Lush hemlock boughs with tiny, thimble-sized cones wavered in the gentle breeze as I strolled along the crunchy gravel road behind the Forest Lodge Nature Trail. On the ground, familiar friends like wild sarsaparilla, Mayflower, and moccasin-flower were unleashing their vernal beauty. It felt like an evening back home in the southern Appalachian Mountains. These are fragments of plant communities I know intimately from Appalachia, over 1,000 miles away from northwest Wisconsin to the south.

So why are they here?

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