U.S. Forest Service and Northland College sign historic property lease at Forest Lodge.

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and Northland College signed a Historic Property Lease Monday allowing Northland College to operate and maintain Forest Lodge.

Forest Lodge, located eight miles east of Cable, Wisconsin, is a unique 872-acre estate that includes 15 primary buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The estate was conveyed to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in 1999 through the Trust for Public Lands from the private owner Mary Griggs Burke.

Through the conveyance, Mary Griggs Burke wanted Forest Lodge to be preserved as a unique property and to cultivate it as a premier center for environmental leadership, sustainability and conservation education.

Through the lease, Northland College will coordinate the operations of Forest Lodge as an environmental education and conference center. Activities will include outdoor experiential programs, ecological research, local and national conferences, workshops, seminars and special events. Northland will host programs and events, as well as coordinate use by other institutions, organizations and public and private groups.

“We are excited by the many opportunities this partnership will create at Forest Lodge for developing arts and environmental programming as well as convening summits for decision-makers to wrestle with the important policy issues of our times,” said Dr. Michael Miller, Northland College president. “We look forward to working with the Forest Service and Cable community to ensure this is a special place that contributes significantly to people’s lives and to the area’s economy,” he added.

The lease was prepared under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, Section 111, which recognizes the value of historic properties through appropriate active use through lease to responsible parties.

“This is the first time that the Forest Service has entered into a lease agreement under the National Historic Preservation Act,” said Paul Strong, forest supervisor, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. “The signing of the lease is significant in so many ways. It allows us to continue building and moving forward with our partnership with Northland College and carrying out the wishes of the Burke family hosting programs on the environment and leadership.”

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