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  • 09/06/2023 10:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Over 80 members and friends gathered at Boulder Lodge for the 2023 Annual Member Picnic.  Beautiful weather, gorgeous setting, and lots of fun (including games of "corn hole") were made possible by volunteers, led by Lili Herbert, Katie Keller and Lynn Kane.  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!


  • 07/18/2023 11:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Seventeen SCLA members were treated to interactive plant identification training by Sawyer County AIS Coordinator Natalie Erler on July 15.  Participants learned how to tell the difference between "good" and "bad" plants, and what to do if the "bad" plants are found.

    Do you enjoy paddling on the Spider Chain of Lakes?  If so, please join your neighbors and friends as a "Lake Monitor" on your favorite section of the Spider Chain of Lakes.  Even better, grab a friend and paddle together in the area near your home looking for invasive plants.  Contact Dave Mickelson ( for more information.

    The SCLA AIS & Water Quality Committee sponsors training for plant identification.  AIS Committee founder and member, Dave Mickelson, will teach you how to spot good and bad plants in and around the Spider Chain of Lakes. Dave will answer questions such as "What is the difference between invasive and non-invasive milfoil?",  "How do I spot Curly Leaf Pondweed?" and what to do if you spot Yellow Flag Iris.

    SCLA success in controlling Curly Leaf Pondweed since 2010 was cited as an example of the importance of volunteer lake monitors and of the regular "Meandering Study" performed by biologists.  Thank you all lake monitors!  

  • 06/30/2023 7:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Check out the EVENTS PAGE to REGISTER the Sept. 7  Wine and Wisdom gathering at BlackIron Grill (free of charge). 

    JUNE Wine & Wisdom Recap:

    The 1st Wine & Wisdom of 2023 was a great success! Nearly 30 people gathered to hear Sawyer County Conservation Specialist Natalie Erler's presentation on native plants and ways to improve lake quality by your shoreland management.  Natalie's presentation and hand-outs are posted on the "Shoreline Stewardship" tab of this website.  

  • 05/28/2023 5:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Fifty SCLA Members gathered May 27 for the 2023 Annual Meeting of Members at the Spider Lake Town Hall.  Outgoing President Larry Keller opened the meeting with highlights including the FINAL approval of the first "Comprehensive Lake Management Plan" (CLMP) in March, 2023, water quality monitoring, project pike, lake surveys, SCLA events and the completion of the $1.2M Preserve & Protect Campaign launched nine years ago.

    Larry thanked volunteers, including Ray Langer, AIS Chair for his tireless work on the CLMP and other lake surveys, Membership Chair Lynn Kane who created and distributed the 2023 directory of members; members of the Membership Committee who organized the 4th of July Boat Parade, the Annual Picnic, S.L.E.E.K., and Gina Blayney, Chair of the Education Committee for rejuvenating the educational series "Wine & Wisdom.  

    Outgoing and former board members were recognized for their leadership and service:  Martha Coventry, Lynn Kane and former president Lili Herbert.  Two members were elected to the SCLA board of directors: Jerry Keating, for his second term, and David Meyer, for his first term.

    Ray Langer, AIS & Water Quality Chair highlighted the work of the committee and the results of the "Landing Monitor Program" which is expanding hours of coverage in 2023 thanks to availability of funding.  SCLA landing monitors inspected 2,400 boats in 2022 (120 of which had been on lakes with eurasian water milfoil in the preceding five days).  Ray also highlighted the threat of Yellow Flag Iris (YFI) to the lakes.  YFI is a toxic weed that since 2017 SCLA has prioritized for eradication.  


    Kris Dew and Mary Keating presented (on behalf of Chair Gina Blayney) key 2023 educational events, Lynn Kane presented membership committee work and Wendy Wood presented the Finance Report.  

    The good news on the finance front is that the endowment draw covered 24% of the FY 23 budget, while "FISH MEMBER GIFTS" covered 39%.  Financial viability will depend on the continuance of "FISH MEMBER GIFTS" and converting small fish members to "A BIGGER FISH" and to convince 100% of members to become a "FISH MEMBER" so the operating budget is covered.  Please renew your memberships at the end of the year with a "FISH GIFT" - we all love this place and we need Fish Gifts to continue to protect it.  Fish Member Gifts go directly to fund expenses; categories have fish names: Record Musky ($1,000), Walleye ($500), Bass ($250), and Bluegill ($100).

    New SCLA Co-Presidents elected at the May 19th board of directors meeting: Jerry Keating (also Philanthropy Chair) and Wendy Wood (also Investment Chair), and Vice President/Secretary Alex Farrell.  Kathy Schmidt continues as Treasurer and Finance Chair. 

    The theme of the new Co-Presidents for the coming term is 3-Fold: VOLUNTEERS (recruit more!)  FINANCIAL VIABILITY (100% Fish Members) and COMMUNITY BUILDING via educational events that are fun to attend.  Please join us!


    Endowment Fund: Investment Performance As of 3/31/23

    The SCLA endowment is managed to meet two goals: preserve the inflation adjusted value of endowed gifts in perpetuity while supporting a meaningful and dependable rate of spending from the endowment each year.  An additional goal is to outperform, net of fees, a market benchmark which represents the target asset allocation.  The endowment is invested in an allocation of 65% global equities and 35% U.S. bonds.

    As of March 31, 2023:  The SCLA endowment trailing one-year return (net of fees) for the period ended March 31, 2023 was -5.7%.  This exceeded the 65/35 market benchmark return of -6.4%.  Since inception of the fund in 2016, the annualized return net of fees was 7.1%, 0.6% above the market benchmark of 6.5%. 


  • 05/01/2023 7:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Do you enjoy learning about lakes?  If so, spend Friday, June 23 among professionals and those who love lakes to do just that, at the NW Wisconsin Lakes Conference

    The 25th Anniversary Northwest Wisconsin Lakes Conference begins with a celebration of the partnership’s history and a reflective look at why people love lakes and rivers. Looking forward 25 years, how can we act more holistically to protect people, lakes, and the wildlife that depend upon them? The true beauty of Northwoods’ lakes is like a collage of sunrises and sunsets punctuated with memories like family campfires, fishing, and watersports, but it is also deeply rooted in the surrounding forests and wildlife. Many of these memories fuel our love of lakes and motivate people to keep them healthy.

    Keynote Presentation

    "Look Beyond the Shore" - Christian Cold, Retired WDNR Wildlife Educator: Chris Cold is one of the state's most knowledgeable wildlife experts; he has inspired many during his 30+ year career and continues to share his knowledge with schools and other conservation organizations, often in tandem with wild or rehabilitated companions. Cold will inspire attendees to look beyond the shore, adopting and sharing a sustainable conservation ethic with others.

    Breakout session offer addition opportunities to learn about lake-related topics from local experts and educators. For session details, see the brochure (pdf) – sessions and schedule on page two.

    There are 3 speakers each session (so grab 3 friends and cover all topics as a team!).  Cost: $45 (lunch provided); Student Cost: $10 (lunch provided).

    Mail In Registration: If pay by check, must be received by June 16:  Attn NWLC Registration, Cathie Erickson, W550 Walter Road, Stone Lake WI  54876

    Or register and pay online:

     Online registration closes June 16.

  • 04/30/2023 3:37 PM | Anonymous

    Wine & Wisdom -- Native Plants
    Thursday, June 8th
    4:00 - 5:30 PM

    Blackiron Bar and Grill
    12131 W. State Road 77, Hayward

    We are excited to bring back our Wine and Wisdom learning series, focused on shoreland best practices. We've recruited experts to teach us how to invest in our own properties in each of the three buffer zones. Presenter: Natalie Erler, Sawyer County Zoning & Conservation

    Our first session will be focused on native plants. Did you know that native vegetation can discourage undesirable, exotic species, such as purple loosestrife, from overtaking your property and can deter Canada Geese from loitering on your lawn?

    Join us to gather, grab a beverage of choice (cash bar), and meet new friends. Please RSVP by Tuesday, June 6th.  For complete list of 2023 Wine & Wisdom events (June-Sept) go to the EVENTS PAGE and register - they are all free and open to the public.

  • 01/25/2023 12:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thanks to the generosity of many, many SCLA families, the SCLA Preserve and Protect campaign has achieved the $1.2M goal. Inspired by an anonymous $100k matching gift announced in September 2022, lake friends joined together to donate over $150,000 in just four short months — more than enough to release the $100k match and to achieve the campaign goal of $800,000 in endowment and $400,000 emergency reserve funding.  Thank you to the generous family who donated the $100,000 match; your leadership and energy nurtured the spirit of philanthropy that made this possible.

    This achievement provides SCLA reliable funds to support its mission long term AND readily available funds in case of emergency needs. SCLA is also poised to learn and invest in best practices to protect and steward our water quality and retain the magnificent Spider Lake ecosystem. 

    In 2014 the SCLA board under the leadership of President Michael O'Sullivan, launched the $1.2M campaign to create an endowment and emergency reserve.  Key architects of the campaign plan included O'Sullivan and board members Robert Lebby, Patrick Delaney and Steve Smith.  We are grateful to these leaders and their fellow board members for their vision and hard work to develop a sustainable financial vehicle to protect the Spider Chain of Lakes for future generations.  We are also grateful for you, SCLA members, who increased your support of SCLA by adding annual gifts in the form of fish tier donations that are allocated to current expenses.  We simply could not have done it without you.  Your ongoing spirit of philanthropy to support our mission is a wonderful legacy that is critical to our ongoing ability to protect these lakes.

    Last year, fish tier donations funded nearly 50% of SCLA expenses.  It remains an important source of funding SCLA mission activities such as boat monitors at public landings.  Please continue to support SCLA in the future by being a fish!

    For more information about the endowment and emergency reserve see the Endowment and Emergency Reserve section on this website.

  • 01/14/2023 10:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thank You, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your overwhelming generosity in helping SCLA achieve the $100K Match Challenge.  Your gifts in 2022 were instrumental in SCLA not only achieving "The Match", you also brought us extremely close to our target $800K raised for the endowment and $400K for the emergency reserve.  Details will be in the January email to members.  


  • 10/26/2022 4:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The SCLA board of directors hosted an "All Member Virtual Meeting" October 25 to review how SCLA is working to protect water quality and to encourage members to complete the $1.2M campaign to ensure long term funding of the work.  Ray Langer, Chair of the SCLA AIS Committee joined President Larry Keller and Vice President Jerry Keating to lead a presentation of the many ways that SCLA works to protect the Spider Chain of Lakes.  Click here to download a copy of the presentation.

    A generous SCLA family has created a $100,000 Match Challenge to inspire members to donate in 2022: please do so whether you have already donated or you have yet to make your first gift.  All donations to the Preserve & Protect Fund (or, separately to the endowment or emergency reserve) will be matched dollar for dollar if made by December 31, 2022. Completing the $1.2M campaign will provide a reliable source of funding to protect the Spider Chain of Lakes for future generations.  

    Members of the SCLA board of directors began calls this month, to every member to explain how SCLA protects the lakes.  For more information, reach out to SCLA at   And watch your USPS mail for a letter with the 2023 Member Renewal Form; it contains more information on why an endowment and emergency reserve are critical to our ability to fund protection efforts in the long term.

  • 09/18/2022 2:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The SCLA Member Picnic returned with nearly 100 members and guests on a beautiful day at Boulder Lodge.  Membership Committee and other volunteers presented a delicious meal and members contributed delicious desserts and salads as we joined in community for the first time in over two years.

    A $100,000 Match Challenge was announced at the Annual Picnic.  It is designed to complete the $1.2M Preserve & Protect Campaign (now called the Preserve & Protect Fund) .  A generous family will match all gifts to the Preserve & Protect Fund (or to the endowment or emergency reserve) made between September 4 and December 31, 2022, up to $100,000. This is a great opportunity to raise $200,000 for SCLA, the only organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the Spider Chain of Lakes for future generations.

    Gifts to the Preserve & Protect Fund are allocated 2/3 to endowment, 1/3 to emergency reserve fund; it was launched in 2014 as a campaign to bring financial sustainability (a reliable source of funds) to SCLA.   Please consider making a second gift if you have already donated, or make your first gift to protect the water quality of the lakes for future generations.  For more information on the Preserve & Protect Fund click here.  Checks can be sent to PO Box 1082, Hayward, WI 54843 or use pay pal on "Donate" button.

    A million thanks to the generous family who is supporting our mission in making this $100,000 Match.  The SCLA board of directors will be calling members in the coming weeks to invite you to participate in the Match Challenge, and to answer your questions about how SCLA makes a difference in protecting the lakes.  Feel free to send in a donation BEFORE you get a call!!!  AND!  Join us Oct 25 at 7 pm CT for a virtual meeting to learn more about how you can help SCLA.

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Spider Chain of Lakes Association
PO Box 1082 • Hayward, WI 54843

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