- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Arena Pines and Sand Barrens (No. 246)
Iowa County. T8N-R5E, Section 8 E½SW¼. 80 acres.
Arena Pines and Sand Barrens features an excellent example of sand barrens vegetated with jack pine, black oak, and river birch. Found along the edge of numerous sand blows scattered throughout the site is the evergreen false heather shrub, which helps stabilize the shifting sands. Also present are a diversity of dry prairie species including little blue-stem, June grass, three-awn grass, flowering spurge, hoary puccoon, venus'-looking-glass, blue toadflax, lyrate rock cress, and prairie coreopsis. The barrens is also home to a population of button-weed (Diodia teres), a species of special concern. Arena Pines and Sand Barrens is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1991.
From the intersection of U.S. Highway 14 and Village Edge Road in Arena, go north and west on Village Edge Road for 2.5 miles (it turns into Helena Road) to the intersection with Pine Road. The site lies northeast of the intersection.
Arena Pines and Sand Barrens is owned by:
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.
Manage the site as a sand barrens reserve and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes and prescribed understory manipulation (see below) will determine the structure of the barrens. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality native sand barrens.
The native barrens species are managed actively through tree/shrub control using tree harvest, brushing and limited fire (burns every 15-20 years) to mimic natural disturbance patterns. Occasional fire-tolerant oaks, jack pines, and native shrubs such as hazelnut may be retained at low densities. Exceptions include control of invasive plants and animals, maintenance of existing facilities, and access to suppress wildfires.
- Roadside easement area may be managed sporadically by township.
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.
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.
- Cross country skiing
- 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
For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]