For the past 75 years, Wisconsin has been involved in an effort to maintain its isolated population of Greater Prairie-chickens (GPC). Habitat loss has been the primary cause of GPC and other grassland birds’ decline. In 2004, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board approved the CWGCA Feasibility Study and GPC Management Plan. These initiatives recommended adding 15,000 acres of permanent grassland by 2014 and maintaining a rural, undeveloped landscape where agriculture is a primary land use. In 2005, Golden Sands RC&D was established as the coordinator of the CWGCA partnership. This endeavor required building and maintaining effective partnerships to promote education and implemention of practices beneficial to wildlife, farmers and landowners.
As part of our involvement in the CWGCA Partnership, Golden Sands RC&D hosted the Central Wisconsin Prairie Chicken Festival for 10 years, each April, to provide opportunities to educate the public about grassland conservation. We also facilitated the annual CWGCA Partnership meeting, where conservation agency/organization staff and interested landowners reviewed current research and management for GPC and other grassland species. In addition, Golden Sands RC&D produced the CWGCA newsletter, which keeps conservation partners, property owners and other interested parties aware of the progress and research available to support the common goal.
DOWNLOAD the most recent newsletter see what's going on in the CWGCA!
Since 2007, landowners have been contacted by Golden Sands RC&D through direct mail campaigns targeting lands with the following criteria: 1) contiguous to state-owned or already-managed land; 2) within one mile of a historic GPC booming ground; or 3) where a logical stepping stone between large grassland cores can be found. The mailings were designed to raise awareness of the CWGCA, and included brochures about conservation programs currently available in Portage, Wood, Marathon, Adams, Clark and Taylor Counties. Download those brochures below, to see what conservation programs are available in your county.
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