The Historic Telemark Property
and the Future of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation

The first American Birkebeiner had its roots in a Norwegian legend and its finish line at Telemark Lodge and Resort. Since 1973, tens of thousands of people have skied the Birkebeiner, Korteloppet, and Prince Haakon races. They’ve skijored with beloved pets, cheered children on to a medal in the Barnebirkie, and sprinted down Main Street. As the Foundation has prospered, many more people have learned skills to ride a fat bike, shuffled with friends on a giant ski, or completed a running marathon on the famed Birkebeiner Trail.

People have rung bells trailside and handed out cups of water to strangers. Friendships and memories have been made and traditions have grown, all centered around outdoor recreation. The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation’s mission is to promote and conduct the finest international cross country ski competition; to serve as good stewards of the American Birkebeiner Trail; and to support healthy and active lifestyles among people of all ages and abilities. The Foundation acquires land for conservation purposes to help reach our goals.

In purchasing the historic Telemark property, we’re reaching toward a dream. We’ve established a conservancy to protect the property’s recreation and conservation value forever. We envision bringing people together for recreation to make new traditions and memories. This is our mission, and the Mount Telemark Conservancy and Mt. Telemark Village are our legacy and future.

The Financial Picture and Project Costs
Our immediate need is for $2.6 million for land purchase,
Lodge demolition, and matching funds for a Federal grant.


The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation has a mortgage of $1.412 million on the Telemark property. Our first payment is due in February, 2022. We’re seeking a Federal grant to pay for the Base Camp trail center, for which we must provide 20% in matching funds.


  • Landmark Conservancy:
    Purchase price for Telemark Forest Preserve: $678,000
  • State of Wisconsin Idle Sites Grant:
    This grant was generously applied for and received by the Town of Cable on behalf of ABSF: $250,000
  • Knowles-Nelson Grant:
    From the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for purchase cost (preliminary approval): $321,000
  • Support for the Mt. Telemark Conservancy:

Total: $2,679,000
*$265,410 raised as of December 16, 2021


  • Purchase price, asbestos report, appraisal, legal fees, title, closing costs, and Lodge demolition: $2,232,344
  • Initial matching funds for grant: $446,656

Total: $2,679,000

57% of our immediate need for the purchase and demolition has been met!


The estimated cost for the Base Camp trail center and on-site recreation is $3 to $8 million.

Mt. Telemark Conservancy & Mt. Telemark Village
A place to gather and make new memories

What people are saying:

“We have so many memories of staying at Telemark and many hours skiing there—first downhill in the late 60’s and then starting in the late 70’s cross country skiing. But out of the ‘ashes‘ rises the phoenix. Telemark begins anew. We hope our contribution helps.” Allan Ohm and Katie Smith Ohm

“These are exciting times for Cable. It is a joy to contribute to the Birkie Foundation’s vision for Telemark.” Paul and Sarah Saldin and Family

“My dad never skied a Birkie race, but he eagerly followed my participation in every one and we always shared a phone call as soon as I crossed the finish line so he could get my first-hand trail and race report. The Mt. Telemark Conservancy is the perfect way to honor his memory and to make sure that the land will always be preserved to benefit future generations.” Ken Walz, in honor of Robert Allen Walz

Example Telemark Shareholder Certificate

Support a Share or Acre in the Mt. Telemark Conservancy Now
Help launch the vision by becoming a symbolic shareholder
in the Mt. Telemark Conservancy.

Your support may be by the share or by the acre.

— 100 acres @ $5,000 (72 acres are available as of 12/16/21) —
— 9,300 shares @ $100 (8,046 shares are available as of 11/16/21) —

Total support sought for the Mt. Telemark Conservancy: $1,430,000
Contributions of any size are appreciated and are tax deductible.

Ways to Give

  • Make a donation online.
  • Mail a check using these Offline Payment Instructions.
  • Use a donor advised fund. Make your contribution payable to:
    The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation/Telemark
    Our EIN is: 39-1503175
    Our mailing address is:
    ABSF/Telemark, PO Box 911, Hayward,
    Wisconsin 54843.
  • Do you want to transfer stock, contribute an IRA distribution, learn about naming rights for a larger donation, or ask questions? Contact at: 715-634-5025, option #5 or:

How Shareholders Will be Recognized

Support for shares and acres in the Mt. Telemark Conservancy may be on behalf of yourself, from families, groups and clubs, from businesses, or in someone’s honor or memory. Shareholders will be recognized on a Mt. Telemark Conservancy sign at a trailhead in the Conservancy. You’ll receive a symbolic stock certificate of ownership, a framed print of the 1978 Birkebeiner ascent of Mt. Telemark, an invitation to the dedication of the Mt. Telemark Conservancy, and the good feelings that come with helping to make the world a better place. We look forward to celebrating with you.

Make a Donation Now!
Offline Payment Instructions
Contributing through a Donor Advised Fund? The charity is American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. The EIN is 39-1503175. The mailing address is ABSF/Telemark, PO Box 911, Hayward, Wisc. 54843.

Your support is truly appreciated. Please contact us with questions or comments.

Ben Popp
Executive Director
715-634-5025, Option 7

Allison Slavick
Director of the Capital Campaign
715-634-5025, Option 5