"No man can own the Dells. He can only be its custodian for a time." - George H. Crandall
River Shoreline
about us contact us join us help us support us


The Dells of the Wisconsin River is under intense development pressure.

The river corridor, as of now, remains relatively natural, characterized by river-edge woodlands and rocky bluffs, shifting sand bars, sensitive ecosystems, habitat for migratory birds and endangered species. If we don't find ways to protect the river corridor, the Dells may be developed with highly visible resorts, condominiums and homes, and future generations may lose the Dells' natural beauty and natural ecosystems.

The river corridor will be developed. Of that, there is no question. The Stewards are working with government officials and landowners to ensure that the development is appropriate - development that protects the natural scenery and ecosystem associated with, and leverages the economic value of, the Dells of the Wisconsin River.

We've found that most government officials and many landowners in the river corridor want to protect the Dells, and are looking for ways to protect the river corridor while allowing appropriate development. To assist them, the Stewards are working to develop handbooks and other materials with accurate information about protecting the Dells.

The handbooks and other materials will give government officials landowners information about options and strategies for encouraging appropriate development.


Online Resources

  • Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area: Master Plan and Environmental Assessment (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - January 1997) - This is a copy of the Wisconsin DNR report on the Dells of the Wisconsin River and the master plan for protection and restoration of the river corridor. NOTE: The file is a large (9 mb) Adobe Acrobat file and is not suitable for dial-up access.
  • Partnership with the Natural Heritage Land Trust (NHLT) -Soon after Frank and Mariana Weinhold created a conservation easement on Louis' Bluff with the Natural Heritage Land Trust in 2007, the NHLT board has agreed to work with landowners adjacent to the Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area property who would be interested in conservation easements. The goal of the Stewards' fundraising is to help landowners create these easements in conjunction with the NHLT and the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund.
  • Land Protection Fundamentals The Gathering Waters Conservancy has information and materials available for landowners about conservation options and state and federal conservation programs.

Stewards Resources

If you are interested in land trusts, the Stewards have handbooks about Wisconsin Land Trusts that we can lend you, as well as referrals to conservancy organizations that are active in the Dells area. Please contact Debbie Kinder at 608-253-6658 if you would like to meet with us.


501(C)(3) Statement Privacy Policy Contact Webmaster