While many conservation tracts can be relatively small and serve to protect modestly sized pristine or otherwise important natural areas from development, other conservation projects can be quite massive. Generally, the larger the area conserved, the better the outcome is for water quality, wildlife habitat, recreation, and timber. However, these larger projects can be very complex to complete. One of those larger projects is the Brule St. Croix Legacy Forest, a 65,867-acre conservation initiative started by the State of Wisconsin in 2012. The property is in northwestern Wisconsin and serves as the headwaters of the St. Croix National Scenic River and the Bois Brule River. The project spans four counties: Douglas, Bayfield, Burnett, and Washburn. Much of this area is classified as Pine Barrens and lies within one of the best landscapes in North America to restore the globally rare Pine Barrens community. The Brule St. Croix Legacy Forest represents one of the few remaining large tracts of privately owned forest land large enough to be successfully managed to maintain and expand the imperiled Pine Barrens community in all successional stages.
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