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Completed plans
establishing goals and objectives for DNR properties.
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monitoring goals and objectives.
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studying new properties.
Public lands
parks, forests, wildlife, fisheries, natural areas, trails, wild rivers and flowages.
Contact information
For information on the Powell Marsh Wildlife Area, contact:
Michele Woodford
property manager
715-356-5211, ext. 207

Property Master PlansPowell Marsh Wildlife Area

Powell Marsh State Wildlife Area (PMSWA) lies in western Vilas County, 3 miles south of Manitowish Waters and 10 miles north of Lac du Flambeau. There are 390 acres of private land within the 4,850 acre wildlife area. PMSWA is bounded on three sides by the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest and by the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation on the south. Several cranberry producers own land adjacent to the property. The Turtle Flambeau Scenic Waters Area lies about six miles to the west.

tumpeter swans on the Vista Flowage

Trumpeter swans on the Vista Flowage. © Michele Woodford.

PMSWA is primarily an open peatland with several small flowages and small lakes. It encompasses a portion of a 20,000 acre wetland complex mostly owned and managed by the Lac du Flambeau Reservation. About 12,000 acres of the tribally owned lands have leatherleaf bog habitat similar to the wildlife area. While lakes are abundant in the region, large, open peatlands are rare across northern Wisconsin. Without intervention, these peatlands naturally convert to tamarack forest and black spruce muskeg.

Master planning update

The DNR held a public comment period from August 7 through September 6, 2013 for the start-up of the revision of the Powell Marsh State Wildlife Area master planning process. A follow-up pubic listening session was held in Manitowish Waters on October 29, 2013. We've posted a summary of the comments received during the comment period and notes from the listening session in the "planning documents" tab below.

As is standard practice for DNR property planning, the purpose of this initial review is to gather the public's thoughts and ideas on the future management direction of the property and on what issues should be considered in the planning and environmental review process. This helps the Department's planning team as they refine or develop new management and use options and subsequently develop a draft proposed plan. When the draft proposed plan is completed, we will release it for public review and comment before a recommendation is made to the Natural Resources Board. Comments received at the next review step, on the draft proposed plan, will be summarized in more detail and we will post responses to those comments.

The public is always welcome to contact us as we accept input on issues at any time.

Other planning documents available for review include the Public Involvement Plan, Regional and Property Analysis (RPA), draft Vision and Goals and Conceptual Management Alternatives.

Preliminary vision and goals

Preliminary vision statement:

The Powell Marsh Wildlife Area is an expansive, open wetland ecosystem that supports a wide variety of plant and animal species, particularly waterfowl. The property provides hunting, trapping, bird watching, other compatible recreational pursuits and educational opportunities. The area's natural, cultural and historical resources are managed and enhanced with the cooperation of tribal governments and adjacent landowners.

Preliminary goal statements:

  • Provide a large area of high quality open wetland habitats for migratory and resident birds, semi-aquatic furbearers and other wildlife. Protect wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need and enhance their habitats whenever possible.
  • Maintain and enhance hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing and other compatible recreational opportunities and public access within the physical capabilities of the property. Provide opportunities for natural history and environmental interpretation and education.
  • Assure the Powell Marsh State Wildlife Area waters and the water flowing from the property are of good quality and meet aesthetic water quality standards.



Your comments are important so please consider coming to meetings, mailing in comments or calling us. We welcome your feedback on the property management goals and master planning issues throughout the process.

For questions or to send written and email comments:

Michele Woodford, property manager
DNR Service Center
8770 Highway J
Woodruff WI 54568
715-356-5211, ext. 207

For print copies of documents or comment forms:

Bob Dall, state forest associate
DNR Service Center
107 Sutliff Ave.
Rhinelander WI 54501

Last revised: Wednesday November 11 2015