Making an impact – Tom Jerow and Gov. Evers

WI Green Fire, March 27, 2024

Conservation succeeds through nonpartisan teamwork!

by Meleesa Johnson, WGF Executive Director

aerial view of trees in the Pelican River Forest with blue hills in the background

Pelican River Forest WI, photo copyright Jay Brittain, courtesy of Gathering Waters

When Tom Jerow answered his phone last week, I bet he wasn’t expecting a call from Governor Tony Evers! As the two talked, Gov. Evers thanked Tom for helping to conserve the Pelican River Forest.

Besides being a leading voice for conservation as President of Wisconsin’s Green Fire (WGF), Tom had personally attended many public meetings to support the conservation of the Pelican River Forest and dispel misinformation. Other members of WGF like Ron Eckstein, Paul Heinen, Don Behm, and others also helped make the conservation of the Pelican River Forest a reality!

It all paid off because in late January 2024, Gov. Evers announced the successful permanent protection of over 70,000 acres of the Pelican River Forest, the largest conservation project of its kind in state history. Now, the forest will be protected from development, supporting future forestry uses as well as public access for hunting, hiking, ATV riding, and other recreation.

Although politics made it complicated to fund this monumental conservation project, the project had widespread support from thousands of people and groups who all care about preserving Wisconsin’s Northwoods.

As stated by our partners at Gathering Waters, supporters included a “remarkable coalition” of “conservationists, ATV riders, hunters, people concerned about water quality and mining threats, silent sports enthusiasts, and more…”

As a nonpartisan nonprofit, Wisconsin’s Green Fire is proud to be a part of coalitions like this where people from different backgrounds and perspectives work together to make conservation happen.

Please join me in congratulating Tom for his personal recognition by Gov. Evers and help WGF continue advancing science-based conservation in Wisconsin!

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