May-June 2017

Back Issues - Order single issues of Big River

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Big River Advertisers

Mississippi River Organizations

Mississippi River Resources

Big River Travel Map

Down the Mississippi: People taking all kinds of trips down the river

Weather on the Upper Mississippi

Water levels on the Upper Miss.


Highlights from Past Issues

May-June 2017

Table of Contents height=11 River News

Restoring Driftless Area Prairies

PDF of story

Explore a Driftless Area Prairie

Bluff prairies:
Nelson Dewey State Park, Cassville, Wis.
Perrot State Park, Trempealeau, Wis.
Falling Down Prairie (Illinois DNR), Hanover, Ill.
Dry prairies:
Weaver Dunes Scientific and Natural Area, Kellogg, Minn.
Hogback Prairie State Natural Area, north of Steuben, Wis.
Holland Sand Prairie State Natural Area, Holmen, Wis.
Grey Cloud Dunes Scientific and Natural Area, Cottage Grove, Minn.
Lost Valley Prairie Scientific and Natural Area, Hastings, Minn.
Lost Mound Unit of Savanna Army Depot (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Savanna, Ill. The largest remnant sand prairie in the state.
Oak savannas:
Merrick State Park, Fountain City, Wis.
Hanley Savanna (FB), Hanover, Ill.
Savanna Springs Nature Area, Chatfield, Minn.
Lower Chippewa River State Natural Area, in Dunn, Buffalo and Pepin counties. The largest concentration of remaining prairies and savannas in Wisconsin.
Wet prairies:
Avoca Prairie and Savanna State Natural Area, east of Muscoda, Wis. The largest intact prairie in Wisconsin.
Lower Chippewa River State Natural Area, in Dunn, Buffalo and Pepin counties. The largest concentration of remaining prairies and savannas in Wisconsin.

Links: The Prairie Enthusiasts, Prairie Haven Farm

Bumble Bees
Distribution map and good general info
Midwest endangered insectspdf (defines populations and extensive report)
Illustrated chart


"Bumble bees of the Eastern United States" poster
from the Pollinator Partnership

(Click on image for printable pdf)


Loop from LeClaire, Iowa, to the Quad Cities:


Quad Cities Botanical Center

Black Hawk State Historic Site

Mississippi River Visitor Center (on Arsenal Island)

Col. Davenport House

Arsenal Museum

Great River Trail

Illiniwek Forest Preserve

Fisherman's Corners Campground

Buffalo Bill Museum

Bucktown Center for the Arts

Figge Art Museum

Putnam Museum

Mississippi Valley Blues Festival

Brew Ha HA


Book Review: Canoes, A Natural History in North America
By Mark Neuzil and Norman Sims


Links to information from the March-April issue

Climbing the Bluffs Links:

Experts advise beginners to first go to a climbing gym to learn climbing techniques, and build strength and coordination. Then find or hire a certified instructor to help them “learn the ropes” and make a safe transition to outside climbing. (Contact your state or local climbing association.)

Minnesota Climbers Association

Wisconsin Climbers Association

Iowa Climbers Association

Quad Cities Climbers Association (facebook)

Illinois Climbers Association


River Paddlers Websites:

Facebook Mississippi River Paddlers page

John Sullivan's wrap-up chart of 2016 paddlers, January 14


Keeping Up with a Changing River

Stories Published in past issues of Big River

Climbing the River Bluffs (pdf)
By Pamela Eyden The Mississippi River valleycould be the best sport-climbing spot in the Midwest. March-April 2017
Climbing Links

Waiting for the Julia Belle Swain (pdf)
By John Gabbert The hard, gritty, expensive work of rescuing one of the finest steam sternwheeler packet boats ever built is nearly finished. Jan-Feb 2017

Effigy Mounds of the Wisconsin River Valley
By Sara Millhouse September-October 2016

Coldwater Cave May-June 2016
By Capt. Ted Peck

Nighthawk Twilight
By Molly McGuire July-Aug 2015

Carp Poetry Winners - July-Aug 2015

12 Great Rivertown Gardens (pdf) - May-June 2015

Sand Dollars — Mining Frac Sand in the River Valley (pdf
July-Aug 2011

Boykin Spaniels and Box Turtles July-Aug 2010

Look down on the river
Overlooks, lookouts, precipices and blufftop peaks

An Otter Kind of Critter