Welcome to Herb's Woods

Natural Communities, Wildlife & Habitat Opportunities, and Environmental Concerns on the

Northwest Sands

Ecological Landscape of Wisconsin

(Canopy Busting Red Pines)

Herb's Woods consists of 30 wild acres located in Wisconsin's Northwest Sands Ecological Landscape region. The links on this webpage explore natural communities found in that unique part of the world. Although modest in size Herb's Woods is ecologically diverse with many forest, wetland, and aquatic communities. Habitats range from northern dry upland forest to hardwood swamp lowland, the latter containing many flowing springs and ephemeral woodland pools. Herb's Woods is bordered by a shallow lake-like "pakwaaywong" and a swiftly flowing woodland river that is home to waterfowl, rare turtles, fur-bearing mammals, lunker bass and golden walleyes. Deer and bear are common here. We even have northern wild turkeys in these woods now!

(Spring Bog)

The Northwest Sands comprise an ecological landscape that extends from the lower St. Croix River valley on the south nearly to Lake Superior on the north. Due to the predominance of sandy soils and a history of severe wildfires this region was traditionally covered by jack pine barrens and red pine and oak savanna. This semi-prairie habitat was once American bison range. Today pine barrens and savanna are considered globally rare and endangered. Around the lakes and river valleys the Northwest Sands also contained stands of extremely valuable red and white pine timber that were savagely logged off by 19th century lumbermen.

(Summer Resident)

Because the Northwest Sands region contains many pristine soft-water lakes, wild sand-bottomed rivers and untouched wetlands, a wide variety of rare and endangered plant and animal species in world-wide decline still dwell here. So outstanding are the Northwest Sands' water resources that two streams traversing the region --- the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers --- are designated as National Scenic and Wild Riverways for their great aesthetic and wild values. The nearby Totogatic River is presently under consideration to become Wisconsin's third state designated Wild River. The Northwest Sands are also home to the headwaters of the famous Bois Brulé River. Herb's Woods is located on a tributary stream in the St. Croix basin that has an equally scenic and wilderness character as these nationally known rivers.

(Autumn Oaks)

Although just 30 acres in size, Herb's Woods is a nearly complete microcosm of the greater Northwest Sands landscape. Almost every forest community and wetland type found in the 1,956 square mile region is also found here. The same diversity is true of Herb's aquatic habitats. Although heavily logged in the 19th century the red pine component in Herb's Woods has staged a remarkable natural regeneration and is developing old growth characteristics. Equally noteworthy are the flood-pulse and groundwater wetlands of Herb's Woods that were never drained or altered by humans and today comprise an outdoor laboratory of great natural and scientific value. As a highly diverse barrens-wetland complex Herb's Woods is a magical realm in all seasons of the year, although in late May and June it can also be a bit on the buggy side.

(Winter Woods)

The following links will explore various natural communities and other aspects of Herb's Woods, the Northwest Sands, and nearby environs. They will contain photographs taken by Herb during all seasons and under all weather conditions. In addition to exploring the rich ecology, Herb also hopes to capture and share with you the vivid natural beauty and wild charm of this place. Herb also goes beneath the surface of area waters and will share some of his summer underwater adventures and explorations of the deep, clear, area lakes and swiftly flowing woodland streams on the Northwest Sands. The underwater peat caves and immense log-jams found here create a remarkable other-world experience as well as being excellent habitat for large members of the finny tribe.

Enjoy your visit.

(Herb at the pakwaaywong)

You can contact Herb at: herbswoods@yahoo.com

These links will take you on an exploration of Wisconsin's Northwest Sands region. If you love the woods and wild places you will find these pine barrens a good place to be.

Are Deer Eating Up Wisconsin's Northwoods? (New for 2007) Think you can name the northwood's most voracious predator? The gray wolf perhaps? The elusive panther? The mythical man-eating windigo? Guess again. The biggest eater of all is Bambi, the pampered and over protected white-tailed deer!

Totogatic (Totagatic) Wild River! (New for 2007) Will this legend-haunted semi-wilderness stream be granted State "Wild & Scenic" River status?

Herb's Underwater Adventures: Stream Environments and Aquatic Wildlife on Wisconsin's NW Sands (NEW for 2007!) Explore the watery nether world of the northwoods and meet its finny inhabitants eyeball to eyeball!

Pine Barrens Historical Accounts! (Updated for 2007) Did wild buffalo once roam Wisconsin's Northwest sands? What was the region like when fire ruled the landscape?

Herb's White Cedar Restoration Project! Planting trees and watching them grow isn't as easy as it sounds when there are too many hungry deer around..

If you would like to support this website and future writings you can help by ordering a copy of my landmark book on the baby years of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle: At the Creation. Even if you're not a Harley enthusiast yourself, you probably know somebody who is and would enjoy this information-packed book as a gift item!

Contents copyright 2007 Herbert Wagner.

All rights reserved.

Created on a Apple laptop computer using electricity generated by the sun!