Savage Arms announces the release of its latest Savage Journeys episode: The Duren Family Farm. This complete story, by Savage Journeys and Savage Arms Affiliate Doug Duren, follows the 400 acre farm that’s revolutionizing conservation and community. This farm has been in Duren’s family for 120 years, and is located near Cazenovia, in a portion of southwest Wisconsin known as the Driftless Area. The farm contains extensive farming and wood spaces–it’s here that Duren encourages conservation through a new project. One that allows visitors access to his land in exchange for their assistance with maintenance and management projects on the farm.
Viewers can follow along as Duren provides the backstory on this farming and hunting project that is thriving on his family’s land. He attributes the project’s success to its values, which are rooted in the works of Aldo Leopold. Many people know Leopold as a pioneer in wildlife conservation and are familiar with his life story and major accomplishments. Leopold’s collection of essays “A Sand County Almanac” is iconic in many conservation, environmental and hunting communities–and Duren will be the first to agree with its importance.
“Leopold, that little book, and his other essays have continued to speak to me throughout my life,” Duren said. He adds that, “Leopold and a fascinating project: The Riley Game Cooperative,” were a great inspiration to this experiment in conservation on his farm. “At Riley, Leopold and some folks from town became friends with a group of local farmers. They worked together to improve marginal land for all wildlife, especially game species. Cooperatively they shared the work, the hunting and recreation benefits of their efforts.” This Riley Game Cooperative is greatly similar to the operation run by Duren, shown in this Savage Journeys story.
Viewers will watch how Duren invited new folks to his family’s 400 acres to participate in a trade. Visitors arrive to assist Duren with projects around the farm, and in turn, each volunteer receives access to the land for foraging and hunting. The experiment was a success, with volunteers becoming friends, and the cooperative itself growing over time. This project fosters connection amongst people, resulting in a community that’s based on shared experiences, camaraderie and a great appreciation for the outdoors.
The success of Duren’s project continues with the accompanied creation of Sharing the Land, a conservation cooperators network which Duren started in 2020. It serves to connect landowners with those seeking hunting access. Today landowners in eight states have joined Sharing the Land, 30 properties are part of the network and more than 300 people have signed up as access seekers – proving that The Duren Family Farm experiment is not only beneficial to the land, but successful for encouraging community and conservation efforts over time.
This Savage Journeys episode will debut on June 22nd on the Savage Arms website and through its social channels. For more information on Savage Arms and Savage Journeys, visit the Savage Arms homepage.
Media contact: Tim Brandt, Murray Road Agency
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