Memorial Grove Hemlocks

Location
This grove is located in the Pike Lake region. From the intersection of State Highways 70 and 13 in Fifield, go east on 70 18 miles to a small wayside on the north side of the road. A footpath from the parking area leads north into the forest. Alternatively, from Fifield go east on 70 18 miles, then north on Turner Lake Road/Forest Road 143 0.25 miles to a small parking area, a footpath, and an interpretive sign east of the road.

Description

Memorial Grove Hemlocks features an excellent example of old-growth hemlock forest dominated by hemlock with yellow birch and sugar maple and exhibiting very little evidence of human disturbance. Other trees include basswood, white ash, black ash, paper birch, and balsam fir. Sugar maple is reproducing vigorously in canopy gaps created by windthrow and disease while hemlock seedlings are frequent on down, well-rotted logs but are not reaching sapling size due to browsing by deer and snowshoe hare. Deer browse is also responsible for the reduction of Canada yew, which is present but uncommon in the understory. The shrub layer and herb layer consist of mountain maple, fly honeysuckle, beaked hazelnut, red elder, intermediate wood fern, small enchanter’s-nightshade, Canada mayflower, wild sarsaparilla, shining club-moss, and wood sorrel. The forest is situated on end moraine with numerous kettle holes throughout. The site provides good habitat for a variety of forest songbirds including blackburnian, and black-throated green warblers, ovenbird, solitary vireo, golden-crowned kinglet, and brown creeper. The grove was established as a memorial to four Forest Service employees who lost their lives in World War II. Memorial Grove Hemlocks is owned by the U.S. Forest Service and was designated a State Natural Area in 1996. This site is also recognized by the Forest Service as an established Research Natural Area.
  

History

Memorial Grove Hemlocks, established in 1947, is dedicated to four members of the U.S. Forest Service who gave their lives in World War II. The stand is 325 years old. It is an excellent example of an old-growth hemlock forest dominated by hemlock with yellow birch and sugar maple and exhibiting very little evidence of human disturbance. It is home to various songbirds, white-tailed deer and other animals that depend on old growth forests for their survival and is a fitting place to remember veterans who fought and died for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Research and Natural Area

Memorial Grove Hemlocks is owned by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service. In 1988, the area was established as a Research Natural Area to protect and preserve its unusual old growth native plant and animal communities for scientific study and research, and for the teaching of conservation and natural history.  In 1996, it was also designated as a Wisconsin State Natural Area. The public is asked to protect this fragile and unique area by staying on trails and leaving only footprints.
 


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