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

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Portland Maples (No. 372)

Portland Maples

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer

Resource links:

Coon Creek Fishery Area


Overview

Location

Located within the Coon Creek Fishery Area, Monroe County. T15N-R4W, Sections 28, 33. 102 acres.

Description

Description

Portland Maples features two small, but ecologically significant, tracts of southern mesic forest -- a community type that was once wide-spread in this region of Wisconsin. The northeast-facing slope supports a forest dominated by sugar maple. Also present are basswood, red oak, yellowbud hickory, and white ash. The subcanopy consists of sugar maple, ironwood, and eastern hop-hornbeam. The sparse shrub layer contains elderberry, bladdernut, leatherwood, and hazelnut while the groundlayer contains such species as goldenseal, narrow-leaved spleenwort, and Goldie's fern. Other species include lady, rattlesnake and walking ferns, wild leek, bishop's-cap, red baneberry, nodding wake-robin, wild sarsaparilla, bloodroot, and great water-leaf. Along the creek is a floodplain forest of cottonwood, black willow, and American elm along with mesic forest species including black maple. Birds include the state-threatened Acadian flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) and scarlet tanager and ovenbird. Portland Maples is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2002.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of Highways 33 and 27 in Cashton, go west on 33 0.85 miles, then continue west on October (Endicott) Avenue 0.55 mile, then north on CTH PC 0.2 mile, then west on Oakdale (Endicott) Avenue 2.1 miles. Park along the road and walk south through DNR Fishery Area lands to the natural area.

Ownership

Portland Maples 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 southern 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

  • Near Ruland Creek is a small area of floodplain forest, which will be managed in the same manner.
  • Mesic forest species will be allowed to invade the old field, which may be augmented with planting of mesic forest species.

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