Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge is part of a large coastal wetland complex on the south shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin. The refuge was established in 1999 to protect, restore and manage coastal wetland and spring-fed stream habitat. Restoration of coaster brook trout populations, an anadromous fish native to Lake Superior, is a high priority for the refuge. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service currently owns 304 acres in fee title out of 540 acres authorized along lower Whittlesey Creek and 57 acres of easements out of 1,260 acres authorized in the 12,000-acre Whittlesey Creek watershed. The refuge is located entirely within the Town of Barksdale, Bayfield County.
The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and, where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.
Everywas created for a special purpose. Some were created to protect migratory birds, others to protect threatened or endangered species or unique habitats, while others fulfill another special purpose. All activities allowed on refuges must be evaluated to ensure each activity is compatible with the purposes for which the refuge was established.
The purpose of Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge is to protect, restore and manage coastal wetland and spring-fed stream habitat. Restoration of coaster brook trout populations, an anadromous or migratory fish native to Lake Superior, is a high priority for the refuge.
January 1998 - The new refuge was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
September 30, 1999 - Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge officially established when the first tracts of land were purchased by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1999 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service became an official partner at the David R. Obey Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center
2012 - Construction was completed for the refuge’s outdoor classroom facility. The Coaster Classroom is available to conservation partners and organizations free of charge to host either public or internal events, workshops or meetings.
Other Facilities in this Complex
Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge is a partner in the multi-agency David R. Obey Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center - the gateway to experiencing and understanding the northern Great Lakes Region. Collectively, we partner with all entities at the center to offer opportunities for you to become more connected with the natural, historical and cultural world of the region through environmental education, interpretive programs, special events, exhibits and hands-on exploration. The center also serves as headquarters and contact station for the refuge.
A three-season, outdoor classroom facility is available for use to conservation partner organizations for environmental education, interpretive programming or other public events. The facility holds 20 to 25 people. A restroom facility is also available and open during planned events at this site.
Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge is part of the St. Croix Wetland Management District complex. The refuge manager is also the project leader for the district complex.