About Field Sites
Steigerwaldt Land Services (STEI) is a terrestrial site that consists of two geographically separate project areas in north-central Wisconsin. The Steigerwaldt Land Services property, where the tower plots are located, encompasses 0.3 km2 (77 acres) in Lincoln County, WI and is approximately 1.6 km (1 mi.) north of NEON’s Treehaven site (TREE). This property is owned and managed by Steigerwaldt Land Services, Inc., a forestry and real estate consulting business. This site is in Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) 94D - Northern Highland Sandy Drift. The distributed plots are within a section of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in eastern Price County, WI, about 30 miles northwest of the STEI tower. This land is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. This site encompasses 23.4 km2 (5785 acres) and is in MLRA 90A - Wisconsin and Minnesota Thin Loess and Till, Northern Part. STEI is located within the Great Lakes Domain (D05), which includes northern Ohio, Michigan, northern Wisconsin, and parts of Indiana and Illinois. D05 hosts four other NEON field sites: two aquatic and two terrestrial, located in Wisconsin and Michigan.  
The climate of northern Wisconsin is characterized by bitterly cold winters and generally cool summers with brief times of excessive heat. Precipitation varies from year to year, with the majority of precipitation usually falling during the warmer part of the year. Snowfall also varies from year to year, however, the very northern portion of the state can see heavy snowfall due to lake effect events along the southern shore of Lake Superior. The area can also be subject to severe winter storms and thunderstorms. From late fall to early spring, most streams and lakes freeze over in northern Wisconsin. In the winter months, snow covers the landscape. In spring, when the snow begins to melt, frequent flooding occurs. At the tower plots the average temperature is 4.8°C (41°F), the average annual precipitation is 797 mm (31 in.), and there are approximately 125 frost free days a year. The distributed plots have the same climate but receive approximately 10 mm less (0.4 in.) precipitation a year.   
STEI is within the Superior Upland Province of the Laurentian Upland and has been formed by glaciation. The bedrock consists of primarily Early Proterozoic mafic metavolcanic rock with parts underlain by gneiss. The parent material at the tower site is dominantly sandy loam till, whereas the parent material at the distributed plot area consists of loamy glacial till, sandy glaciofluvial deposits, loess over loamy till, loamy glaciofluvial deposits over stratified sandy and gravelly outwash, sandy and/or gravelly outwash, and herbaceous and woody organic material.  
Soils sampled at the STEI site were dominated by glacial till or loamy mantled outwash soils with material ranging from sandy to loamy, many of which had a considerable amount of coarse fragments including gravels, cobbles, and stones up to 600 mm (23.6 in.) in diameter. The soil series found at STEI is Moodig sandy loam (0 - 4% slopes), within the subgroup Alfic Epiaquods.  
Plant communities at the distributed plot area are dominated by northern hardwood trees (sugar maple, red maple, aspen, paper and river birch, beech, and oaks) with intermixed conifers (white pine, red pine, jack pine, white spruce, balsam fir and hemlock). The site also contains acid bogs intermixed with black spruce and dominated by white cedar and black ash. The tower site is an early successional, even-aged aspen stand, interspersed with red maple and balsam fir trees.  
Mammals native to the Great Lakes region include the gray wolf (Canis lupus), moose (Alces alces), Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), and river otters (Lontra canadensis). The lands surrounding the Great Lakes are also important habitats for migratory and resident birds like the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and the endangered Kirtland’s warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii). NEON provides data on five types of wildlife at STEI including: small mammals, birds, ground beetles, mosquitoes, and ticks. 
Past Land Management and Use
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forests were heavily logged by the timber industry in the 1800s and early 1900s. The cleared land became farmland; however, many farmers could not afford to manage their farms in the 1920s and 1930s and forfeited their lands to the government, so the U.S. Forest Service took over management of the lands. During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) reforested much of the land. The U.S. Forest Service carefully stewarded the new forest growth over the next 80 years. The U.S. Forest Service continues to manage the distributed plot area, while Steigerwaldt Land Services, Inc. manages the tower area. In 1957, Steigerwaldt Land Services, Inc. was established as a forestry and real estate consulting firm offering land management services with sustainability in mind. They have been managing the tower site for timber production, recreation, and wildlife habitat ever since.  
Current Land Management and Use
The tower site at STEI is the largest management unit owned by Steigerwaldt Land Services due to the shrinkage in forest management blocks in northern Wisconsin. The tower site is currently managed for timber production, recreation, and wildlife habitat. The aspen trees at the site are harvested for paper and are clear cut every 40 years. The last harvest was in 2005, leaving some scattered oak and hemlock trees for wildlife food and shelter. Roads are also planted with clover as an additional food source for deer and ruffed grouse. The distributed plots at STEI are managed as multiple-use lands by the U.S. Forest Service for forestry and natural areas management, wildlife habitat and recreational usage. The NEON study area on this land includes planted red and jack pine plantations. The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest’s (CNNF) timber program has recently been dominated by salvage timber projects following damage from extreme weather events and a decline in spruce trees, followed by a recent focus in over-mature aspen stands. Over the last several years, the CNNF in Price County has been moving out of salvage mode with recently approved vegetation management and forest health projects in pine and hardwood management areas.   
NEON Site Establishment
The tower site at STEI is located just north of the Treehaven (TREE) site. The STEI and TREE sites have different management practices, which could help isolate the effect of management practices on carbon cycling dynamics. The tower site at STEI was too small for NEON’s Distributed Plot activities, so NEON established a separate set of distributed plots 30 miles NW of the STEI tower. The distributed plots at STEI were chosen following the NEON standard criteria and avoiding existing research areas. The NEON study area in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) is in close proximity to other research activities that have focused on land-atmosphere carbon interactions. The site characterization for the site was completed in 2011. The Terrestrial Observation System (TOS) was completed in October 2015, followed by plot establishment in November 2015. The tower at STEI was completed in September 2015. 
 Terrestrial Instrument System (TIS, FIU) Site Characterization Supporting Data: Domain 05. NEON.DOC.011057vB
 Terrestrial Instrument System (TIS, FIU) Site Characterization Summary: Domain 05. NEON.DOC.011058vB
 Terrestrial Observation System (TOS) Site Characterization Report: Domain 05. NEON.DOC.003889vB
 NEON Site Level Plot Summary, Steigerwaldt Land Services (STEI), October 2016
 U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia. https://mrdata.usgs.gov/mrds/
 PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, http://prism.oregonstate.edu, created 4 Feb 2004.
Remote sensing surveys of this field site collect lidar, spectrometer and high-resolution RGB camera data.
This site has a flux/meteorological tower that is 22 m (72 ft) tall with six measurement levels. The tower top extends above the vegetation canopy to allow sensors mounted at the top and along the tower to capture the full profile of atmospheric conditions from the top of the vegetation canopy to the ground. The tower collects physical and chemical properties of atmosphere-related processes, such as humidity, wind, and net ecosystem gas exchange. Precipitation data are collected by a tipping bucket at the top of the tower and a series of throughfalls located in the soil array.
Soil Sensor Measurements
This site has five soil plots placed in an array within the airshed of the flux tower. Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) at soil surface, soil heat flux, solar radiation, and throughfall are measured at the soil surface in each soil plot. Soil moisture, soil temperature, and CO2 concentration are measured at multiple depths in each soil plot.
At terrestrial sites, field ecologists observe birds and plants, and sample ground beetles, mosquitoes, small mammals, soil microbes, and ticks. Lab analyses are carried out to provide further data on DNA sequences, pathogens, soils, sediments, and biogeochemistry. Learn more about terrestrial observations or explore this site's data products.
Field Site Data
Site Access Allowed
Site Access Details
Very limited available via private land owner.
NEON Field Operations Office
NEON Field Operations Address
7647 Notre Dame Lane
Land O Lakes, WI 54540
NEON Field Operations Phone
Mean Annual Temperature
Mean Annual Precipitation
Dominant Wind Direction
Mean Canopy Height
Dominant NLCD Classes
Deciduous Forest, Mixed Forest, Woody Wetlands
Average number of green days
Average first greenness increase date
Average peak green date
Average first greenness decrease date
Average minimum greenness date
Number of Tower Levels
USGS Geology Unit
USGS Geology Name
Mafic metavolcanic rocks
USGS Lithologic Constituents
Dominantly tholeiitic basalt and basaltic andesite flows and tuffs; associated with sheet dikes, massive and layered metagabbro, and ultramafic rocks.
USGS Geology Age
Megapit Soil Family
Coarse, loamy, mixed, superactive, frigid. Alfic Epiaquods.
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