Dave Ewert (seated), TNC, identifies stopover sites with Sumner Matteson, DNR, at a 2006 workshop


Partners are Key to Success  

For WISI to effectively protect, manage, and maintain quality stopover habitats, partnerships are key, including The Nature Conservancy (TNC) – the Department of Natural Resource’s (DNR) first stopover partner – and our primary funding source, the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.  The stopover project represents the collaborative efforts of seven TNC state chapters, Audubon chapters, the Wildlife Habitat Council, Canadian partner organizations, and many other organizations.  Since 2003, TNC has taken the lead in identifying, protecting, and restoring stopover sites in fast-developing areas of the Great Lakes region, beginning with sites on Lake Erie.  TNC’s Dr. David Ewert helped frame the stopover issue for WISI and encouraged us to develop the models that we now use to assist land trusts, agency personnel, and others.

Shawn Graf, Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, talking with PBS crew at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve

Since 2006, WISI has formed partnerships with local land trusts, conservation organizations, watershed groups, citizens, local governments, and property managers to implement a strategic stopover plan.  We are beginning to see the protection of migratory bird stopover sites become a conservation priority on the Great Lakes and are well on our way to achieving our protection goals by working with these many agencies and organizations.  Protection includes land acquisitions/easements; stewardship activities such as habitat restoration on public and private lands; recommendations on wind energy and communication tower sitings; application of bird diversion techniques on tall structures; and community planning and zoning.

Land trusts recognize the importance of conserving critical stopover habitats along the Great Lakes shores because of increasing recreational and development pressures affecting landscapes that interest them.  There is also a growing interest among governmental and non-governmental organizations in establishing stopover sites not only because of the intrinsic conservation values, but because there are potential economic rewards from birders willing to seek out and explore a Great Lakes migratory bird concentration site.

Visit the WISI in Action page to read about current projects and past achievements.

List of Partners

Wisconsin Coastal Management Program National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration