Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Conservation Specialist, Zach Wilson, to speak on the health of Iron County waters at ICLRA program, July 23rd.

With its 494 Lakes, 222 named streams totaling 633 linear miles, and 84 classified trout streams, the health of our water is pretty important to Iron County residents and visitors. Join Conservation Specialist, Zach Wilson, for an update on the status of the health of Your lake or river.  Join us at the annual Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance meeting, Saturday, July 23rd at 9:00 AM at the Mercer Community Center for an update on the status of our water and how to get involved in monitoring water quality in Iron County. Zach Wilson from the Iron County Land and Water Conservation Department will discuss how our waters fare regarding invasive species, shoreline restorations, water quality monitoring, and how we can improve our lakes and streams.

Since early childhood, Zach Wilson has spent much of his time “in the woods and waters of Iron County”. A hunter, trapper, fisherman, wilderness adventurer, graduate of Northland College, Zach now works for the Iron County Land and Water Conservation Department. Previously he worked in over 15 countries, was the senior naturalist for the North Lakeland Discovery Center for 15 years, the Director for the Mercer Environmental Tourism Charter School for 3 years, and a private business owner of Northwood’s Learning Adventures and Ecological Consulting.  Zach serves as the coordinator for the Woods & Waters project in which high school students from Iron County study the ecology of the American marten and common loon. He is a licensed bird bander, coordinates multiple citizen science monitoring projects and has experience coordinating aquatic and terrestrial invasive species education programs.  In addition to his vast naturalist background he has also worked as a forest ecologist for the Board of Commissioners of Public lands. Zach’s philosophy?  Act locally; think globally.

Following Zach’s presentation, ICLRA will hold their annual business meeting. Iron County Lakes Alliance was formed in 2001 and became the Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance in 2012. The purpose of this non-profit organization is to protect county waters through education and communication and to advocate for riparian owners and lake and river associations in county and state government. Membership is open to lake and river associations and to individuals. Programs are free and open to the public. For more information or to make your voice heard by joining ICLRA, email or call 715-476-2881.

 On a very sad note, Mitch Koski, former mayor of Montreal Wisconsin, Iron County Board member and first responder died while trying to save boats at Iron County’s Saxon Harbor Marina.  He and his wife were acting as hosts at the campground and marina.  The county sheriff came and warned them a of wall of water coming off of the Penokee’s.  Mitch’s wife left but he stayed trying to save as many boats as possible.  As he was leaving, the flood from the creek swept his truck into the lake.  The newly constructed marina is said to be a total loss.  The U.S. Weather Service rated the storm as the second 200 year storm in four years.  Many roads are closed in Northern Iron and Ashland counties due to washed out bridges.


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