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For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Winchester Meadow (No. 661)

Winchester Meadow

Photo by Eric Epstein


Overview

Location

Within the Lower Wolf River Bottomlands Natural Resources Area, Winnebago County. T20N-R15E, Sections 19, 30. 444 acres.

Description

Description

Winchester Meadow features a large, open sedge meadow-marsh situated in an extensive depression northwest of Lake Winneconne. The site boasts a diverse flora composed of woolly-fruit sedge, tussock sedge, blue-joint grass, marsh bellflower, blue-flag iris, marsh fern, marsh cinquefoil, and soft-stem bulrush. Shrub cover is mostly low with numerous species of willow, white meadowsweet, and bog birch. Some of the wetter areas contain small pools with at least three species of bladderwort present. The outer portions of the meadow is mostly tussock sedge with lake sedge and slender willow while the inner region is dominated by wire-leaved sedge mixed with lesser amounts of lesser panicled sedge, Buxbaum's sedge with patches of tussock sedge and large patches of cattails and soft-stem bulrush. The site is notable for its lack of invasives. Rare animals present include northern harrier, Forester's tern, and yellow rail. Winchester Meadows is owned by the DNR. The site was purchased by the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust and later transferred to the DNR. It was designated a State Natural Area in 2012.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of Highway 150 and Steeple Hill Road in Winchester, go west on 150 2 miles, then south on County M 0.5 miles, then southwest on County MM 2.4 miles to a small easement access lane running north of the ditch. Walk west 0.15 miles into the site.

Ownership

Winchester Meadow 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

Protect the functioning Northern Sedge Meadow and Emergent Marsh communities.

Management approach

Allow the site to function predominantly through passive techniques.

Site-specific considerations

  • Continue to pursue opportunities to improve access.

Management

Management objectives and prescriptions

  • Control invasive exotics.
  • Winter removal of shrubs along the edges to constrain woody encroachment on the open sedge meadow.
  • Occassionally conduct a prescribed burn (approximately every 25 years) to rejuvenate the sedge meadow nutrient cycling system.
  • Pursue oppportunities to restore hydrology where feasible.

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