- Protects biological diverse wetland flora, fauna and/or their habitat
- Supports significant numbers of wetland-dependent fauna, such as water birds or fish
- Rare or unique wetland type within its own biogeographical region. (Meeting this criteria would include, but is not limited to, wetlands with unique hydrology or chemistry that make it rare within its own region)
Forrest Woods State Nature Preserve is one of the highest quality remnants of the Great Black Swamp that once covered approximately 1,500 square miles of northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana. The property is home to more than 30 rare, threatened, and endangered plant and animal species including Four-toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum
, state listed), Leafy Blue Flag (Iris brevicaulis
, threatened), and Cuspidate Dodder (Cuscuta cuspidata
, endangered). The site provides a number of amphibian breeding pools for sensitive species like Four-toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum
, state listed) and Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus
Forrest Woods also provides a number of ecosystem services to northwest Ohio due to its location in the Upper Maumee Watershed. The preserve is located near the confluence of Marie DeLarme Creek and the Maumee River, which has the largest watershed feeding any of the Great Lakes. The area upstream of Forrest Woods is primarily in high-intensity agricultural production which contributes large concentrations of nutrients to watershed. This has resulted in Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) forming in the Western Lake Erie Basin endangering the water supply of numerous cities that draw their drinking water from the lake. The location of Forrest Woods allows it to slow down the flow of nutrient rich water and filter those nutrients out before they reach the Maumee River, and ultimately Lake Erie.
The natural resources and ecosystem services provided by Forrest Woods Nature Preserve make it an important cultural resource representing northwest Ohio's natural heritage.
CONSERVATION STATUS AND THREATS
Conservation status: Deed Restriction
Adjacent Land Use: Agricultural (cropland, orchards, greenhouse)
Approximate natural buffer width: Other information:
The majority of the land surround Forrest Woods is in agricultural production. There are some woodlands adjacent to the east of the preserve and the Black Swamp Conservancy has restored some farm fields into upland prairie habitats to the west of the preserve.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Dominant flora: Red and Swamp White Oaks, basswood, Shagbark and Shellbark Hickory, Buttonbush, Spicebush, and a variety of spring ephemerals including Trillium, Dutchman's Breeches, and Jack-in-the-Pulpit
Unique flora: Cuspidate dodder, Leafy blue flag, Lake cress, Raven-foot sedge, False hop sedge
Dominant fauna: hybrid abystomid salamanders, spring peeper, chorus frog, wood frog, White-tailed deer, wild turkey, wood duck, Great blue heron, and numerous other mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians
Rare fauna: four-toed salamander