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DNR Shares Hydrological Evaluation Of Water Levels Near Crex Meadows Wildlife Area

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today shared a report from Dr. George Kraft, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point hydrogeologist, on the groundwater flooding near Crex Meadows Wildlife Area. The report is available on the DNR’s Crex Meadows Wildlife Area webpage.

In recent years, landowners in Burnett County have expressed concerns regarding elevated groundwater levels on their properties. It was believed that flooding on private property was due to water management at the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area (Crex Meadows). The DNR heard these concerns and contracted the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to look into groundwater trends on and around Crex Meadows. This USGS report, Assessment of Groundwater Trends near Crex Meadows, Wisconsin (2021), is available online.

On March 9, 2023, DNR staff held a public Glacial Lake Grantsburg Properties Wetland Management Meeting at the Grantsburg High School. The meeting was held to discuss a proposed water management plan for local wildlife areas, including Crex Meadows. After the meeting, some members of the public continued to express their concerns regarding elevated groundwater levels. In response, the DNR hired an independent, licensed hydrogeologist, Dr. George Kraft from Stevens Point, WI, to review the USGS ground water study, as well as data gathered by concerned citizens.

Dr. Kraft’s report, An Evaluation of Groundwater Flooding West of Crex Meadows with Recommendations, is now available online for public viewing.

The USGS study and Dr. Kraft’s report each concluded that the cause of elevated groundwater levels on adjacent private lands was due to an increase in precipitation over the last decades, not the flowages within the Glacial Lakes Grantsburg Properties, specifically Crex Meadows Wildlife Area.

Taking into consideration the results of the USGS groundwater study and findings in Dr. Kraft’s report, the DNR will continue with the implementation of the 2023 Glacial Lake Grantsburg Water Management Plan