First Steps Toward Improving a Property for Wildlife
Curt Klade, of Brookfield, owns a wooded tract in Oneida County near where he grew up. He and his family and friends often make the 250-mile drive north to spend time on the 74-acre parcel, where they can soak in nature, through hunting, hiking, and looking out for wildlife.
Recently, a mailing from the Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership got Klade thinking about what he could do to attract more wild animals to his land.
Helping Wildlife While Improving a Recreation Property
Thirteen years ago, Les Strunk bought 77 acres 250 miles north of his Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, home. The property is in northcentral Wisconsin’s Price County near the town of Prentice. Strunk characterizes his land as “a recreation property” and has enrolled it in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Managed Forest Law Program.
Peter Ourada and his brother Paul own 80 wooded acres near Antigo in Langlade County. “The property has a 30- to 35-acre swamp grown up with tag alder brush,” Ourada says. “The soil is really wet. I’ve seen grouse in there; they hide out along the edges of the tag alders. I’ve kicked deer out of the swamp in hunting season. I’ve also spotted fishers and woodcock there.”
When people think of gems, they envision bright, multifaceted objects with great value. That’s an apt description of the Grouse Enhanced Management Systems (GEMS) that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is developing across the northern part of the state.
Mike Gardner owns a small farm in northern Wisconsin about 100 miles south of his home along Lake Superior. The 42-acre parcel is “small enough that I can manage it intensively,” Gardner says. In 2012, he got help from the Ruffed Grouse Society, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to improve the habitat on his land for woodcock and other young forest wildlife.
Aspen shows its beauty in all seasons, from pale green spring foliage to quaking yellow leaves in autumn. It yields valuable forest products from pulp for paper to chips for strandboard to biomass for generating electricity. Especially when it’s young, aspen provides food and homes for a broad range of wildlife. There are all sorts of reasons for keeping aspen a major component of our northern woodlands, and on Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, conservationists are working to do just that.
In the early twentieth century, conservationists set up many of our country’s National Wildlife Refuges as places where ducks and geese could breed, and rest and feed during their twice-yearly migrations. Since then, habitat management on refuges has often focused on improving conditions for waterfowl.
Three years after he helped plan a series of timber harvests at Ross Lake Wildlife Area in southern Ohio, biologist Mike Reynolds figured he ought to go back there and see how things were coming along. It was a sunny day in late August, with temperatures in the 90s.