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Ducks fly over rough water on the Bay of Green Bay.



Copyright Permissions

The materials contained on CCB web pages, including text and images, are copyright protected and remain the intellectual property of their respective owners. Although these pages are freely accessible through the World Wide Web, please be aware that you must obtain permission from CCB for any use other than those provided by the fair use clause under the U.S. Copyright Act. Contact in order to request permission to use any text or images.

The images on our pages are available for educational use (teaching or student research projects) only and may not be used for any non-educational or commercial purpose. The images may not be linked or posted to other web sites without permission of the original contributor or CCB. Educational users must include a clearly visible statement acknowledging the CCB web page and (if indicated) the contributor of the materials. Citations should credit the Cofrin Arboretum Center for Biodiversity, University of Wisconsin--Green Bay, Further information can be obtained at Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia

Research Permits

The Cofrin Arboretum and the other UWGB natural areas were established to protect the unique flora, fauna, and ecosysytems in northeastern Wisconsin and to provide outdoor recreational opportunities for students, faculty, and the community. The natural areas also serve as a “living lab” for student and faculty research and other educational activities. However, there are restrictions on the types of activities and research that can occur. And all activities must be conducted in a way that minimizes impacts to the ecosystem. We welcome non-destructive research that contributes to improved knowledge and management of our natural areas. Anyone wishing to conduct research in our natural areas should contact Bobbie Webster and complete an online permit application form.


Deer hunting is allowed on 4 of our natural areas. Gun hunting only is allowed at Toft Point Natural Area and Penninsula Center Preserve with written permission of the Center director. Archery hunting only is allowed at Point au Sable Natural Area with written permission of the Center director. Archery hunting is allowed on the Cofrin Arboretum through the City of Green Bay special archery depradation hunt. 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, students, and research scientists also use trails on our natural areas.. Hunters are reminded to pick up any litter including discarded shells and cigarette butts.

Duck hunting is only allowed from boats offshore of Lake Michigan. 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 to access the water. Hunting is not allowed on any of the Arboretum ponds.

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.

Cofrin Memorial Arboretum

Large populations of deer on the UW-Green Bay campus are damaging forest understory plants in the Cofrin Arboretum and threatening the ecology and beauty of the natural area. In order to better manage deer populations the UW-Green Bay campus participates in the City of Green Bay archery depredation hunt. Hunters apply through the City of Green Bay and must pass a background check and proficiency test and must follow special rules set by the City. Interested hunters should contact the City of Green Bay deer program administrator at 920-391-3676 for information and application materials. Application to, approval, and assignment of hunting locations is determined by the hunt administrator.

Applications for the next hunt are accepted between December 18-31 of each year. City of Green Bay residents are given priority application status December 18-January 31 of each year. Registration is open to all others January 1-31 of each year.

Kingfisher Farm

No hunting or trapping of any kind is allowed.

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. Interested hunters should contact The Center at 920-465-5032 or for more information. 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).

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 for more information. Archery hunting is not allowed at either site.


Trail Use

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.

No Collecting of Plants or Other Materials

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.

Dogs and Trails Don't Always Mix

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.