Wisconsin may open a hunting season for the sandhill crane, the cranberry’s namesake

Recently, a debate has erupted among Wisconsin’s citizens about the opening of a sandhill crane hunting season. The cranberry, or as it was once known “the crane berry”, owes its name to the sandhill crane because of the cranberry blossom’s resemblance to it, according to the Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association.

Cranberry growers continue to practice conservation efforts on their marshes to preserve the sandhill crane population. However, many field crop farmers strongly object when the cranes devour their corn. Eileen Cullen of UW-Madison’s Entomology Department and Cooperative Extension discusses this issue in an interview. The International Crane Foundation, based in Baraboo, WI, is opposed to a sandhill crane hunting season in Wisconsin. Their website has links to the latest developments in the debate.

For more information, several news outlets have published articles, including The New York Times and The Green Bay Press Gazette. Channel 3 (Madison, WI) has a video of their news story that includes the cranes and interviews with people on both sides of the issue.

–Liz Bosak