PRIMITIVE ZONE – This zone reflects a desired condition that emphasizes the natural resources. It is managed to only allow dispersed and low frequency use in the zone for low impact recreational purposes. Attaining and maintaining a high quality natural resource condition dictates the extent to which recreational improvements or uses are allowed.
1. Natural Resources:
- Native species and natural processes take precedence over visitor accommodation.
- Pre-European ecosystem components and processes maintained, restored and protected.
- Human-caused habitat fragmentation eliminated.
- Exotic species are contained or removed.
- Water quality maintained or restored.
- This zone will reflect natural processes, with vegetative management only allowed to restore and maintain natural ecological structure and processes (such as removing of invasive species), to address hazard trees, and to manage pests and disease.
- Where agricultural fields currently exist, a strategy should be developed to bring these areas into compliance with the intent (nature/character) of the zone. This strategy should be in the form of an ‘Ecological Restoration Plan’ developed by the Stewardship Unit with input from staff.
- New agricultural fields may be allowed in the zone but only as a specific and limited phase of an ‘Ecological Restoration Plan’ or as a critical component of a plan for managing species of greatest conservation need.
- Haying may be used as a long-term vegetation management treatment.
- Prescribed burns can be allowed.
2. Historic/Cultural Resources:
- Cultural resources preserved, removed or allowed to waste away.
3. Recreation Opportunities:
- Dispersed, low density off-trail or trailed, self-reliant (no bicycle or equestrian use) outdoor activities (i.e. Hiking, backpacking, primitive camping, cross-country skiing, hunting/trapping/fishing, nature observation).
4. Education Opportunities:
- Primarily off-site. Interpretive signage allowed at trail heads and low frequency on the trail and at overlooks.
5. Visitor Experience:
- Low visitor encounters maintained.
- Visitors engaged in high solitude, off-trail or trailed, self-reliant (no bicycle or equestrian use) outdoor activities (ie. Hiking, backpacking, primitive camping, cross-country skiing, hunting/trapping/fishing, nature observation).
- High time commitment.
- High challenge and adventure.
- "Discovery" area with minimal on-site interpretation.
- Low noise tolerance.
- Low interaction with DNR staff.
6. Management Focus:
- Maintain low-impact character of this zone, with emphasis on natural resource quality.
- Very low level except for visitor accommodation (ie. foot trails).
- Site hardening only allowed to protect sensitive resources (ie. boardwalk).
- Little evidence of human activity.
- Low accessibility