Nature Conservancy Donates 362 Acres to DNR

The Nature Conservancy has donated 362 acres of gently rolling coastal boreal forest at Baileys Harbor Boreal Forest and Wetlands State Natural Area to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for the people of Wisconsin, nearly doubling the size of the area. 

The Nature Conservancy purchased the property in December 2017 with a grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a grant from Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and donations from Nature Conservancy supporters.

“Door County first captivates so many of us because of its beautiful woods and water, and then we realize this place is extra special because of its importance for rare plants and animals that need these habitats to thrive,” says Elizabeth Koehler, who directs The Nature Conservancy’s work in Wisconsin ( 

Special thanks to Nature Conservancy supporter and former staff member Trish Stocking for her generous donation of an endowment to help fund land management at the area in honor of her late husband, Jonathan Ela. He was a member of the Natural Resources Board, and a unit at the State Natural Area was named in his honor.