PRESS RELEASE: State Treasurer Godlewski Celebrates National Public Lands Day


Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
CONTACT: Julie Benkoske, or (608) 577-8991

State Treasurer Godlewski Celebrates National Public Lands Day

As Chair of Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, Godlewski Renews Commitment to Stewardship

MADISON, Wis. — As Chair of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL), State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski will celebrate National Public Lands Day on Saturday by sharing important progress on environmental stewardship. The BCPL oversees over 77,000 acres of public lands, which provide revenue for public education through sustainable timber management and are used for hunting, fishing, trapping, protection of water quality, and outdoor recreation.

“Our public lands are an invaluable resource for Wisconsin, and we must do everything we can to protect them,” said State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. “Not only do the lands we manage provide revenue for public education, but they provide natural spaces for residents to enjoy and serve as a way to protect our water quality. In my role as chair of BCPL, I’ve taken proactive steps to make sure we’re doing our part to combat climate change, sustainably managing our lands, and protecting our natural resources for future generations.” 

Since being elected as board chair, Godlewski has taken numerous actions to renew the BCPL’s commitment to stewardship. Her first major act leading the board was repealing a gag order preventing climate change from even being discussed. The agency has also codified considering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into its investment strategy and has made investments in renewable energy under Godlewski’s leadership. 

Specifically, under its land management authority, the BCPL preserved a 145-acre parcel along the Namekagon River. Now part of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, this complex project included the collaboration of the Park Trust and the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) to include the protection of over 5,000 feet of historic riverfront, the purchase of valuable timberland for sustainable use, and the conservation of animal habitat and recreational opportunities along this 230-mile free-flowing riverway. 

“As a Commissioner and someone deeply devoted to Wisconsin’s natural environments, I am proud to be part of this renewed commitment to stewardship,” said Secretary of State Doug La Follette.

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National Public Lands Day, established in 1994, is held annually on the fourth Saturday in September. People are encouraged to celebrate our connection to the natural spaces in our communities and participate in stewardship, education, and recreation. 

Established in 1848 by the state constitution, the BCPL consists of Board Chair and State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Secretary of State Doug La Follette, and Attorney General Josh Kaul. The BCPL manages the Common School Fund, which was created in Article X, as a permanent endowment to benefit public education.

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