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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Gasner Hollow Prairie (No. 261)

Gasner Hollow Prairie

Photo by Eric Epstein


Overview

Location

Grant County. T5N-R6W, Sections 6, 7, 8. 137 acres.

Description

Description

Gasner Hollow Prairie features a steep, dry lime prairie and oak savanna situated on a southwest facing bluff with exposures of dolomite and sandstone. The savanna is noted for its large component of chinquapin oak, here at the northern limit of its range. Most of the bluff is wooded, with gnarly bur and chinquapin oaks as the canopy dominants. Black and white oak are also present along with a dense shrub layer of hazelnut, gray dogwood, and black raspberry. The limestone rocks and cliffs provide habitat for species such as the smooth cliff brake, walking fern, and slender lip fern that are restricted to calcium rich substrates. The uppermost slopes and the top narrow ridge support a high quality dry prairie with a good assemblage of prairie species including large populations of the state-threatened pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida) and prairie Indian plantain (Arnoglossum plantagineum). Other rare species include the state-threatened yellow giant hyssop (Agastache nepetoides), and three special concern species--dragon sagewort (Artemisia dracunculus), broad beech fern (Phegopteris hexagonoptera), and amethyst shooting star (Dodecatheon amethystinum). Other plants are pasqueflower, butterfly weed, hoary puccoon, side oats grama grass, needle grass, and little blue-stem. A variety of reptiles including the prairie ring snake (Diadophis punctatus arnyi) and black rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta) are found here and large numbers of migrating birds, especially warblers and raptors, such as bald eagles, use the site. A series of Native American mounds are present on the bluff summit. Gasner Hollow Prairie is owned by private individuals and by the DNR. The site was designated a State Natural Area in 1998.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of County Highways X and A in Bagley, go north on X 1.2 miles to Gasner Hollow Road. Park along Gasner Hollow Road and walk upslope (northwest) into the prairie.

Ownership

Gasner Hollow Prairie is owned by:

  • Private
  • 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

Management objectives and prescriptions

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.

Hunting and trapping

This SNA has multiple landowners: Opportunities for hunting and trapping depend on the land owner. In general, most DNR-owned land allows hunting and trapping. Partner-owned land may have other rules (for example, university-owned lands do not allow hunting or trapping). Please contact them directly to find out about their rules for hunting and trapping. You can find a link to other owner websites under the "Resource links" heading above. More details regarding allowable uses on the non-DNR land may be found under the "Access" tab above, if available.

Allowable activities: DNR-owned land

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: all SNAs

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

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

Last revised: Thursday, October 19, 2017