The West Branch Wolf River Watershed includes the portion of the Wolf River from the Shawano Dam in the City of Shawano to near the mouth of the Evergreen River in Menominee County. This watershed includes much of the Menominee Reservation.
An increasing amount of cleared land for dairy and other agriculture is evident in the Langlade County portion, while the Menominee Reservation remains predominantly wooded or wild.
Nearly all streams in this watershed are classified as trout waters. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has written a report on the water quality of the Menominee Indian Reservation of Wisconsin.
The West Branch Wolf River Watershed is primarily located in the Forest Transition Ecological Landscape which lies along the northern border of Wisconsin's Tension Zone, through the central and western part of the state, and supports both northern forests and agricultural areas. The central portion of the Forest Transition lies primarily on a glacial till plain deposited by glaciation between 25,000 and 790,000 years ago. The eastern and western portions are on moraines of the Wisconsin glaciation. The growing season in this part of the state is long enough that agriculture is viable, although climatic conditions are not as favorable as in southern Wisconsin. Soils are diverse, ranging from sandy loam to loam or shallow silt loam, and from poorly drained to well drained.
The historic vegetation of the Forest Transition was primarily northern hardwood forest. These northern hardwoods were dominated by sugar maple and hemlock, and contained some yellow birch, red pine and white pine. Currently, over 60% of this Ecological Landscape is non-forested. Forested areas consist primarily of northern hardwoods and aspen, with smaller amounts of oak and lowland hardwoods. The eastern portion of the Ecological Landscape differs from the rest of the area in that it remains primarily forested, and includes some ecologically significant areas. Throughout the Ecological Landscape, small areas of conifer swamp are found near the headwaters of streams, and associated with lakes in kettle depressions on moraines. Ground flora show characteristics of both northern and southern Wisconsin, as this Ecological Landscape lies along the Tension Zone.