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June News and Updates

Header image by Chelsea Harrington

Cardinal Hickory Creek Transmission Line – breaking news! On May 25th Circuit Court Judge Jacob Frost agreed with us that if former Public Service Commissioner Mike Huebsch had a perceived or actual conflict of interest, then the decision to approve the Cardinal Hickory Creek Transmission line is compromised regardless of the fact that the two other commissioners (a majority of the three) voted to approve it. Just this Monday, American Transmission Company (ATC), ITC and Dairyland requested that the Public Service Commission rescind their final decision approving the CHC Line. They took this action after discovering that former Commissioner Huebsch exchanged encrypted messages with utility employees, potentially tainting the project’s approval.

Save a Bee & Protect the Driftless at Farm Bar in July Do you love your food locally sourced and deliciously prepared by top-notch chefs? Then you'll want to visit Farm Bar in Chicago, IL and Farmhouse in Evanston, IL on a Tuesday this July. That's because 20% of your dining experience will be donated to DALC. You'll also have the chance to adopt a bee from Brown Dog Farm and further the cause of pollinator protection. Thank you in advance for supporting this tasty partnership!

Evenings Afield - Solar Energy for Homes & Farms Lowery Creek Watershed Initiative partners invite you to join us for a free event on July 8 from 6-8PM to learn about the current state of solar energy, how to go about getting solar systems installed, and more solar-related topics. Long-time solar expert Michael Dearing, owner of Driftless Solar LLC, will show us operating systems and answer your questions. We always leave plenty of time for visiting with each other and enjoying refreshments. Registration required – please sign up here. Session is limited to 30 people.

Give Back to Wild Places! Join DALC staff this fall as we gear up our efforts to manage the lands we protect. Opportunities for helping in July are listed below. Contact Cindy Becker at or 608-930-3252 to RSVP and get additional information.

July 24th, 8:00AM – 12:00PM, Spring Valley Tract Calling all botanists interested in contributing to a plant species list for this newly acquired preserve. Interest and experience in documenting species in Wisconsin woodlands, prairie and savanna, and wetland communities needed! Lunch to be provided.

July 31st, 8:00AM – 11:00AM, Sardeson’s Forest Preserve Girdling and or cutting and treating aggressive clonal species – sumac and gray dogwood – in the heat of the summer is hot work, but effective.

Sardeson Forest Preserve - Honoring the Legacy Thanks to a generous donation from the Mineral Point Community Foundation, we will be building a kiosk at the Sardeson Forest Preserve trailhead. The kiosk will speak to the unique features and plants found on the property, the human history of the land, and pay tribute to Roland Sardeson, who bequeathed the property to DALC on his passing. The hiking trail will be officially open to the public with the unveiling of the kiosk, projected for Spring 2022. DALC will be working with local artists and creatives on this project.

Grant Saves Pollinator Habitat

The Driftless Area Land Conservancy (DALC) and Southern Driftless Grasslands (SDG) have received funding from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin (NRFW) to work with private landowners on pollinator habitat enhancement and creation in southwest Wisconsin. With 82% of Wisconsin land in private ownership, maintaining and restoring pollinator habitat on private lands will be critical to reversing the fates of monarchs and other at-risk pollinators. SDG will work with private landowners to distribute $25,000 of these funds to build and restore pollinator habitat on private land near state natural areas, wildlife areas, and state parks. Read more about the partners involved and the exciting grant details.

Notes from the Field Earlier this month, the Joint Finance Committee voted to renew the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program (which funded the protection of Morrison Preserve seen to the left) for four years, at a level slightly higher than the last round - $33.25 Million annually. This is an incredibly important win for conservation in Wisconsin, and I’m so appreciative of all of the hard work that went into this campaign led by Gathering Waters. Thousands and thousands of individuals across the state took time to contact their legislatures, and it made a difference.

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