Ecological Restoration--More than just killing the bad plants

In our zeal to maintain and restore our natural areas, the focus often shifts towards invasive plant control. And while it is true that invasive plants are typically a major threat to the health of our ecosystems, it is important for the practitioner to wholly understand all sources of degradation impacting a site and, ultimately, the desired structure and function of the ecological community. This presentation will discuss ecological restoration as a whole, which includes understanding a site in its current state, establishing restoration targets and goals, then developing restoration actions (which may or may not include invasive species control) to lead a site toward its intended state. The presentation will include a discussion of the delicate balance between time, resources, and ecology that affect any restoration project and the potential pitfalls that may occur when any one action is implemented without an understanding of the big picture.

Subject Matter Level: 
Saturday, January 16, 2016 - 11:10am to 12:00pm
Brian Majka
GEI Consultants of Michigan
Brian is a professional restoration ecologist with extensive experience in business management and development, project oversight, design and implementation of wetland construction, soft shoreline engineering, prairie planting, natural areas management, and BMP design projects with more than 15 years of experience in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, New York, and New Jersey. Mr. Majka is responsible for project management of ecological restoration design and implementation projects for GEI. He also regularly gives 10-20 educational presentations annually on ecological restoration, invasive species control, stream restoration, and bioengineering and has presented at universities, state agency in-service trainings, conferences, and workshops in Oregon, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Connecticut. He is Vice-Chair of the Michigan Invasive Plant Council, a member of the West Michigan Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, and a member of the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership, where he co-authored the Michigan Certified Natural Shoreline Professional program training manual and annually assists with course instruction.