This young man is Thomas Harvey Simmons, a young lawyer from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who visited the cutover wastelands of northern Minnesota in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Although the land had been clear-cut by big lumber companies, he saw in it a place where people could build fine lives in restored forests and lake country.

The Wabana Lake Trust

Our Family and Our History

Our Family and Our History

Our mission is forest, wildlife & fish habitat conservation

A Public and Educational Resource

The High Cost of Preservation

How You Can Help Preserve Nature

Contributors and Acknowledgements

Contact Us

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Who we are: We are the family next door. We have the distinction of being the heirs to the conservation legacies of the Simmons, Meader and Downing families. Since 1906 we have managed lands and shores around the Wabana Chain of lakes for the benefit of all who enjoy the clean waters and outstanding recreational resources of this region. We are not wealthy, except in our vision that families have a unique role to play in increasing the diversity of management approaches used on natural lands. We pay a great deal of money to local and state governments for this privilege. Their vision is that all land that can be developed should be developed. Our vision is that people come to this unique area because of the beauty and good environmental quality. Although we could make a lot of money by developing this shore and forest, we have been managing this forest and shore for water quality protection, habitat enhancement, and long-rotation forest products.

We are teachers, consultants, writers, retailers, office workers, artists, designers, scientists, moms, dads, kids and grandparents. We are workers, retirees, and students. We are well and we are ill. We are old and we are young. We are just like most people. Our family project for a century has been to make sure that other families like ours can enjoy clean water, abundant and diverse wildlife, and look at and enjoy forests and shores that are unspoiled yet productive and beautiful. Because we are educators, scientists and communicators, we also feel that land and shore like this has an important and growing role to play in helping all of us to learn about and understand the workings of this unique ecosystem.

Our family has owned this land since 1906.

We believe that families have a role to play in conservation.