• grouse

The Northwest Chapter of the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association will hold a field day at the Douglas County Wildlife Area, commonly known as the Bird Sanctuary on Saturday, May 21.

Bob Hanson, a DNR wild-life biologist, will give a presentation on the area known as the Northwest Sands, which runs from the Minoqua Barrens in northeastern Bayfield County, through the Bird Sanctuary down to Grantsburg and on into Minnesota. This is critical sharp-tailed grouse habitat that is slowly disappearing.

Bob will discuss the importance of fire-dependent ecosystems, the role of Jack Pine on the Barrens landscape and the variety of plants and animals that inhabit the Northwest Sands.

Fred Strand, now a retired DNR employee, who was manager of the area for many years, will take us on a brief motorized tour to highlight some of the features of the area. Fred is also a member of the group known as the Friends of the Bird Sanctuary. Fred, or someone from that group will give a talk on their role at the site.

After lunch, Mark Hager, a forester for Douglas County will conduct a short motorized tour of Douglas County Forest, to show-case the County’s forestry efforts and the contrast with the barrens habitat.

Directions to the Field Day:

If you are coming from the north, the Bird Sanctuary is south of Solon Springs. Follow Highway 53 South about 3 miles. Turn right, (west) on County M. The Bird Sanctuary Club House is about a mile west of Highway 53 on the north side of County M.

From the south, follow Hwy 53 north 3 miles north of Gordon to the junction of Highway M. You will see a WWOA sign for the Club House.

The event will start at 9 a.m. with a break for lunch after Fred’s motor tour. After lunch the Douglas County Forester will give his tour. We should end the day by 2 p.m.

If you are coming, please RSVP Kent Makela at 715-364-2598.

You can e-mail him at

Lunch will be sandwich, soup or hot dish, dessert and beverage. Cost is between $5 to $10. No other cost for the event. The public is welcome to attend.