For those of you who didn’t know Brad Matson, allow me to give you a glimpse of the impact he has left in Land and Water Conservation.
Brad was assigned to the Iron County Land Conservation Committee (LCC) in 2014. From the very start, he made it clear that he was excited to be on the committee and was fully supportive of our department's work. He regularly called or stopped in the office to see what we were working on offering support in whatever capacity we needed.
In 2016, he became the LCC chair and quickly requested we change the name of the committee to the Land and Water Conservation Committee. As he put it, the absence of the word "water" gave him heartburn.
Brad was a loud, proud advocate for conservation. Brad made sure that a full report was given on what Iron County's Land & Water Conservation Department was up to at every county board meeting.
He jumped at the opportunity to become involved in the Northwest Area Association and attended meetings regularly. He always complimented our area partners on the great work they were accomplishing.
In 2018, he was elected to the Wisconsin Land & Water Board and was excited to advocate for the north. He was also elected as the NW Area Representative on the Board of Directors, and again, was thrilled with the opportunity to share with others across the state the great accomplishments in the north.
Brad's leadership in Wisconsin's conservation network stemmed from his beloved passion for the outdoors. As an avid hunter, forager, fisherman and naturalist, he jumped at the chance to educate and inspire folks, especially kids.
Brad was one of our biggest advocates of the youth education conservation programming in Iron County. He enthusiastically volunteered at WI Land+Water's Conservation Camp, participating in every canoe trip over the past five years.
This past summer, Brad organized the day long conservation paddle with guest speakers along the way, who spoke to the group about the history of the Flambeau River, the fisheries, the river's health, and of course, (the first responder came out in him) safety.
From the Land and Water Board to canoeing with kids at camp, Brad's steadfast advocacy speaks to his character and his lasting impact on our lands and waters across Wisconsin. Brad understood the intrinsic value of protecting and managing our natural resources for the next generations, which is why he especially advocated for more youth education programming across county departments. After all, he'd say, they will be sitting at our desks one day.
In Brad's honor, a camp scholarship is being established. Donations can be sent to: Carol Matson, c/o Iron County LWCD, 607 3rd Avenue N. Suite 2, Hurley, Wisconsin 54534