The George W. Mead State Wildlife Area has a new manager, one who knows the territory. He’s Brian Peters, a member of the Mead staff for 28 years. Since Tom Meier’s retirement a year and a half ago, he had been co-managing the place. Now he’s officially in charge.
Mead has been a state wildlife area since 1959 and in that time it has had only three managers – the late John Berkhahn at the outset, Meier for 30 years and now Peters. All have been graduates of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s (UWSP) natural resources program.
Sprawling across 33,000 acres (more than 50 square miles) at the junction of Portage, Wood and Marathon counties, Mead is probably Wisconsin’s most biologically diverse wildlife area. It has a myriad of habitats and a host of species, ranging from gray wolves to black bears to upland game and song birds. It’s probably best known for its waterfowl, and Peters said it had a good duck hatch this spring, but could use some rain.