(Horicon) Horicon National Wildlife Refuge and Leopold Wetland Management District staff will be conducting prescribed burns throughout the spring and fall at Horicon and Fox River National Wildlife Refuges (NWR’s). Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, at over 22-thousand acres in size, encompasses the northern two-thirds of Horicon Marsh. The Fox River National Wildlife Refuge – over one-thousand acres in size, is located along the upper Fox River in Marquette County.
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Horicon National Wildlife Refuge and Leopold Wetland Management District staff will be conducting prescribed burns throughout the spring and fall at Horicon and Fox River National Wildlife Refuges (NWR’s) and waterfowl production areas managed by the Leopold Wetland Management District across seventeen Wisconsin counties. Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, at over 22,000 acres in size, encompasses the northern two-thirds of Horicon Marsh. The Fox River National Wildlife Refuge – 1,079 acres in size, is located along the upper Fox River in Marquette County.
The Horicon-Leopold Complex burns approximately 3,500-5,000 acres of the 70,000 acres of lands managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that are burned annually in the Midwest. Fire is essential to managing the majority of the Service’s 105 million acres, which includes over 560 national wildlife refuges across the U.S. These burns are performed for a variety of ecological benefits such as stimulating the growth of native prairie grasses and flowers and removing non-native or invasive trees and shrubs. These burns also help reduce the buildup of hazardous fuels that can feed dangerous wildfires. Many birds and other wildlife species, some endangered or threatened, benefit from these prescribed fires because they help ensure valuable nesting habitat and more reliable food sources that are critical to species survival. As the climate changes, the intensity and frequency of fires will increase in areas that experience warming and drying trends. Prescribed fires will help reduce fuel loads ensuring the best opportunity to sustain long-term ecological health for these lands and wildlife populations.
Prescribed burns are conducted by trained individuals in accordance with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service policies. The complex has 17 individuals that are certified in prescribed fire and wildfire suppression and are required to attend an annual refresher each year in addition to other training classes. Several of these individuals are called upon each year to assist with wildfire suppression and natural disaster relief throughout the United States. For more information, visit https://www.fws.gov/fire/
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.