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.
Funds to operate the Trust come from membership fees, lifetime giving donations, testamentary bequests, memorials, investment earnings and fund raising projects. Unless specifically designated as restricted, all memberships shall be used for operational purposes. Bequests and memorials in the amount of $500 or more will be placed in the restricted fund.
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.
The 2016/17 officers and directors are:
|Stephan Henry, Jr, President||Director, Otter Tail Co.|
|Terry Lejcher||Director, Otter Tail Co.|
|Robert Peters, Vice President||Director, Pope Co.|
|Steve Pauly||Director, Pope Co.|
|Lars Nelson||Director, Douglas Co.|
|Rick Paulsen, Treasurer||Director, Douglas Co.|
|Joe Montonye||Director, Grant Co.|
|Andy Bye||Director, Grant Co.|
|Dale Stinton, Secretary||Director 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. (Robert B. Oetting)