2018 Reservations for Sharp-tailed Grouse Viewing Blinds on Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area

Registration begins Jan 15th for the 2018 sharp-tailed grouse viewing blinds on the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area. Be sure to sign up early so you don’t miss the chance to observe the mating dances. Availability is limited.

2 Male Sharp-tailed Grouse version 2; North Blind;  Namekagon Barrens; 22 April 2015

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150 yr old Bridge site

Hello all, last April some of us from FNBWA took a walk from the south unit of the NMBWA up to the boot end of the Namekagon River and found a site of an old settlers bridge apparently built by the government before railroads were available for transportation in the area. You could wade, ride or take a raft across the Namekagon River but not a bridge. Brian Finstad who is from the Solon Springs area is quite interested in this history and came to us to help look for this bridge site and support the history of the early roads.
Wow, we found it on our second try. First try in 2016 failed but not this time.
In fact it is remarkable that even the old bridge abutments are still there on both sides.  IMG_1558.jpg

We hope in next year to do monthly regular nature walks out on the Namekagon Barrens to witness the beauty that is there.  In this case the beauty was Man Made but nonetheless rather remarkable and that is the whole idea.

We will let you know when our tours start next spring.  Stay tuned

Mark Nupen, President FNBWA

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Invasive Species Management Workshop

9-6-2017 9-21-29 PM

Press Release_Knapweed Biocontrol Event

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Spring Has Arrived in the Barrens

As everyone knows it was getting really dry in the Barrens and all over this area. The last time there was any precipitation was May 1st and that was a small amount of mixed rain/snow. We basically went  2 weeks with no rain. It finally started raining a on May 15th, and we probably got at least 1 1/2″ – 3″ over a 3 day period finally clearing yesterday afternoon. My rain gauge broke, so I don’t have a good number, but it was a nice long steady rain, a real “soaker” and just what we needed.

Birdfoot Violet

Birdfood Violet

With the rain it seemed like overnight spring arrived as everything just “exploded” in growth. The burned areas are now quickly turning a lush green, and I’ve never seen so many birdfoot violets before. There are long patches along all the fire lanes and the bright purple shows up against the still blacken areas from the recent burn. The bright yellow hoary puccoon is starting to show up as well. There is another yellow flower that just starting to bloom, but I’m not sure what it is. Many tiny flowers coming out of a “cone” looking pod about 1 1/2″ in diameter. The petals are not quite out, so it’s hard to tell what it is.

Hoary Puccoon

Hoary Puccoon

Those that were on the bird tour last Saturday saw some of this already, but there is much more after the rain. Of course around the perimeter of the barrens the oak leaves are finally “exploding” with that beautiful yellow-green color. Springtime has arrived indeed.

Note: Right after the bird tour ended, I drove north on Gomulak Fire Lane and just before getting to the east STG blind there were two sandhill cranes standing about 50 yards from the road. I haven’t seen sandhill cranes in the barrens before. And early that morning on the way to the cabin there were two Canada geese standing on the shoulder of No Mans Lake Road, an odd place for geese.

 Vern Drake

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The Dancers, courtesy of wildlife photographer MJ Springett

Dear Friends, in the fall, the Sandhill Cranes do lots of dancing, probably practicing and teaching the youngsters how to celebrate, this is my favorite from this past fall, til Tomorrow MJ

via The Dancers — MJ Springett

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Don’t miss your chance!!

Registration begins today for the 2017 sharp-tailed grouse viewing blinds on the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area. Be sure to sign up early so you don’t miss the chance to observe the mating dances. Availability is limited.

2 Male Sharp-tailed Grouse version 2; North Blind;  Namekagon Barrens; 22 April 2015

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Northwest Barrens Properties Master Plan – Tentatively Scheduled for January 2017 Natural Resources Board Meeting

The revised Northwest Barrens Properties draft master plan is tentatively scheduled for the Jan. 25, 2017 Natural Resources Board meeting. As a reminder, the draft master plan will be posted on the DNR webpage when it is officially listed on a Natural Resources Board meeting agenda. There will be another opportunity to provide public input on the plan at that time. 

You can find Natural Resources Board meeting agendas, sign up to receive them via email, and find instructions on how to comment or participate at dnr.wi.gov, keyword “NRB.” 

Thank you for your interest in these properties and their future management. DNR staff welcome your continued involvement as you enjoy the natural resources benefits these properties provide.

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