UMRR Program – Pool 12 Forestry – Pool 12

Rock Island District
Published Oct. 1, 2021
Pool 12 Forestry Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project

Pool 12 Forestry Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project


Pool 12, Upper Mississippi River Miles 563.0 – 573.0, Jo Daviess County, Illinois, Dubuque and Jackson Counties, IA, and Grant County, WI


The Pool 12 Forestry Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project (HREP) is located in portions of Jo Daviess County in Illinois, Dubuque and Jackson Counties in Iowa, and Grant County, WI. The project area covers approximately 26 miles of Pool 12 in the Upper Mississippi River, from Lock and Dam 12 (river mile 557.0) near Bellevue, Iowa, to Lock and Dam 11 (river mile 583.0) in Dubuque, Iowa.

The Project is a 4,000-acre wetland complex that includes shallow lakes, emergent vegetation and managed moist soil areas, and braided channels surrounded by degrading riparian timber.

Project goals are derived from the Refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan (2006), the Refuge’s Habitat Management Plan (2017 draft), River Resources Coordinating Team Pools 11-22 Environmental Pool Plans (Draft 2004), the Corps of Engineers’ Upper Mississippi River Systemic Forestry Stewardship Plan (2012), and other Upper Mississippi River System restoration documents. The Project will focus on forest health degradation and dwindling forest populations of Pool 12 through the protection of productive forest stands, enhancing forest species diversity, enhancing forest structural diversity, establishing additional forested areas that are ecologically resilient, and reduce detrimental expanse of invasive species.

The Project goal is maintain, enhance, and restore the ecological health of floodplain hardwood forests to levels that are sustainable and resilient. The objectives identified to these goals are (1) enhance and promote continued forest health and growth in existing quality floodplain forests; (2) increase topographic diversity and elevation where significant forest loss and decline occurs from increased flooding; (3) enhance and increase the pool coverage extent, patch size, and successional diversity of floodplain forest communities; (4) restore and maintain large contiguous patches of forest communities by reduction in canopy gaps converted to invasive species, and (5) enhance and increase habitat corridors and connectivity (focus is on forest- dependent and migratory species).

Potential Project Features include:

  • Timber stand improvements (i.e. crown thinning, basal area thinning, understory thinning, crop tree release, understory planting, invasive species control, and open canopy tree planting)
  • Timber harvest (i.e. modified shelterwood, shelterwood, seed tree, and group selection). 
  • Increased topographic diversity through beneficial use of dredged material and/or placement of potential backwater dredging in accordance with the 9-foot Navigation Maintenance Project.
  • Areas comprised mainly of the invasive exotic reed canary grass, or other species, could be converted to forest habitat by raising the ground elevation through placement of dredged material, and/or planting of nursery stock.


The vast majority of bottomland islands and backwater lakes found in Pool 12 are in Federal ownership and are currently managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as part of Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge). With the exception of Nine-Mile Island at river mile 573.0 and Scott Island at river mile 561.0, most of this land is located on the Illinois side of the river in Jo Daviess County.

Pool 12 is host to a diverse guild of resident and migrating species dependent on the floodplain forests for major components of their life cycle needs. Resident mammals such as deer, squirrel, beaver, and other rodents rely on these floodplain forests. Likewise, resident and migrating birds such as woodpeckers, warblers, waterfowl, and raptors use the forest for nesting and foraging.


Feasibility report started in September 2020 and is scheduled for completion in 2023.

Additional Information


CG - Construction General

Summarized Project Costs

Estimated Federal Cost

$ 9,000,000

Estimated Non-Federal Cost

$ 0

Estimated Total Project Cost

$ 9,000,000

Allocations Prior to FY 2022

$ 607,611

FY 2021 Allocation

$ 500,000

FY 2022 Allocation


FY 2022 President’s Budget

$ 500,000

FY 2022 Total Capability

$ 500,000


Major Work Item Prior Fiscal Year

FY 2021: Funds were used to advance the feasibility report and pre-project monitoring.

Major Work Item Current Year

FY 2022: Funds are being used to continue the feasibility report and pre-project monitoring.