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

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Black Tern Bog (No. 49)

Black Tern Bog

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer


Overview

Location

Vilas County. T40N-R6E, Section 11 NE1/4. 26 acres.

Description

Description

Black Tern Bog consists of two small seepage lakes in a pitted outwash plain and contains an outstanding flora including several rare and unusual species. About 20 acres of quaking sphagnum bog surround the bog lakes and contain such characteristic species as sundew, buckbean, bog-laurel, bog-rosemary, leather-leaf, and cotton grass sedge. Of special interest are uncommon plants including swamp pink (Arethusa bulbosa), rose pogonia, grass pink, and the state endangered bog rush (Juncus stygius). Dwarf white pine and black spruce are found on the bog with second growth hardwoods surrounding it. Uncommon birds include black tern (Chlidonias niger) and American bittern (Botaurus longicauda). Other nesting bird species are killdeer, common snipe, mallard, song sparrow, and red winged blackbird. Black Tern Bog is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1967.

Access

Driving directions

From Woodruff, go north on Highway 51 about 5 miles. The bog lies on the east side of the highway, 1.1 miles north of Farming Road and 3.3 miles north of State Highway 70.

Ownership

Black Tern Bog 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.

Management

Site objectives

Manage the site as a poor fen reserve, as an aquatic reserve and wetland protection area, and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the natural communities, along with prescribed vegetation manipulation in the wetlands.

Management approach

The native aquatic species are managed passively, which allows nature to determine the ecological characteristics of the lake. The native wetland species are managed actively through tree/shrub control using tree harvest, brushing and fire to mimic natural disturbance patterns. Other allowable activities throughout the site include control of invasive plants and animals, maintenance of existing facilities, and access to suppress wildfires.

Site-specific considerations

  • Roadside easement area may be managed sporadically by the county.

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

  • 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

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

Last revised: Friday, September 05, 2014