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Joint Venture Funds Help Restore Wisconsin Grasslands on St. Croix Wetland Management District
Midwest Region, October 30, 2012
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Prairie on the Spring Meadow Waterfowl Production Area in the St. Croix Wetland Management District, Wisconsin
Prairie on the Spring Meadow Waterfowl Production Area in the St. Croix Wetland Management District, Wisconsin - Photo Credit: Tom Kerr

Joint Venture funds were used to complete several grassland restoration projects on the St. Croix Wetland Management District in western Wisconsin. The District provides important nesting habitat for many species of waterfowl and grassland birds including blue winged teal, mallard, Henslow's sparrow, meadowlark, bobolink, northern harrier and many more.

The habitat restoration projects were targetted on five Waterfowl Production Areas in the Star Prairie Bird Conservation Area. In combination with partner funds from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Pheasant and Turkey Stamps, 32 acres were mowed and 250 acres were treated with chemical to control trees and brush. The projects were scattered across 1,500 acres on the five Waterfowl Production Areas, with the goal of maximizing grassland block size. Local contractors completed the work.

The restoration projects help accomplish the joint goals of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources within the Star Prairie Bird Conservation Area. The Conservation Area is a 29,000 acre focus area in St. Croix and Polk Counties with a goal of 40% grass on the landscape. At the present time approximately 25% of the Conservation Area is grass. The Star Prairie is made up of 3,400 acres of Waterfowl Production Area and 1,367 acres of State Wildlife Areas and is a partnership effort with the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to step down their strategic grasslands implementation plan.

The Star Prairie Bird Conservation Area is located within three important focal areas including a focus area identified in the St. Croix Wetland Management District Conprehensive Conservation Plan, the Western Prairie Conservation Opportunity Area identified in the State Wildlife Action Plan and within the Western Prairie Habitat Restoration Area. Established by the state of Wisconsin in 1998, the Western Prairie Habitat Restoration Area has the goal of restoring 20,000 acres of wetland and prairie, roughly 10% of the original 200,000 acres that occurred in portions of St. Croix and Polk Counties prior to European settlement. According to District Manager Tom Kerr, "The Joint Venture funds were crucial in accomplishing some of our grassland restoration goals within the Star Prairie BCA. We appreciate the support from the Joint Venture Office to complete this work."


Contact Info: Tom Kerr, 715-246-7784, tom_kerr@fws.gov



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