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For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Turtle-Flambeau Patterned Bog (No. 291)


Overview

Location

Within the Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area, Iron County. T41N-R2E, T41N-R3E, T42N-R2E, T42N-R3E. 5,460 acres.

Description

Description

Turtle-Flambeau Patterned Bog features an extensive and diverse landscape containing numerous vegetation communities including patterned bog, northern wet, mesic, and dry-mesic forest, and emergent aquatics. Created in 1926 by flooding lowland wetlands, the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage is located at the top of the Chippewa River watershed at the junction of the Turtle and Manitowish Rivers. The patterned bog community is quite complex and includes water tracks, sphagnum lawns, and discrete areas of large trees. Very rare in Wisconsin, this wetland type can be characterized as an herb- and shrub-dominated minerotrophic peatland with alternating moss and sedge-dominated peat ridges (strings) with saturated and inundated hollows (flarks). They are oriented parallel to the contours of a slope and perpendicular to the flow of groundwater. Within a patterned peatland the peat "landforms" differ significantly in nutrient availability and pH leading to a diverse flora that often includes numerous bog and fen species. The northern mesic forest is dominated by hemlock and large white pine while the northern dry-mesic forest contains hemlock and hardwoods with remnant white pine stands. Both areas are important habitat for bald eagles and osprey. In fact, the flowage contains the largest concentration of eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and osprey (Pandion haliaetus) breeding pairs in Wisconsin. Other rare species include common loons (Gavia immer), merlin (Falco columbarius), black tern (Chiladonias niger), dragon's mouth orchid (Arethusa bulbosa), sparse-flowered sedge (Carex pauciflora), and white bog orchid (Platanthera dilatata). Turtle-Flambeau Patterned Bog is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1996.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of Highways 47, 182, and 51 in Manitowish, go west on 51 0.5 mile, then south on Murray's Landing Road about 5 miles to a boat landing. The units of the natural area are all accessible by boat.

Ownership

Turtle-Flambeau Patterned Bog 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 reserve for patterned peatland, northern wet forest and northern sedge meadow, as an aquatic reserve and wetland protection site, as a restoration site for old forest, and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the wetland, forest and lake. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality native northern wet forests and sedge meadows.

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 and access to suppress fires. Salvage of trees after a major wind event is not considered compatible with management objectives.

Site-specific considerations

  • Owners of private inholdings have special access rights to cross Department lands.

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