TOWN OF BLAINE - BURNETT COUNTY - WISCONSIN
Created: 05/01/2014 3:40 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson
The Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area in northwest Wisconsin contains a globally rare habitat, the pine barrens. The rare habitat also offers a rare sight of sharp-tailed grouse doing their flamboyant mating dance.
Sitting in the blind before the sun is up, Eyewitness News anxiously waited for some action. But it wasn't long before the male sharp-tails fill the dance floor.
"They challenge each other a little and they kind of attract the females to come in and the girls kind of pick out, 'oh, I like that one and, no, I don't like that one,'" said Mark Nupen, president of the Friends of the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area.
Sometimes, it takes a while for the ladies to show up. In the meantime, the guys spar a little bit, they gobble, they coo, sometimes they just stare at each other, but mostly, they show off their dance moves.
Nupen describes it as a "comical robot dance."
Their dancing didn't do it for the ladies on rainy Thursday, but Nupen said the males will be back.
Nupen said the area is truly unique, and the Wisconsin DNR calls it one of the best places to see sharp-tail dance.
The habitat is sandy, full of brush, and renewed every five to six years by burning. It's called the sand or pine barrens.
The sand barrens used to cover much of the state, today, Nupen said, about one-percent of the habitat remains.
"The plants and animals are different because of that. There are flowers that you don't find in the wooded areas the, sharp-tail you don't find in the wooded areas," he explained.
But now, the wildlife area is getting a bit more acreage.
1,400 more acres has been preserved thanks to a partnership among the DNR, the Conservation Fund and several regional contributors. The DNR said grants from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, through Walmart’s Acres for America program, paid for the $1-plus million price tag from a timber company.
"This is huge. Basically it's 30-percent more land of pine oak barrens, so the increase is just going to be felt immensely by the wildlife," said DNR wildlife biologist, Nancy Christel.
With the addition of the new land, the Namekagon Barrens now sits at 6,500 acres.
The DNR said more land ensures that the ecologically significant habitat can thrive and "sharp-tailed grouse can continue to dance each spring."
Make sure to see our new photos page here. If you have any pictures you would like added to our photo gallery, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking for historical pictures of Blaine and now that winter is here, send pictures of your fun recreational activities in the area!
If anyone has a website they would like to put on our Links Page, please send them to email@example.com. 2015 Fishing Report and Licensing links are also available.
Blaine is a picturesque Township located in northern Burnett County. An area well-known for:
Recreation including water sports, snowmobiling and ATV trails
Hunting including grouse, deer, bear, bobcats and coyotes.
These are area lakes in the township:
Big McGraw Lake
Little McGraw Lake
No Mans Lake
And four rivers: St. Croix and Namekagon, known for summer canoeing; the Tamarack and the Totagatic River.
There are also Chases Brook, Hay Creek, Perkins Creek, Dogtown Creek, Clemens Creek, Glendenning Creek, some of which are known to be trout streams.
Remember, if you have any pictures of Blaine's beautiful areas or of you, your family and guests having fun in this great area of ours, please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org and they may be posted on our website!
The Town of Blaine has two cemeteries:
Hillcrest Cemetery located on State Road 35.
For information on purchasing a lot in the cemetery, contact the Sexton, Jessica Estridge at 651-269-8415. Vern Drake is the back up and can be reached at 715-410-7861.
Please note: you must be a land owner to purchase a lot(s).
Evergreen Cemetery located in the Barrens area.
Burial is not possible due to unknown grave sites.
The Town of Blaine businesses are:
T & T Logging
NORTHLAND COMMUNITY CENTER
The Northland Community Center is available to rent on a daily/event basis. NCC rental aggreement form. If you have a question contact Stephanie Askin, Clerk, email@example.com
The Northland Community Center Library is open to the public on Wednesdays from 1 PM to 3 PM. Feel free to stop in and get a good book to read or play cards with your neighbors.