U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lands
The Leopold Wetland Management District of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (office located in Portage) manages over 13,000 acres of conservation lands called Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs). These WPAs are purchased with proceeds from the sales of Federal Duck Stamps and are lands managed as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System. WPAs are managed primarily for breeding and migrating ducks and geese, but the areas also have benefits for deer, turkey, pheasants, and other wildlife species. There are 13 WPAs in Columbia County open for hunting, fishing and trapping, subject to all applicable Federal and State laws as well as open to wildlife observation, hiking, cross-country skiing, nature study, and photography. There are two WPAs located in Leeds Township:
Schoeneberg Marsh Waterfowl Production Area - This 720-acre WPA, located between Hall and Priem Roads, approximately 1.5 miles east of State Highway 22, has a large natural wetland surrounded by prairie grasses to provide ideal “homes” for wetland and grassland birds. White pelicans to bobolinks can be observed here. Additionally, there is a 1 mile, hard-surfaced walking trail through the prairie ending at an observation platform overlooking the marsh.
Anderson Waterfowl Production Area – At 40 acres divided up in two parcel, this WPA is located approximately 2.5 miles east of State Highway 51 on County Road K and has a large natural wetland with marsh and woodlands. Not all of the wetland is in Federal ownership. Canada geese, sandhill cranes, and a variety of ducks can be seen from the road, or a walk through the woods in spring or fall can provide opportunities to see abundant migrating songbirds.