General interest

Northwoods LIGHTS OUT!

by Quita Sheehan, 

Looking for another way to enjoy the wonders of the Northwoods? Exploring the night skies, watching fireflies and stargazing are but a few ways to appreciate the darkness. Oneida and Vilas County Land & Water Conservation Departments are promoting two summer weekends to enjoy the night. We encourage you to turn off your lights for a few hours, go outside, and look up and around you! Listening in the darkness can also lead to exciting discoveries! Make this an event for your lake group or educational organization; help us spread the word through your organization communications and newsletters!

Two summer weekends to enjoy the night!

June 17-18          Firefly Watch!
August 12-13      Milky Way & Perseid Meteor Watch!

We hope that by setting dates, residents, and visitors alike, will coordinate for a broader appreciation of nighttime wonders.  Please check out the Oneida Land & Water Conservation website ( or call 715-369-7835 for more information.  And if you or your group plan a Lights Out Event – let us know!!

Unnecessary lighting with improper placement and design interferes with visibility and robs us all of quality night skies.  Other impacts from light pollution include human health affects/sleep disruption, confusion for migratory birds and other wildlife, and wasting energy. You can help by only using lighting you really need, choosing energy-efficient bulbs, and directing lights downward. By working together, we can protect the night for everyone to enjoy!


Permanent Shoreland Protection

A priority of the Northwoods Land Trust (NWLT) is to assist landown­ers in conserving sizable properties to protect our world-class water resources. Perma­nent land conser­va­tion is one of the most effective ways to safe­guard our lakes and rivers.  

The Vilas County Lakes & Rivers Asso­ciation (VCLRA) is part­ner­ing with NWLT to advance a Shoreland Pro­tection Legacy Initia­tive to reach more landowners on Vilas County’s 1300 lakes and 70 rivers. Both organizations are promoting perma­nent land protection tools as a means to ensure our waters stay healthy, productive and clean.

Natural forested areas and undeveloped shorelines play a big part in maintaining water quality and wild­life/fish habitat long-term.  Moreover, protect­ing more land today will reduce the need to restore degraded water resources tomorrow.

Private landowners hold the key to preserving remaining natural shoreland areas. Community-based conservation with a nonprofit land trust like NWLT is local, voluntary, and (importantly) perma­nent. Land­owners that protect the land they love also provide greater public benefits in the form of clean water and air, wildlife habitat and scenic beauty. 

Below are two articles that we encourage Lake Associations to share with members in your newsletter and communications. There will also be a Shoreland Owner Workshop on June 26th in Eagle River on best practices and programs to protect water quality and habitat, as well as permanent conservation options through NWLT. Registration is required. More on the workshop here.

Article written by the Northwoods Land Trust, in collaboration with Vilas County Lakes & Rivers Association.