TALL PINES CONSERVANCY LOCALE
The Tall Pines Land Conservancy is located in scenic Waukesha County, Wisconsin.
Current conservancy properties are in the northwestern section
of the county.
Shown above are a mature eagle, and three eaglets found on a member's property in Waukesha County.
Waukesha County comprises some 550 square miles in southeastern Wisconsin.
It is adjacent to heavily populated Milwaukee County, but still retains
a strong rural flavor. It lies south of Dodge and Washington Counties,
and north of Walworth and Racine Counties. Farmlands of Jefferson
County extend to the west.
Waukesha County boasts many beautiful open spaces and trails, including those
of Kettle Moraine State Forest, Lapham Peak State Park, Vernon Marsh State
Wildlife Area, the National Ice Age Trail, and Retzer Nature Center. There are
county parks in Fox Brook, Menomonee, Minooka, Mukwonago, Muskego, Delafield
(Naga-Waukee), and Nashotah.
Lakes and Rivers
Watershed areas in Waukesha County are comprised by the Rock River
in the west and the Fox River in the east. Rivers include the
Ashippun, Bark, Fox, Menomonee, Oconomowoc, and Scuppernong.
Waukesha County is home to 118 lakes, which take up over 23 square
miles. Lakes in the northwestern region of the county include Okauchee
and Oconomowoc Lakes, Lac La Belle, Pine Lake, Nagawicka Lake, Upper and
Lower Nashota lakes, Upper and Lower Nemahbin Lakes, and Pewaukee Lake.
Conservancy properties are in the area of Pine and Cornell (Mud) Lakes, and
portions of Beaver Lake and North Lake. Pine Lake is the main artery of this area. While not a large lake (less than 2 1/2
miles long and no greater than a mile wide), it is quite deep. The spring-fed lake has
an average depth of almost 40 feet, and descends down to almost 90 feet at its deepest
point. Fish species present include a plentiful amount of Bass (largemouth and
smallmouth), Bluegill, Northern, and Walleye.
NATIVE TREE SPECIES:
- Black Cherry
- Black Walnut
- Elm -- American, Slippery, Red
- Hickory -- Shagbark, Bitternut
- Maple -- Suger, Red, Silver, Boxelder
- Oak -- Red, White, Burr, Black
- Red Cedar
- White Pine (relic stand)
The area's eco-system has undergone substantial
transformation in the past 150 years, according to Village Forester Jeffrey E.
Kante. Historically, the area was a blend of oak savanna/prairie, and
oak-hickory forest with some maple and other forest species such as black
cherry, basswood, and white ash.
Today, however, much of the original landscape
has been altered. The native prairie has basically been removed, although there have
been some attempts to re-establish it. A property along Highway C, for
example, has recently replanted prairie plants in a former agricultural field.
The oak savanna has either been removed for
farming and pasture or has overgrown and reverted to forest. Some of the wide
spreading open grown oaks are still found in the Village, however.
The oak-hickory forest has been invaded by
buckthorn, honeysuckle, Norway maple, and garlic mustard. The periodic fires
that maintained the prairie also burned these forests and had prevented the large
shrub layer now found under the trees.
Today's forest is a mix of naturally occurring
species, planted trees, and escaped exotics. The Norway spruce and pine
plantations have melted into the landscape. Buckthorn is found everywhere that
isn't mowed, paved or water-covered, except in the few areas where landowners have
taken on the job of removing the shrub.
(See story on buckthorn removal.)
The area is home to many kinds of birds,
waterfowl, and other animals. With the natural eco-system and predatory
structure disturbed, the deer population remains at times problematic.
Did you know
Your estate can receive an income tax deduction
donated to a qualified land trust.
Rather than have your property pass through the estate tax quagmire you can bequest your land
to a land trust and exclude the land value from your estate. In addition, your land will be
preserved in accordance with your wishes. The land can then be held in perpetuity by the land
trust or resold with a conservation easement attached preventing any future development.
Alternately, you can have your property pass through your estate at a reduced value if you
place a conservation easement on it, restricting development. In most cases, placing this
type of conservancy easement on the property will also quality you for an immediate income
For more information, please email us at
or call 262-369-0500.