A New National Wildlife Refuge?

Posted by Doug Shidell, April 4th, 2012

Plans are afoot for a new national wildlife refuge in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Called the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, it would be centered on Genoa City and run between the Bong recreation area on the east roughly to the western shore of Lake Geneva. The northern boundary approximately follows the White River State Trail and the southern shore of Lake Geneva. Despite its proximity to Chicago and Milwaukee, this is an area of small towns, lakes, farms, and country roads that offer great bicycling.

In contrast to older National Wildlife Refuges that consist primarily of federally owned property, the new refuge would be a patchwork offering a variety of environments for wildlife, particularly birds that could move from site to site. This does seem to fit in with current thinking about conservation: rather than concentrating on preserving completely wild areas, find ways to support both wildlife and a variety of human activities.

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