National Natural Landmarks




There are 18 National Natural Landmark sites located within the state of Wisconsin. Natural features represented include boreal, swamp and hardwood forests, bogs, and dune and swale communities. The southwest part of the state is known as the driftless area, having escaped the last glaciation. Baraboo Range, an exhumed mountain range in southeast Wisconsin boasts high plant community and bird species diversity. The sites in Wisconsin received NNL designation over two decades from 1967 to 1987. Sites range in size from 15 acres to over 51,200 acres and are owned by a variety of landowners including U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin, tribal, The Nature Conservancy and private corporations and individuals.
NOTE: National Natural Landmarks (NNLs) are not national parks. NNL status does not indicate public ownership, and many sites are not open for visitation.


** Wisconsin's 18 National Natural Landmarks **
Year Designated: 1973
Acres: 44
Ownership: UW Board of Regents, Private
Access: Permission Required: Abraham's Woods (No. 38)
Abraham's Woods is a remnant of regional climax maple-basswood forest, a vegetation type rare in southern Wisconsin.
Year Designated: 1980
Acres: 762
Ownership: State, Owned by WDNR
Access: Open to the Public: Avoca Prairie and Savanna (No. 68)
Avoca River-Bottom Prairie is the largest intact prairie in Wisconsin. The site contains a nearly full complement of plant species.
Year Designated: 1980
Acres: 53,531
Ownership: State, Private
Access: unable to determine accessibility
An example of an exhumed mountain range, Baraboo Range illustrates a changing landscape through geologic time. The climate, soils, fauna, and vegetation exhibit great local diversity.
Year designated: 1980
Acres: 62
Located within Nicolet National Forest, Bose Lake Hemlock Hardwoods is a mature northern hardwood-hemlock stand that contains the best virgin stand of hemlock in Wisconsin.
Year Designated: 1987
Acres: 63
Cave of the Mounds provides an exceptional illustration of two principal modes of limestone cave formation (speleogenesis): the solution of cave passageways by "vadose" water flowing above, and by "phreatic" groundwater flowing below the water table. The cave is richly decorated with cave formations of most known varieties, including stalagmites measuring 18 feet in height, and many colorful displays of mineral deposits, including pure calcite.
Year Designated: 1973
Acres: 2,817
Ownership, State, Private: Owned by UW Board of Regents and WDNR
Access: Open to the Public: Cedarburg Bog (No. 2)
Cedarburg Bog is the largest and most outstanding bog in southeastern Wisconsin. The site serves as a refugium for many northern species of plants and birds and provides habitat for a great variety of wildlife.
Year Designated: 1973
Acres: 8,086
Ownership: Federal, State
Access: Unable to determine accessibility
Chippewa River Bottoms is the largest single stand of bottomland hardwood forest along the once widespread post-glacial forest. The site includes a large great blue heron rookery.
Year Designated: 1973
Acres: 94
Ownership: State, Private: Owned by The Nature Conservancy and WDNR
Access: Open to the Public: Chiwaukee Prairie (No. 54)
The best remaining wet prairie in Wisconsin, Chiwaukee Prairie is a remnant of a once widespread vegetation type along the southern shores of Lake Michigan. The site includes several rare plant species. 
Year Designated: 1973
Acres: 117
Ownership: State, Owned by University of Wisconsin-Madison
Access: Unable to determine accessibility
Finnerud Forest Scientific Area is an excellent representative of the northern coniferous forest complex. The site is one of the few sizeable areas in the lake states containing red pine forest over 100 years of age.
Year Designated: 1873
Acres: 391
Ownership: State: Owned by WDNR
Access: Open to Public: Flambeau River Hardwood Forest (No. 4)
Flambeau River Hemlock-Hardwood Forest, located within Flambeau River State Forest, is the best and largest remnant of the old-growth conifer-hardwood forest in Wisconsin. Severely damaged by a windstorm in 1977, the site is in the process of regeneration.
Year Designated: 1973
Acres: 2,932
Ownership: Indian Trust (Bad River Indian Tribe), Private
Kakagon Sloughs is an excellent representative of a true freshwater delta by virtue of its large size, complex mixture of marsh, bog and dune vegetation types, and undisturbed condition. The site is one of the finest marsh complexes on the upper Great Lakes.
Year Designated: 1975
Acres, 5,841
Ownership: Federal, State
Access: Unable to determine accessibility
Kickapoo River Natural Area contains the largest undisturbed concentration of exposed seeping sandstone in Wisconsin. The site is a good example, in the driftless area of southwest Wisconsin, of a river with many entrenched meanders. Additionally, the combination of geologic factors has created a multitude of diverse microhabitats that support many flora species, some of which are endangered.
Year Designated: 1980
Acres: 632
Located within the Chequamegon National Forest, Moquah Barrens Research Natural Area is representative of the jack pine-scrub oak barrens (savannas) of the glacial outwash area of northwestern Wisconsin.
Year designated: 1980
Acres: 151
Ownership: State: Owned by WDNR
Access: Open to the Public: Point Beach Ridges (No. 87)
Consisting of alternating ridges and swales, Point Beach Ridges was formed by previous water levels of Lake Michigan. The site exhibits a range of successional vegetation states.
Year designated: 1967
Acres: 2,281
Ridges Sanctuary-Toft's Point-Mud Lake Area is a series of sand ridges and swales with associated boreal forest and bog vegetation. The site contains unusually high species diversity, as well as the best mixed stand of large red and white pine, hemlock, and northern hardwoods on the western shore of Lake Michigan.
The Ridges
Year designated: 1973
Acres: 266
Ownership: Private: Owned by The Nature Conservancy
Access: Open to the Public: Summerton Bog (No. 42)
Summerton Bog is a relatively large, undisturbed, and floristically diverse area. The site illustrates the slow, natural invasion of post-glacial plant communities into a predominantly relict glacial community, and provides habitat for many rare plant and animal species.
Year Designated: 1873
Acres: 162
Ownership: State, Private: Owned by WDNR
Access: Open to the Public: Spruce Lake Bog (No. 59)
Spruce Lake Bog, located within Kettle Moraine State Forest, is a superb, unspoiled example of a northern bog. The site possesses relict flora and fauna from early post-glacial times.
Year Designated: 1973
Acres: 214
Ownership: State: Owned by WDNR
Access: Open to the Public: Wyalusing Hardwood Forest (No. 5)
Wyalusing Hardwood Forest, located within Wyalusing State Park, exhibits high biological diversity illustrating nine major vegetation types. The site contains several rare plant species and abundant wildlife, including some endangered species.

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