Interior forest scene of land TNC donated at Baileys Harbor Boreal Forest and Wetlands State Natural Area with large conifer trees, saplings and downed logs on forest floor
Baileys Harbor Boreal Forest: TNC’s donation of 362 acres to the State of Wisconsin almost doubles the size of this unique and diverse State Natural Area and improves public access. © Thomas Meyer/WDNR

Places We Protect

Baileys Harbor Boreal Forest and Wetlands

Wisconsin

Many birds depend on this habitat during the breeding season and as a stopover site where they can rest and feed during migration.

The Nature Conservancy protected 362 acres at Baileys Harbor Boreal Forest and Wetlands. Today the land is owned and managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for the people of Wisconsin.

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT

This property is part of the Baileys Harbor Boreal Forest and Wetlands landscape where northern plants, animals and forests can thrive far south of where they are normally found. It is home to migratory songbirds like the Blackburnian warbler and other wildlife.

WHY THE NATURE CONSERVANCY SELECTED THIS SITE

The property, which is part of the Baileys Harbor Boreal Forest and Wetlands landscape, is within the Door Peninsula Coastal Wetlands Ramsar site, a globally important wetland. The large size of the property, coupled with the already protected lands at Baileys Harbor Boreal Forest and Wetlands State Natural Area (SNA) provide a large expanse of good quality habitat required by some birds and mammals.

It’s great breeding and migratory stopover habitat for birds. It will also help promote the recovery of federally-threatened species like the dwarf lake iris and possibly, the northern long-eared bat. The property also provides public access for outdoor recreational opportunities.

WHAT TNC HAS DONE/IS DOING

TNC purchased the property in December 2017, with a grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a grant from Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and donations from TNC supporters.
 
In March 2020, we donated the land to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, almost doubling the size of the Baileys Harbor Boreal Forest and Wetlands State Natural Area. Protection of the property improved public access to the SNA by connecting formerly-isolated parcels of land.

WHAT TO SEE: PLANTS

This property is within the Door Peninsula Coastal Wetlands Ramsar site, a globally important wetland. Plants and plant communities you can see include:

  • Boreal forest habitat dominated by white spruce and balsam fir
  • Dwarf lake iris

WHAT TO SEE: ANIMALS

Many birds depend on this area during the breeding season and as a stopover site where they can rest and feed during migration. Birds you can see include:

  • Blackburnian warbler
  • Merlin
  • Red-shouldered hawk
  • Wood thrush
  • Yellow-bellied flycatcher
  • Bald eagles
  • Diving ducks including common goldeneye

Other animals you can see include:

  • Northern long-eared bat

PLAN YOUR VISIT

For more information about visiting the preserve, please see the Wisconsin DNR’s Baileys Harbor Boreal Forest and Wetlands State Natural Area web page.