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Dane County Land & Water Resources Department

Silverwood County Park - Oak Savanna and Woodland Restoration

Project Background
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 contributing factors leading to this decline. Removal of non-oak species is one important step to restoring these globally rare natural communities. Competition from encroaching trees and brush contribute to declining oak tree health and heavy shade make it nearly impossible for oaks to recruit a new generation of young trees. With nearby trees removed and sunlight enhanced, oak trees stand of chance of resuming their important role as the backbone of these habitats in the region./documents/PDFs/projects/Restoration-Projects/MudLakeTimberHarvest2020.pdf

Project goals

  • Sustainably manage timber resources to enhance oak savanna and woodland communities on multiple county lands.
  • Remove undesirable tree species to advance management objectives such as oak recruitment and wildlife habitat enhancement.
  • Generate revenue through the sale of economically mature timber to support invasive species control, seeding, and restoration of county lands.

Site Overview
Silverwood County Park includes 25 acres of oak woodland and savanna currently being restored by several dedicated volunteers and staff. Invasive species such as buckthorn, burning bush, and garlic mustard are being removed across the entire area. Native species are slowly being reintroduced to the site and are now beginning to flourish. A timber harvest will remove undesirable species to promote oak regeneration and deliver more sunlight for the growth of grasses and wildflowers. 

Plans & Documents

Contact

Darren Marsh, Park Director
Dane County Parks Division
5201 Fen Oak Drive
Madison, WI 53718
marsh@countyofdane.com
(608) 224-3766

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