Conservation

 
  
 In a culture bent on unfettered expansion, even to the point  of destroying the land for which we and other  beings  depend  on for our  food, water and air; any  practices we  embrace  to preserve and heal the  land are radical acts  of  compassion. Government  protected  areas and  regulations  are  insufficient. At  Savanna Moon we are  committed to  doing  what we  can to test and model  alternative land  use practices.
  

Snake Point Savanna
 
One of the gems on the land is a rare bluff savanna.   
The term ‘savanna’ is usually used to describe a landscape that has widely spaced trees in fields of grasses and wildflowers. The greatest and perhaps best known expanses of savanna occur on the African continent, but also are found in parts of Madagascar, India, Australia and South America.
   
Here in the Midwest, savannas are commonly found on dry, south-west facing steep limestone bluffs, or sandy areas where the droughty soils and once fire prone areas limited dense tree growth.  Bur oaks survive the dry, fire-prone slopes because they have a deep tap roots to reach water and fire resistant bark. Snake Point Savanna has many species that don’t occur in other habitats including the rare Hill’s Thistle, lead plant, mountain mint, puccoon, prairie clover, side oats grama grass, and little blue stem. Another sign of the savanna’s health is that the bur oaks are successfully reseeding – an issue in some areas because of deer browse and other influences.
 
We named our savanna 'Snake Point Savanna'' because snakes hibernate in the limestone outcropping.The savanna is also habitat for turkeys, deer and other acorn feeders as the slopes are snow free more of the year than cooler slopes.
 
Much of the oak savanna ecosystem has been fragmented or destroyed by clearing and plowing, overgrazing; or invasion by dense shrub and tree growth due to lack of fire, and lack of wildlife grazing and browsing (by bison or elk). Oak savanna is one of the most threatened plant communities in the Midwest and among the most threatened in the world. Remaining is less than 0.01% of the of 5.5 million acres that existed before European settlement.
 
As stewards of this land we are committed to saving the remnant oak savanna by removing invasive species and reintroducing fire to foster the growth of the savanna’s  understory of grasses and wildflowers.  We are grateful to several state and federal agencies, and the Chippewa Savanna Chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts who have contributed to the restoration of Snake Point Savanna through grant funds, expertise and on-site crews. 
 
Donations: any funds donated to Snake Point Savanna restoration go 100% toward restoration. We use donated funds to hire crews to remove invasive species, conduct prescribed fire, and/or planting methods to increase native plant diversity.
 
For more information:
http://www.oaksavannas.org; http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/EndangeredResources/Communities.asp?mode=group&Type=Savanna
Bur oaks: http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_quma2.pdf 
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