The Pioneer Heritage Conservation Trust was created in 1985 by a group of hunter/sportsmen from the Evansville area - Dean Elmer, Vernon Ostrom, George Larson, and Carl Madsen - who gathered with the thought of preserving a large marsh near Evansville that belonged to Alf Thompson, a descendant of pioneer settlers in the Evansville area. With the help of Mr. Thompson, the men came up with the idea to not only protect the slough, but also to promote long-term stewardship of the land and its related resources. The mission of the Pioneer Heritage Conservation Trust, then and now, is to preserve the land and its resources. The Trust was initially funded with contributions from the Thompson family.
The Pioneer Heritage Conservation Trust (PHCT), a federally tax exempt Minnesota corporation, continues to serve the counties of Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, and Pope.
Annual funding comes from membership fees, lifetime giving donations, testamentary bequests, memorials, investment earnings and fund raising projects. All membership fees and 25% of bequests and memorials are added to the Trust’s restricted funds. The earnings from the restricted fund investments plus other annual receipts are used for current spending.
PHCT strives to fulfill its mission in several ways. Each year the Trust funds entirely or provides financial assistance for conservation projects in the four county area. The Trust also partners periodically with other organizations and government to accomplish projects that cannot be done by one entity alone. PHCT provides grants for educational school programs and cooperative conservation programs. The Trust also funds education scholarships to students in conservation studies and scholarships to teachers for continuing education in environmental and conservation sciences.
Activities, investments and spending of the trust are guided by a Board of Directors:
|Craig DeJong, President||Pope County|
|Mark Nikolas||Pope County|
|Lars Nelson, Secretary||Douglas County|
|John Seim, Vice President||Douglas County|
|Dustin Steenblock||Grant County|
|Tony Rondeau||Otter Tail County|
|Stephan Henry Jr||Otter Tail County|
|Dale Stinton||At Large|
Our time on earth is brief, yet the land goes on forever, carrying with it the marks of each succeeding landowner. As fleeting trespassers on land that belongs to future generations, we must touch the land gently, caring for it as true stewards, so that those who assess our record will see our love and respect for the land and life.