As development has increased around Minnesota’s lakes, protecting what undisturbed shoreline remains is vital for ensuring water quality. Fortunately, conservation-minded individuals like Donald Hunke have stepped up around the region to protect the lands and waters we all rely on. Recently Hunke worked with the Minnesota Land Trust to preserve his unique forested property near Kabekona Lake.
For generations the Hunke family has recreated on the land, and protecting it for the future was a priority for them. More than just a private respite though, the Hunke property has important implications for all Minnesotans. The property is an important contributor to the high water quality in Kabekona Lake, with almost a mile of the Kabekona River passing through it. A tullibee lake, Kabekona Lake provides perfect habitat for the smaller fish that popular game fish like Walleye rely on.
“The importance of this section of river can’t be understated,” said Ruurd Schoolderman, program manager at the Minnesota Land Trust. “It features a robust and healthy native trout population, which is becoming more of a challenge to maintain as we see these areas get developed. By working with the Land Trust, Donald has ensured that this land will continue to help maintain the water quality of Kabekona Lake, and that he can continue to manage it the way he has for years to come.”
“This project is a win-win for everyone,” says Kris Larson, executive director of the Land Trust. “This private land will forever offer a benefit to the greater public by keeping the waters of this beautiful lake clean.”