Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Partners for Fish and Wildlife: A Landowner’s Vision
Midwest Region, June 13, 2013
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East Bluff Before
East Bluff Before - Photo Credit: Greg Hamilton/USFWS.
East Bluff After
East Bluff After - Photo Credit: Greg Hamilton/USFWS.
West Bluff Before
West Bluff Before - Photo Credit: Greg Hamilton/USFWS.
West Bluff After
West Bluff After - Photo Credit: Greg Hamilton/USFWS.
Bluff Top Prairie
Bluff Top Prairie - Photo Credit: Greg Hamilton/USFWS.

One landowner’s dedication can make a difference to many. Large-scale habitat restoration projects take time, dedication and are usually a team effort. A highly dedicated private landowner in Sauk County Wisconsin has been restoring his property with help from the Wisconsin Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and other conservation partners for more than 15 years now! Partners such as the Aldo Leopold Foundation, International Crane Foundation, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, The Prairie Enthusiasts, Society for Ecological Restoration and local volunteers have come together to make a property wide restoration dream into a reality. This all started with one landowner’s vision to improve the health of their land.

Over the years dry prairies have been planted in crop fields, tree lines have been removed to benefit grassland birds and invasive cedar trees have been cut to stimulate remnant bluff top prairie plants that have been in the soil, but unable to germinate without sunlight. Recently, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Biologist Greg Hamilton worked with this private landowner to finish clearing the bluff-top prairie and start a Swamp White Oak regeneration project in bottomland habitat. Having a large natural area with diverse wildlife habitat is critical to protect rare species and keep common wildlife common. This 700-acre property has dry prairie, bluff-top prairie, oak woodland, ephemeral wetlands, floodplain forest and the Wisconsin River, which serves as a refuge for local plants and animals.

A dedicated landowner can make a world of difference to both people and wildlife. With this long-term project, many strong partnerships have been created and other landowners have been educated and inspired. One’s commitment to sharing and improving their land has resulted in a wealth of research and educational opportunities for professional land managers, students and the public. Since most wildlife habitat in the Midwest is on private land, our wildlife and people need more dedicated landowners willing to restore and share. Do you know someone willing to create a landscape legacy? The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program is here to help you with your habitat dream.

Learn more about how we work with landowners: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/partners/getinvolved.html


Contact Info: Greg Hamilton, 608-221-1206 Ext. 11, Greg_Hamilton@fws.gov
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