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March News & Updates

Take a Peek at DALC's Winter-Spring Newsletter

We had winter, then spring, then winter again, and now, as spring returns and March wraps up, DALC's 2024 winter-spring newsletter has arrived! Hard copies will be hitting mailboxes soon, but in the meantime, you can read the digital version here. With an enthusiastic update from the DALC Ambassador Properties, a rundown of 2023 accomplishments, and many inspiring stories of Driftless legacies, this is an edition you can't miss! If you don't currently receive a print copy but would like to, please contact Emilee.

Event Registrations Are Open!

DALC's 2024 spring and summer events are waiting for you! Pitch in at a trail-building workday. Learn something new through Evenings Afield. Delight in the spring migration at a birding hike. Take a look through our calendar and see what works for you. Please note that these free events require advance registration.

We can't wait to see you out in the Driftless! 

Transmission Line Updates

After a long period of waiting, we had a busy March in our ongoing fight against the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line. At the beginning of the month, the US Fish & Wildlife Service approved the land exchange to allow the line to run through and across the protected Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Three conservation groups, including DALC, filed a lawsuit. At a hearing on March 22nd, Federal Judge William M. Conley granted a preliminary injunction request, which pauses bulldozing and construction. Our legal team continues to work on this issue. You can read press releases and more details here. Thank you for your continuing support in this effort to protect our precious Driftless Area!

Farm & Food Tour

Celebrate Earth Day, enjoy the scenic Driftless countryside and get to know farmers and food makers during Savor the River Valley’s second annual Farm and Food Tour. The free, family-friendly tour is Saturday, April 20, from 10am to 4pm. Meander from Ridgeway to Plain visiting local producers, sampling products, and getting behind-the-scenes experiences. Find a tour map here and more details about the day at the Savor the River Valley website

Volunteer Opportunities

Head outside and make a difference! Join our outdoor workdays:

  • Weekends at Wild Oaks: 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. Upcoming dates: 4/6, 4/20

  • Sundays at Sardeson: 3rd Sundays of the month. Upcoming dates: 4/21

  • Wednesdays at the Wetland: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. Upcoming dates: 4/3, 4/17

  • NEW! Driftless Trail Workdays: 1st Sundays of the month. Upcoming dates: 4/7

Find more details and let us know you're coming at our Volunteer page.

Notes From the Field

Spring is a time of change - messy, muddy, mercurial, but ultimately positive change. For me and for DALC, this spring is a season of change indeed. As March winds down, so too does my time in the Driftless. I’m headed back to northwest Wisconsin where I grew up (and where the glaciers just barely hit us!). I’m grateful to share that I won’t be leaving DALC entirely, though; I’ll still be sending you emails as in my new capacity as a remote Communications Specialist. And, stay tuned for another exciting staff update soon!

We’re also going to be making a change to this field notes section. Going forward, each month will feature a reflection by a different staff member. Look forward to hearing firsthand about all the projects, opportunities, and connections happening across the Driftless!

While I’ve got you one last time, though, I want to share a moment from another season of change. In September of 2021, I had applied to work at DALC, but interviews hasn’t started yet. And, having grown up up north, I was actually pretty clueless about the Driftless. Then I had the opportunity to join a learn-to-hunt weekend in Muscoda. It was my first time driving deep out into the rolling hills, carefully navigating the oh-so-winding roads through lush pastures and over flashing streams. I finally made it to the host site at the end of a long valley, where the oaks and maples on the hillsides were just beginning to tinge red. As we scrambled around learning about tracks and trails, I got my first taste of Driftless elevation! Then, rising early the next morning to get to our blinds, we hiked out under a clear indigo sky packed with stars and framed by the rise and fall of the black hills. Huh, I realized. I think I could love the Driftless.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so, now and always.

Emilee Martell

Development Associate

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