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The NW Sands

"The Northwest Sands is the best place in Wisconsin and, arguably, the planet to manage for the globally rare Pine Barrens community. Large-scale barrens management is possible here because of the ecological suitability of the land, the presence of numerous remnants, and substantial public ownership".

WSGS uses very few of your membership dollars for administrative fees. The vast majority of funds go toward the development and maintenance of Pine Barrens in Wisconsin. The area of Wisconsin where Pine Barrens are most prevalent is called the NW Sands.

According to the WDNR:



Barrens are best managed with fire. While public perception on managed fire is mixed, it remains the most natural and effective method for maintaining a healthy Pine Barren landscape. When controlled burns are not possible, brush cutting and roller chopping are implemented. All of this paid for with your membership dollars.

To be truly successful, Sharp-tailed grouse need large expanses of open landscape. With that being unlikely writ large in Wisconsin, we have focused on a "stepping stone" management approach. By ensuring that properties are open, high quality, and within a reasonable distance, we provide sharp-tails with the ability to move from one suitable habitat to another, hopefully offering the possibility of genetic mixing and diversity. Additionally, multiple habitable properties offer birds flexibility to change locations based on conditions and seasonal requirements. 

Contributed money has been used on several occasions to help acquire sharp-tail supporting barrens habitat in the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area and the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area, as well as sponsor an ongoing translocation/radio telemetry study in the Moquah Barrens

Without your support, conservation projects like these would not be possible. See below for more in-depth information on some projects we are involved with and excited about.

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