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

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Plum Creek Woods (No. 273)

Plum Creek Woods

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer


Overview

Location

Pierce County. T25N-R15W, Section 11 N½SW¼. 79 acres.

Description

Description

Plum Creek Woods features a steep-sided ravine with sandstone outcrops and a rich remnant of southern mesic forest on the north facing slopes. Sugar maple, American elm, basswood, red oak, red elm, and ironwood dominate the canopy, and butternut (Juglans cinerea), a tree species of special concern is also present. Shrubs include American bladdernut, eastern leatherwood, hazelnut, and alternate-leaved dogwood. The herb layer is quite diverse and contains a significant population of the state-threatened snow trillium (Trillium nivale). Other herbaceous species include blue cohosh, large-flowered trillium, wild ginger, bishop's-cap, water-leaf, sharp-lobed hepatica, common scouring rush, and wood nettle. A scenic sculptured cove is present in the sandstone-sided drainage. Bulbet bladder fern, brittle bladder fern, and slender cliff brake grow among the outcrops here. Dutch elm disease has killed a few elms and canopy openings are rapidly filling with sugar maple seedlings. The surrounding uplands have suffered more past disturbance although some fairly good quality oak woods with a dense understory of ironwood and black cherry is also present. Birds include ovenbird, blue-gray gnatcatcher, northern parula, cape may, blackpoll, American redstart, Nashville, and bay-breasted warblers. Plum Creek Woods is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1993.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of U.S. Highway 10 and County Highway S in Plum City, go east on 10 2.3 miles, then north on ZZ 0.5 mile, then west on 310th Avenue 0.95 mile, then north on 70th Street. Continue north on an access lane about 0.25 mile to a gate, then walk 0.5 mile into the southeast corner of the site.

Ownership

Plum Creek Woods 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.

Objectives

Site objectives

Manage the site as a reserve for southern dry-mesic and mesic forest, and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes and the application of prescribed fire on the south-facing slopes will determine the structure of the forest.

Management approach

Native species are managed passively on the north-facing slope, allowing nature to determine the ecological characteristics. The south-facing slope will have occasional application of fire to help structure the dry-mesic forest. Other management systems that may be applied in all areas include control of invasive plants and animals, and maintenance of existing facilities. Salvage of trees after a major wind event is not considered compatible with management objectives.

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

  • 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
  • Drone use, unless authorized by a SNA research permit
  • 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]

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Last revised: Thursday, October 19, 2017