The Lake Superior Landscape Restoration Partnership gathered in December to celebrate two awards—one from the Wisconsin DNR and one from the U.S. Forest Service—in recognition of its collaborative approach to broad scale conservation. The partnership, created in 2014, includes more than 25 agencies and organizations working together as one of 36 similar efforts across the country supported through the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership with USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the U.S. Forest Service.
“This collaboration demonstrates the success that occurs when partners work together to meet the growing challenges faced by all stakeholders that come with protecting critical wildlife habitat and water resources,” said Becky Sapper, UW- Extension Natural Resources Educator, helping to coordinate the partnership.
Through the Joint Chiefs’ partnership, USDA, Tribes, private landowners and others recently completed a summary of all of the restoration projects that have been installed through the Lake Superior Basin Landscape Restoration Project in Wisconsin. The nearly $4.4 million project has provided multiple natural resource benefits, including improvements to critical spawning habitat for brook trout by reducing sedimentation and removing in-stream barriers on 48 miles of rivers and streams; nesting habitat for Golden-winged warblers, Kirtland warblers and Sharp-tailed grouse on nearly 3,000 acres; 28 projects halting manure runoff to Lake Superior; and reductions in hazardous fuels on more than 5,360 acres of public lands.
“The Lake Superior project and other Joint Chiefs’ projects show that strategic, targeted investment in restoring forest ecosystems in these landscapes yields extraordinary benefits for landowners, communities, taxpayers, and wildlife,” USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie said.
“While the Partnership appreciates the recognition of the work that has already been accomplished,” said Sapper, “we are eager to continue to work together, maximizing the resources and expertise of the collective agencies and organizations working in the Lake Superior basin.”