Birders want state to take steps to protect vital lands
KENOSHA -- Conservationists have identified some Wisconsin areas vital to birds and hope the state will take the next step to protect the lands.
The Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative has identified 86 important bird areas around
Those IBAs, as they're known, are sites that provide essential habitat to one or more species of breeding or non-breeding birds.
One of the sites is here at the Bong State Recreation Area, nearly 5,000 acres of mostly grassland in Kenosha County.
Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank recently toured the recreation area as part of a Doyle administration outreach effort.
Frank says the important bird areas are absolutely critical to Wisconsin.
He says we're really lucky to have habitat to support diverse bird populations.
Yoyi Steele is the IBA coordinator for the Bird Conservation Initiative.
She says the Bong Recreation Area is well-protected.
But with habitat loss, the subdividing of land and human population growth, Steele says there needs to be a stronger commitment to funding oversight and monitoring of the IBAs.