The Horicon Marsh is divided into two areas. The northern two thirds is the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, while the lower third is the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area. This means that there are two groups that manage the marsh, one from the federal government and one from the state government.
The first National Wildlife Refuge was set aside in 1903 by President Roosevelt. It was in Florida and was meant to protect bird species that were being hunted for their plumes. Since then there have been 540 refuges put under government protection and then managed to protect the land and the animals that live there. There is more land in refuge areas than there are in National Parks. The Horicon National Wildlife Refuge covers 21,000 acres and was established in 1941. There are around 500,000 visitors each year.
The Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area covers 11,000 acres in the southern part of the marsh. State wildlife areas are lands that were bought by the state so that anyone can use the area for hunting, hiking, animal watching and other outdoor activities. It is important to keep these lands for the animals and so developers don’t ruin them. We hope sometime in the future you will visit a national or state refuge like the wonderful Horicon Marsh.