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Northern Research Station
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 231-9318
(608) 231-9544 TTY/TDD

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Research Lands

Experimental Forests

Photo: Weir on Marcell Experimental Forest

Experimental forests and ranges are living laboratories where Forest Service scientists not only make discoveries but also demonstrate research results for cooperators and stakeholders. They provide the opportunity to conduct the bold, imaginative research that will be required for the future.

Northern Research Station is home to twenty-two Experimental Forests in twelve states

Research Natural Areas

Photo: Hiker looks out over Alpine Gardens Research Natural Area

Research Natural Areas (RNAs) are areas that the Forest Service has designated to be permanently protected and maintained in a natural condition. These protected natural areas include unique ecosystems or ecological features; rare or sensitive species of plants and animals and their habitat; and/or high-quality examples of widespread ecosystems.

Currently there are more than 430 Research Natural Areas established nationally. Within the 15 National Forests of the Eastern Region, 44 RNAs have been established, and many candidate areas are listed in forest plans to be evaluated for possible designation as RNAs.

Last Modified: 05/28/2013