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For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
608-266-0394

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Tiffany Bottoms (No. 30)

Tiffany Bottoms

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer

Resource links:

Tiffany Wildlife Area


Overview

Location

Within Tiffany Wildlife Area, Buffalo County. T23N-R14W, Section 1. T24N-R14W, Sections 25, 26, 35, 36. 717 acres.

Description

Description

Tiffany Bottoms State Natural Area is a small portion of the most extensive river delta in the Midwest and contains a representative portion of the larger Tiffany Bottoms floodplain forest. The site captures the transition between typical floodplain forest of silver maple, river birch, ashes, and basswood in the southern portion and the more oak-dominated forest in the northern part (swamp white, bur, and black). Soil types also change, from sandy outwash in the north to sand with accumulations of silty alluvium in the south. The bottoms abound in wildlife. Besides the typical game species, the area contains rare and uncommon birds such as red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus), great egret (Ardea alba), cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea), prothonotory warbler (Protonotaria citrea), and great-blue heron, pileated woodpecker, and blue-gray gnatcatcher. The State Natural Area is part of an extensive 8,000 acre beaver/otter closed area, which has been maintained on the Tiffany Wildlife Area since 1956. The closed area was established in recognition of the fact that beaver are a very important habitat altering species that can have very positive impacts on other wetland dependent plants and animals. Maintaining this closed area is an important tool to maintaining this diverse wetland complex. Tiffany Bottoms is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1958.

Access

Driving directions

From Nelson go north on Highway 25 seven miles to a parking area, then overland and across Buffalo Slough to the site. Or from Ella by boat, directly across the Chippewa River to the north boundary. This area is closed to beaver and otter trapping.

Ownership

Tiffany Bottoms 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.

Management

Site objectives

Manage the site as a reserve for oak opening, oak woodland and floodplain forest, as an aquatic species protection site, as an aquatic reserve and wetland protection site, and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes and prescribed fire will determine the structure of the site's natural communities. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality native oak openings and oak woodlands.

Management approach

The ecological characteristics of the oak opening and woodland will be primarily shaped by an intensive fire management program. The native savanna species are managed actively through tree/shrub control using tree harvest, brushing and especially fire to mimic natural disturbance patterns. Some thinning of the canopy, understory manipulation and shrub control via harvest, brushing or fire may be needed to mimic natural disturbance patterns. Augmentation of the ground layer will only add species that historically would have been found on the site, using seeds or plugs from local genetic material; this usually occurs in the early stages of restoration. The floodplain forest is managed passively. Other allowable activities throughout the site include control of invasive plants and animals, augmentation of native prairie species after careful review, maintenance of existing facilities, and access to suppress wildfires. Salvage of trees after a major wind event can occur if the volume of woody material inhibits fire prescriptions.

Site-specific considerations

  • Although removal of hazardous trees from over and near management access lanes is an allowed activity, manipulation/removal of vegetation and soil disturbance should be minimized to the extent possible.

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

  • 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
  • Geocaching

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

Last revised: Tuesday, March 25, 2014