LRP - Licenses

LRP - Regulations

LRP - Permits

Recreation - Statewide

Recreation - Trapping

Recreation - Fishing

Recreation - Hunting

Env. Protection - Management

Env. Protection - Emergency

Env. Protection - Resources

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.



 
Donate today: make a difference
Join the community of caretakers
Help preserve Wisconsin's State Natural Areas for future generations. Give to the Endangered Resources Fund today!
Donate today: make a difference
Find
a natural area by name.
Locate
a natural area by county.
Explore outdoors
and find places to go.
Use our interactive map
to find natural areas.
Volunteer
and help care for SNAs.
Contact information
For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program South Branch Beech Grove (No. 498)

South Branch Beech Grove

Photo by U.S. Forest Service


Overview

Location

Within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Oconto County. T31N-15E, Sections 26, 27, 34, 35, 36. 779 acres.

Description

Description

The core of South Branch Beech Grove centers on a mature hardwood forest of beech and sugar maple bordering Menominee County and the Menominee Indian Reservation. This excellent quality stand contains large beech, basswood, sugar maple and butternut with the largest trees measuring 24-28 inches in diameter. Sugar maple and beech are reproducing successfully. The canopy is composed of roughly 50% sugar maple, 30% beech, with lesser amounts of hemlock, yellow birch, basswood, red oak, red maple, paper birch, big-tooth aspen, and bitternut hickory. The uncommon butternut (Juglans cinerea) is also present. The stand has a history of timber harvest and stand improvements although recent disturbance has been minimal. Structurally the stand includes pockets of mature timber characterized by large trees intermingled with nondescript areas that appear to be dominated by even-aged pole-size or small saw timber trees. The stands also have good old-growth characteristics including large coarse woody debris, snags, and good canopy gaps from the natural loss of mature trees. These gaps are filling in with beech seedlings and saplings. The shrub layer is patchy and generally poorly developed where the canopy is closed and little light penetrates to the forest floor. Common species include maple-leaved viburnum, beaked hazelnut, American fly honeysuckle, and mountain maple. The ground layer is characterized by herbs such as Canada mayflower, yellow blue-bead lily, wild sarsaparilla, rosy twisted stalk, blue cohosh, and hepaticas. Rare, uncommon, and notable plants include little goblin moonwort, blunt-lobed grape-fern, Indian cucumber-root, butternut, Canada yew, lesser purple fringed orchid, cut-leaved grape fern, least moonwort, and white bear sedge. This site is part of a larger area that supports the highest concentration of the state-threatened red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) on the Forest. South Branch Beech Grove is owned by the U.S. Forest Service and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007. This site is also recognized by the Forest Service as an established Research Natural Area.

Access

Driving directions

Access is provided by County W from the north and west and FR 2856 (also known as Old Shingle Mill Road) located about 0.15 mile east of the bridge over Second South Branch Oconto River. Proceed south on FR 2856 about 1.7 miles, staying on the better travelled gravel road (rather than taking forks that appear less traveled) to the end of the graveled portion. Park and walk south along the road until the north boundary of the Menominee Indian Reservation is reached. The reservation boundary is marked with blazes, stakes, and signs. The site lies on the uplands to the east, adjacent to the north boundary of the reservation.

Ownership

South Branch Beech Grove is owned by:

  • US Forest Service

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.

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.

Non-DNR lands

Hunting and trapping

This is a non-DNR owned SNA: Opportunities for hunting and trapping depend on the land owner. Please contact them directly to find out about their rules for hunting and trapping. You can find a link to other owner websites under the "Resource links" heading above. More details regarding allowable uses of this non-DNR owned SNA may be posted, if available, under the "Access" tab above.

Back to Top

Other activities

Other allowable activities such as - but not limited to camping, geocaching and bicycling are determined by the landowner. Please contact them directly or visit their websites for details.

Last revised: Thursday, October 19, 2017