The Crex Meadows Wildlife Area consists of marshes, wetlands, brush prairies, and forests. Crex Meadows is located near the village of Grantsburg, Wisconsin, in Burnett County, Wisconsin. Its 30,000 acres (120 km2) are home to 270 species of birds and 600 species of plants.[1]

Grus canadensis, Crex Meadows

Geology edit

Crex Meadows is included in the Northwest Wisconsin pine barrens. These “barrens” are a large, sandy plain that was left as the glacier withdrew from the area around 13,000 years ago. Crex is located in the southern area of the barrens and contains huge marshes. The Crex Meadows were the result of the glacier that created the early Glacial Lake Grantsburg.[1]

History edit

The Horicon Marsh area has been inhabited by people, including the Fox, Dakota, and Chippewa Indians who used the region mainly for hunting and gathering. During the 17th century, many Indians battles are thought to have occurred in the area. The Chippewa Indians were the rulers of the land when Europeans first arrived in the area during the 18th century.[2]

Starting in the 19th century, the Euro-Americans tried farming the sandy soil, but gave up defeated. The lack of wildfires in the area nearly eliminated the brush prairie. A large drainage project in the 1890s resulted in less nesting and reduced migrating to the area by wetland birds and animals.[1]

In 1912, the Crex Carpet Company of St. Paul, Minnesota bought 23,000 acres (93 km2) of today’s Crex Meadows. The company produced grass rugs and created carpet camps in the area. The grass rug business was successful until linoleum floor covering became popular in homes. In 1933 the Crex Carpet Company went bankrupt.[1]

In 1946, the state of Wisconsin bought 12,000 acres (49 km2) of the now tax delinquent land in order to start the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area.[1] Some neighbors began experiencing flooding on their properties and tainted drinking water from their wells around 2017. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials say those problems are caused by years of heavy precipitation related to climate change and not by the management of the water levels in the wildlife area.[3]

Wildlife edit

The National Bird Conservancy categorizes Crex Meadows as one of the top 500 Globally Important Bird Areas in the United States of America. Crex Meadows has a wide variety of bird species and is home to nearly every mammal found in Wisconsin as well as other marsh dwelling species.[4]

Ospreys, eagles, trumpeter swans, Karner blue butterflies, Blandings turtles, and red-necked grebes are some of the endangered and threatened animals that find shelter in Crex Meadows. A specific pack of Timber wolves, nicknamed "the Crex pack," have been breeding and living on the property since 1995. Additionally, the peregrine falcon, Caspian tern, and great egret seasonally make their home at Crex.[4]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e "WDNR - Crex Meadows Wildlife Area". Archived from the original on October 11, 2008. Retrieved March 4, 2009.
  2. ^ "Crex Meadows Information". Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved March 4, 2009.
  3. ^ Schulte, Laura (November 6, 2023). "Climate change or mismanagement? Neighbors of Crex Meadows wildlife haven tussle with DNR over flooding". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 10, 2011. Retrieved March 4, 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links edit

45°53′N 92°37′W / 45.883°N 92.617°W / 45.883; -92.617