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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Totagatic Highlands Hemlocks (No. 140)

State Natural Area program graphic

Overview

Location

Washburn County. T42N-R10W, Sections 23, 26. 160 acres.

Description

Description

Totagatic Highlands Hemlocks is an old-growth northern mesic and wet-mesic forest that includes a stand of large hemlock, here at its western range limit. The mesic forest contains hemlock with yellow birch, basswood, and elm. An impressive stand of northern white cedar dominates the wet-mesic forest, which appears untouched. The uplands have been only lightly cut in the past under the very conservative management of the Wisconsin State Trust Lands. The existence of both white cedar and hemlock above the snowline is unusual in this part of the state. The remote location adds to the site's natural value. Totagatic Highlands Hemlocks is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1977.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of Highways 63 and 77 in Hayward, go north and west on 77 5.2 miles, then northwest on Olsen Road about 1.4 miles. Walk or drive north as conditions permit on an access lane about 3 miles into the site. The access is rutted and difficult.

Ownership

Totagatic Highlands Hemlocks is owned by:

  • WDNR

Maps

The DNR's state natural areas program is comprised of lands owned by the state, private conservation organizations, municipalities, other governmental agencies, educational institutions and private individuals. While the majority of SNAs are open to the public, access may vary according to individual ownership policies. Public use restrictions may apply due to public safety, or to protect endangered or threatened species or unique natural features. Lands may be temporarily closed due to specific management activities. Users are encouraged to contact the landowner for more specific details.

The data shown on these maps have been obtained from various sources, and are of varying age, reliability, and resolution. The data may contain errors or omissions and should not be interpreted as a legal representation of legal ownership boundaries.

Objectives

Site objectives

Manage the site as an old-growth northern mesic and wet-mesic forest reserve and an ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the forest. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality old-growth northern mesic forests.

Management approach

Native species are managed passively, allowing nature to determine the ecological characteristics. Exceptions include control of invasive plants and animals. Salvage of trees after a major wind event is not considered compatible with management objectives.

Site-specific considerations

  • Old access road is closed to vehicles; any accumulated woody material along former road will be left in place.

Recreation

Very few State Natural Areas have public facilities, but nearly all are open for a variety of recreational activities as indicated below. Generally, there are no picnic areas, restrooms, or other developments. Parking lots or designated parking areas are noted on individual SNA pages and maps. Trails, if present, are typically undesignated footpaths. If a developed trail is present, it will normally be noted on the SNA map and/or under the "Access" tab. A compass and topographic map or a GPS unit are useful tools for exploring larger, isolated SNAs.

Allowable activities

In general, the activities listed below are allowed on all DNR-owned SNA lands. Exceptions to this list of public uses, such as SNAs closed to hunting, are noted under the "Access" tab above and posted with signs on site.

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Cross country skiing
  • Hunting
  • Trapping

Prohibited activities

  • Camping and campfires
  • Collecting of animals (other than legally harvested species), non-edible fungi, rocks, minerals, fossils, archaeological artifacts, soil, downed wood, or any other natural material, alive or dead. Collecting for scientific research requires a permit issued by the DNR
  • Collecting of plants including seeds, roots or other non-edible parts of herbaceous plants such as wildflowers or grasses
  • Drone use, unless authorized by a SNA research permit
  • Geocaching
  • Horseback riding
  • Rock climbing
  • Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use

For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]

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Last revised: Friday, December 15, 2017