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Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area

The Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area is managed with direction from a master plan developed in 1995. The goal of the plan is to implement management practices that will perpetuate the natural character of the Flowage's shoreline. The top priorities are to preserve its scenic qualities and protect its plant and animal communities. The department is also striving to preserve the quality and wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities including fishing, hunting, camping, nature observation, trapping, boating and canoeing.

Forest management

Up until the early 1900s, large white and red pine dominated the Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area. After the area was logged, large fires swept through, encouraging aspen and white birch growth. Forest lands on the property are currently 37% aspen, 22% northern hardwoods, 21% swamp conifer (white cedar, black spruce, tamarack) and 6% white birch. Red pine (3%) and white pine (2%) are relatively small components of today's forest.

The forest in the Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area is managed primarily to protect the scenic qualities of the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage. A 300-foot aesthetic zone has been established around the entire shoreline in which no timber harvest will occur. A number of other areas have been designated for limited or special management to protect unique natural communities. Lands more than 300 feet from the water but that could still be visible from the water will be harvested only on a selective basis to protect scenic qualities while providing some wood products from within a well-managed forest.

Timber harvests in certain areas of the property that are not visible from the flowage may include more intensive forest management to increase the diversity of wildlife habitats while providing additional forest products. Aspen regeneration is possibly the most important management that benefits grouse, deer and many other species of wildlife. Clearcutting (more appropriately called regeneration cutting) is the primary tool used in aspen regeneration. Regeneration cuts on the property will only be considered in areas not visible from the water and will be carefully laid out to provide a "natural" appearing forest.