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Completed plans
establishing goals and objectives for DNR properties.
Plan reports
monitoring goals and objectives.
Feasibility studies
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 Wildlife Area 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. Powell Marsh Wildlife Area 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.

Powell Marsh Wildlife Area 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 UW-Oshkosh Environmental Research and Innovation Center has been contracted by the department to engage stakeholders and develop management options for the Powell Marsh Wildlife Area. This will be accomplished by means of a collaborative charrette design workshop to be held May 23 - 27, 2016. A charrette is an intensive, hands-on planning and design exercise where planners, property and business owners and other interested persons work together to discuss issues and potential solutions, create alternatives, and finally settle on a recommended plan for the future of the area. [See press release.]

Collaborative Charrette Design Workshop May 23 - 27, 2016

The UW-Oshkosh is conducting charrettes in May for you to participate in discussions on the master plan. To pre-register for the charrette and to submit question and comments, contact:

Kimberly Busse

Charrette Public Meetings

Manitowish Waters Town Hall
5733 Highway 51 [exit DNR]
Manitowish Waters, WI

The public is invited to participate in the small work group planning sessions during the workshop being held at the Manitowish Waters Town Hall. UW-Oshkosh appreciates advanced registration as to plan for supplies. Please contact Kimberly Busse. Walk-ins are also welcome.

  • Monday, May 23, 6:30–9:00 p.m.
    Public Meeting
  • Tuesday, May 24, 9:00–11:30 a.m.
    Charrette welcome, briefing, begin alternative concepts development
  • Tuesday, May 24, 12:30–2:30 p.m.
    Continue concepts development
  • Wednesday, May 25, 9:00–11:30 a.m.
    Presentation by project team on concepts development so far
  • Wednesday, May 25, 12:30–2:30 p.m.
    Additional input and development of alternative concepts
  • Wednesday, May 25, 6:30–9:00 p.m.
    Public Meeting
  • Thursday, May 26, 9:00–11:30 a.m.
    Presentation by project team on concepts development so far
  • Friday, May 27, 11:30–1:30 a.m.
    Public Meeting

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 Wildlife Area waters and the water flowing from the property are of good quality and meet aesthetic water quality standards.


Charrette design workshop

Frequently Asked Questions about the term "charrette"

1. What is a charrette design workshop?

A charrette (pronounced "shuh-ret") is a collaborative multi-day design workshop organized to generate and capture community input and produce feasible land use planning alternatives. This process is used in fields of design, such as urban planning, landscape architecture and land use planning. During the charrette design workshop, alternative concepts are articulated, sorted, refined and tested by planners, stakeholders and experts. A charrette is a useful way of planning when a project is complex, controversial or challenging.

The word charrette comes from the French word for "cart" or "chariot". The term is believed to have originated in the 1800s at the famous Parisian art school, the École des Beaux Arts, when professors would circulate a cart, or "charrette," to collect final artwork while students worked feverishly to meet the deadline.

2. What is the goal of the Powell Marsh Wildlife Area Charrette Design Workshop to be held in Manitowish Waters on May 23 - 27, 2016?

The purpose of the Powell Marsh Wildlife Area Charrette Design Workshop is to engage stakeholders (members of the community who are interested, impacted) in developing management options for the Powell Marsh Wildlife Area. The goal is to generate a final draft of a management option for Powell Marsh Wildlife Area.

3. How does the charrette work?

A unique feature of the charrette design is a series of feedback loops. These feedback loops provide the opportunity for members of the public to actively engage in formulating management options that reflect vital viewpoints. Three public meetings/open houses are scheduled during the workshop (at the beginning, in the middle and on the final day) to foster a holistic understanding of the issues, and to support review, critique and refinement of alternative management concepts.

4. What happens after the charrette design workshop is completed and a feasible alternative has been recommended?

The Powell Marsh Wildlife Area Charrette Design Collaborative Workshop is an initial step in the DNR master planning process for the Powell Marsh Wildlife Area. At the conclusion of the charrette design workshop, the product will be considered by the department in its development of a proposed management plan and will be presented to the Natural Resources Board as part of the master planning process.

For more information on the charrette or to submit questions or comments, please contact:

Kimberly Busse


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

For questions and comments on the charrette:

Kimberly Busse

Last revised: Tuesday May 31 2016