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Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation Seeks Land Trust Alliance Approval

Web posted July 10, 2018
Walker, Minnesota, July 2, 2018 -- The Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation (the “Foundation”) is experiencing some exciting times of transformation and resolve. Our recent move to a Main Street location in Walker has begun to expose our conservation work to an expanded audience. As we evolve, our vision is to open a Welcome Center with educational materials in the future. We know there has never been a more crucial time for conservation efforts as our water resources continue to be threatened by invasive species, climate and other threats.

On another front, the Foundation has actively been preparing its application to become an accredited Land Trust through the national Land Trust Alliance headquartered in Washington D.C. The Land Trust Alliance network represents more than 1,000 member land trusts supported by more than five million members. The Foundation will become one of the latest of over 350 accredited land trusts nationwide and only the second in Minnesota.

With the anticipated application approval in 2020, the Foundation will have successfully met the rigorous requirements to hold and enforce land protection Conservation Easements in perpetuity and to acquire conservation lands for the benefit of future generations. The Foundation also plans to continue in its mission critical conservation work in identifying and protecting highly sensitive shorelines that have both biological and ecological significance for critical habitats.

Since 1997, the Foundation has protected more than 3,200 acres and 23 miles of environmentally sensitive shoreline working with landowners, numerous lake associations, local, state, federal and Tribal agencies and other conservation organizations. The Foundation’s conservation efforts continue to focus on an area that encompasses 4 major watersheds that are over 4.2 million acres in size and include 1,941 lakes. It is rich in natural resources with an amazing degree of biodiversity. Our region is home to the headwaters of the Mississippi River and is the source water for communities downstream including the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.

In another change, Ms. Kathy DonCarlos has accepted a position as interim Executive Director until the vacancy created by the departure of the former Director, Lindsey Ketchel, can be filled. Ms. DonCarlos brings over 40 years of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources management experience to the Foundation. In her most recent role, she held the position of Assistant Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife in the MN Department of Natural Resources. Tim Bremicker, Board Chairman states “our lakes region is truly blessed to have Kathy’s leadership and conservation experience to help guide us through the Land Trust accreditation process and continue to strengthen our mission of preserving land to protect water.”

Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation continues to rely heavily on its loyal donor base and conservation minded individuals and their families for financial support. They graciously accept donations to its Annual Fund for continued operations and Endowment Fund for long-term stewardship. All gifts accepted by the Foundation, including cash, stock, land and estate gifts are eligible for a charitable tax-deduction under current IRS Rules. Always check with your tax advisor and the Foundation to maximize charitable contributions.

For more information, please contact the office directly at 218- 547-4510 or mail to P.O. Box 124, Walker, Minnesota 56484. Your support will directly benefit the Foundations ability efficiently and effectively carry out our Mission: Preserving Land to Protect Water.

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