- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Milwaukee River Tamarack Lowlands & Dundee Kame (No. 256)
Within Kettle Moraine State Forest Northern Unit, Fond du Lac County. T14N-R19E, Sections 35, 36. 511 acres.
Milwaukee River Tamarack Lowlands and Dundee Kame features a large wetland complex occupying both sides of the river with southern hardwood swamp, northern wet-mesic forest, northern wet forest, southern sedge meadow, shrub-carr, and a warm, slow, hard water stream. Several small kames, irregularly shaped mounds of sand, gravel and till, are present within the natural area boundary. Also protected within the state forest proper is Dundee Kame, a conical shaped hill rising 250 feet above the surrounding landscape. The kame is known as a moulin kame, actually a pile of glacial till left behind when a glacial stream loses its gradient and velocity and then deposits the till into a pile. This natural area is important for the protection of an extensive watershed and for its value as wildlife habitat. Animal species of concern include pugnose shiner (Nortropis emiliae) and two butterflies-- the state-threatened swamp metalmark (Calephelis muticum) and special concern species the black dash (Euphyes conspicua). Both butterflies depend on these low wetlands for survival and the swamp metalmark specifically requires the swamp thistle (Cirsium muticum) on which to deposit its eggs. Milwaukee River Tamarack Lowlands and Dundee Kame is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1992.
From the intersection of State Highway 67 and County Highway G in Dundee, go south on G 2.9 miles, then east on the Forest Headquarters access road 0.4 miles to a parking area. Get a State Forest map showing trail locations. Exit the headquarters and go north on G 0.85 miles, then east on SS 0.2 mile to a parking area. Take the hiking/bridle trail north into the area. Other parking areas are located along County G, County F, and at the end of Hausehalter Lane.
Milwaukee River Tamarack Lowlands & Dundee Kame 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 reserve for tamarack (rich) swamp, hardwood swamp and shrub-carr, as a rare butterfly management site, as a wetland protection site, and as a significant geological site. The wetland communities and geological features are the primary purpose for protection and management. Natural processes will determine the structure of the natural communities represented here. Another objective is to provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality glacial features and native wetland communities.
The native wetland 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, limited cutting of invading trees in the butterfly management area, and access to suppress fires. Salvage of trees after a major wind event in wetland areas is not considered compatible with management objectives. The significant and world renowned Dundee Kame may see timber and shrub management to better display the feature for geological interpretation. Other allowable activities in the restoration areas include control of invasive plants and animals, maintenance of existing facilities, and access to suppress wildfires. Salvage of trees after a major wind event in the restoration areas can occur if the volume of woody material inhibits fire prescriptions.
- Although removal of hazardous trees from over and near trails is an allowed activity, manipulation/removal of vegetation and soil disturbance should be minimized to the extent possible.
- During any timber or shrub management activities, the soil profiles and topographic characteristics of the glacial features need to be maintained.
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 (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
- Camping and campfires
For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]