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Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

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Necedah National Wildlife Refuge
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General Information

Description - About ten thousand years ago, retreating glaciers created a vast peatland laced with dry ridges of sand deposited by waves of melt-water. Known as the Great Central Wisconsin Swamp, the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge was converted from drained farmland back to its original habitat type of marshland and open water. This effort was accomplished by the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corp.

Necedah is a Winnebago Indian word meaning "land of yellow waters." It refers to the tawny, yellow water, stained by minerals in the soil, which drains into the Wisconsin River approximately seven miles east of the refuge. Europeans first settled the area in the early 1700s. Logging was followed by land drainage and farming. After a series of difficulties including short growing seasons, droughty soils, and intense fires in the early 1930s, the federal government acquired the property under the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 and the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935. On March 14, 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8065.

Today, the 44,000-acre Necedah NWR has numerous water management facilities that provide optimum wetland habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds. Upland management practices of forestry and prescribe burning have created a mosaic of habitat types benefiting waterfowl, resident wildlife, migratory birds and endangered species such as the Karner blue butterfly whose larvae feed exclusively on wild lupine.

Attractions - Necedah's success in preserving and restoring habitat for wildlife and people is evidenced by the sights seen while touring the refuge. Wildlife viewing is encouraged year-round throughout the refuge. Hiking is permitted on designated trails, except during gun deer season. Although no groomed trails exist, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted between December 15 and March 31. Fishing is permitted in designated waters according to state regulations during portions of the state season. Motorized boats are permitted in the Suk-Cerney flowage. Boats without motors are allowed in other open flowages. Hunting is permitted in certain zones during portions of the state hunting seasons. Contact the refuge office for their year-long calendar of nature events. Pets are permitted but must be leased at all times.

Recreation - Berry picking, birding, and hiking are permitted refuge-wide, July 1 through August 15. The refuge is open 7:30 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday. Fishing and hunting are pursued according to state regulations.

Climate - Southwest Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. January's average temperature is above 16 degrees F (-9 degrees C). Average July temperature is 85 degrees F (29 degrees C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F (32 degrees C). The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 32-34". Annual snowfalls in the Southwest Region can range from 20 - 40". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.

Location - Necedah National Wildlife Refuge is located four miles west of Necedah in central Wisconsin.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Necedah NWR, W7996 20TH ST W , Necedah, WI, 54646-7531, Phone: 608-565-2551
, larry_wargowsky@fws.gov

Additional Information:
Southwest Wisconsin - Southwestern Wisconsin is well known for the Norwegian descendants that farm the region and maintain many Scandinavian traditions.
Wisconsin National Wildlife Refuges - The National Wildlife Refuge System is a chain of over 500 refuges occupying some 92 million acres of land. Wisconsin's holdings are a vital link in this system, providing important services to wildlife, people, and the habitats which support them.

Necedah National Wildlife Refuge - Official agency website.
Necedah NWR - Official agency website


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