Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association

Protecting our natural waters for the benefit of all


Our Vision and Mission

We firmly believe that the natural beauty and vitality of our lakes and rivers are closely linked to healthy environments and vibrant economies. That’s what drives our vision of a future where these natural resources are protected and cherished for the high quality of life they provide.

Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association was formed 25 years ago with the mission to sustainably preserve, protect, and enhance our lakes and rivers for the benefit of all. We accomplish our mission by working with partner and supporting member families and lake organizations to foster informed and engaged communities committed to the welfare of our lake and river heritage.
Learn moreDonate

Our approach


VCLRA works with our partners and supporting member families and lake organizations to advocate for sensible, science-informed policy to protect our natural waters and shorelands. We engage in DNR and town hearings, develop position letters to policy makers, have a presence in key committee meetings and events, and sponsor or co-sponsor scientific research studies that support sound policy.


VCLRA exhibits at local fairs/fests, holds workshop events, distributes two print newsletters annually, maintains a year-round website presence, and offers a speaker's bureau service. Our Blue Heron Stewardship Award raises awareness and showcases excellence in lake-friendly waterfront development. We also developed a shoreland class  for middle schools and award a high school scholarship annually.


We assist in the formation of lake associations and districts — the first line of defense for protecting our natural waters — and provide them with support, including training and access to lake and river monitoring equipment. We also develop programs for shoreland and waterways conservation, and sponsor or co-sponsor worthy projects and scientific research studies that support these efforts.

We can't accomplish this work without you

VCLRA is a 501c3 non-profit lake conservation and education organization. All of our work is funded by generous donations, public grants and support from our member families and lake organizations. Get involved and be part of a dynamic community working to preserve our beautiful lake and river heritage. Together, we're making a difference.

Northern Counties Lake Associations Conference

Sponsored by VCLRA and OCLRA

Natural shorelines and water resource protection was the focus of the annual workshop of lake group leaders and members from six northern Wisconsin counties on Friday, July 12, at Nicolet College auditorium in Rhinelander.  The theme was “Clean Waters: Our Mission, Our Legacy.” Nearly a hundred attendees explored ways to encourage lake residents and lake users to take actions to protect lakes and streams and the scenic values of the Northwoods. The event included exhibits from water-related organizations. VCLRA and OCLRA held their annual board meetings at the conclusion of the workshop.

Thanks to all the sponsors and participants for making the meeting a great success.

Membership renewal reminder


Membership renewals are due. Help us continue our work to protect our natural waters.
Renew now

Recent articles from our blog

Sign up!

Subscribe to our blog and be notified of the latest news, articles and developments for protecting our lakes and rivers. Your email address will always remain private.

Our Partners and Supporters