The heron we love to watch at the Devil’s Lake State Park rookery don’t stay there of course. Each morning and evening they fly out to find food at the many wetlands surrounding the park including the Merrimac Preserve, Lake Wisconsin & The Wisconsin River, The Baraboo River, the ponds of the Sauk Prairie Rec area, etc.. We’ll see them along country roads and on the river bank right next to Baraboo’s city dog park. Everything is connected.
This should remind us that we cannot view Devil’s Lake State Park as an island. Both the environmental and the human impacts are felt in our community, for good and bad. What happens in the park impacts our community and the Baraboo Hills region as a whole, what happens in the areas surrounding the park also impacts the park itself. Even garlic mustard knows no borders!!
I think we need to speak of this area in terms of a Greater Devil’s Lake State Park Ecosystem. We need to re-focus on how all of our public & private lands interact not only environmentally (We always want the heron to find good places to fish!!), but also to benefit & grow our tourism based economy while supporting our agricultural heritage as well. I’m glad we have so many great organizations out there working to promote the enviroment. Sometimes though, I wonder if we don’t get caught up in a game of The blind men and an elephant.
** And of course, my crazy opinions are my own and often caused by too many hours of isolation in the deep dark woods. My posts certainly don’t represent the opinions of the Wisconsin DNR or any other group, organization or book club.