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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 draft master plan for the Powell Marsh State Wildlife Area is now available for public review. The draft master plan and environmental analysis takes into account information and input from previous department planning efforts as well as from the Charrette Design Workshop conducted May 23-27, 2016 by the UW-Oshkosh Environmental Research and Innovation Center.

Public comment period open August 22 - September 9, 2016

We welcome your feedback! You are invited to a public meeting to learn more about the draft plan and provide your input. Attendees will have an opportunity to review property maps and copies of the draft plan from 5 to 5:30 p.m. Department staff will make a short presentation at 5:30 p.m. followed by an opportunity to submit verbal or written comment from 5:45 to 7:30.

Public Meeting Monday, August 29, 2016
5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Manitowish Waters Community Center [exit DNR]
5733 Airport Road
Manitowosh Waters, WI

You can submit comments via the online form below. Comments will be accepted through Friday, September 9, 2016.

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.
Planning documents

See the maps under the "maps" section.

Master Plan

Powell Marsh State Wildlife Area Master Plan and Environmental Analysis (draft) [PDF]
DNR PUB-LF-099 August 2016

Regional and Property Analysis

Regional & Property Analysis: Powell Marsh Wildlife Area [PDF]
DNR PUB-LF-074 2015


See the draft Master Plan and Regional and Property Analysis under the "planning documents" section.

Master Plan

Powell Marsh State Wildlife Area Master Plan and Environmental Analysis (draft)
DNR PUB-LF-099 August 2016

Regional and Property Analysis

Regional & Property Analysis: Powell Marsh Wildlife Area
DNR PUB-LF-074 2015

Charrette design workshop

Charrette documents

Powell Marsh State Wildlife Area Charrette Alternative Management Plan [PDF]

Charrette recordings

  • Meeting recording Monday, May 23 [VIDEO Length 2:00:09]
    public meeting
  • Meeting recording Tuesday, May 24 [VIDEO Length 1:01:45]
    charrette welcome, briefing, begin alternative concepts development
  • Meeting recording Tuesday, May 24 [VIDEO Length 1:39:01]
    continue concepts development
  • Meeting recording Wednesday, May 25 [VIDEO Length 2:11:14]
    presentation by project team on concepts development so far
  • Meeting recording Wednesday, May 25 [VIDEO Length 1:56:29]
    additional input and development of alternative concepts
  • Meeting recording Wednesday, May 25 [VIDEO Length 0:59:32]
    public meeting
  • Meeting recording Thursday, May 26 [VIDEO Length 1:15:55]
    presentation by project team on concepts development so far
  • Meeting recording Friday, May 27 [VIDEO Length 0:44:05]
    public meeting

Frequently asked questions

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: Friday August 19 2016