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Northern Research Station
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 231-9318
(608) 231-9544 TTY/TDD

Research Natural Area

Fairy Land

Fairy Land RNAState: Wisconsin

County: Bayfield

Forest: Chequamegon

District: Washburn

Acres: 32

Description: Fairy Land RNA features a half mile of undeveloped shoreline habitat along the Namekagon Lake. The RNA represents one of the last remaining stretches of relatively wild shoreline on one of the largest and most extensively developed lakes in the region. The site features a stand of relatively undisturbed old growth hemlock hardwood forest.

The core of Fairy Land RNA centers around the mature hemlock hardwood forest situated on the shore of Lake Namekagon at the foot of a prominent interlobate moraine. The old growth stand is imbedded in a large block of mature second growth hardwood forest. Significant inclusions of residual hemlock and yellow birch are present, especially along the shore. Hemlock regeneration is prolific with all size classes represented. Bald eagles, red-shouldered hawks, merlins, and common loons are present.

Ecological Information

Physical and Climatic Conditions:

Annual precipitation (type, seasonal distribution) : The weather station nearest to Fairy Land RNA is Drummond Ranger Station. Average annual rainfall is 34.3 inches. Avereage annual snowfall is 68.1 inches.

Maximum and minimum temperatures : Mean daily temperature is 31 ºF to 53 ºF. The mean temperature April- September is 60 ºF, the record high summer temeperature is 100 ºF. The mean temperature October-March is 25 ºF, with record low at - 44 ºF.

Elevation: Elevations vary from 1400 ft (427 m) to 1440 ft (439 m) above sea level. Characterized by nearly level to steep topography with slope gradients ranging from 0 to 30%.

Geology and Soils: Bedrock of the area is carbonates that are between 100 feet and 50 feet from the land surface (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 2003). Geomorphologic processes include till and glacial meltwater deposition. The surface is hilly, hummocky moraine. Soils are well-drained light sandy loam to loamy sand over loamy sand till or outwash sands. The drainage is predominantly well-drained.

Aquatic Features: Namekagon Lake is Wisconsin ’s tenth largest lake and the headwaters to the Namekagon National Scenic Riverway.

Ecological Classification & Inventory

Section: Laurentian Mixed Forest Province (212)

Subsection(s): Northern Highland Section (212X)

Plant Communities: Undisturbed old growth hemlock (Tsugacanadensis), yellow birch (Betulaalleghanienesis).

SAF Cover Types (list acres): Kuchler Types (list acres):
#24 Hemlock-Yellow birch #107 Northern hardwoods-fir

Common Shrub Species: Lake cress (Armoracia lacustris); Water starwort (Callitriche hermaphroditica).

Common Herbaceous Species: Wheat grass (Elymus trachycaululus), panic-grass (Panicum sp.), field pussytoes (Antennaria neglecta), lichen (Cladonia sp.), bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), big-leaved aster (Aster macrophyllus), Canada mayflower (Maianthemumcanadense).

Common Bird Species: American black ducks (Anas rubripes), mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), ring-necked ducks (Aythya collaris), wood ducks (Aix sponsa), blue-winged teal (Anas discors), hooded mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus); state-threatened red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus), Merlin (Falco columbarius), Common loon (Gavia immer), Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus).

Related Website:

Fairyland State Natural Area (No. 474)


Last Modified: 02/23/2017