After an exhaustive search; we are thrilled to introduce Haley Breniser, as our new Executive Director of the Walloon Lake Association and Conservancy! Haley has been in the conservation field for over 22 years; most of which has been in Northern Michigan. She brings a wealth of both field and management experience in conservation and stewardship. As an executive director, she is also familiar with strategic plan execution, and the importance of building donor-partner relationships and community engagement.

Haley will begin her role as Executive Director on April 2nd. We will provide Haley the opportunity to introduce herself in the Spring Wallooner, where she will be able to share the specifics of her previous work experience, personal interests, and introduce us to her family. We are excited for you to meet Haley and the WLAC will be having a variety of opportunities for those personal introductions throughout the spring and summer. Look for these event dates in upcoming communications from the organization!

WLAC Executive Committee: Russ, Marianne, Marty, and Holly


We are proud to announce that the WLAC has achieved national recognition and has been awarded accreditation by the The Land Trust Accreditation Commission. We are joining a network of over 450 accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work. Our Past President Dave Deal shared:

 “The conservancy made the decision over 5 years ago to seek Land Trust Accreditation for several reasons. First, we felt it was important to adopt the high standards of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission to ensure we were following best practices throughout our organization. Second, we felt there was no more effective way to communicate to our many stakeholders the guiding principles we were going to use as we carry out our mission. The WLAC staff and board are to be commended for all of the hard work and demonstrated excellence it has taken to achieve this milestone.”

After a rigorous verification process by the Land Trust Commission, the WLAC has proven that we have sound finances, practice ethical conduct and responsible governance, and can ensure lasting stewardship. The awarded accreditation ensures we are operating at the highest possible conservation standards and signifies confidence that the WLAC’s lands will be protected, now and forever.

2022 WLAC Board President Michael Hatch reflects on the WLAC’s ability to further protect the Walloon Lake watershed, in perpetuity, while accredited:

“Accreditation demonstrates our commitment to permanent land conservation in the Walloon Lake watershed, and we are a stronger organization for having gone through the rigorous process. This strength means special places, like Walloon Lake, will be protected forever – and forever is a long time!”

We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we have received and are sincerely honored to be part of this prestigious community of accredited land trusts. Thank you!