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November 17, 2019

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Bryan Pierce of Eagle River was honored last month with a lifetime achievement award from Gathering Waters.
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Bryan Pierce of Eagle River was honored last month with a lifetime achievement award from Gathering Waters.
10/15/2019 7:30:00 AM
Bryan Pierce honored with lifetime achievement award

Gathering Waters: Wisconsin's Alliance for Land Trusts, honored Bryan Pierce of Eagle River with the 2019 Harold "Bud" Jordahl Lifetime Achievement Award at the Land Conservation Leadership Awards Celebration Sept. 26 at the Monona Terrace in Madison.

"Pierce has built an incredible conservation legacy throughout Vilas, Oneida, Forest, Florence, Iron, Price and northern Langlade counties," accprding to a press release announcing the honor. "He helped establish the Northwoods Land Trust in 2001 and then led the organization as executive director for 18 years. Pierce's focus on sustainability, community cooperation, long-term thinking and integrity has resulted in the protection of over 13,000 acres of forestland and 70 miles of shorelines in northern Wisconsin. Pierce's emphasis on community cooperation remains a model."

"Pierce made land conservation popular, desirable and fun in an area of Wisconsin that is rich in natural resources," the release continues. "He taught environmental courses and worked with local governments - sometimes dealing with difficult and sensitive issues - to help people understand the environmental and economic value of saving Wisconsin's natural areas."

"Bryan has actively served on just about any effort that might improve the community," said Bob Martini, vice president of the Northwoods Land Trust Board of Directors. "His willingness to work effectively with so many groups has highlighted his talents; forged connections with just about every environmental and social group in northern Wisconsin. He is a living example of how one person can lead hundreds of people to form an organization, raise money, protect land, ... without polarization, in a way that makes everyone involved feel like a winner."

Pierce's legacy extends beyond northern Wisconsin. As he approached retirement, he developed a comprehensive succession plan to help the Northwoods Land Trust's operations continue without disruption. He shared his plan and lessons learned with other land trusts, and his efforts helped set up the greater Wisconsin land-trust community for success.

"Wisconsin's land trust community will miss Bryan's passion and his dedication to conservation," said Mike Carlson, executive director at Gathering Waters. "Generations of residents and visitors will get to experience and enjoy the impact of his efforts to protect land and water in northern Wisconsin."

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