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Dane County Parks Launches Two New Forestry Projects to Restore and Enhance Natural Areas


November 26, 2020

Dane County Parks staff and volunteers work on dozens of sites across the county to restore natural communities that once dominated the area but are now increasingly rare. Two more projects will be starting soon to enhance oak habitats at Mud Lake Wildlife Area and Scheidegger Forest through the harvest of non-oak species. Revenue generated from the sale of timber will be used to advance ecological restoration goals on park lands.

“These restoration projects will benefit wildlife habitat and enhance our overall outdoor experiences,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “We thank the Dane County Parks staff and volunteers who carry out this important work.”

Oak savanna and oak woodland habitats have experienced drastic declines regionally, both in terms of total area occupied and the ecological quality of remaining sites. Invasive species and fire suppression are two primary factors leading to this decline. Competition from encroaching trees and brush contribute to declining oak tree health and heavy shade makes it nearly impossible for oaks to recruit a new generation of young trees. Removal of non-oak species is one important step to restoring these globally rare natural communities and improving habitat for wildlife. With nearby trees removed and sunlight enhanced, oak trees stand a chance of resuming their important role as the backbone of these communities in the region.

Park visitors will notice informational signs out at the park letting them know about the restoration work that is occurring. Some trails may need to be temporarily rerouted to provide access for equipment. Dane County Parks asks that visitors pay attention and comply with signage for their safety while at the park.

Financial donations to help with this and other restoration projects in Dane County Parks can be made online at

If you are interested in volunteering to help with restoration or other park projects, you can learn more online at


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