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Contact information
For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist

State Natural Areas Program

SNA Program logo 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.

Scuppernong Prairie SNA

Located within the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, Scuppernong Prairie harbors a diversity of showy prairie forbs such as shooting star, prairie blazing star and compass plant. Photo by Thomas Meyer.

Cliff Germain inducted into WI Conservation Hall of Fame

Cliff Germain
Clifford Germain

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 [PDF].

Last revised: Friday, June 20, 2014