An aerial view of a creek flowing through green forest.

Collaboration in Conservation: McCann Creek Conservation Area

Landmark Conservancy and the Chippewa Valley Chapter of Pheasants Forever expand on their partnership to make a lasting impact in northern Wisconsin.

Building upon a shared value of community conservation, the 186-acre McCann Creek Conservation Area in Chippewa County has found a new steward in Landmark Conservancy, thanks to a collaborative effort with the Chippewa Valley Chapter of Pheasants Forever.

When the Chippewa Valley Chapter first purchased the property, located just north of Eau Claire, WI, in 2022, it effectively doubled the size of the adjacent McCann Creek State Fishery Area. Purchased as a part of Pheasant Forever’s ‘Build a Wildlife Area’ program, the Chippewa Valley Chapter sought a way to provide habitat protection while expanding public access for hunting, fishing, and trapping. The Chippewa Valley Chapter received a $204,000 Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Grant in 2022 to help fund the purchase, but also found support from partners including the North American Wetland Conservation Act, the Chippewa County Stewardship Fund, Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, and the National Wild Turkey Federation. The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program has helped communities, friends groups, and nonprofit organizations, like Pheasants Forever, protect over 650,000 acres of land across Wisconsin. Knowles-Nelson projects have expanded access to public lands for conservation, habitat protection, and outdoor recreation.

McCann Creek Conservation Area boasts forested wetlands, prairies, and marshes, as well as its namesake McCann Creek, a Class 1 trout stream. It’s a critical wildlife habitat for pheasants, brook trout, turkey, waterfowl, and deer, and public access allows for hunting, fishing, and trapping. The property is nestled within an existing network of conserved land that, when the Chippewa Valley Chapter officially took over ownership, adds up to over 860 protected acres along McCann Creek.

Creative collaboration is key for lasting conservation success, and in 2024, the Chippewa Valley Chapter passed the torch to Landmark Conservancy for the ownership and management of McCann Creek Conservation Area. Landmark has protected over 42,000 acres across 20 counties in northwestern Wisconsin and will steward the McCann Creek Conservation Area with support from the Chippewa Valley Chapter and its partners. “Acquiring and sorting out the ownership is just the beginning, and this partnership is just warming up,” shared Landmark Conservancy Executive Director Rick Remington.

Feature photo by David Roll/FigaRo Productions.

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