The Upper Fox & Wolf River Watersheds Landscape Blueprint

OUR OPPORTUNITY: The Upper Fox and Wolf River ecosystem is challenged by nutrient loading, sedimentation, habitat degradation, and other stressors, but a deep and rich outdoor heritage and a dedicated conservation community provides vast potential for collective impact to improve the system for current and future generations.

A Special Place

The Upper Fox and Wolf River Watersheds exist in a remarkably diverse ecological context. From its forests, to its vast wetlands, to its pool lakes, this ecosystem is home to a great diversity of wildlife and provides key ecosystem services to its growing population.

Challenges and Opportunities

This ecosystem has been degraded due to a variety of stressors,including: urbanization, land use, invasive species, contamination, and poor water quality due to sediment and phosphorus loading. These factors have rendered the Upper Fox  and Wolf  River Watersheds an area of substantial conservation need and restoration potential. Goals, targets, and actions are being developed to address  these  ecosystem  threats. With the root causes of some of these threats extending  throughout  the  watersheds, and impacts extending all the way to  Green Bay, partner-driven, landscape- scale planning is essential for successful restoration  of  this ecosystem.

Upper fox & Wolf Watersheds Landscape Blueprint

For more information, contact us:
Betsy Galbraith
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Green Bay Field Office
(920) 866-1753
betsy_galbraith@fws.gov

Success via Collective Action

For many decades, public and private organizations, in cooperation with concerned citizens, have worked to restore the health of this unique ecosystem. By combining our knowledge, experience, and resources as we move forward, we can achieve our shared goals to improve quality of life, clean water, reduce water treatment costs, promote productive fisheries, enhance recreational opportunities, and increase economic vitality.

A  SUCCESS  STORY  The Pool Lakes (including Lake Winnebago) in the Upper  Fox and Wolf River Watersheds are among the most unique fisheries in all the world. Each year thousands of lake sturgeon migrate up the tributaries of the Winnebago System (Wolf, Upper Fox, Embarrass and Little Wolf Rivers most notably)  to  spawn. The  sturgeon  spawn  along  rocky  shorelines  on  outside river bends and literally spawn at your feet.  This provides a great opportunity   to view sturgeon spawning in the wild, which is an experience not available anywhere else in North America. Ultimately, this system supports the largest self-sustaining population of Lake Sturgeon in all the world.

What IS Landscape Conservation Design?

The Green Bay Conservation Partners’ Landscape Blueprint is both the process and products that achieve the collaborative conservation community’s shared missions, mandates, and goals. The shared conversations that take place within the Blueprint process are as important as the products that are produced. The Blueprint allows for collaborative decision making about the kind, quantity, and configuration of lands and waters required to sustain critical ecosystem functions and services while informing decision makers on what activities to undertake, and where. Geospatial and biological information are used to inform models, create tools and maps, and to evaluate every acre of the system. These ultimately feed tangible products—such as story maps, a priority action areas portfolio, decision support tools, and a comprehensive collaborative action strategy—aimed at improving conservation outcomes. Partners and stakeholders will use these products to leverage funding for, plan, and implement projects while ensuring the sustainability of ecosystem services for current and future generations.

Landscape Blueprint Timeline

Downloadable fact sheet