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Input sought on draft management plans for 13 State Natural Areas

Published by Central Office February 28, 2017

Contact(s): Thomas Meyer, DNR conservation biologist, 608-266-0394, thomas.meyer@wisconsin.gov

MADISON - Draft management plans for 13 State Natural Areas located in south-central Wisconsin and the Door County Peninsula are available for public comment through March 10, 2017.

State Natural Areas protect outstanding examples of Wisconsin's native landscape of natural communities, significant geological formations and archeological sites and protect some of Wisconsin's rarest natural community types, geological features, and wildlife. These natural areas are valuable for research and educational use, preservation of genetic and biological diversity, and also provide ecological benchmarks to help determine the impact of use on managed lands.

Bailey's Harbor Boreal Forest and Wetlands State Natural Area, located in Door County, is one of 13 properties currently in the management plan process - comments will be accepted through March 10, 2017.
Bailey's Harbor Boreal Forest and Wetlands State Natural Area, located in Door County, is one of 13 properties currently in the management plan process - comments will be accepted through March 10, 2017.
Photo Credit: DNR

Management plans are required for Department of Natural Resources properties to help guide management activities and development for public use. These 13 properties are considered "Tier 3" sites because they are generally smaller, single-purpose properties lacking significant public use facilities. Other examples of Tier 3 sites include wildlife and fishery remnant areas, scattered boat access sites, and administrative facilities.

"These plans will guide property managers and help ensure these state natural areas are consistently managed," said Thomas Meyer, DNR conservation biologist with the State Natural Areas program. "They are particularly important for sites that require active, hands-on management such as prescribed fire, invasive species control, and selective timber harvest necessary to restore and maintain these unique ecosystems."

State Natural Areas in south-central Wisconsin planning group include sites in the Baraboo Hills region that harbor unique geological features, including Pewit's Nest, Lower Narrows and Abelman's Gorge. Through management planning, a small portion of Pewit's Nest is proposed for closure to protect public safety. Sites in the Door Peninsula group, including Bailey's Harbor Boreal Forest, Coffey Swamp, and Moonlight Bay Bedrock Beach, help protect Lake Michigan coastal wetlands and rare plant habitat.

Draft property management plans for these 13 properties, which include current conditions, recreational opportunities, property and acquisition boundaries, habitat management prescriptions, and motorized road inventories are available online at dnr.wi.gov, keywords "master planning" - select the link titled "Tier 3 Management Plans."

More background information about each natural area can be found on the DNR website:

Brown County

Columbia County

Door County

Sauk County

Tier 3 property management plans are classified as minor actions under Natural Resources Chapter 150.20(1 m)(k) of the Wisconsin Administrative Code and do not require an environmental analysis.

Please send comments and/or questions related to these draft plans to Thomas Meyer, Wisconsin DNR, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921 or via email at thomas.meyer@wisconsin.gov by March 10, 2017.

Last Revised: Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Contact information

For more information about news and media, contact:
James Dick
Director of Communications
608-267-2773