Burgess Easement, Lac Courte Oreilles

Burgess Easement, Lac Courte Oreilles

The Northern Highlands comprise a topography of landscape formed by a series of glaciers, leaving in their wake an area dotted with lakes and wetlands, rich in well-preserved moraines, drumlins, eskers and other glacial landforms.

As the glaciers melted, rivers carrying vast quantities of melt water and sediment deposited the outwash plains. These outwash rivers flowed in braided system of channels across floodplains that were miles wide.

They filled the landscape from valley wall to valley wall with gravelly sand, forming broad sand plains. Outwash sediment was deposited on top and around masses of ice left behind as the ice sheet melted. When this ice melted the overlying and surrounding outwash collapsed forming the depressions called kettles or pits that hold the thousands of lakes and wetland characteristic of northern Wisconsin.

Here lies the Burgess family easement, on the shores of Lac Courte Oreilles.

In 1855 a surveyor noted white pine, aspen, paper birch, linden and red oak. A 1938 aerial photo shows the property was completely wooded. Currently the western portion of the property has a nice stand of red and white pines and mixed hardwoods, primarily red oak. And, the east portion of the property is primarily pine and red oak. Lac Courte Oreilles contains many varieties of fish: muskellunge, walleye and various pan fish. The littoral zone seems to indicate a suitable spawning site for fish varieties needing sand or sandy gravel as spawning sites.

This historical description indicates the vision of the Burgess family to conserve and protect this landscape for future generations.