Current management plans for Wolf Lake are focusing on improvements to wetland habitat. Invasives have been a major threat at Wm. Powers both in the uplands and wetlands. Phragmites infestation of the lakeshore, a particularly challenging issue, is centered on a 15-acre area, originally hardwood swamp and emergent wetland, which was badly altered in an old road construction project. The hydrologic change coupled with beaver activity resulted in excessive deadfall and snags, causing additional water flow changes to the site. Restoration plans call for improvements to the hydrology, deadfall removal, and invasives treatment as a key step for overall restoration of breeding wetland bird habitat at Wolf Lake.
IDNR’s Coastal Management Program received funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), a program of the US Environmental Protection Agency, in 2015 for a restoration project titled, “The Millennium Reserve Compact: Uniting to Control Invasives.” The project includes a goal to restore a 15-acre wetland area at the northeastern section of Wm. Powers. Species to be treated in this area include purple loosestrife, garlic mustard, marsh plume thistle, crown vetch, autumn olive, buckthorn, honeysuckle, common reed, possibly Eurasian watermilfoil, white mulberry, and tree of heaven. Restoration techniques include herbicide, prescribed burning, and reseeding of native species in this section of the park. In addition to the GLRI project, the collapsed culvert passing under the park roadway will be replaced to return flow and restore hydrology to the wetland. The project schedule is projected as follows:
- March – October 2016: Project planning and preparation, survey of invasives
- March – October 2016: Correct hydrology of the site by installing two culverts in the roadway
- November 2016 – March 2017: First cut and paint herbicide treatment for woody invasives
- April – October 2017: First foliar herbicide treatment for herbaceous invasives, monitor vegetation response, and retreat with herbicide and/or prescribed fire
- September – November 2017: Plant native seedlings and seeds
- November 2017 – January 2018: Retreat woody invasives with herbicide