Northwoods Land Trust protects wilderness until the end of timeSubmitted: 10/01/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Northwoods Land Trust protects wilderness until the end of time
RHINELANDER - It can seem like the Northwoods wilderness never ends.

But it's hard to predict exactly what our area will look like hundreds of years from now.

One group is trying to paint a clearer - and more natural - picture.

Roland Rueckert has loved his Oneida County land on the shores of the Pelican River since he bought it.

That was more than five decades ago.

"It's a spiritual place. I come here for sustenance," he says.

He wants it to stay as pristine as possible for decades into the future.

Roland put 307 acres of his property into what's called the Northwoods Land Trust.

That means he can be confident it will stay just like it is.

"People are looking at the land as a long-term family legacy," says Bryan Pierce, the Executive Director of the Northwoods Land Trust.

The Northwoods Land Trust protects almost 10,000 acres of woods and shoreland in a handful of northern counties.

"Most of what we work with, probably 95 percent, are conservation agreements, long-term land protection agreements that really are designed to go in perpetuity," Pierce says.

That is, forever.

No major construction, no clear cutting, no subdividing, no threat to natural beauty.

"I thought about it, discussed it with my wife, and we decided this was a good way to go to preserve the land," Roland explains.

The land trust is only 12 years old.

But already, more than 60 private properties are protected by easements.

On top of that, the Northwoods Land Trust owns outright three properties with special environmental habitats.

That includes the Holmboe Conifer Forest, adjacent to Rhinelander's city limits.

"This is what we actually consider an early old growth stage conifer forest. That's a big part of this Holmboe property," Pierce says.

Holmboe also has state designation as a State Natural Area.

Whether it's precious land the land trust owns or private land that will be protected forever, the Northwoods Land Trust helps make sure at least part the Northwoods landscape will be preserved forever.

"I feel comfortable that people can enjoy it and that it will stay this way," says Roland.

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STEVENS POINT - Stevens Point Police are investigating an armed robbery.

Around 6 a.m. Sunday morning, police and Portage County Sheriff Deputies responded to a report of an armed robbery at the R Store in the 5400 block of HWY 10 E in Stevens Point. Police say during the initial investigation, they determined an armed suspect displayed a weapon and took money from the store.

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PELICAN LAKE - Tribal members from across Wisconsin held a Deep Winter Camp to pass on parts of their cultures.
Members from several different tribes wanted to give kids the chance to experience a piece of their culture.
They hope the camp encourages younger members to keep traditions going and never forget where they came from.
"They're going to be the next teachers they're good kids and we all love every kid that came here and spent time with us. They all learned something and they'll take it back and teach others," said Lac du Flambeau Band Vice Chairman John Johnson Sr.

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CONOVER - Hundreds of people gathered in Conover to celebrate all things winter. On Saturday the fifth annual Northwoods Blizzard Blast was held. 

There were horse drawn sleigh rides, sledding, giant ski races, and plenty of other winter activities.

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CRANDON - Forest County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Justice was justified in shooting and killing 31-year-old Brandon Cude on Jan. 4, Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono ruled Friday.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice released the results of its investigation in the case, and Simono's decision, Friday afternoon.

The DOJ documents detail how Cude swung a shotgun at Justice at close range. The deputy had just learned Cude had felony warrants against him, and Justice was trying to arrest Cude. Justice fired four shots on the scene, a rural road south of Crandon.

"He didn't get a shot off?" a fellow officer asked Justice after the shooting.

"No. He tried, though. Pulled that sucker out and pointed it right at me," Justice replied in an exchange recorded on a body camera.

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RHINELANDER - A 27-year-old Rhinelander woman put a down payment on a "hit" to kill her husband, according to police.

Megan Danielczak's down payment was actually taken by an undercover agent of the state Division of Criminal Investigation. Danielczak believed the agent was a "hitman."

Danielczak was arrested Thursday at her workplace in Tomahawk. She's currently in Oneida County Jail, facing charges for solicitation to commit first degree intentional homicide.

"We've had other cases involving domestic violence and things like [that], but this is my first time that I've seen that in 28 years," said Rhinelander Police Chief Lloyd Gauthier.

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RHINELANDER - Police think a Rhinelander woman met with a hitman on Valentine's Day to have her husband killed. 

Megan Danielczak, 27, ended up giving a down payment to an undercover agent with the Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation. 

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RHINELANDER - This Friday marked a special occasion, the first fish fry of the lent season. One Rhinelander parish got enough fish to feed around 700 people.

The Nativity Catholic School got quite a crowd early Friday evening for its fish fry. 

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