Thursday, 03 August 2017

Whoop It Up in Baraboo

Two Sandhill cranes standing on a sidewalk.

Two wild Sandhill cranes wander outside the Wisconsin DATCP labs in Madison, WI. [Photo courtesy of Anette Phibbs]

Want to learn more about Wisconsin’s Sandhill and Whooping cranes, as well as cranes from around the world? Come to the Cranes of the World Festival on Saturday, August 5, 2017 from 9:00AM to 5:00PM at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

In 1975 there were only a few hundred Sandhill cranes left in Wisconsin. Overhunting in the early 20th century and the pesticide DDT completely eliminated Whooping cranes and nearly wiped out Sandhills from the state. Today, thanks to the work of the International Crane Foundation, these incredible birds have made a successful comeback.

The folks at the International Crane Foundation began work in 1973 on cranes when little was known about them and their numbers were crashing around the world. From their humble start in Baraboo, the ICF has become the world’s leading international crane conservation group. Their projects in Africa, India, China and Southeast Asia have helped to stabilize crane populations globally. This one-day event is their way of sharing what they have learned with their neighbors.

Many landowners want to know more about cranes so that they can better manage them. The Cranes of the World Festival offers property owners an opportunity to talk to the experts about crane conservation and best management practices for their land.

The International Crane Foundation is located at E11376 Shady Lane Road, Baraboo, WI. For more information email: info@savingcranes.org

July 2017

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Good Things Come in Small Packages

Wetlands educator show difference between Reed Canary Grass and native wetland grasses.

According to a new study released by University of Waterloo (Ontario, CA) professor Nandita Basu, small wetlands seem to be more efficient at reducing nutrient loading. His team reviewed 600 studies worldwide of wetlands rivers and reservoirs. They concluded that smaller wetlands are more effective as “nutrient sinks” because they have more soil that filters less water.

These findings are particularly important for Wisconsin because too much nitrogen and phosphorus cause the algae blooms that poison our lakes.

The way you manage runoff from your land affects the land and waters that are downhill. Small wetland restorations high in the watershed make a big difference. Restoration contractors and consultants can help you figure out the best practices to manage nutrient runoff.

Wetland restoration can be complicated. Moving soil and many other activities in wetlands require the right licenses and permits. Look for a professional who is trained in wetland ecology and has a proven track record doing wetland projects. Make sure to ask for and check out their references.

The Wisconsin Wetlands Association is a great first stop to find information about out wetlands. They not only have general information about wetlands, they provide really good resources for private landowners. The Wisconsin DNR has an online Wetland Restoration Handbook that has chapters to walk you through the entire restoration process.

Wisconsin’s wetlands are so much more than cattails. You will be amazed at how easy it is to fall in love with your swamp.

June 2017

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Let’s Get Cutting

With the early onset of hot weather in Wisconsin, wild parsnip is now starting to bloom. This is the best time to mow this serious invasive plant.

Check out this article by WDNR invasive plants coordinator Kelly Kearns:

Wild parsnip blooms early, time to mow or take other control steps

Remember to watch out for wild parsnip sap. If you get it on your skin while exposed to sunlight, the sap causes serious chemical burns.

Out Foxing One Another

Check out this cool video taken at the Necedah Wildlife Refuge.

Red Fox Kits Playing

When mom is away the kits will play!Video: Red fox kits courtesy of Volunteer Marie Pierce

Posted by Necedah National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Necedah National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to see all sorts or wildlife; from cranes to butterflies … and really cute fox kits.

Saturday, 03 June 2017

Pulling Together

Many hands make light work. When it comes to getting rid of invasive plants like Garlic mustard, Phragmites and Japanese knotweed working together as a community can be the only effective way to get control of an otherwise retractable problem.

Across Wisconsin and the midwest public land managers, right-of-way supervisors and private landowners are coming together to form Cooperative Weed Management Associations (CWMAs). These groups identify and prioritize invasive species, create management plans and execute those plans to reduce noxious weed populations and improve the landscape for everyone. 

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced the 2017 Pulling Together Initiative Request For Proposals. The Pulling Together Initiative is now accepting applications for competitive funding. Details about this funding opportunity are provided in the Request For Proposals, and additional program information can be viewed at www.nfwf.org/pti. The process includes a pre-proposal stage; the pre-proposal submission deadline is July 12, 2017.

The Pulling Together Initiative program is inviting applications for competitive grant funding to promote the conservation of natural habitats by preventing, managing or eradicating invasive and noxious plant species. In 2017, the program will award grants to develop or advance Cooperative Weed Management Areas (CWMAs) and Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs).

Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, federal, state, tribal, local, and municipal government agencies, and educational institutions. Approximately $850,000 is available in 2017 and grant requests may be up to $100,000.

If you are interested in finding out more, you can join a webinar on Monday, June 12 at 12 PM Eastern Time/11 AM Central Time to learn about the 2017 grant funding opportunity through the Pulling Together Initiative. You will learn about funding priorities and the application process, receive tips for submitting competitive proposals, and have the opportunity to ask questions. The webinar will last approximately 30 minutes. Please register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8045866934844885763

If you have any questions, please contact:

Caroline Oswald
Senior Manager
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Central Regional Office
8011 34th Avenue South, Suite 242
Bloomington, MN 55425
612-564-7253
Caroline.Oswald@nfwf.org | www.nfwf.org

 

Thursday, 01 June 2017

June is Invasive Species Awareness Month

What do you think of when you hear invasive species? Some folks see in their minds garlic mustard and buckthorn choking their woods. Others conjure up images of lakes clogged with Eurasian milfoil. Still others may imagine gypsy moths or emerald ash borers attacking their trees. All these threats and more face landowners and those who spend time in the outdoors.

As a landowner, invasive plants tend to present the most common issues for land management. Some problems have been around for many years, like honeysuckle while others like Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana), Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) and Lesser calandine (Ranunculus ficaria) are just beginning to show up on the landscape.

Regardless of the threat, prevention is the best strategy for protecting your land. The Wisconsin DNR recommends, “Be careful of materials brought onto your land, especially soil, mulch, compost and plants. They may come with unseen roots, seeds or invasive earthworms.”

Some folks are really deep into controlling invasive species. Each year the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council recognizes individuals and groups that make significant contributions to finding and getting rid of these problems. The Invader Crusader Awards honor professionals, volunteers and organizations that have made a difference across our state. Find out who is making a difference.

To learn more about invasive species in Wisconsin and what you can do to protect your land, keep up regularly with our blog posts, make the Conservation Digest website for conservation management information and check out this article in the Prioritizing Invasive Plants in the current issue of the WDNR Natural Heritage niche magazine.

May 2017

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Snapshots Improve Wildlife Management

Photo of fawn bounding out of a patch of goldenrod.

Photo from Wisconsin DNR website

Better wildlife management requires better science. Better science needs improved data. As a private landowner, you can help provide that better information that Wisconsin wildlife managers need to make better decisions.

Private landowners manage the majority of wildlife habitat in Wisconsin. While it does not seem like it sometimes, we manage most of the property on which our game and non-game species live.

Snapshot Wisconsin is a volunteer based monitoring effort to capture images of all types of wildlife including deer, elk, bears, fox, bobcats, whooping cranes and more to learn more about Wisconsin’s wildlife. This project is led by Department of Natural Resources staff in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW-Extension.

This project offers a unique opportunity to view wildlife in their normal routines in the wild and data collected will help researchers better understand Wisconsin’s ecological landscapes. To date, 604 volunteers currently maintain 687 trail cameras – 10,336,444 photos have been collected.

“Snapshot Wisconsin is a great way to get involved in volunteer-based monitoring and learn more about all of our different wildlife species,” said Susan Frett, one of the volunteer coordinators working on the project. “We have volunteers in Wisconsin participating as trail camera hosts and approximately 4,000 volunteers from around the world participating in crowd-sourced classification of our images on www.snapshotwisconsin.org.”

If you are a landowner with access to at least 10 acres of contiguous private land in Dane, Grant, Rusk, Taylor, Marathon or Clark county and agree to maintain a trail camera on that land for at least one year. Training and supplies are provided and no prior experience with trail cameras is necessary. Basic computer knowledge and access to the internet is necessary to participate. Local, in-person training sessions are currently planned for July and online training is also available.

Snapshot Wisconsin is also recruiting applicants in Dodge, Iowa, Iron, Jackson, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oneida, Racine, Sawyer, St. Croix, Vernon and Waupaca counties. Tribal members or affiliates on tribal lands and educators throughout the state are also encouraged to participate. Additional counties will be added over the next few years.

Volunteers can sign up by visiting www.snapshotwisignup.org or find out more details by contacting Susan Frett, DNR Snapshot Wisconsin program, 608-221-6323.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Emerald Ash Borer: Landowner Workshop

Want to know how to tell whether your ash trees are being attacked by the Emerald Ash Borer? What do you do to protect your ash trees? What can be done with wood from ash trees that cannot be saved? All these questions and more will be answered at a special workshop, “Save your ash trees!” hosted by the Golden Sands Resource Conservation and Development Council.

The workshop will happen on Saturday June 3, 2017 from 9:30am to 3:30pm at the Mosquito Hill Nature Center, N3880 Rogers Rd, New London, WI. Registration is $15 and includes lunch. Seating is limited and the event will run rain or shine so dress for the weather!

Contact Amy Thorstenson (715) 343-6215 for more information or download and return their registration form.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Whoop it Up Tomorrow

Learn more about whooping cranes and their long journey from the brink of extinction during a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources “Ask the Experts” chat at noon tomorrow, May 11th.

Spring migration is completing, the breeding season is underway and the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership is busy hatching eggs and monitoring nests across Wisconsin. Efforts are proceeding to again have a group of chicks raised in captivity by adult whooping cranes. Conservation biologists also are optimistic they will get more wild-raised chicks to fledging age.

Contact Davin Lopez, DNR conservation biologist, 608-266-0837 for more information.

April 2017

Monday, 24 April 2017

Arbor Day

Arbor Day is that time each year when we celebrate the importance of trees in our lives. Trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, even as they provide valuable shade for buildings and people. They provide food and shelter for wildlife, timber and paper products for us.

Nationally and in many states around the country, Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April. Some states celebrate on other days and a few even set aside an entire week. Below is a listing of the specific Arbor Day celebrations.

Schools and municipalities across  America sponsor tree planting events around Arbor Day. This year why not take time to plant a tree on Arbor Day.

State Arbor Day State Arbor Day
Alabama Third Monday In March Montana Last Friday in April
Alaska Third Monday in May Nebraska Last Friday in April
Arizona Last Friday in April Nevada Last Friday in April
Arkansas Third Monday in March New Hampshire Last Friday in April
California March 7-14 New Jersey Last Friday in April
Colorado Third Friday in April New Mexico Second Friday in March
Connecticut Last Friday in April New York Last Friday in April
Delaware Last Friday in April North Carolina First Friday following March 15
Florida Third Friday in January North Dakota First Friday in May
Georgia Third Friday in February Ohio Last Friday in April
Hawaii First Friday in November Oklahoma Last Full Week of March
Idaho Last Friday in April Oregon First Full Week of April
Illinois Last Friday in April Pennsylvania Last Friday in April
Indiana Last Friday in April Rhode Island Last Friday in April
Iowa Last Friday in April South Carolina First Friday in December
Kansas Last Friday in April South Dakota Last Friday in April
Kentucky Last Friday in April Tennessee First Friday in March
Louisiana Third Friday in January Texas First Friday in November
Maine Third Full Week in May Utah Last Friday in April
Maryland First Wednesday in April Vermont First Friday in May
Massachusetts Last Friday in April Virginia Last Friday in April
Michigan Last Friday in April Washington Second Wednesday in April
Minnesota Last Friday in April West Virginia Second Friday in April
Mississippi Second Friday in February Wisconsin Last Friday in April
Missouri Last Friday in April Wyoming Last Monday in April