History of Natural Areas Programs in Wisconsin

  • Forest Stearns
  • Paul Matthiae


For many readers the words conservation and Wisconsin bring to mind Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac (Leopold 1949), John Curtis’s Vegetation of Wisconsin (Curtis 1959), or John Muir’s stories of his childhood (Muir 1965), as well as places such as the Baraboo Hills, the Chiwaukee Prairie, or the prairie restorations at the Madison Arboretum. While these names and features may represent some of the best known ventures in natural area conservation in Wisconsin, the state has a long-standing effort in conservation that extends throughout the 20th century (Loucks 1968, Stearns and Germain 1991). Although scientific concerns and financial support have often changed during this period, the commitment has remained strong. The evolution of Wisconsin’s habitat preservation and restoration programs provides a guide for conservation in regions where natural habitats are scarce. In this chapter we (1) describe the biological and environmental context of the state and the forces that gave rise to its biota, (2) describe the progress of natural area protection and stewardship in Wisconsin, and (3) look to the future and examine how strategic planning, state/private cooperation, and government policies may influence natural area conservation into the 21st century.


Natural Area Scientific Area Euphorbia Esula Purple Loosestrife Garlic Mustard 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Forest Stearns
    • 1
  • Paul Matthiae
    • 2
  1. 1.Forestry Science LaboratoryUniversity of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, EmeritusRhinelanderUSA
  2. 2.Wisconsin Department of Natural ResourcesBureau of Endangered ResourcesMadisonUSA

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