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

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Germain Hemlocks (No. 355)

Germain Hemlocks

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer


Overview

Location

Oneida County. T37N-R7E, Section 3 W½SW¼, SW¼NW¼. 88 acres.

Description

Description

Situated between three lakes, Germain Hemlocks features steep-sided stony ridges that support old-growth northern mesic forest dominated by large hemlock with supercanopy white and red pines. Canopy associates include yellow birch, sugar maple, red maple, and red oak. The site has numerous large standing snags, pit and mound microtopography, and an abundance of coarse woody debris covering the forest floor. There is strong local reproduction of hemlock. The shrub layer is sparse to moderate and includes beaked hazelnut, American fly honeysuckle, and maple-leaved viburnum. East-facing slopes above Long Lake are covered in some areas by dense hemlock bushes while west-facing slopes above Corner and Tyler Lakes have pockets of small hemlocks 5-10 feet tall. Large red oak is dominant on south slopes with a well-developed shrub layer present. Along the shore of Corner Lake is a small but good stand of large red pines with an understory of huckleberry and blueberry. Canada mayflower, clubmosses, and intermediate wood fern dominate the understory throughout the area. Other herbaceous species include wild sarsaparilla, rosy twisted-stalk, partridgeberry, wintergreen, large-flowered bellwort, and elliptic shin-leaf. Bird species include common raven, pileated woodpecker, scarlet tanager, red-eyed vireo, ovenbird, and black-and-white, blackburnian, pine, yellow-rumped, and black-throated green warblers. Also present are two rare birds - black-thoated blue warbler (Dendroica caerulescens) and the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). The natural area is named in honor of Clifford E. Germain, first ecologist and coordinator of the State Natural Areas Program, who helped protect many such places during his DNR career. Germain Hemlocks is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2002.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of U.S. Highway 8 and State Highway 47 on the southwest side of Rhinelander, go north and west on 47 about 10.3 miles (through McNaughton), then continue west on Fawn Lake Road about 2.8 miles, then south on South Doe Lane 0.2 mile to a boat landing on Long Lake. From the landing, walk west (no marked trail) to the top of a north/south ridge to an unmarked logging trail and then walk south along the trail through the natural area. The site is nestled between Long, Corner, and Tyler Lakes.

Ownership

Germain Hemlocks 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 an old-growth northern mesic forest reserve and ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the forest.

Management approach

The property is primarily managed passively, allowing nature to determine the ecological characteristics of the site. Exceptions include control of invasive plants and animals, access to suppress wildfires, and maintenance of existing facilities. Salvage of trees after a major wind event is not considered compatible with management objectives.

Site-specific considerations

  • Interspersed wetlands would also be passively managed. An old road bisects the site and previous users consider this road theirs. Access has been restricted, but new routes are constantly being developed, vigilance and inspection are needed regularly. Law enforcement may be needed on occasion.

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