Protect, restore, and improve the highest quality natural communities in Wisconsin.
Glaciated Southeast Conservation
Most the land in southeast Wisconsin has been converted over the last 200 years from mostly natural vegetation to mostly developed land. While vegetated, most of the agricultural land is dominated by Eurasian species. As a result, this landscape contains a high concentration of remnant natural communities that are now rare. Small remnant habitat also means species requiring that habitat are also rare. If Wisconsin wants to keep these species around, then a concerted effort is need to protect the habitat.
Large-scale conservation efforts in the long-term are problematic due to the intense pressure of the markets. Short-term opportunities exist to protect the few remaining biologically important tracks. Even with this said, there will always be a need to protect natural areas, even if they are of less importance to the plants and animals; they are extremely valuable to humans. Land trusts south and east of a line from Madison to Appleton may see fewer opportunities to protect global or North American priorites, but they may have more work. As natural features become more scarce, people usually put more value on them. In very general terms, wilderness needs to be conquered and the last prairie or woodlot needs to be saved.
Planning efforts in the more developed portion of the state may need to assign more emphasis on human health values than ecological values.
To this end, Great Nature Wisconsin LLC presents the best places to achieve biological conservation. See focal sites page for locations with size to accommodate most of the fen, prairie, or wetland species. The pdf on this page along with maps indicate places with some level of present protection and management that needs additional consideration. Finally, the bulleted list has places that are small in scope or they have mostly complete protection in place.