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For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
608-266-0394

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Moquah Barrens (No. 83)

Moquah Barrens

Photo by E. Epstein


Overview

Location

Within Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Bayfield County. T48N-R7W, Section 23. 640 acres.

Description

Description

Moquah Barrens lies near the east end of an extensive outwash sand plain in northwestern Wisconsin and features Pine Barrens with jack and red pine with associated red oak, red maple, trembling aspen, large-toothed aspen, and white birch. Originally an extensive pine barrens, the Forest Service set aside this mile-square area in the early 1930's as a research site to study natural succession on sandy and sandy loam soils in the absence of fire. Historically, the droughty soils and frequent fires maintained the openness of the barrens. Today, however, after decades of fire protection, some rather dense forest stands have developed and some of the openings, which were common in the past, are now being filled with woody vegetation. The vegetation varies from large openings dominated by blueberry, bearberry, sweet fern and prairie rose to rather dense stands of jack pine and aspen. In some areas the litter layer has increased and is allowing more mesophytic species, such as sugar maple and black cherry, to invade. The shrub layer is dominated by serviceberry, dewberry, sweet fern blueberry, hazel, honeysuckle, and sand cherry. Ground layer herbs include abundant bracken fern, large-leaved aster, Canada mayflower, wintergreen, and pearly everlasting. Breeding bird surveys have shown a gradual change from open barrens species through successional forest species to the closed-forest bird community now present including Connecticut, black-and-white, black-throated green, and pine warblers. The USDA Forest Service manages this area and photographic points have been established to record vegetation changes over time. Moquah Barrens is owned by the US Forest Service and was designated a State Natural Area in 1970.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of Highway 2 and County E in the Village of Ino, go north on Ino Road (FR 236) 7 miles to the southern boundary of the site. Park on the road.

Ownership

Moquah Barrens 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.

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Prohibited activities

  • Horseback riding
  • Rock climbing
  • Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use
  • Collecting of animals, 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
  • Camping and campfires
  • Geocaching

For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]

Last revised: Tuesday, March 25, 2014