Home » Regions » North America » Eastern Temperate Forests » Mixed Wood Plains » North Central Hardwood Forests » Upper Wolf River Stagnation Moraine

Upper Wolf River Stagnation Moraine

Page contents

About the Upper Wolf River Stagnation Moraine

The Upper Wolf River Stagnation Moraine is a region in Wisconsin. This is the largest ecoregion intersecting the Menominee Reservation, and in that reservation, a large portion of wild land here is preserved, including old growth forest that has never been logged.

The region consists of hummocky ground, terminal moraines, and pitted outwash plains. There are numerous small lakes and an irregular mix of hilly terrain and flat areas. There are numerous small, heavily meandering streams, many with their headwaters in this region. Soils here have some diversity, but tend to be mostly loams to sandy loams derived from glacial drift, and are sometimes rocky or gravely; soil pH ranges from acidic to neutral.

This region was originally covered in forests of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), and sugar maple (Acer saccharum), with some American basswood (Tilia americana) and eastern white pine (Pinus strobus). There were also some areas of open wetlands and some mixed conifer forest. American beech (Fagus grandifolia) was present in the east but reached its western range limit here and was and still is absent from the west of this region, possibly limited by decreasing rainfall moving west. Fire was uncommon here, and the dominant disturbance throughout was windthrow.

There is a small amount of agriculture here, mostly on the flatter ground with more fertile soils, and there is significant forestry and recreational use. However, a large portion of this region, in the Menominee Reservation, is essentially unchanged from its state prior to European colonization, and this area represents one of the largest and least-disturbed tracts of old-growth forest in the broader region. This reservation covers 10 million acres and averages fewer than 0.6 people per square mile. In addition to this reservation, there are numerous smaller areas of protected and public land. The region as a whole is sparsely populated, and there are no cities, only a few small towns scattered throughout.

This area is bordered to the south by the Central Sand Ridges, with sandier soils more prone to drought and fire. To the east, it borders the Green Bay Till and Lacustrine Plain, a region with a higher density of agriculture, less forest, and somewhat more population. To the west, it borders the more agricultural Central Wisconsin Undulating Till Plain. To the north, it borders the largely-forested Brule and Paint River Drumlins. There is a tiny border to the southwest with the flat, sandy Glacial Lake Wisconsin Sand Plain, and at the northernmost tip of this region, a small border to the northeast with the Perkinstown End Moraines.