"My participation on the board and in other Conservancy activities was the privilege of a lifetime."
Donor Highlight: Early Contributions from Doug Booth
As we celebrate our 20th Anniversary and highlight the generosity of our community we'd like to introduce the DALC family to some special donors and supporters. Danni Lang, our Development Associate, caught up with long-time supporter Doug Booth earlier this year.
How did you first hear about Driftless Area Land Conservancy?
I initially became interested in land trusts after doing some academic research on the role they were playing in 1990s Mountain West land protection at a time of explosive growth in rural housing development. In 1999, Tim Freeman (Mineral Point), Dave Lowe (Dodgeville), and I attended a workshop on land trusts given by The Nature Conservancy. We discussed the need for a land trust in the Driftless Area with the presenters, and they suggested connecting with Gathering Waters (GW). An organizing meeting was called with GW’s help, and the ball was rolling for the founding of the Driftless Area Land Conservancy. I became a board member and treasurer, positions I held for the next seven years.
What was serving on the early board of DALC like?
For me personally, being on the board gave me a special opportunity to get to know some amazing folks with a deep interest in land protection and, most importantly, to help protect the natural wonders of the Driftless Area landscape. The drama of whether the Conservancy was going to survive and successfully protect farmland and natural habitat continued for a number of years, although we were lucky early on in being able to acquire the Deane Arne easement and protect the historic Thomas stone barn. In my seven years on the board I did a lot of commuting from my home in Milwaukee, but it was well worth it. My participation on the board and in other Conservancy activities was the privilege of a lifetime.
What inspired you to make monthly gifts to protect the Driftless area?
I love the Driftless landscape and desire deeply to see it protected from excess development. I stand amazed at the progress the Conservancy has made in accomplishing this task over the last decade and will continue to contribute financially as long as I am able.
What is your favorite part of the Driftless?
This is a truly difficult question to answer. I am a big fan of grasslands and love the beauty of their grasses and wildflowers. I am also attracted to the expanses of hills and hollows visible everywhere, but especially as a backdrop to the Wisconsin River Valley. As I have learned more about the Driftless Area over the years, I have become especially impressed by its diversity of habitats and the species they support.