The climatic and environmental differences between northern (pine forest) and southern (deciduous forest) Wisconsin are responsible for people developing different lifeways in northern and southern Wisconsin. People in the northern part of the state continued to follow the Woodland hunting, gathering and gardening traditions until the arrival of Europeans. Cool temperatures and a shorter growing season prevented the adaptation of full scale farming in the northern part of the state. Northern people, however, began to harvest wild rice and it became one of the most important foods, even today.
Woodland people in the southern part of Wisconsin adapted their Woodland lifeways to two new lifeways called Mississippian and Oneota. Both of these traditions were still involved in hunting and gathering but both became full scale farming cultures. These traditions continued in the southern part of Wisconsin until the arrival of Europeans. Some Mississippian and Oneota artifacts have been found in the northern part of Wisconsin but not in quantities that would indicate that these cultures had a major impact on the northern Wisconsin Woodland lifeways.