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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Springvale Wet Meadow (No. 547)

Springvale Wet Meadow

Photo by S. Kehrli



Within Peter Helland Wildlife Area, Columbia County. T12N-R11E, Sections 1, 2. 271 acres.



Situated along both banks of Duck Creek, Springvale Wet Meadow is an open wetland complex of wet prairie grading into sedge meadow and calcareous fen. The prairie contains a significant grass component including cordgrass, big bluestem, and bluejoint grass. A diversity of forbs is also present and includes species such as black-eyed susan, mountain mint, sawtooth sunflower, rosinweed, marsh pea, turtlehead, and cowbane. Tussock sedge dominates the sedge meadow with swamp milkweed, marsh, spotted Joe-pye weed, Michigan lily, and boneset. A mound located on the south creek bank supports many calcium-loving plants that are fen indicator species. They include grass-of-parnassus, marsh bellflower, northern bedstraw, valerian, tall meadow-rue, swamp lousewort, golden alexanders, swamp thistle, and shrubby cinquefoil. Also present are two undisturbed springs and spring runs. Preliminary field surveys indicate a diverse lepidopteran fauna is present, which includes the Dion skipper, and mulberry wing. Springvale Wet Meadow is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007.


Driving directions

From the intersection of County P and Highway 142 in Cambria, go west on P 1.5 miles. The site lies south of the road.


Springvale Wet Meadow is owned by:

  • WDNR


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 objectives and prescriptions


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
  • 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: Tuesday, December 04, 2018