Jim Theler and Suzanne Harris have spent the past decade restoring a 48-acre pasture near Viroqua to its original state as an oak savannah. They teamed up with their local land trust, the Mississippi Valley Conservancy, to ensure that this special place remains protected, forever.

Jim and Suzannewalking their land, now in a land trustOak savannah at one time covered about 5.5 million acres in Wisconsin, and now fewer than 500 acres remain. This land’s restoration and protection provides ecological, historical, and aesthetic benefits to the community. It serves as an example of the value land trusts offer this state and why the work of Gathering Waters Conservancy, to strengthen all of Wisconsin’s land trusts, is so important.

(Photo: Erik Daily, La Crosse Tribune.)