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Outwash Plains Focal Sites

The series of sites below have very high biological ratings. but have less than one-half the hgih quality area is in protected status. Each site has a brief introductory description followed by a link to a printable pdf.


Athelstane Barrens, Marinette County: This former sharp-tailed grouse area within Marathon County Forest still has most of the representative barrens plants and animals. Furthermore, numerous rock outcrops add diversity features. Several private holdings are still found in the opportunity area.




Bear Bluff, Jackson County: Centered in the middle of the Great Wisconsin Swamp, Bear Bluff offers the first glimpse of the north for a traveler. Many northern birds, butterflies and now mammals reach their southern range limit at or near Bear Bluff. Both extensive peatlands and patches of barrens are found in the area.




Coastal Plain Marshes, Marquette County: Kettle depressions left after the glacial retreat permitted many lakes to develop in this part of Wisconsin. A few of these lakes have great fluctuating water levels. These lakes with exposed flats harbor several plant and dragonfly species found primarily near the Atlantic Ocean. These unusual combinations of plant species communities are called disjuncts and they need special consideration, if we are to have them in the future.




Dunbar Barrens, Marinette County:This former sharp-tailed grouse area within a State Natural Area and Marathon County Forest still has most of the representative barrens plants and animals. A few pothole lakes add diversity as well as populations of endangered species.




Robinson Creek Barrens, Jackson County: The sugar sand soils near Robinson Creek are the poorest, nutrient-wise in the state. Tree and other plant growth is challenging, but these stressors permit many rare species to thrive.  The creek and perched wetlands add diversity to the site.






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