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Your Cherish Fund donation at Work

  • ##Habitat work underway now at three State Natural Areas shows how a small donation hunters can make when they buy their license can add up to big benefits for wildlife. The donations go to the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoor Fund, a permanent endowment created by the Wisconsin State Legislature to improve habitat on Wisconsin’s public lands and waters. The Fund is held by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, also known as NRF, a private nonprofit 501c3 organization.Photo by Dean Edlin
  • ##Grants made from the interest earned on the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoor Fund are paying for habitat work by State Natural Area crews from La Crosse and Alma on the Tyrone Addition of the Chippewa River State Natural Area in Dunn County. The work will enhance food sources for wild turkey and white-tailed deer, and nesting and brood rearing habitat for wild turkey and waterfowl, and will benefit non-game species as well, including red-headed woodpeckers and numerous grassland birds.
  • ##The Tyrone Addition of the Chippewa River State Natural Area before work began in 2017. Invasive woody brush covered much of the 180 acres of floodplain savanna habitat along the Chippewa River. The brush makes it difficult for oak seedlings to grow and also crowds out native plants that provide food for a wide array of wildlife.Photo by Dean Edlin
  • ##DNR State Natural Area crews used a variety of techniques to remove invasive woody brush along the Chippewa River, including treating 48 acres of brush with herbicides. They’ve also used forestry mowing to remove dense buckthorn from 67 acres and conducted prescribed burns at 70 acres. They also prepared nearly 2 miles of fire breaks to support 194 acres of prescribed burns planned for next spring. Photo by Dean Edlin
  • ##The Lower Chippewa River Alliance, a strong advocate in securing the property, has also helped through hosting two volunteer workdays at the site.Photo by Dean Edlin
  • ##A “photo point” taken at the same spot as slide #3 shows how the crews and volunteers have successfully removed the invasive woody brush. “The restoration work we’ve completed so far and have planned for this next year will allow for the perpetuation of oaks on the landscape, which provide a very important food source (acorns) for species such as wild turkey and white-tailed deer as well as for many nongame species,” says Dean Edlin, the field ecologist overseeing the work. Restoration of the savanna ground layer also is enhancing nesting and brood-rearing habitat for game species such as wild turkey, ring-necked pheasant, and waterfowl.Photo by Dean Edlin
  • ##In southeastern Wisconsin, management funded by a $10,000 Cherish grant for two SNAs in the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest included a 252-acre prescribed burn conducted in spring 2018.

    Projects receiving Cherish funds were chosen through a rigorous grant application process that involved review by stakeholder group including Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, Wisconsin Waterfowl Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Friends of Wisconsin State Parks, Ruffed Grouse Society, and Wisconsin Conservation Congress.Photo by Nate Fayram
  • ##Post work day shot of area brush mowed, plus trees and brush cut/piled/burning in the background. Nate Fayram, the field ecologist overseeing the work, says the goal is to restore a complex of oak woodlands, trout stream headwaters and springs, exceptionally diverse remnant prairie and calcareous fen, and open grasslands and wetlands. “Without management these oak woodlands are giving way to dense invasive buckthorn and honeysuckle that provide poor habitat and food for native wildlife.”Photo by Nate Fayram
  • ##Other work at the Bluff Creek State Natural Area included crews using chainsaws to remove six acres of trees and brush, and four days of forestry mowing dense buckthorn and honeysuckle. Additional habitat work included 55 acres of mowing and cutting invasive wild parsnip and sweet clover, and prairie seed collected and sown into areas cleared of dense brush. Fire breaks were installed for a 460 acre prescribed burn planned for the spring. At nearby Clover Valley Fen, SNA crews have cut and treated an infestation of invasive bushes and installed fire breaks for a third prescribed burn planned for 93 acres this fall.Photo by Nate Fayram
  • ##As a result of SNA crews’ work at the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest, Bluff Creek State Natural Area, turkey and waterfowl will gain expanded grassland habitat for nesting, deer, wild turkey and nongame animals will gain a long-term source of food (acorns) critical to their survival, and trout anglers will find easier access to the streams.

    Want to help boost more habitat on public lands and grow the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoor Fund for future generations? When you are buying a license, before check out on the Go Wild licensing system, on-screen prompts will ask you if you want to donate $2 to the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoor Fund.

    Every donation counts and makes a difference for our wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts! Photo by Josh Mayer
Last Revised: Tuesday April 16 2018