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Karner Blue Butterfly Preservation

Northwestern Wisconsin is home to one of the largest populations of Karner blue butterflies, but they are rare almost everywhere else. The Karner blue butterfly is small, about the size of a quarter, and can be found especially in areas of Burnett County near the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers. The butterflies depend on wild lupine for survival. One particular life stage of the butterfly can only occur on the wild lupine. Wild lupine grows in open, sandy soil.

Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative is one of 28 local partners who work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to protect this endangered butterfly, which is federally protected under the Endangered Species Act. Other partners are forest products companies, other utilities, governmental entities and conservation organizations.

Polk-Burnett helps protect the Karner blue butterfly by:
1. Identifying and marking habitat sites where wild lupine grow along power lines
2. Taking special efforts to protect these sites during work in habitat areas
3. Conducting regular surveys to monitor butterfly populations

Polk-Burnett is pleased to be a part of this effort to protect and support the Karner blue butterfly.

To learn more about the Karner blue butterfly, visit the Wisconsin DNR page.  






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