A wetland in summer surrounded by green marsh grass and trees.

Land purchase nearly doubles the size of state wildlife area in Jefferson County

The Wisconsin DNR acquired around 1,800 acres of private land that will be restored.

Danielle Kaeding reports for Wisconsin Public Radio that the Prince’s Point Wildlife Area in Jefferson County will nearly double in size with the purchase of 1,830 acres from a private landowner. Money from Pittman-Robertson funds and the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program made the purchase possible by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program contributed $245,000 toward the land purchase, just below the $250,000 threshold that triggers passive review of land acquisitions by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance.

The planned restoration for the property is intended to provide diverse habitats for birds and wildlife. The DNR is working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Ducks Unlimited to add wetland ponds on the property, which is currently being used as a muck farm. The purchase will also expand public access, including hunting and birdwatching opportunities.

Rachel Barker, a DNR wildlife biologist, said “By restoring it to a wetland, it’s going to put the water back in the system and help create that really organic, nutrient-rich soil that is good for all the plants, forage for wildlife, and just kind of restoring that system and all the benefits of the wetland.”

Featured image by Steve Lamb, 2017.

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