What Are We Doing? How You Can Help!

MIWP President, Fred Koerschner, snowshoeing the Preserve’s North End Trails

MIWP President, Fred Koerschner, snowshoeing the Preserve’s North End Trails

As the snow and ice melt away after a long winter in the Apostle Islands, my thoughts shift from winter skiing and snowshoeing to warm weather activities on Madeline Island. What do you look forward to as summer on the Island approaches? I enjoy hiking and kayaking on and around this beautiful Island we all enjoy for so many reasons.

No matter the season, the Madeline Island Wilderness Preserve (MIWP) is busy preserving and protecting the natural areas on the island for the enjoyment of all. I’d like to update you on what we’ve been doing since late last year in the four key areas where we spend most of our time:

  1. Invasives Species Management The invasive species on the Island of highest concern are European buckthorn, Japanese barberry, and Eurasian honeysuckle. Building on our many-year (over a decade) commitment to contain invasive species, MIWP has begun working with a local contractor skilled in invasive species management. Step one, May through November 2018, will be to survey targeted areas of the island in order to more precisely map the occurrence, density, and age structure of invasives. With these data in hand, an updated management plan will be developed for treatment of invasive species on the Island.
  2. Trails on Wilderness Preserve Land The Preserve has hiking, skiing and snowshoeing trails in two areas on the island:
    North Trails – Improvements on selected trail sections are planned for later this year to navigate around wet areas in the summer and add more space next to groomed ski tracks for snowshoeing in the winter.
    South Trails – Early planning is underway in cooperation with the Town of La Pointe to expand the south trail system beyond the current Capser and Nucy Meech trails. Initial ideas are focused on creating a loop east from the Capser Trail.
  3. Land Acquisition The Island’s End Forest was added to Preserve land through a generous donation by Mark Allsup. See the article below on Island’s End Forest for more information.

  4. Education Mark your calendar for the 2018 MIWP Summer Program Series on the Island. This year’s program features six fantastic speakers and four guided hikes. See more details in Events on this website.

Membership is the lifeblood of the Madeline Island Wilderness Preserve. Here is what you can do to help preserve the natural areas of Madeline Island and support the work described above:

Visit the preserved areas on the Island and appreciate their beauty. MIWP lands and hiking trails are open to everyone. Maps are available on our website.

Donate If you are not yet a member, please join the MIWP. If you have already donated this year, consider an additional gift. Also, please consider estate and land gifts (see the articles below for examples). Because the MIWP is a not-for-profit organization, all member donations are 100% tax deductible.

Volunteer your ideas and energy. MIWP is a 100% volunteer organization. We welcome and need volunteer time to support the work we do. We also greatly value your opinions and comments.

Check out the Participate pages on this website.

THANK YOU for all you do to support the Madeline Island Wilderness Preserve. Our work can not happen without the help of members like you.


Thirty-one years ago a group of residents from the north end of Madeline Island gathered at the home of Bob and Norma Schaub. The group discussed concerns that development pressure would move to the interior of the Island as lakeshore property was bought up. Lovers of the Island could lose the very essence of what they had come to enjoy the most; the undisturbed wilderness of Madeline Island.

This gathering began formation of what is now the Madeline Island Wilderness Preserve, and Norma and Bob Schaub became founding members.

In 2017, Mark Allsup, son of Norma Schaub, donated the Island’s End Forest to the Preserve. Island’s End Forest is a 27+ acre parcel of interior forest land at the northeast tip of Madeline Island and adjacent to existing Preserve land.

The Madeline Island Wilderness Preserve is deeply grateful for this generous gift. Mark has furthered the Preserve’s goal to protect and preserve natural areas on Madeline Island for the enjoyment of all. Thank you, Mark!


The Madeline Island Wilderness Preserve is deeply honored that Tom Vennum included a gift in his will to the Preserve. Tom had spent summers on Madeline Island since he was a teenager. He died last fall at age 82. Tom was a true Renaissance man: pianist, organist, teacher, ethnomusicologist, author, lacrosse historian, and nature lover.

MIWP board member Dan Engstrom observed, "I think one of Tom’s most enduring connections to the Preserve is his ethno-documentary, Earl’s Canoe. This beautiful traditional Ojibwe canoe was fashioned by Earl Nyholm from the bark of a large, near-perfect paper birch that Earl and Tom found on the Wilderness Preserve’s Reuel Harmon Forest (and used with MIWP permission). That canoe, the documentary, and Tom's long-term support of the Preserve are an important part of his Island legacy."

If you would like to learn about providing for the future of the Preserve through your will, please contact MIWP President, Fred Koerschner.