Nachusa Grasslands Interpretive Master Plan
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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As Nachusa Grasslands gradually expands its footprint and incorporates bison on the site in 2014, outside interest has increased. Media attention surrounding the bison reintroduction has turned a once-quiet preserve into a destination for families and nature lovers. It’s an opportunity -- and a challenge. A year before the bison reintroduction, an outreach committee was formed with increased visitation and media attention in mind. This interpretive plan serves as a documentary record of the efforts of the outreach committee to plan for potential increased visitation and to increase understanding of Nachusa Grasslands by those visitors through more interpretation on the site. It was also determined by the planning committee that: --An interpretive plan will help focus and guide the efforts of staff, stewards, and volunteers as they engage the public with the mission of The Nature Conservancy and Nachusa Grasslands. --An interpretive plan will help direct future public visitation in ways that inspire and encourage the protection and conservation of this site and other conservation efforts locally, in Illinois, nationally, and globally. --An interpretive plan will serve as an impetus in raising awareness of Nachusa Grasslands in the community. --An interpretive plan presents an opportunity to inventory Nachusa Grasslands interpretive features, and suggest ways in which their stories may be told. --An interpretive plan will serve as a catalyst for increasing funding and recruiting volunteers through a more thoughtful presentation of the site.