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

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Mukwa Bottomland Forest (No. 159)

Mukwa Bottomland Forest

Photo by E. Epstein

Resource links:

Mukwa Wildlife Area


Overview

Location

Within Mukwa Wildlife Area, Waupaca County. T22N-R14E, Sections 15, 16. 160 acres.

Description

Description

Located along the lower Wolf River, Mukwa Bottomland Forest is a diverse southern wet-mesic forest in the floodplain of the Wolf River. Although dominated by silver maple and swamp white oak, small numbers of American elm persist. The trees vary in size from saplings to an occasional specimen more than 30 inches in diameter at breast height. Areas with smaller trees appear quite natural with no evidence of past logging or grazing. Additional tree species include red elm, black ash, green ash, basswood, bur oak, hackberry, cottonwood, willows, and red maple. The understory has mostly buttonbush and prickly ash as shrubs; the herbaceous layer is dominated by wood nettle but also has Canadian honewort, moneywort, northern bugleweed, tall coneflower, woodland phlox, carrion flower, and bristly greenbriar. The topography is uneven, the site having been dissected by many old channels and fluctuating water levels. Mukwa Bottomland Forest is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1980.

Access

Driving directions

The natural area is located 3 miles west of New London. Access is by boat or canoe upstream from a boat landing in NE 1/4 of Sec. 21. To reach the landing from New London, go southwest on County W 0.75 mile, then west on Dey Road 1.5 miles to the Wolf River and boat launch.

Ownership

Mukwa Bottomland Forest 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.

Management

Site objectives

Manage the site a floodplain 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 native floodplain forests.

Management approach

The native species are managed passively, which allows nature to determine the ecological characteristics of the site. Exceptions include control of invasive plants and animals, maintenance of existing facilities, and access to suppress fires. Salvage of trees after a major wind event is not considered compatible with management objectives.

Site-specific considerations

  • Ditches may be filled to restore wetland hydrology.

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

  • Horseback riding
  • Rock climbing
  • Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use
  • Collecting of animals, 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
  • Camping and campfires
  • Geocaching

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

Last revised: Tuesday, October 21, 2014