Close-up View of PVC

The map

Pleasant Valley Conservancy is divided into a number of management units, which are shown on the map below. This is a new map created in February 2011 using ArcGIS and exported as a GIF version. It is based on the latest (2010) georeferenced Dane County air photo, downloaded from Wisconsinview.org. The boundaries and other features shown on this map as Waypoints and Tracks were determined with by GPS. Note that the service roads and ATV trails shown on this map are NOT open to the public except as foot trails.

Table of management units


 

Vegetation types

The vegetation type in each management unit is indicated by color. The contrast in vegetation between the north-facing and south-facing slopes is striking. The south-facing slope is relatively dry, and consists of prairie remnants (with no trees) on the lower slope, and oak savannas above. Here the oaks are principally bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa).

Oak woodlands The north-facing slope, which remains shaded throughout most of the day, is relatively moist (snow remains long here) and consists principally of oak woodland. The trees are mainly red oak (Q. rubra), with occasional black oak (Q. velutina), white oak (Q. alba), and bur oak (Q. macrocarpa, and a small patch of Hill's oak (Q. ellipsoidalis). There are also some basswoods (Tilia americana), black walnuts (Juglans nigra), and a few red maples (Acer rubrum).

The herbaceous vegetation on the north-facing slope consists of plant species that develop and flower early before the tree leaves have come out (sometimes called spring ephemerals), and the soils are moist. Once the tree leaves are out, the groundlayer mostly remains in deep shade, suitable primarily for ferns.

Prairie The herbaceous vegetation on the south-facing slope consists of dry prairie grasses, primarily little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), and Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans), with an occasional clone of big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii). The forbs are principally dry or dry-mesic species. Because of the open character of the savannas, sunlight is available to the plants throughout the summer, but the soils are dry.

The planted prairies (shown in light green) are former agriculture fields that had been fallow for some years. The year of planting of each field is shown on the map. Most (but not all) of these prairies are in the Conservation Reserve Program.

Oak savanna The areas marked in orange are level to gently sloping oak savanna, and consist of bur and white oak, with occasional black oak and shagbark hickory. The lower savanna slopes in Unit 12A and B and 11C and D, developed on sandstone bedrock, and are primarily white oak. Huge open-grown white oaks (and an occasional bur oak) are common along the White Oak and Mid Savanna Trails.

Wetlands The wetlands at Pleasant Valley Conservancy are relatively large for this part of Wisconsin (the Driftless Area). Although only part of the wetland is in the Preserve, the rest remains undeveloped under a 10-year agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Most of the water derives from a large number of springs spread across the wetland, or from two creeks, East Blue Mounds Creek, and Pleasant Valley Creek. The latter is almost solely spring-fed and is a typical cold-water creek. Sandhill Cranes and Canada Geese nest on the wetland, as well as numerous other bird species. Muskrats occur, and beaver have created several dams. In contrast to many wetlands, reed canary grass, a serious invasive species of wet habitats, is relatively uncommon.

For details on each management unit, see this link.

The tree inventory, determined from our tree database, is shown at the link further below. More details on the vegetation can be found on the links under the Vegetation overview menu item to the left, and on the Species check list.


Details on each management unit
Name Acreage Original Habitat Status before restoration began Present status
Unit 1 1.18 Prairie remnant Ungrazed; high quality Prairie
Unit 2 1.6 Prairie remnant Partially wooded Prairie
Unit 3 1.03 Prairie remnant Partially wooded Prairie
Unit 4 0.32 Prairie remnant Ungrazed; high quality Prairie
Unit 5 1.61 Bur oak savanna and prairie remnant Heavily wooded Bur oak savanna
Unit 6 4.48 Prairie and bur oak savanna Partially wooded Upper (Bur oak savanna) Lower (Prairie)
Unit 7 1.58 Prairie and bur oak savanna Partially wooded Upper (Bur oak savanna) Lower (Prairie)
Unit 8 1.3 Bur oak savanna Heavily wooded Bur oak savanna
Unit 9 1.82 Prairie and bur oak savanna Heavily wooded Bur oak savanna
Unit 10 2.9 Bur oak savanna Heavily wooded Bur oak savanna
Unit 11A 5.17 Bur oak savanna Remnant prairie and woods Prairie and bur oak savana
Unit 11B 2.53 Bur oak savanna Lower quality savanna; heavily wooded Bur oak savanna
Unit 11C 1.53 Bur and white oak savanna Heavily wooded White oak savanna
Unit 11D 4 White oak savanna Heavily wooded White oak savanna
Unit 12A 5.95 White oak savanna Heavily wooded White oak savanna
Unit 12B 0.98 White oak savanna Heavily wooded White oak savanna
Unit 13A 0.244 Prairie Aspen clone Prairie
Unit 13B 2.06 White oak woodland Heavily wooded White oak woodland
Unit 14 1.07 Low-quality brushland Heavily brushed in Brush
Unit 15 15.7 Red oak woodland Closed canopy Red oak woodland
Unit 16 10 Red oak woodland Closed canopy Red oak woodland
Unit 17 6.2 White oak woodland Closed canopy White oak woodland
Unit 18 2.4 Bur and white oak savanna Heavily wooded Bur and white oak savanna
Unit 19A 0.33 Bur oak savanna Heavily wooded Bur oak savanna
Unit 19B 1.64 Bur oak savanna Heavily wooded Bur oak savanna
Unit 19C 1.13 Prairie and oak savanna Aspen clone Black oak savanna
Unit 19D 1.05 Bur oak savanna Heavily wooded Bur oak savanna
Unit 19E 1.47 White oak savanna Heavily wooded White oak savana
Unit 20A 1.82 Degraded prairie Heavy brambles Open
Unit 20B 1.25 Basswood, hickory, oak Closed woodland Mixed woodland
Unit 20C 0.28 Degraded prairie Aspen clone Open
Unit 21 3.38 White oak woodland Heavily wooded; walnuts White oak woodland
Unit 23 0.38 Prairie and bur oak savanna Heavily wooded Bur oak savanna
Annex 0.18 Prairie remnant Degraded prairie Prairie
Barn 0.48 Wet-mesic prairie Row crops Wet mesic prairie
Cabin 0.54 Mesic prairie Lawn Mesic prairie
Crane 2.6 Dry, mesic, and wet-mesic prairie Heavily wooded; shrubs, walnuts Dry, mesic, and wet-mesic prairie
East Basin 4.4 Prairie   Prairie
Pocket 4.5 Prairie Row crops Prairie
Quarry 0.21 Dry prairie Heavy brush Dry prairie
Ridge 1.67 Dry-mesic prairie Row crops Dry-mesic prairie
Toby 3.63 Dry-mesic prairie Row crops Dry-mesic prairie
Toby N Aspen 1.6 Woods or open Aspen clone Woods or open
Triangle 0.55 Hill's oak savanna Heavily wooded Hill's oak savanna
Valley 3.85 Dry, mesic, and wet-mesic prairie Row crops Dry, mesic, and wet-mesic prairie
 
Tree inventory from the detailed tree database
Common name Latin name Count
Aspen Populus tremuloides 11
Basswood Tilia Americana 131
Birch Betula papyrifera 408
Black Oak Quercus velutina 545
Black Walnut Juglans nigra 117
Box Elder Acer negundo 2
Bur Oak Quercus macrocarpa 714
Cedar Juniperus virginiana 12
Cherry Prunus serotina 240
Elm Ulmus rubra 7
Hackberry Celitis occidentalis 62
Hickory; shag bark Carya ovata 211
Hills Oak Quercus ellipsoidalis 147
Red Maple Acer rubrum 5
Red Oak Quercus rubra 824
Red Pine Pinus resinosa 1
Sugar Maple Acer saccharum 2
Unidentified   4
White Oak Quercus alba 619
White Pine Pinus strobes 1
Yellow Bud Hickory Carya cordiformis 4
Total trees   4067