20 tips for buying a lake home in NW Wisconsin: #13 Critical Habitat Designations – Local Examples From the Minong Flowage

Finally, to wrap up the series on critical habitat designations, here are some local examples proposed for the Minong Flowage.  To learn more about critical habitat designations in general, you can visit http://dnr.wi.gov/lakes/criticalhabitat/.

You can also download a detailed CHD report on the Minong Flowage from http://dnr.wi.gov/lakes/criticalhabitat/Project.aspx?project=25645563.  In the report, you’ll find the aerial photos, detailed descriptions, and inventories of the aquatic vegetation found in each designated critical habitat area.  There are 23 of these areas proposed for the Minong Flowage.  Here’s a quick overview of three that are all in the same general area:

·      Critical Habitat site MF2 is designated a Sensitive Area because of its Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Important to Fish and Wildlife Habitat, and Woody Habitat. It is 0.7 acres in size and is located in a little bay on the west side of the flowage along County Highway I.  Although there are homes nearby, none are within the area’s riparian or setback areas.

·      Critical Habitat site MF3 is designated a Sensitive Area because of its Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Important to Fish and Wildlife Habitat, Woody Habitat, Natural Scenic Beauty, and Extensive Public Use. It’s 2.3 acres in size and is located around the island North of Sand Island. It’s owned by Douglas County and thus already preserved.

·      Critical Habitat site MF10 is designated a Sensitive Area because of its Woody Habitat, Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Important to Fish and Wildlife Habitat, Wild Rice Beds, and Emergent and Floating Leaf Vegetation. It’s 266.4 acres in size and encompasses Stump Bay.

The last example is a shallow bay with great fishing.  It’s a relatively quiet part of the lake with plenty of opportunity for watching birds and wildlife.  As is usually the case, its critical habitat designation reflects the reality of what’s already there and already obvious to the untrained observer.  Even on a lake map, the name of this bay gives you an idea of what to expect.

If I’m working with buyers who dream of waterskiing right off the dock at their new lake home, I might show them a home out on the main part of the lake.  Stump Bay, as its name suggests, might not be the perfect spot for them.

But if they’re willing to motor out into the main part of the lake before they begin skiing, who knows?  The trade-off is that when these buyers have finished their day of boating or waterskiing, and when they’re ready to relax on the deck with a glass of wine, they’ll find themselves on a quieter part of the lake where they can hear loons calling and watch eagles soar.

Other buyers, of course, might not be into waterskiing.  Instead, they enjoy fishing, paddling, or wildlife watching.  If they own a motorboat at all, it’s a pontoon or a fishing boat.  For them, peace and quiet are more important than sandy beaches and waterskiing off the dock.  Their dream is to get away from it all and escape to solitude of the north woods.  These buyers would actually prefer a place like Stump Bay.

I’ve worked with both types of buyers, and with everyone in between.  Your dream home might not be my dream home.  That’s why I’ll ask questions, listen carefully to your answers, and then help you find the cabin, home, or land that’s right for you.

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