The Terrell's Island project is a key component of ongoing, collaborative efforts between conservation clubs and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to protect and restore quality fish and wildlife habitat on the Upper Pool Lakes. As such it fulfills several management options outlined in the Winnebago Comprehensive Management Plan (WDNR 1989), including the acquisition of critical fisheries and wildlife habitat as well as the construction of protective breakwalls. Phase one of the project included purchase of the property and construction of a protective breakwall. In addition, the Butte des Morts Conservation Club plans to achieve many additional restoration, preservation, and development goals, including the establishment of nesting habitat and desirable aquatic vegetation, elimination of undesirable vegetation, and the development of hiking trails, wetland boardwalks, and an environmental education resource center. This ambitious plan, which addresses many of the management options outlined in the Winnebago Comprehensive Management Plan for the Upper Pool Lakes, has been approved by local DNR managers (Techlow, 1997). However, in order to properly proceed with many of these goals, it was imperative to assess and catalog the existing vegetation and habitat, so that restoration efforts may be prioritized and sensitive areas may be given proper protection during the further development of this important resource. The goal of this project was to ecologically characterize the structural and functional aspects of the terrestrial and aquatic vegetation in the Terrell's Island project as well as develop baseline information necessary for the management, protection, and rehabilitation of associated habitats.
The study addressed the following objectives:
1) to identify plant communities and habitats, including their location, general attributes and their spatial relationships to each other;
2) to develop digital vegetation databases showing the spatial distribution of the plant communities as well as their characteristics;
3) to conduct GIS spatial analysis for assessing habitat characteristics;
4) to develop an integrated multimedia approach to inventorying and assessing vegetation and habitat;
5) to generate a CD ROM for the distribution of the final products including application software and databases to the interested groups as well as the individual users;
6) to develop and address land use management objectives by identifying areas that need to be protected and/or restored, as well as to develop and address sociological objectives by identifying those areas that are best suited for recreation and interpretative/educational areas; and
7) to provide recommendations for the management of vegetation and associated habitat within the Terrell's Island property in respect to the objectives developed above and the Terrell's Island Development Plan (Butte des Morts Conservation Club, 1997).
Wisconsin DNR Lake Planning Grant
Dates of Project: 05/99 - 09/00
Summer Students Funded: 2
Hu, S., A.O. Gabriel, and C. Lancaster. 2000. Assessment and Inventory of Vegetation and Habitat for the Terrell’s Island Restoration Project and Management Plan. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Lake Planning Grant Report and Multimedia CD-ROM. Oshkosh: University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. 65 pp.
Hu, S., A. Gabriel and C. Lancaster. 2000. An integrated multimedia approach for wetland management and planning for Terrell's Island, Winnebago Pool Lakes, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Geographer 16: 34-44.