Biodiversity

At the bottom line, the socio-cultural and economic systems of sustainable communities and regions are ultimately dependent upon the integrity of the ecosystems in which they exist.  Exceeding the carrying capacity of soil, water, air, and plants, and/or otherwise compromising the bio-geo-chemical standards that underpin the ability of the full range of native species and habitats to flourish is, as the old cliché goes, “To foul one’s own nest.”  UWRF and the City of River Falls are blessed with presence in the Kinnickinnic and St. Croix River watersheds, two of the premier water resources in the Upper Midwest, if not the nation. 

The Kinnickinnic River and watershed (approximately 240 square miles), hosts an abundance of native brook and non-native brown trout, as well as very unique biological communities in the southern stretch.  The St. Croix watershed (almost 7,800 square miles in size), is host to the convergence of three major biomes and hundreds of species of plants and animals, not to mention the river hosts 95 fish species and 44 mussel species, 2 of which are endangered and occur almost nowhere else in the world (the Winged Maple Leaf and Higgins’ Pearly Eye). 

Closer to home, the UWRF campus hosts the South Fork of the Kinnickinnic (or it hosts us), and presents phenomenal opportunity to showcase what a restored, meandering floodplain and native trout stream habitat ought to look like for the sake of itself and the laboratory it presents to virtually every academic program on campus.  We hope the resources below help to build on the collective appreciation and protection of the habitats that determine whether or not we will truly become a sustainable community.

As always, your constructive critiques and suggestions for refinement of this portion and the rest of the site are welcome.