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

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Peshtigo Brook Meadow & Woods (No. 564)


Overview

Location

Within Peshtigo Brook Wildlife Area, Oconto County. T30N-R18E, Sections 8, 9. 477 acres.

Description

Description

Situated on sandy outwash with scattered low sandy ridges, Peshtigo Brook Meadow and Woods features a series of northern sedge meadows in and around upland eskers and old beach dunes. The meadow is virtually undisturbed and supports the uncommon Le Conte's sparrow. Herb cover is moderate to dense and dominated by lake sedge, tussock sedge and woolly-fruit sedge. Other plants include bluejoint grass, Buxbaum's sedge, marsh fern, swamp loosestrife, marsh skullcap, water horsetail, and northern bog goldenrod. Shrub cover is sparse to moderate with bog birch, alder, white meadowsweet, and slender willow. The sandy upland ridges support patches of large diameter red oak and white pine up to 34 inches in diameter. Red pine, Hill's oak, paper birch, red maple, and balsam fir are also present. Understory plants include pipsissewa, huckleberry, trailing arbutus, twinflower, partridgeberry, round-leaved shinleaf, American starflower, rosy twisted stalk, and sessile-leaved bellwort. In addition to the Le Conte's sparrow, breeding birds include golden-winged warbler, Nashville warbler, pine warbler, ovenbird, scarlet tanager, veery, eastern wood pewee, sedge wren, black-billed cuckoo, sandhill crane, and common snipe. Peshtigo Brook Meadow and Woods is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2008.

Access

Driving directions

rom the intersection of Highway 32 and Peshtigo Brook Road in Suring, go north on Peshtigo Brook Road 3.1 miles, then east on Sleeter Road 0.7 miles, then north on Pipeline Road 2.9 miles, then northeast on Hawthorn Road 0.5 miles to a small parking area. Walk northeast on the trail which loops through the site.

Ownership

Peshtigo Brook Meadow & Woods 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 reserve for northern sedge meadow, oak barrens and northern dry-mesic forest, as a wetland protection area, and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the dry-mesic forest, along with prescribed vegetation manipulation in the sedge meadow and barrens. Note: It is understood that over the course of time, the oak and red pine component in the dry-mesic forest will decrease under a passive management regime. Other State Natural Areas, however, are managed to maintain an old-growth oak cover type. Both management scenarios are needed as ecological reference areas. Another objective is to provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality sedge meadows.

Management approach

The ecological characteristics of the oak barrens will be primarily shaped by an intensive fire management program. The sedge meadow species and barrens/forest understory species are managed actively through tree/shrub control using tree harvest, brushing and occasional fire to mimic natural disturbance patterns. The native dominant barrens/forest tree species (primarily oaks) are managed passively, though some thinning of the canopy may be needed. Augmentation of the barrens ground layer will only add species that historically would have been found on the site, using seeds or plugs from local genetic material species; this usually occurs in the early stages of restoration. The native dry-mesic forest species are managed passively, allowing nature to determine their ecological characteristics. The dry-mesic forest will be allowed to convert over time to a more mesic forest condition. Other allowable activities across the entire site include control of invasive plants and animals, and access to suppress wildfires.

Site-specific considerations

  • Although removal of hazardous trees from over and near trails is an allowed activity, manipulation/removal of vegetation and soil disturbance should be minimized to the extent possible.
  • Roadside easement area may be managed sporadically by township.

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