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Shoreland Stewardship Initiative

Vilas County Lakes & Rivers Association (VCLRA) created the Vilas County Shoreland Stewardship
in summer 2014. Some shoreland owners have already adopted this stewardship covenant and
a number of other owners are in the process of doing so. The purpose of this initiative is to offer an
educational tool to shoreland property owners who wish to have an additional way to protect their lake or
stream and do so with a legal document that can be attached to their deed.

The stewardship covenant being offered does not step beyond state and county shoreland regulations,
yet it provides new buyers or family members seeking ownership an opportunity to become familiar with
local shoreland zoning during the title search of the property, before the transfer of ownership is complete.
So often, new owners illegally modify their shoreland by cutting trees and shrubs and do so simply
because they are not familiar with or seek information about shoreland management practices that
protect the quality of your lake or stream. This covenant embraces what you as a shoreland owner have
worked so hard to achieve on your property.

Many waterfront properties were grandfathered-in when the new shoreland zoning ordinances were
adopted in 1999. However, at the current time only properties that conform to the Vilas County Shoreland
Zoning Ordinances
are eligible for designation as Vilas Shoreland Steward properties. These properties
will have dwellings set back 75’ or more from the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM), a 30’ or less
viewing corridor, and a maximum 6’ wide path or 4’ wide wooden walkway to the water. VCLRA wishes to
send a consistent message that it supports the current Vilas shoreland zoning ordinances, because they
provide the most beneficial protection for our lakes or streams.

This program is totally voluntary. If a property owner believes they meet the requirements in the above
paragraph, they need only to contact VCLRA and request a copy of the covenant. This document is also
available on the VCLRA website at http://www.vclra.us. along with a graphic showing current applicable
shoreland distances. An enrolled property owner may also request a VCLRA shoreland specialist visit
their property to provide additional suggestions to further improve their lakefront property to help guard
the quality of their lake or stream.

There is some paperwork involved. Vilas Title Company and their associate, Debby Soberg have
graciously volunteered to help any interested property owner with the process. This may be especially
helpful if your ownership is in a trust or partnership. An appointment can be made with Debby at

Once the covenant is notarized and taken to the Vilas County Register of Deeds for recording, the receipt
for payment of $30 for the recording should be sent to VCLRA at the following address:

PO Box 494
Eagle River, WI 54521

The receipt verifies the recording of the covenant and the $30 will be reimbursed to the property owner by VCLRA through the support of a Wisconsin Small Lake Planning Grant.

VCLRA wishes to recognize all Vilas County shoreland owners who manage their shoreland area in
compliance with the Vilas County Shoreland Zoning Ordinances and Wisconsin NR 115. Recognition of
participating property owners may be published in the Vilas County News Review, Lakeland Times, and in
Lake Tides, a publication of UW-Ext. Lakes.

VCLRA feels that shoreland designated as a Vilas Shoreland Steward property indicates that the
management of this property offers the best protection for the quality of the lake or stream where is it
located. If you are interested in adding this educational tool to protect your lake or stream, you are
encouraged to contact Sandy Gillum (715-617-0031) or Rollie Alger (715-545-2711) with your questions
and/or for copies of the pertinent documents. We encourage you to share this opportunity with others on
your lake or stream and to publish this article in your newsletter or on your web site.

Included on this page, you will find a copy of the new Shoreland Stewardship Covenant for you to consider, and if you choose, for your attorney’s review. Shoreland owners participating in this program will be provided with:

Free consultation with a VCLRA shoreland specialist, if requested

• Cash for the cost of recording the covenant with the county

• An attractive mountable sign for placement by the
owner on their property in recognition that their land is a
Shoreland Stewardship

• To broadly share this opportunity, VCLRA would appreciate recognizing the
landowner through an article and photograph in local press
and recognition at
the annual Wisconsin Lakes Convention.
In this way, VCLRA wants to spread the
“good word” of shoreland management
that provides protection to lakes and

This covenant will provide considerable value for your shoreland property, your lake, and your community.

Preserving, protecting and enhancing our Vilas County lakes and waterways for present and future generations
Bobbie Kocim,
Sep 16, 2014, 3:00 PM
Bobbie Kocim,
Jul 2, 2015, 9:23 PM