The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that federal Waterfowl Production Areas in Wisconsin and other states have been reopened, adding additional areas that remain open for hunting and outdoor recreation in Wisconsin.

“Dozens of federally owned waterfowl production areas scattered across 17 counties in southern and northwestern Wisconsin provide over 20,000 ac of public land for hunting and other outdoor recreation,” said Kent Van Horn, waterfowl ecologist for the Department of Natural Resources. “These areas of wetland, grassland and other habitats are important areas for public hunting of waterfowl, pheasants, deer and other game.”

Other federal properties that remain open for hunting and outdoor recreation include the Chequamegon and Nicolet National Forests, though facilities in the forests such as improved campgrounds and visitor centers remain closed. National refuges at Horicon and along the upper Mississippi River are closed to public access, as is the Apostle Islands National Lake Shore.

In addition, all state, county and local parks and recreation areas remain open across Wisconsin.

Van Horn said Waterfowl Production Areas are purchased by federal duck stamp revenue. Every waterfowl hunter must purchase these stamps and Wisconsin has ranked in the top five states in the nation for the number of waterfowl hunters in recent years.

“As a result, Wisconsin hunters have been an important source of revenue to purchase these important public lands. Keeping them open for use by these hunters is the right thing to do,” Van Horn said.

The management of WPA’s are often in cooperation and adjacent to state managed lands so keeping this partnership whole is important both for wildlife habitat and public recreation.

Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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