History of the Niagara Escarpment Resource Network

The Niagara Escarpment Resource Network (NERN) was created in 1998 in response to a conference held at UW-Green Bay which was sponsored by the East Central and Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commissions. The event focused on showcasing the unique geology and ecology of the escarpment and sought to engage participants in conversations about its future and its management. A survey of the 100+ participants provided input and guidance on the future direction of conservation and planning efforts for the Niagara Escarpment in Wisconsin. It was suggested that such an effort be ‘bottom-up’ (i.e., grassroots) versus ‘top-down’ (i.e. statewide regulation) and that the two advisory Regional Planning Commissions lead the efforts with the assistance of the WDNR. The three original founders of this effort were Eric Fowle (East Central RPC), Mark Walter (Bay-Lake RPC) and Curt Wilson (WDNR).

Over the next several years additional meetings and discussions were held to formulate a strategic plan to lead such efforts. With the assistance of numerous participants, the efforts were formalized in 2002 and became known as the Niagara Escarpment Resource Network.

In late 2010, after realizing numerous accomplishments and the building of momentum, the Network decided to associate itself with the existing non-profit entity, the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership and thusly became a formal member-based program of the LNRP.

The Network’s purpose is to provide a common forum for discussion and action which promotes awareness and education about the Niagara Escarpment.   The Network also facilitates short and long term planning for the protection and conservation of this resource.  The Network has no regulatory control over private lands and exists to function as its name suggests…..linking people with information.

You might think of the Network as your ‘one-stop-shop’ for all your Escarpment needs. Tremendous amounts of information, knowledge, and expertise about the Niagara Escarpment is held by Network’s individual members, partners, and their respective agencies or organizations.  By joining the Network, you can become part of our efforts to inform and educate residents of the value of this resource while enhancing opportunities for its permanent protection and enjoyment.