and Brenda Mittelstadt for all their hard work and support over the last 20 years!