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    North Unit
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    The Barrens 
    The Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area (NBWA) is a 5,050 acre property located in the northeast corner of Burnett County, northwestern Wisconsin, consisting of two parcels. These are referred to as the north unit and the south unit. This property is leased by the State of Wisconsin from Burnett County. The north unit lies 7 miles east of Highway 35 on St. Croix Trail Road or 11 miles west of Minong. The south unit is 2 miles to the south and west of the north unit on Namekagon Road and Springbrook Trail. The St. Croix River flows within a mile to the west of the barrens while the Namekagon River lies between the North and South Unit. Both rivers are designated as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The NBWA is part of the Northwest Sands Area of northwest Wisconsin, and contains mainly pine barrens community habitat. This community type is globally rare and includes rich and diverse prairie flora and fauna. Two trout streams, Beaver Creek and Clemens Creek, originate from springs on the north unit and flow to the nearby St. Croix River. The surrounding lands are mainly Burnett County Forest and industrial forests owned by Mosinee Paper Company, and contain mostly jack pine, scrub oak, and red pine plantation forests (information borrowed from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website). Many old-timers in the area refer to the entire sandy region found in the area as “the barrens” or “the pine barrens.” They often refer to the very young habitat found after a fire as “brush prairie.” Perhaps more frequently, people refer only to the recently burned areas as barrens. The region is noted for having very sandy, droughty soils. Prior to modern fire control techniques much of this area burned quite frequently either by acts of nature, such as lightning strikes, or was intentionally burned by humans. Early settlers frequently set fires to clear land for farming. Prior to this, Native Americans burned the region to attract game animals, stimulate blueberry production, control biting insects, and ease cross country travel. These frequent fires kept much of the landscape in a mixture of brush, prairie plants, and very short oak or pine. Pine barrens covered 7% of the land, or 2.3 million acres, prior to the European settlement. Oak barrens covered 5%, or 1.8 million acres. As of 1995, approximately 10,000 acres of good quality pine and oak barrens remained at 65 Wisconsin sites. To date, the total estimate of remaining pine and oak barrens is 50,000 acres, but much of it is degraded. Most remaining pine and oak barrens exist as small, isolated fragments on approximately a dozen state- or federally-managed areas. These fragments may indicate that a larger area of the surrounding landscape has the potential to return to a barrens stage. (Info taken from Wisconsin Ecological Landscapes Handbook)..

    It's Friends
    Numerous National Parks, State Parks, and other areas have a Friends group to promote the knowledge, appreciation, and perpetuation of resources. Friends of the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area (FNBWA) share these objectives for Lake States barrens in general, and the Namekagon Barrens in particular. FNBWA will provide information via newsletter, website, newspaper articles, tours, and other public events. Many resources from nearby areas, including other Friends groups, are applicable to Namekagon Barrens with only minor modification. We will work to facilitate lease renewal from the County or the outright purchase of the area.
    • Eat Your Weedies - July 15th (see Other News) 

    • Butterflies at the Barrens Photography Workshop - July12th (see Other News)
    • Wild Mushrooms class - August 19th (see Other News)
      Other News
      • Article about the barrens see:
        Posted Jul 8, 2014, 1:10 PM by Bruce Pankratz
      • Eat your Weedies New class at the 'barrens' on July 15th 9 AM until Noon (I think that is when they eat the Weedies -- webmaster). See the attached flier file below for details. 
        Posted Jul 7, 2014, 10:04 AM by Bruce Pankratz
      • Great Wisconsin Birdathon link above is for the event already past.  If interested mark your calender for next year.  
        Posted Jun 3, 2014, 4:25 AM by Bruce Pankratz
      • Wild Mushrooms 101 - August 19th, 21st, 23rd This was copied from the Communities United in Education catalog. "Wild Mushrooms 101Join us for this rare opportunityto learn from a 30 year veteranof wild mushroom foraging! Youwill gain an understanding of the ‘safesix’ mushrooms to harvest, including therules of wild foraging, and the ability toidentify common poisonous mushrooms.Topics include biology, tree identification,ethics, safety, storage and preparation.Your instructor is a certified expertby the Minnesota Department of Agricultureand owns Martha’s Mushrooms. OnSaturday, we’ll hike into the woods to forageand prepare wild mushrooms. Bringfor the hike: Food/beverage, camera, waterproofgear, sun protection and otheramenities.Instructor: Tavis LynchClassroom - Tuesday & ThursdayAugust 19 & 21 ...
        Posted Jun 1, 2014, 12:23 PM by Bruce Pankratz
      • Butterflies at the Barrens Photography Workshop - July 12th The following is copied from the Communities United in Education catalog: "Butterflies atthe BarrensPhotographyWorkshopWhat is a brush footedbutterfly and how doesone photograph it? Findout at the NamekagonBarrens Wildlife Area(NBWA) in northeasternBurnett County. Explore ahabitat that is globally rare.Combined with the DouglasCounty Bird Sanctuary andCrex Meadows Wildlife Area, NBWA is part of a “barrens corridor” that is home to species ofbirds, butterflies, plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects that are, in some cases,exclusive to barrens habitat. This one-day workshop will feature an introduction to the history ofthe Barrens and present management, butterfly photography instruction, and tips on how andwhere to look for ...
        Posted Jul 8, 2014, 1:03 PM by Bruce Pankratz
      • Dean Hanson's Spring 2014 Butterfly Trek - June 7th The text below is from a flier announcing Dean Hanson's 2014 butterfly trek. The flier is available to download at the bottom of the page. SPRING BUTTERFLYTREKS, 2014Yes, spring is coming--although we’re certainly having a repeat oflast year’s very slow arrival. Plant phenology is now close to two weeksbehind schedule, and butterfly numbers are still very low.This year add observing and enjoying the spring butterflies to yourweekend endeavors. Join local butterfly enthusiast Dean Hansen for aday-long guided tour of many of his favorite sites in northwest Wisconsin’spine barrens looking for elfins, blues, dusky-wing skippers, the elusiveChryxus Arctic, and other species of butterflies, many of ...
        Posted Jun 1, 2014, 12:03 PM by Bruce Pankratz
      Showing posts 1 - 6 of 49. View more »

      Be a friend of the Barrens.  Tell a friend about the Barrens and its Friends. 

      (to contact FNBWA see Contact Us)