Burnett County Lakes & Rivers Association History

In the fall of 1991, a number of folks representing many areas, mostly lakes and rivers of Burnett County, met at the government center in Siren to exchange ideas and explore concerns regarding the many problems and issues of out water/recreational resources. Many expressed an interest in developing a county-wide group that would:

1.) Provide the lake associations, rehabilitation/protection districts and concerned individuals with information on rules and regulations; and

2.) Establish a closer liaison with DNR and county personnel on water-related topics. The new organization would be able to provide unified support or opposition to actions or events affecting water and recreation interests.

At this first gathering, four board members were designated to form a county association. By means of general discussion and volunteering , a Chairman, Vice-chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer were selected.

By-laws and Articles of Incorporation were set forth, becoming effective June 10, 1992. On June 15, 1992, the Burnett County Lakes & River Association (BCLRA) became a Wisconsin County Association by registering as a non-profit charitable organization at the Burnett County Government Center in Siren.

Burnett County's Treasured Resources

Burnett County enjoys an abundance of wildlife, many lakes and rivers, and attractive development, all of which makes our area ideally sought out. Second home owners and tourists, as well as permanent residents, find pleasure here.

Burnett County has 508 lakes, with 128 lakes larger than 20 acres (five of these over 1,000 acres). Many lakes in Burnett County are volunteer monitored on the Secchi Disc program. There are Lake Management Planning and Priority Watershed programs, as well as Land Use Planning Grants protecting lake ecosystems. The BCLRA is very active in promoting general conservation efforts within the county.

There are over forty lake association/waterways/protection and rehabilitation districts and sportsmen clubs registered in the county. BCLRA officers assist in forming three or four of these types of organizations each season.

The St. Croix River, which has been designated a “Wild & Scenic River” forms the boundary between Wisconsin and Minnesota. Burnett County is also the home for the 30,000 acre Crex Meadows State Wildlife Refuge, the Fish Lake Preserve and other conservation areas. Each fall and spring, the migratory birds are an incredible sight, descending upon our lakes and rivers. There is also a very successful program for protecting breeding trumpeter swans. Great strides have been made, resulting in many nesting pairs and growing numbers of young. Preserving wildlife habitats is also an important issue for BCLRA.

The bald eagle, deer, bear and wild turkey populations are increasing in the area. Burnett County offers great hunting, excellent fishing, boating and water sports. Biking and snowmobile trails are among the best in the state. As tourist attractions, these activities are good for individual businesses, in particular, and the economic development of the area in general. Tourists and second home owners patronize retailers and industries and are a a vital part of the local economy.

Attractive natural resources have places lake-shore waterfront property in a position to command premium prices in Burnett County. Proximity to populated metropolitan ares and an abundance of recreational opportunities  have made sustainable development of utmost importance if we are to preserve local natural resources. The answer is to balance development with conservation. Water and wildlife stewardship can preserve both the quality of life and economic value of the area.

Board Members

Tim Adair, President
Birch Island Lake Association

Susan Wallin, Vice President
Deer Lake Association

Bob Baker, Secretary/Treasurer
Lipsett Lake Association

Roger Noe, Past President
North Lake Sand Association

Steve Johnson 
Fish Lake Property Owners Association

Paul Kipping
Rooney Lake Association

Gary Loufek
Deer Lake Association

Mike & Lynn McDonald
Bonner Lake Association

Tom Schneiberg
Birch Island Lake,