Eagle Nest


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How We Began

ENF has a very colorful history. Our work actually began back in the early 1960ís as the Southwestern Wisconsin Audubon Club. This club sponsored Mr. Terrence Ingramís bald eagle research in the winter of 1964 and 1965, during which the first known bald eagle roosting valley in the nation was documented. In 1967, the Audubon Club sponsored the first Bald Eagle Days in the nation at Cassville, WI, which beginning in 1970 became an annual event for many years. Bald Eagle Days has been emulated by many cities throughout America as a very popular attraction for winter visitors to their city.

Eagle Valley Environmentalists, Inc.
To prevent the Great River Road from coming through and destroying the bald eagle roosting valley documented by Mr. Ingram in 1967, the organization purchased the land, which they named Eagle Valley Nature Preserve. In January of 1972, the organization incorporated and changed its name to Eagle Valley Environmentalists, Inc. (EVE). During the next four years, the organization purchased more land from neighboring farmers to increase the size of the preserve to a total of 1470 acres, which included three miles of undeveloped Mississippi River Bluffs. EVE financed the purchases through a combination of donations, endowments, and loans.

Eagle Valley Nature Preserve Environmental Center
EVE developed the Environmental Center at Eagle Valley Nature Preserve, with sleeping and eating facilities to handle up to 40 to 50 persons per weekend. By manning the center with a small paid staff and many volunteers, more than 10,000 visitors per year were accommodated. At the center many weekend workshops and activities were conducted including Wildflower Weekends, Hawk Watch Weekends, Canoeing Weekends, as well as Eagle Watching and Cross Country Skiing Weekends. Workshops, which were conducted at the center, included Winter Survival Workshops, Bird Identification Workshops, Environmental Leadership Training Workshops, and Nature Awareness Workshops.

Ferry Bluff and Other Preservation Efforts
In 1974, EVE members discovered Ferry Bluff on the Wisconsin River was being used as a bald eagle roost and again the Exec. Director got options to purchase that land. With help from National Wildlife Federation and a grant from Anheuser Busch, the first part of Ferry Bluff Eagle Sanctuary was preserved. Through other purchases and donations this was later expanded to include close to 300 acres and was managed by EVE's Ferry Bluff Chapter.

Over the years the organization became involved in bald eagle research and preservation efforts up and down the Mississippi River as well as on the Wisconsin and Illinois Rivers. It conducted this research for several different power companies, the US Army, barge companies and private individuals. It discovered and documented 47 of the 60 known nighttime bald eagle roosts along these rivers. However, by 1988, the organization disbanded.

Eagle Nature Foundation
In 1995 a group of former officers and directors realized that some national organization was needed to pick up the ball that had been dropped by the Eagle Foundation's demise. So in March of 1995, the Eagle Nature Foundation, Ltd. (ENF) was formed to make the public aware that the bald eagle is still threatened by environmental conditions and habitat destruction.

ENF has been a member of and publisher for the KY/TN/IL Bald Eagle Management Team for many years. ENF also conducts bald eagle bus tours each winter and environmental bus tours. Each year ENF conducts the nation’s largest one day Midwinter Bald Eagle Count. ENF also provides many other environmental education efforts.

Current ENF Environmental Efforts
ENF presently is working to preserve several pieces of bald eagle habitat along the Illinois River, including stopping a proposed coal mine adjacent to the Rice Lake Conservation Area near Banner, Illinois. The Illinois Attorney General's Office has joined us in this fight as IDNR has been violating some of their own rules in approving this permit. As we have learned in the past, the only way we can truly protect this area may be to buy the land from the coal company, before it is strip-mined. The next year or so may yield an answer.

Continuing Efforts to Locate and Protect Eagle Roosting Sites
Presently, ENF is looking at several other Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin bald eagle roosting sites that need to be saved and we will act to preserve them just as quickly as our finances will allow us to do so. In 2007, ENF set up an Endowment Fund to handle anticipated donations to finance these efforts. Membership and donations will insure the success of ENF preservation, education, and research programs, programs that help keep the majestic American Bald Eagle forever flying free.

ENF also offers 5% yearly interest for ENF Loans of $500 or greater. These loans are secured by a lien on the assets of the corporation. Anyone looking for a better interest rate than most CD's presently offer should call ENF's office to see if there is any need for