The Pool 12 Forestry Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project (HREP) is located in portions of Jo Daviess County in Illinois and Dubuque and Jackson Counties in Iowa. 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
The vast majority of bottomland islands and backwater lakes found in Pool 12 are federally owned and are currently managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish 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.
The project goals are to maintain, enhance and restore the ecological health of floodplain hardwood forests in Pool 12 to levels that are sustainable and resilient.
Project objectives include:
- Enhance and promote continued forest health and growth in existing quality floodplain forests.
- Increase topographic diversity and elevation where significant forest loss and decline occurs from increased flooding.
- Enhance and increase the pool coverage extent, patch size, and successional diversity of floodplain forest communities.
- Restore and maintain large contiguous patches of forest communities by reduction in canopy gaps converted to invasive species.
- Enhance and increase habitat corridors and connectivity (focus is on forest- dependent and migratory species).
- Timber stand improvements
- 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.