The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is celebrating its 80th anniversary.
The forest is home to 2,000 lakes, more than 50 campgrounds, and an abundance of wildlife. But it wasn't always this way.
"The great cities of Milwaukee, Chicago, and even the smaller cities, Wausau, they were built from the timbered lands of the northern part of the state," said Forest Supervisor Paul Strong. "And the demand was so high that much of the timber was cut and not a lot of effort was being put into reforestation and thinking about the future."
In 1933, the forest service purchased the land. Forestry officials say workers restored it with the help of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's new deal--a policy that created the Civilian Conservation Corps.
"(They) reforested, cut over lands, put out fires, built roads, trails, bridges, campgrounds," said Strong. "So many of the places that people go to on the national forest are here because of the CCC boys."
It's work the forest service continues now, 80 years later.
And it's that commitment to nature that inspired Ruth Lull to paint what she saw near her home.
"When I look out any window of my house, my cottage on Lake Namekago every day the Chequamegon-Nicolet is unveiling a new bit of scenery for me," said Lull.
Lull's work is on display at the forest supervisor's office, just one part of the anniversary celebration of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.