The first comprehensive guidebook to restoring wetlands in Wisconsin is now available for interested landowners, “Wetland Restoration Handbook for Wisconsin Landowners.” This popular 120-page handbook produced by Wisconsin Wetlands Association and published by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, was a major collaborative effort among state and federal agencies, restoration ecologists and scientists from throughout the state. Alice Thompson, a wetland ecologist who serves as Chair of the WWA Board of Directors, is the principle author of the handbook.
The book contains general guidance for landowners interested in improving the health of their wetlands. The book discusses conservation, management, and restoration techniques that will improve drained, ditched or otherwise degraded wetlands. The handbook provides suggestions for planning and implementing a wetland restoration project. Actual case studies of wetland restoration projects around the state are featured, and many useful tools, techniques and resources for wetland restoration are offered.
Over half of Wisconsin’s wetland acreage—about 5 million acres— has been lost over the past 150 years due to conversion for agriculture, and filling and draining for development. Many of the remaining wetlands are seriously impaired due to historic human disturbances. Over 75% of the state’s remaining wetlands are in private ownership.
“The objective of the book is to encourage responsible and effective restoration of wetland habitats. Each wetland has its own unique characteristics, and restoration efforts should attempt to recreate, to the degree possible, the original structure, hydrology, and plant communities that existed prior to the degradation. Landowners are an important target audience for wetland restoration,” stated Thompson.