Spirit of Amateur Conservation Strong in WI, Nationwide

By the Lacrosse Tribune

If you are a landowner interested in improving habitat on your land, you are invited to help the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, in central Wisconsin, celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program on August 26.

In 1987, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service kicked off the “Partners” program: the reason and the need were clear — Americans wanted more wildlife and wildlife habitat than public lands can provide.

Come hear the stories of landowners who took steps to improve their land and listen to their motivations for doing so.

The “hook” for one Adams County family was a desire to attract Karner Blue Butterflies to the farm handed down from their grandfather.


Who benefits from the USFWS Partners program? Landowners, hunters, hikers, nature-lovers, and of course fish and wildlife./D. Kenyon

A Taylor County landowner wanted to improve habitat for deer, ruffed grouse and American woodcock on his forty. His reason? He wanted a place to hunt with his son.

A sand-mining firm with a strong environmental and conservation ethic restores additional prairie acres almost every year.

Monroe and Jackson county landowners work to re-establish savannas by drastically thinning trees so that the sunlight can once again reach the ground.

A Juneau County landowner restores wetlands through the use of ditch plugs, scrapes and water control structures.

A timber company in Adams County commits to helping an endangered warbler.

What common thread connects these landowners?

All of them worked with a “Partners” biologist to develop a habitat improvement agreement. Each committed to help the project proceed and succeed.

In addition to listening to landowner stories, visitors can talk with conservation practitioners to garner insights and learn what help might be available.

How does one plant a prairie? How does a water-control structure work? What kinds of sites are most suitable for wetland restoration? How can landowners help conserve endangered species?

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ruffed Grouse Society, Pheasants Forever, Wisconsin DNR, Trout Unlimited, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, county conservationists and the Aldo Leopold Foundation will be there.

Reservations are required. A reservation entitles you to lunch provided by the Friends of Necedah National Wildlife Refuge and a door prize ticket. Call 608-565-5051 or register via Facebook.

Read the article online.