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Deer hunting is allowed on 4 of our 5 natural areas with written permission of the Center director. But there are specific rules regarding hunting activities at each area. Hunters must follow all current DNR regulations for bow or gun hunting as well as any additional rules as specified by the City of Green Bay, Brown or Door Counties, and the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity for each property. Hunters are not allowed to damage or cut any vegetation or set up any permanent blinds or create any feeding stations. Hunters must not disturb any research activities and be aware that hikers also use trails at Toft Point and the Arboretum. Hunters are reminded to pick up any litter including discarded shells and cigarette butts.
Duck hunting is only allowed from boats offshore at Point au Sable and Toft Point. No hunters are allowed to hunt from the property including the lagoon at Point au Sable. Hunters are NOT allowed to access the water by going overland through the natural areas and may not drag or carry boats or canoes to the water. Hunters must instead use public boat launches or other properties.
No other hunting or trapping is allowed on any of the natural areas. No hunting of any kind is allowed at Kingfisher Farm. Permitted hunters are reminded that these areas are used for research and hiking and are open to everyone during hunting season.
Toft Point and Peninsula Center
Gun hunting for deer is allowed at Toft Point and Peninsula Center during the regular gun season. Hunters must receive written approval from the Director before hunting at either location. Hunters are required to request permission to hunt and must carry written permission at all times. A list is kept and preference is given to hunters from previous years. There are no openings currently available for new hunters at Toft Point. Hunters should contact The Center at 920-465-5032 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Archery hunting is not allowed at either site.
Point au Sable
Archery hunting is allowed with permission at Point au Sable. Due to the number of requests to hunt at this site a lottery system has been established. Hunters should check the website for instructions about how to enter the lottery in late August. No gun hunting is allowed.
Hunters are required to request permission to hunt and must carry written permission at all times. Hunting parties are selected by a lottery in September. Each chosen party is assigned a week based on preference. If all preferred weeks are full a week will be assigned at random from remaining dates. If parties are small, two or three parties may be assigned the same date. Hunters must register for the lottery by the deadline in order to participate. Duplicate parties will not be included in the lottery (same group of hunters with different leaders).
Cofrin Memorial Arboretum
The high numbers of deer on the UW-Green Bay campus are resulting in increasing damage to forest understory plants in the Arboretum. In order to better manage deer populations a depredation archery hunt has been established. Bow-hunting is allowed by special arrangement through the city of Green Bay in February, March, and April through special permit only. Hunters must follow special rules and register through the city. Hunters are required to attend a class and pass an accuracy test at a registered archery range. There are currently no openings for hunters at this time. Hunters should contact The Center at 920-465-5032 or email@example.com for more information.
Trails on all of our natural areas are open to the public. We invite the public to use these trails to enjoy their natural beauty but request that visitors remember that these are research areas as well as recreational areas and request that hikers and bikers remain on the trails and obey all posted signs. Bikes are not allowed on any bark covered or dirt trails. Motorized vehicles, including segueways, are not allowed on any of our properties. Dogs are not allowed in any of our natural areas.
Cofrin Memorial Arboretum: Trails through the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum are open to pedestrians every day during daylight hours. Only paved or gravel trails are open to bicycles during daylight hours. The trails are not plowed in the winter, although some trails are occasionally groomed for cross-country skiing. See hunting restrictions above.
Toft Point and Peninsula Center: The trails at Toft Point and Peninsula Center are open to the public. The Friends of Toft Point help to manage that area and docents are often available to answer questions. Trail users are asked to be especially careful at Toft Point and only use the designated trails so they do not disturb this fragile habitat. See hunting restrictions above.
Kingfisher Farm: The trails at Kingfisher Farm are open to the public. Park in the designated area. Hikers are reminded that the house is occupied and to respect the tenants' privacy. Hunting is not allowed at Kingfisher Farm. See hunting restrictions above.
Point au Sable: Point au Sable is not open to the public because there is no public access to the property. Access is available from the beach by boat or by written permission from the Center Director only. See hunting restrictions above.
Visitors to natural areas are sometimes surprised to learn that dogs and collecting plants are prohibited. Why are we so strict about these seemingly harmless activities? Here are a few reasons:
These natural areas are unique areas. Very few places exist today where the interests of nature are given highest priority. A recent study by Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science and the Wildlife Conservation Society (CNN News, October 23, 2002) determined that humans today use 83% of the earth’s land surface, and the percentage is growing. In particular, there are few urban places where plants and wildlife are protected. In short, the Arboretum is one of very few places in Wisconsin where people can enjoy nature close to home.
Removal of species destroys the plants’ ability to reproduce. The removal or destruction of any part of a plant may make it impossible for that plant to set seed. If enough plants are disturbed the species will disappear from the natural area. Ongoing scientific research in our natural areas is also disrupted by the removal of plants.
It’s the law. According to Wisconsin Administrative Code UWW 18.06
(2) PROHIBITED ACTS. No person may remove any shrubs, vegetation, wood, timber, rocks, stone, earth, signs, fences, or other materials from university lands. (5) ANIMALS. The presence of dogs, cats, and other pets is prohibited in all university buildings and in arboretums at all times. Violation of this code may result in a fine of up to $500.
Unfortunately, dogs and conservation areas are not a good mix. The mere presence of a dog, even on a leash, impacts our ability to conserve natural areas and provide positive educational experiences for visitors. Dogs disturb wildlife, causing them to flee trail areas. They reduce biodiversity and affect the ecology of trail areas. Dogs can even spread diseases and invasive plants into natural areas and can disrupt the enjoyment of other visitors.
There are many parks and trails in northeastern WI where dogs are welcome. Please respect our natural areas as places where wildlife can thrive and where visitors can experience nature undisturbed.Dogs, even dogs on leashes, have negative impacts on wildlife, especially birds.
It might seem like a well-trained leashed dog would have a minimal impact on wildlife, but recent research indicates that just the presence of dogs on trails severely impacts the behavior, abundance, and biodiversity of wildlife, especially birds and small mammals. Large-scale experiments, where ecologists compared wildlife activity in areas with and without leashed dogs, show that areas that allow dog walking on trails had over 40% fewer total birds and a 35% reduction in the number of bird species, even when dogs were on leashes. In comparison, while the presence of humans alone on trails does impact wildlife, it was found to less than half the effect of humans walking with dogs. The same experiment showed that even when birds did not flee the site, they moved deeper into the forest. Scientists found 76% fewer individuals within 10 yards of trails where dog walking was allowed compared with sites without dog walking. In a different study it was found that small mammals reduced normal activity within 55 yards of trails in areas that allowed dogs when compared with areas without. If wildlife are fleeing in response to dogs, the effect on recreational activities like bird-watching and research is also negatively impacted. Visitors can expect to see far fewer animals in areas that allow dogs than in areas that do not.
Some dog walking advocates have argued that over time pets and wildlife can coexist if only wildlife is allowed to become used to the presence of dogs, but research has shown that birds do not become accustomed to the presence of dogs, and continue to flee, even in areas where dogs have always been allowed.
Dogs and wildlife share diseases.
Many diseases like Leptosporosis, rabies, and Lyme disease can infect many species of mammals, including humans. Even if your dog is vaccinated, they may contract certain diseases from other dogs or wildlife including canine parvovirus and Lyme disease because vaccinations do not offer complete protection. Many urban dog owners do not vaccinate for Leptosporosis, which is transmitted when dogs sniff the urine of infected skunks or raccoons. Pets are also at risk of attack by parasite muscle cysts (Sarcocystis spp.), ticks, tapeworms, and fleas. Because they don’t have to hunt for food and shelter, domestic dogs can survive some of these pathogens, but wild animals might be significantly more vulnerable. Black-footed ferrets almost went extinct in part because of the introduction of canine distemper in their home ranges. Canine parvovirus caused disease outbreaks reducing fox and wolf populations in some of our national parks.
Dogs can destroy native plants and introduce and spread invasive plants.
Not only is it unpleasant and a health risk for visitors to encounter dog feces and urine on the trails, but they also change the chemistry of the trail edge by adding nutrients to the soil. Many natural areas, especially bogs and chalk outcroppings, harbor rare species and high biodiversity because they are especially low in nutrients. Feces and urine add significant amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus, which encourage the establishment and growth of non-native plants that crowd out native plants.
Dogs also disturb sensitive vegetation by trampling plants and spreading invasive weed seeds. Animals are a great dispersal method for plants, and many plant seeds have evolved hooks or other devices that cling to animal hair as a way to spread their seeds. Domestic dogs can be unwilling participants in the spread of non-native, invasive plants including teasel, cocklebur, and garlic mustard. Even many ecologically valuable native plants, including beggar-ticks and poison ivy, can tangle fur or spread irritating oils to the dog owner.
Natural areas are not parks.
The first priority of our natural areas is to create a refuge for nature where the impacts of human activity do not interfere with the survival of native plants and animals. It is up to us to ensure that we use the best management practices to conserve these unique areas for biodiversity. Allowing dogs into natural areas compromises our ability to manage these areas.
Dogs and people are not always the best mix. Even well trained dogs can react unpredictably when startled or frightened, and of course, not all dogs are well trained. Dogs bite people, fight with other dogs, bark and jump on people, and obstruct trails, at best disturbing the experiences of other visitors and at worse causing injury to visitors. Our natural areas are clearly marked as “no dogs allowed” and unsuspecting visitors may be upset by the presence of your dog. Remember, that not everyone is a dog-lover and many people, especially children, are afraid of dogs. We are dedicated to providing non-destructive educational experiences for our trail visitors. Research and experience have shown that the presence of dogs decreases the ability of our visitors to experience and learn about nature.
It’s the law.
According to Wisconsin Administrative Code UWW 18.06 (5) ANIMALS, the presence of dogs, cats, and other pets is prohibited in all university buildings and in arboretums at all times. Violation of this code may result in a fine of up to $500.
- Banks, P.B., Bryant, J.V. (2007). Four-legged friend or foe? Dog walking displaces native birds from natural areas. Biology Letters, 3(6), 611-613.
- Lenth, Benjamin E., Knight, Richard L., and Brennan, Mark E. (2008) The Effects of Dogs on Wildlife Communities Natural Areas Journal, 28(3):218-227.
- Sime, C. A. (1999). Domestic Dogs in Wildlife Habitats. Pages 8.1-8.17 in G. Joslin and H. Youmans, coordinators. Effects of recreation on Rocky Mountain wildlife: A Review for Montana. Committee on Effects of Recreation on Wildlife, Montana Chapter of The Wildlife Society. 307pp