Stewardship Network Webcasts

Stewardship Network Webcast Archive

2015, May: Minimizing Impacts of Prescribed Fire on Eastern Box Turtles

Prescribed fire is an effective management tool frequently used to alter, maintain, and restore vegetative communities throughout Michigan. It is also a tool that can negatively impact Eastern box turtle populations. There are several natural history and behavioral conflicts that make reducing the negative effects of prescribed fire on box turtles challenging. Box turtles are slow-moving, their active season overlaps the burning season, they tend to hide in high fuel loads, and their movement patterns are variable and uncoordinated. Evaluating and utilizing the strengths and weaknesses of your site (such as water sources and available nesting areas), rotating burns between seasons, and using the longest burn interval possible will be important in reducing the negative impacts of prescribed fire on box turtles.

February, 2015: Report IN! How You Can Easily Report Invasive Species in Indiana, And Why You Should Want To

See an invasive plant on the roadside and want to report it? Whip out your smartphone and in less than 60 seconds the report is in the system! Compared to much of the Midwest, there is little information on the location of invasive species in Indiana, primarily because there hasn’t been a simple way for people to map and report them. That’s changed now, with the new Report IN system. Using the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS) as the starting point, there is a website and smartphone version of the reporting platform. Since August 2014 when the system was rolled out, hundreds of reports have come in that are helping us better manage invasive plants and educate the public. We will go through how to submit reports via the website ( and smartphone app, and discuss how the system is being used in Indiana by different groups. This is your chance to learn more and ask questions.

December, 2014: HOW You Spray Matters: Innovative Application Methods for Improved Phragmites Control

For this webinar we will discuss insights from the survey, the technologies used including their strengths and weaknesses, and data collection methods. We will present example case studies showing before, immediate-after, and 1-year after site photos, and discuss efficacy and impacts on species composition and diversity among the Phragmites treatments. The webinar will conclude with efficacy comparisons of the treatments and corresponding improvements in field capacity in relation to use of dilute broadcast sprays. Measurements of losses to the ground by herbicide drip will also be presented. Due to time limitations, detailed discussion of drift and in-canopy deposition will be presented at The Stewardship Network Conference in January 2015, along with a more in-depth exploration of the application methodologies.

November, 2014: Restoring Health and Function to America’s Heartland with Prairie Strips

Prairie strips is an agricultural conservation practice being developed by the STRIPS team at Iowa State University. Originally researched through a field experiment at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, it’s now proving to be cost-effective way to blend production and conservation goals on private, commercial farms in the Midwest. Prairie strips harness the productivity, stability, and benefits of the historically dominant ecosystem that once blanketed the Midwest. Today their helping to build farming systems that produce clean water, wildlife, and wonder in addition to food, feed, fiber and fuel. Tune into this webinar to learn more about prairie strip in concept and application.

October, 2014: From Dirt to Trees to Wildlife

There is a fairly well understood relationship between the soil and vegetation types that grow. John Lanier, with nearly 40 years experience in wildlife habitat and species management, and Brendan Prusik, with over 20 years experience in forestry, have developed a tool that’s relatively simple to use to help land managers, owners, and planners practically apply the relationship between soils and vegetation. Starting with the soil, a person can identify the potential for re-vegetation and use by wildlife. Rooted in the eleven major forest types in the northeast, it is possible to generate a host of the wildlife species that prefer a particular forest type for breeding. By incorporating a diverse body of information and research and distilling this information into a simple, useable format, landowners and land managers have a powerful tool to aid them in their decisions about which plant and animal species to manage for. This has profound implications for species of greatest conservation need and corresponding management practices.

September, 2014: River of the Undammed: Metapopulation Dynamics, Recovery and Resilience of an Aquatic Stream Community in Eastern Connecticut

We investigate the effects of dam removal and ask if the removal of the dam has resulted in recovery? Can we distinguish the effects of dam removal from the effects of the droughts? Furthermore, do the benthic aquatic invertebrates respond in the same way that the fishes do to dam removal and drought? Can the structure of the fish community be predicted from the structure of the invertebrate community? I will use the results to get us to think about dam removal as a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

August, 2014 - Crazy Worm (Amynthas agrestis)

Crazy Worm (Amynthas agrestis) is an invasive earthworm native to East Asia. This active and damaging pest was found in Wisconsin in 2013. It is known and sold under a variety of common names including Crazy Worms, Alabama Jumpers and Snake Worms; and the name speaks for itself! They act crazy, jump and thrash when handled, and behave more like a threatened snake than a worm. Learn more about this invasive worm in this informative webcast!

July, 2014: Better, Greener Ditch Design

In the United States more than 200,000 miles of waterways have been modified to trapezoidal-shaped drainage ditches benefiting more than 110 million acres of agricultural land at an estimated cost of $56 billion dollars. Agricultural ditches are designed to remove excess water from fields and prevent flooding onto fields. Researchers at the Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center (OARDC) have developed a new "two-stage" ditch design. The new design has a small main channel at the bottom of the ditch - stage one - and grass-covered "benches" along the sides of the channel - stage two. Check out this webcast to learn about this game-changer for ditch design!