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Help preserve Wisconsin's State Natural Areas for future generations. Give to the Endangered Resources Fund today!
Donate today: make a difference
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Contact information
For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist

State Natural Areas Program

SNA Program logo State natural areas (SNAs) protect outstanding examples of Wisconsin's native landscape of natural communities, significant geological formations and archeological sites. Encompassing over 373,000 acres, Wisconsin's 673 natural areas are valuable for research and educational use, the preservation of genetic and biological diversity and for providing benchmarks for determining the impact of use on managed lands. They also provide some of the last refuges for rare plants and animals.

Avon Bottoms SNA

Located within Avon Bottoms Wildlife Area, Avon Bottoms features a lowland hardwood forest in the floodplain of the meandering Sugar River. Designated an Important Bird Area, the forest supports a diversity of birds along with unusual reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. Photo by Thomas A. Meyer.

Natural Area Spotlight

Kettle Moraine Oak Opening SNA
Kettle Moraine Oak Opening SNA, photo by Drew Feldkirchner

When you sign up for the spotlight, you'll receive our weekly feature direct to your inbox, smartphone or tablet. We'll tell you why natural areas are great places to visit, how to get there and what you'll see. Join today!

A journey through Wisconsin's rabbit hole: Kettle Moraine Oak Opening

Kettle Moraine Oak Opening State Natural Area is a scene right out Lewis Carroll's wonderland, minus the talking Cheshire cat. Oak trees grow out, instead of up, straining to reach for the sun. Read the entire Natural Resources Foundation blog [exit DNR] for more.

Buy a guidebook

The perfect companion for hikers, birders and nature lovers, this guide features 150 of the best natural areas across the state. Buy your guide today!

Basics of prescribed burning - Dodgeville, March 7, 2015

Learn the basics of prescribed burning from local experts, how it is done safely and why it's important. This course will also provide information about further training and burn contractors, but is not designed to prepare you to serve as a burn boss or conduct burns on your own. Participants will also be invited to observe a burn at a later date. Read the flyer for details [PDF].

Exploring State Natural Areas

In this short video, learn about the SNA program that protects outstanding native landscapes throughout Wisconsin. Natural areas provide unique places for low-impact recreation, including hiking and fishing. Hunting is also allowed on most DNR-owned sites.

Last revised: Friday, February 27, 2015