Concurrent Session: Effective wetland restoration and management techniques
1:30 PM - 2:50 PM Wed
TITLE: Undoing the “drainage dream”: Restoring a river in the heart of the sand counties
ABSTRACT: From 1910-1920 the Little Yellow Drainage District drained more than ten thousand acres of wetland and straightened more than 25 miles of the Little Yellow River in northern Juneau County. Aldo Leopold described it as “the decade of the drainage dream, when steam shovels sucked dry the marshes of central Wisconsin to make farms, but made ash-heaps instead.” In 2016, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff began planning to restore portions of the Little Yellow River on Necedah National Wildlife Refuge using beaver dam analogs, ditch plugging and filling, and a process-based restoration approach. Since then, nearly 3 miles of the Little Yellow River have been restored, and monitoring data show the positive effects of the restoration on both groundwater and surface water. In this presentation I will share the successes and lessons learned through an ongoing river restoration.
BIO: Brad Strobel has been working on wetlands and wildlife for nearly 20 years. From waterfowl to whooping cranes, Brad has worked on a variety of species and their habitat. His recent work is focusing on restoring the form and function of the Little Yellow River on the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge.