South Unit
    North Unit
    Annual Meeting  
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    Bird Banding 

    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.
    • Wild Mushrooms class - August 19th (see Other News)
    • Wolf Howl - August 22nd
      Other News
      • Coming Soon! - photo book of the barrens Details will be available soon
        Posted Aug 12, 2014, 7:15 AM by Bruce Pankratz
      • Wolf Howl Friday August 22nd (click on the image of the flier to open a larger version) 
        Posted Aug 12, 2014, 7:00 AM by Bruce Pankratz
      • Wildlife Ecology in the Great Lakes Region presentation at the bird sancturary For details open the flier attached to below
        Posted Aug 12, 2014, 6:48 AM by Bruce Pankratz
      • Latest newsletter from Wisconson Sharptail Grouse Society The newsletter is attached below for downloading. 
        Posted Aug 4, 2014, 12:17 PM by Bruce Pankratz
      • Eat Your Weedies -- NEW DATE Build your confidence and competence in identifying, gathering, and eatingwild food with experienced instructor, Joan Jacobowski! A Wild EdibleWorkshop will be held at Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area, Tuesday, August12, 2014 from 9:00 AM – Noon.Join us to explore the world of edible wild plants! We'll take a little hike tosee what we can find and bring it back to the clubhouse to cook up asampling! Emphasis will be on safety: positive identification, poisonouslook-alikes and environmental hazards. We'll also discuss harvesting sustainably.Joan will also bring some preserved favorites for you to try.Joan Jacobowski teaches Art at HACIL Charter School in Hayward, Wisconsin.In summer she works for the National ...
        Posted Aug 4, 2014, 12:11 PM by Bruce Pankratz
      • Article about the barrens see:
        Posted Jul 8, 2014, 1:10 PM by Bruce Pankratz
      Showing posts 1 - 6 of 54. View more »

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

      (to contact FNBWA see Contact Us)