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Partners for Fish and Wildlife Work to Enhance Habitat for the Dwarf Lake Iris in Door County, Wisconsin
California-Nevada Offices , September 21, 2011
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Dwarf lake iris (Iris lacustris)
Dwarf lake iris (Iris lacustris) - Photo Credit: USFWS: Joel Trick
Native understory of the ridge and swale complex in Ship Canal Preserve
Native understory of the ridge and swale complex in Ship Canal Preserve - Photo Credit: USFWS: John Riens

The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Preserve owned by the Door County Land Trust and located along the shores of Lake Michigan contains 445 acres of land that includes undeveloped beach, sand dunes, and ridge and swale complexes. The preserve, is home to 23 ridge/swale formations that are ancient shore ridges now covered by white pines, hemlocks, and red maples. Although this habitat maintains a high level of plant diversity, it has been recently overrun with invasive bush honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.) and glossy buckthorn (Rhammus cathartica). The Door County Land Trust partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the fall of 2011 to remove these invasives from approximately 35 acres on the Preserve in order to prevent the displacement of native vegetation and enhance the habitat quality for the federally-listed dwarf lake iris (Iris lacustris). The dwarf lake iris is a rare miniature iris with showy deep blue flowers. Due to shoreline development and associated human impacts this species has lost a great deal of its natural lakeshore habitat. The Service and partners are working to protect and enhance the remaining habitat of this declining species. For this project, the Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife program used Great Lake Restoration Initiative funds to hire a contractor to provide a combination of cutting and herbicide treatments to control the invasive species during the late fall and winter months. Follow up spot treatments will likely occur over the next year to ensure the species has been sufficiently controlled. Door County Land Trust staff and volunteers will continue to monitor the site and provide control measures to remove any future invasive problems.


Contact Info: John Riens, 541-885-2503, John_Riens@fws.gov



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