- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
State Natural Areas Program
State natural areas (SNAs) protect outstanding examples of Wisconsin's native landscape of natural communities, significant geological formations and archeological sites. Encompassing over 373,000 acres, Wisconsin's 673 natural areas are valuable for research and educational use, the preservation of genetic and biological diversity and for providing benchmarks for determining the impact of use on managed lands. They also provide some of the last refuges for rare plants and animals.
- Subscribe to the Natural Area Spotlight
Get to know your State Natural Areas with our weekly feature
Cliff Germain inducted into WI Conservation Hall of Fame
The architect of Wisconsin's State Natural Areas Program and its first hired ecologist, Cliff Germain, was inducted into the prestigious Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame in a May 3 ceremony in Stevens Point. His efforts helped build the oldest and largest statewide nature preserve system in the United States.
Erin Crain, director of DNR's Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation, which houses the State Natural Areas Program, is delighted by Germain's recognition. "Induction into the Hall of Fame is truly a singular honor," she says. "Cliff leaves a legacy of protecting Wisconsin's very best natural areas and rare species habitats for future generations. This is a fitting tribute to his life's work of saving our natural heritage." Read the entire DNR news release.
Exploring State Natural Areas
In this short video, learn about the SNA program that protects outstanding native landscapes throughout Wisconsin. Natural areas provide unique places for low-impact recreation, including hiking and fishing. Hunting is also allowed on most DNR-owned sites.
Buy a guidebook
The perfect companion for hikers, birders and nature lovers, this guide features 150 of the best natural areas across the state. Buy your guide today!
Spring/summer workdays in the Kettle Moraine
Interested in stewardship of State Natural Areas or learning about restoration for your own land? Get outside and active this winter by helping remove the invasive brush taking over prairies and oak savannas at several different local SNAs within the Kettle Moraine. There will be workdays every third Saturday from 9am to noon. Download the workday flyer.
- Subscribe to Kettle Moraine SNA Volunteer Stewards
Help manage SNAs within the Kettle Moraine